‘SMURFS’ ACTOR NEIL PATRICK HARRIS DISCUSSES LOVE FOR MAGIC

nph2 How I Met Your Mother actor Neil Patrick Harris stars with Jayma Mays (Glee) and Hank Azaria in The Smurfs, which opens nationwide Friday.

“It’s blind trust on our part that animators are effective and also really talented,” says Harris on working in the live action/animated feature.  “Our job more than anything was to be very specific with eyeline points.  Points of focus.  Anything else that we did they could animate around.  If we did like just blank gaze to the left, it didn’t look right.  You had to really like key in on one spot.”

Click on the media bar below and listen to Harris explain why The Smurfs is not just a kids film.

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Neil Patrick Harris, who is also the President of The Magic Castle, elaborates on his love for magic and variety arts.

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‘ATTACK THE BLOCK’S’ JOE CORNISH TALKS ALIENS AND MEETING STEVEN SPIELBERG

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Joe Cornish makes his directing debut with Attack The Block, a story centering on a teen gang who battle invading aliens in South London.  For inspiration, Cornish drew from the gritty films of John Carpenter (Escape From New York) and Walter Hill (The Warriors).

“I looked at John Carpenter more for the way he uses dialogue and how minimal his dialogue is and how nobody ever says anything that a real person wouldn’t say under those circumstances,” says Cornish, who also penned the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film The Adventures of Tintin.  “His characters never have big speeches about their backstories or their childhoods.  In terms of the look, we were more fixated on Walter Hill and The Warriors and Streets of Fire because (the movie) was shot at night.  And that’s exciting for me because you have to light everything.  So we read about (cinematographer) Andrew Laszlo who shot The Warriors and took a lot of stuff from him really.  He had very clever, lo-fi techniques of lighting at night.”

Click on the media bar to hear Cornish talk about creating the aliens for Attack The Block.

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Mr. Cornish also talks about his collaboration with Steven Spielberg:

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Attack The Block, executive produced by Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World director, opens Friday.

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COLIN FARRELL SINKS HIS TEETH INTO ‘FRIGHT NIGHT’

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After a succession of dramas (Triage, Pride and Glory, The Way Back), Colin Farrell wanted to lighten things up a bit, hence the choice of taking on Horrible Bosses and Fright Night.

Picking Fright Night comes with its share of baggage, as the original flick has its loyal following, including Farrell.  “I loved the original,” says the actor.  “I loved what Chris Sarandon and the other actors did in the original.  So it was very dubious when I heard they were making it.”

Click on the media bar below and listen to Farrell explain why he decided to take the part (he mentions Fright Night director Craig Gillespie in the clip).

Fright Night, co-starring Anton Yelchin and Toni Collette, opens August 19th.


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‘COWBOYS’ DIRECTOR JON FAVREAU TALKS BOND WITH GUILLERMO DEL TORO

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Jon Favreau (Cowboys & Aliens) and Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) sat down together at Comic-Con, and the two talked about the origins of their friendship.

For Del Toro, the filmmaker was a fan of Favreau’s IFC show Dinner for Five, a which had various actors sitting down discussing their lives over dinner.  “I don’t know how many years I’ll direct or be able to produce, but the one thing I can (be sure of) is I’ll be a fan my whole f**king life,” said Del Toro.  “And (Favreau) did it for years with Dinner for Five, which I watched every f**king episode including the ones where the guests, I didn’t a f**k about, just because the repartee was fantastic.  That’s how we started just talking, and we have many things in common.”

As for Favreau, the filmmaker expresses his love for Del Toro’s gripping and devastating 2001 feature, The Devil’s Backbone. For his directing effort Zathura (which starred Kristen Stewart), Favreau hired The Devil’s Backbone cinematographer Guillermo Navarro to shoot the film.

Click on the media bar to hear Favreau discuss his friendship with Del Toro, who is also heard on the clip (Del Toro says The Devil’s Backbone is “my favorite of the ones I’ve made”).

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Cowboys & Aliens opens Friday.  Del Toro’s next feature, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (he produced and co-wrote the screenplay), opens August 26th.

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‘SWITCHED AT BIRTH’ OPENS “PANDORA’S BOX” TONIGHT

switched3ABC Family’s freshman series Switched at Birth took a shocking and dramatic turn last week when Daphne (Katie Leclerc) opened her mother’s (Constance Marie) guitar case and found pictures of Bay (Vanessa Marano).  The big reveal was a game changer, as Regina’s actions is bound to have a devastating effect on both families.  If Regina was cognizant about the “switched at birth” mistake, how will it affect John Kennish’s (D.W. Moffat) hospital lawsuit?  Tonight’s episode (9 pm et/pt) is appropriately titled Pandora’s Box, as Regina’s past should come back to haunt her.

Although I wasn’t a big fan of the recent subplot concerning Toby’s (Lucas Grabeel) gambling addiction, Switched at Birth has been a pleasant surprise, largely thanks to the excellent work from the show’s cast (the series has scored five Teen Choice Award nods).  The actors actually feel like a family, and their innate chemistry is Switched at Birth’s biggest asset.

Fans of Switched at Birth actress Lea Thompson (Kathryn Kennish) can also catch her later this year in the Clint Eastwood directed biopic J. Edgar.  Thompson stars in the feature as Lela Rogers, the mother of actress Ginger Rogers (Leonardo DiCaprio stars as J. Edgar Hoover).  Click on the media bar below to hear Thompson talk about life on a Clint Eastwood set:

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