Aug
27

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The November Man tries to be a sleek, sexy James Bond thriller but comes up a little short

november-man

When former James Bond Pierce Brosnan and former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko return to the world of foreign espionage in ‘The November Man,’ is it a hit or a miss with spy thriller aficionados?

 

“Peter Devereaux, you know what we used to call you? The November Man ‘cause after you passed through, nothing lived.”

That is hands down one of the most badass quotes used in a movie trailer I’ve seen in a while. However, I don’t think the trailer for Relativity Media’s The November Man does it justice. Based loosely upon the novel There Are No Spies by Bill Granger, the film had an interesting plot in that Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is an ex-CIA operative forced out of retirement to embark upon one final personal mission that finds him pitted against high-ranking CIA officials, the Russian president-elect Arkady Federov (Lazar Ristovski) and his former protégé David Mason (Luke Bracey), who is like the hot-headed, impetuous son Devereaux never had. Devereaux’s mission is to find and protect a former refugee who may hold the secrets to the Russian president-elect’s political undoing and the unraveling of a decades-old conspiracy.

While this film tries really, really hard to be a smart, sleek and sexy spy thriller in the vein of James Bond, it comes up a little short of the prize. 

Of course I knew Brosnan had been James Bond in fan favorites GoldenEye, Die Another Day, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough, but I didn’t realize the film’s leading lady Alice (Olga Kurylenko) had been a former Bond girl starring opposite Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace. While this film tries really, really hard to be a smart, sleek and sexy spy thriller in the vein of James Bond, it comes up a little short of the prize. Like any other movie in this genre, there are a plethora of swerves along the way – some of them you will see coming a mile away because they’re that clichéd, while others may take you by surprise. If you go into this blindly and aren’t bothered by the foreign names and accents that are sometimes difficult to follow, the confusing and at times unnecessary plot twists, the sometimes uncomfortable scenarios and the fact that this far removed from the Cold War I don’t think anybody really cares about Russian politics anymore, then you should be fine.

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Photo Credit: Relativity Media
Aug
22

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a brutal, bloody, and mostly fun repeat of the first one

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‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ is basically ‘Sin City’ again, so you’re likely to like it if you liked that one, and hate it if you didn’t.

 

Nine years is a long time in between a movie and a sequel. Of course, it’s not the longest; a quick glace at Wikipedia reveals ten years for The X-Files movie, another niche film, sixteen years for the Dirty Dancing sequel, and a whopping sixty-three years for a sequel to Bambi. Although that’s a different sort of movie altogether. The first Sin City movie came out in 2005 from director Robert Rodriguez, sharing the directing credit (a bit controversially at the time) with Frank Miller, who had created the graphic novel the movie is based on.

Later, Frank Miller went to direct The Spirit, another graphic novel adaptation, but it was a critical and commercial failure. Now the two have teamed up again for a sequel/prequel to Sin City. But the world isn’t the same as it was nearly ten years ago, not just in terms of technology, but also art and culture. Sin City blew me away when it came out; it was brutal, stylized, and jumped straight off the comics page. People had never seen such an accurate version of comic books, nor did they expect the crazy, violent world of Frank Miller. I wasn’t really familiar at the time, and have since read some of it; I like the movie more. But is the sequel still fun or is it drag?

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Photo Credit: Weinstein Co.
Aug
22

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When the Game Stands Tall inspires but fails to tell a good story

When the Game Stands Tall Jim Caviezel Michael Chiklis

‘When the Game Stands Tall’ tries to tell the inspiring story of the De La Salle football Titans, but gets mired down in telling too many tangentially related off-the-field stories. The team overcomes many obstacles the movie was unable to avoid.

 

The high school level of athletics might be one of the few remaining places where one could find purity in sports. Professional sports are rife with stories of cheating, of individualism and commercialism. College – at least in the major sports – is no better; while only the smallest of percentages will play professionally, the sports there might be less pure than their professional counterparts. So there is the international level – an area that has been largely ignored in cinema history – and high schools.

From Hoosiers to Remember the Titans, the history of the high school sports film focus on that purity. Even darker stories like Friday Night Lights and – to an extent – Varsity Blues generally include a nice moral lesson; for every Charlie Tweeter there is a Billy Bob, for every Basketball Diaries there is a Coach Carter. When the Game Stands Tall lives in the shadow of the inspirational stories; it very much wants to be Titans. Unfortunately director Thomas Carter and screenwriter Scott Marshall Smith spend most of the film trying to figure out what story they want to tell.

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Photo Credit: Tracy Bennett/CTMG, Inc
Aug
21

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Download passes for The November Man in Denver or Salt Lake City

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Denver and Salt Lake City readers can be the first to see Pierce Brosnan in ‘The November Man’ at a special advance screening. Read on to see how you can download a pair of free passes.

 

CliqueClack has partnered with Relativity to offer readers in Denver and Salt Lake City an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new action thriller The November Man starring Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko, Eliza Taylor, Caterina Scorsone with Bill Smitrovich and Will Patton.

Code named ‘The November Man,’ Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) is an extremely dangerous and highly trained ex-CIA agent, who is lured out of quiet retirement on a very personal mission. He must protect valuable witness, Alice Fournier, (Kurylenko) who could expose the truth behind a decades old conspiracy. He soon discovers this assignment makes him a target of his former friend and CIA protégé David Mason (Bracey). With growing suspicions of a mole in the agency, there is no one Devereaux can trust, no rules and no holds barred.

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Photo Credit: Relativity
Aug
20

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Get free passes to see As Above/So Below in Boston and Hartford

Film Title: As Above/So Below

Something lurks beneath the streets of Paris, and you can find out what by attending a free screening of ‘As Above/So Below’ in Boston or Hartford. Carefully read the rules to find out how to get your free passes.

 

UPDATE: This offer is now closed. Follow CliqueClack on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr for contest alerts, reviews and breaking news.

CliqueClack has partnered with Universal Pictures to offer readers in Boston and Hartford an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new thriller As Above/So Below starring Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, and Edwin Hodge.

Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. A journey into madness and terror, As Above/So Below reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures
Aug
19

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Hiddleston and Swinton share eternal love in Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive

Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton star in Jim Jarmusch’s new vampire tale ‘Only Lovers Left Alive,’ proving that love is indeed eternal.

 

I always thought being a vampire would just be so glamorous. Sleep all day, play all night, change into a bat or a wolf or even smoke, and of course eternal life … provided no one put a wooden stake through your heart while you slept.

You get a sense that the life (or afterlife) of a vampire is rather solitary.

But after seeing Jim Jarmusch’s latest film, Only Lovers Left Alive, you get a sense that the life (or afterlife) of a vampire is a rather solitary, solemn way to exist. In the film, we’re introduced to three individuals: Adam (Tom Hiddleston), Eve (Tilda Swinton) and Christopher Marlowe (John Hurt) who is, in fact, THE Marlowe who was a contemporary (and definitely not an admirer) of Shakespeare.

Eve and Marlowe are in Tangiers and Adam is in Detroit. Turns out Adam and Eve are married, but he insists on living in the desolate city so he can create music and remain in a completely solitary existence save for his own Renfield, Ian (Anton Yelchin), a go-fer and confidant who gets Adam a wide range of exquisite musical instruments and other odd items like a specific type of wooden bullet.

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Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Classics
Aug
18

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Win free passes to see The November Man in Baltimore or DC

november man 2

You can be among the first in Baltimore and DC to see Pierce Brosnan return to the big screen in ‘The November Man.’ Read the rules carefully to find out how you can enter the contest.

 

UPDATE: This offer is now closed. Follow CliqueClack on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr for contest alerts, reviews and breaking news.

CliqueClack has partnered with Relativity to offer readers in Baltimore and DC an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new action thriller The November Man starring Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko, Eliza Taylor, Caterina Scorsone with Bill Smitrovich and Will Patton.

Code named ‘The November Man,’ Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) is an extremely dangerous and highly trained ex-CIA agent, who is lured out of quiet retirement on a very personal mission. He must protect valuable witness, Alice Fournier, (Kurylenko) who could expose the truth behind a decades old conspiracy. He soon discovers this assignment makes him a target of his former friend and CIA protégé David Mason (Bracey). With growing suspicions of a mole in the agency, there is no one Devereaux can trust, no rules and no holds barred.

Continue reading 'Win free passes to see The November Man in Baltimore or DC' »

Photo Credit: Relativity
Aug
17

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Download free passes for When the Game Stands Tall in New York City

when the game stands tall

You can download a free pair of passes to see ‘When the Game Stands Tall’ in New York City before anyone else. Find out how to get yours.

 

CliqueClack has partnered with Screen Gems to offer readers in New York City an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new sports drama When the Game Stands Tall starring Jim Caviezel, Michael Chiklis, Alexander Ludwig, Clancy Brown and Laura Dern.

Inspired by a true story, When the Game Stands Tall tells the remarkable journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur (Caviezel), who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport.

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Photo Credit: Screen Gems
Aug
15

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Download free passes for The November Man in Boston and Hartford

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Pierce Brosnan returns to the big screen in ‘The November Man’ and you can download free passes to the advance Boston and Hartford screenings. Read on to find out how.

 

CliqueClack has partnered with Relativity to offer readers in Boston and Hartford an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new action thriller The November Man starring Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko, Eliza Taylor, Caterina Scorsone with Bill Smitrovich and Will Patton.

Code named ‘The November Man,’ Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) is an extremely dangerous and highly trained ex-CIA agent, who is lured out of quiet retirement on a very personal mission. He must protect valuable witness, Alice Fournier, (Kurylenko) who could expose the truth behind a decades old conspiracy. He soon discovers this assignment makes him a target of his former friend and CIA protégé David Mason (Bracey). With growing suspicions of a mole in the agency, there is no one Devereaux can trust, no rules and no holds barred.

Continue reading 'Download free passes for The November Man in Boston and Hartford' »

Photo Credit: Relativity
Aug
15

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Calvary is an enthralling black comedy so dark, it absorbs most of its light

calvary

‘Calvary’ showcases the astounding performance of Brendan Gleeson in a very bleak movie.

 

It’s a difficult thing to escape from horrors in your past, but sometimes it’s impossible. It can be difficult enough when it’s just the memory of a failed date or test or perhaps losing your job. Even then, your past affects you and changes your future despite what you try to do to go past it. Things could be much worse, and for some people, they are. Those of us more fortunate cannot really judge others, but we can try to understand. Sometimes people with complicated pasts turn to faith or abandon it, searching for meaning or finding none. We often find humor in the darkest times, but others find only sorrow and pain. Goodness, in its subtle, tricky way, can be even harder to find than greatness. It’s there, in the little things, the small efforts, the ways you help save people a tiny bit at a time. But sometimes, trying your hardest just isn’t enough.

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Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight