Jul
21

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San Diego Comic-Con 2014: Controlled chaos at its best

Nathan Fillion SDCC NerdHQ

Team CliqueClack is headed to San Diego Comic-Con later this week. There’s so much to do, but this is what Ivey is looking forward to most.

 

San Diego Comic-Con. The summer week that is marked off of my calendar automatically each year. The people behind marketing effort that has dubbed the annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner “NerdProm” have obviously never spent their July’s in San Diego and have experienced the rock-em sock-em fracas that descends upon the Gaslamp District of San Diego. I’ve been there – just a couple of times, I don’t necessarily have tenure that my partner-in-crime Michael Noble has – and I have lived to tell the tale. And this week? It’s time to jump in and do it all again.

Last year was my third Con, and was a bit of an anomaly. I tried taking a different approach; while I had several big-ticket events that I was really looking forward to (Wil Wheaton’s Hopcon event, Joss Whedon’s NerdHQ panel and the Veronica Mars off-site fan event to name several), I really tried to keep my schedule as lean as I could, which allowed me to experience some things that I normally don’t have time for. Mike, Keith McDuffee and I all caught the Cartoon Voices and Quick Draw panels together and had a blast. I took in a couple of the off-site experiences that have popped up (The Ender’s Game one in particular stands out … but I did miss out on the Godzilla experience that the rest of the team caught). This flexibility allowed me a random chance to see the Game of Thrones panel in Hall H (and everyone knows that GoT is far and away my favorite property that shows up to SDCC). Continue reading 'San Diego Comic-Con 2014: Controlled chaos at its best' »

Photo Credit: Ivey West
Jul
21

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Win free passes to see Let’s Be Cops in Chicago, Indianapolis or Milwaukee

Lets Be Cops 1

You can win free passes to see the new comedy ‘Let’s Be Cops’ in Chicago, Indianapolis or Milwaukee. Find out how to enter the random drawing!

 

CliqueClack has partnered with Twentieth Century Fox to offer readers in the Chicago, Indianapolis and Milwaukee areas an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new comedy Let’s Be Cops starring Damon Wayans Jr., Jake Johnson, Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D’Arcy and Andy Garcia.

It’s the ultimate buddy cop movie except for one thing: they’re not cops. When two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party, they become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.

Continue reading 'Win free passes to see Let’s Be Cops in Chicago, Indianapolis or Milwaukee' »

Photo Credit: Frank Masi, SMPSP
Jul
21

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Preview: The 45th edition of San Diego Comic-Con

Gillian again

Comic-Con. Where I *don’t* get called a geekdorknerd. (Okay I do … but it’s done with a little more respect instead of mocking insult. Kinda. Somewhat. A little bit. Shut up.)

 

Look … I admit:

Year in and year out no matter how many times I venture to San Diego (“America’s Finest City”) for Comic-Con, it’s always a thrill. Always. I’ve equated the weeks leading up to it with a child’s anticipation of a trip to Disneyland.

Truly, it’s that exciting.

The planning. The scheduling. The approach of the event does nothing but ramp everything up to a frothy, effervescent headiness. And then? The head-spinning, giddy feeling of being right smack dab in the middle of it all with thousands of others (tens of thousands, truth be told), all vying for that collectible or that panel or that photo opportunity with “Holy crap! Did you see who that was?!? It’s (insert any popular personality here) from (insert any popular or cult television program or film here) … !!!”

Here’s a little taste of what’s in store this year: Continue reading 'Preview: The 45th edition of San Diego Comic-Con' »

Photo Credit: Michael Noble
Jul
20

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The Lottery: Dystopian? Not so much as it is “dys-dopeyian”

The Lottery_06rev

Global infertility threatens the existence of mankind. Pretty dire stuff. But played out the way Lifetime’s series premiere envisions it doesn’t cut the mustard.

 

There’s nothing like a good old fashioned science fiction tale of a not-too-distant dystopian future to get the juices flowing. (I have leanings toward hopeless, oppressive, dire story lines. Some might consider it more a curse than anything else.)

News Flash (or “spoiler” if you haven’t watched the premiere yet): Those juices won’t be flowing courtesy of The Lottery.

So what kind of future is played out in this new sci-fi series? Well, a rather wishy-washy, trope-filled one if the first episode has anything to do with it.

Some dystopian futures? They don’t translate into standards we readily understand. Their ideologies can often be so over the top in approach or function we lose out on any sort of correlation. Our everyday applications don’t jive with what we see. In other instances they go even further — they’re so foreign or left-of-center we can’t begin to wrap our heads around them. They completely alienate us. Result? Zero audience engagement. You don’t want that.

What you want is something that’s going to grab you from the get-go. And that’s exactly what happens in The Lottery. You are immediately drawn in by the opening introductory statements:

2016: The last kindergarten closed its doors because there were no more births.
2019: The last 6 births in the country were recorded. Infertility is global.
It’s now 2025.
You’re engaged, right? Yep, you are.

The Lottery bills itself as dystopian (often characterized by human misery, oppression, disease, overcrowding) but this future isn’t any of those things. It’s just got one big, fat, 800 pound gorilla of a problem: Human extinction due to world-wide infertility. And, though it stretches the definition of dystopian, I’m still okay with it. Continue reading 'The Lottery: Dystopian? Not so much as it is “dys-dopeyian”' »

Photo Credit: Lifetime
Jul
20

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Download free passes to see Hercules in Washington, DC

HERCULES

Want to be the first to see Dwayne Johnson as ‘Hercules’? Find out how you can download a free pair of passes for the advance screening!

 

CliqueClack has partnered with Paramount Pictures to offer readers in Washington, DC an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new action movie Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes and John Hurt.

Both man and myth, Hercules (Johnson) leads a band of mercenaries to help end a bloody civil war in the land of Thrace and return the rightful king to his throne. A tormented soul from birth, Hercules has the strength of a God but feels the suffering of a human. Unimaginable villains will test the mythical power of Hercules in director Brett Ratner’s gritty take on one of the most epic action heroes of the ages.

Continue reading 'Download free passes to see Hercules in Washington, DC' »

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Jul
19

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Win free passes to see Hercules in Cleveland

HERCULES

Win free passes to a special advance screening of ‘Hercules’ in Cleveland. Find out how you can get a pair!

 

All passes have been claimed. Please follow CliqueClack on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr for contest alerts, reviews and breaking news.

CliqueClack has partnered with Paramount Pictures to offer readers in the Cleveland area an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new action movie Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes and John Hurt.

Both man and myth, Hercules (Johnson) leads a band of mercenaries to help end a bloody civil war in the land of Thrace and return the rightful king to his throne. A tormented soul from birth, Hercules has the strength of a God but feels the suffering of a human. Unimaginable villains will test the mythical power of Hercules in director Brett Ratner’s gritty take on one of the most epic action heroes of the ages.

Continue reading 'Win free passes to see Hercules in Cleveland' »

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Jul
18

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The biopic Yves Saint Laurent is a pretty but disjointed thing

yves saint laurent

‘Yves Saint Laurent’ isn’t bad really, but it fails to express anything truly interesting in his life or his story.

 

The problems with making a successful biopic are many-fold. Either you focus on a specific period of time in that person’s life (like Lincoln or 42), or you attempt to cover nearly their entire professional life (Babe, Jobs). It’s difficult to find thematic resonance and a plot when the story of a person is their actual life. So perhaps you fictionalize some aspects or cherry pick moments to tell a particular kind of story about them.

Or perhaps you can go experimental and artsy (I’m Not Here) and eschew the normal structures for a biopic. It’s certainly possible to make a successful story about a real person, but it’s rare that it really works. The subject matters, it must be someone who is interesting or important, a vital artist or fascinating personality. And of course, there’s the ever present worry that the film is just portraying the person totally falsely, either as a hero or a villain. For the case of Yves Saint Laurent, it’s supposedly an “authorized” version, but that doesn’t make it a good movie.

Continue reading 'The biopic Yves Saint Laurent is a pretty but disjointed thing' »

Photo Credit: The Weinstein Company
Jul
18

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Boyhood is a masterpiece twelve years in the making

Boyhood_cc

‘Boyhood’ is more than just a gimmick; it’s a truly great movie.

 

There are many movies about coming of age, and most of those are about male characters. Of course, this proportion comes from the fact that the vast majority of directors and screenwriters are male, but that’s Hollywood for ya! Thinking about the various stages of life means that you are using your memory, and that means that your biases come out. Trying to film a life as someone grows up is tricky, because you have to pick and choose the “important” bits. But that’s the brilliance and audacity of this movie, which could have so easily fallen apart.

In making Boyhood, director Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, A Scanner Darkly) began work in 2002, filming a cast of characters but continuing to film pieces of their lives over the next twelve years. That means that we as the audience literally see these children grow up before our eyes. It’s sort of like a trick, but it’s also honest and real.

Continue reading 'Boyhood is a masterpiece twelve years in the making' »

Photo Credit: IFC Films
Jul
18

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Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here made me wish it was a better movie

zach-braff-wish-i-was-here

The movie ‘Wish I Was Here’ had me moved – to roll my eyes at the treacly dialogue and heavy handed metaphors.

 

First off, let me apologize for the terrible pun in the movie, it’s almost beneath me. However, the writing of this movie … well, I’ll get to that.

I am still a defender of Garden State, Zach Braff’s first movie, which is the movie that made my dad understand why I thought Natalie Portman was talented (as I recall, he had only seen her in the Star Wars movies). But manic pixie dream girl assertions aside, the movie was interesting in that it used music in an interesting way to connect to emotional moments, using silence instead of dialogue, and was unafraid to not say everything that was obvious.

Wish I Was Here is written and directed by Zach Braff, who also plays the main character Aidan Bloom, a kid raised in a religious Jewish household until he decided it wasn’t meaningful to him. The movie’s conflicts start when he discovers that the payments for the very religious yeshiva (a private Jewish day school) which had been from his dad (Mandy Patinkin), because that was the only way they’d get the money, have stopped. And why? Oh, no reason. Just that his dad has inoperable cancer, and is paying for expensive, unlikely to work treatments. And Aidan’s brother Noah (Josh Gad), is living the life of a gadabout in a trailer, using his inheritance money from their mother and doing nothing with his life. Will he give money to help out? No, of course not, he doesn’t care about the religious stuff (I think, it was never really explained) or perhaps he’s kind of a jerk. And Aidan is a struggling actor (because of course he is), so he doesn’t have a job, while his wife Sarah (Kate Hudson) has a boring desk job with a coworker who’s probably harassing her. So we have our setup.

Continue reading 'Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here made me wish it was a better movie' »

Photo Credit: Focus Features
Jul
18

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Sex Tape has a funny moment or two, but largely disappoints

Sex Tape Cameron Diaz Jason Segal

Jason Segal’s sense of comedy and Cameron Diaz’s ability to establish great chemistry aren’t enough to save a wholly disappointing ‘Sex Tape.’

 

It seems like every day, there’s another warning about the ills of a too-connected digital world. “We spend too much time on social media” … “There’s not enough face to face connections in the world” … “You have to be careful what you put on the Internet.” It’s that lesson director Jake Kasdan aims to lampoon in Sex Tape.

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal play Annie and Jay, a couple who has found their post-children sex lives a little lacking compared to the halcyon days of their youth. After they experience several false starts during a night of special-private-time, the dangerous mixture of The Joy of Sex, an iPad and a bottle of tequila lead to the creation of a (3-hour!!) sex tape. But the “fun” doesn’t stop there … a fairly unrealistic plot contrivance finds that video uploaded to iPads that Jay has given everyone from his in-laws to the mailman. Shenanigans ensue as the couple try to track down each and every copy before anyone watches. Continue reading 'Sex Tape has a funny moment or two, but largely disappoints' »

Photo Credit: 2014 CTMG, Inc