Nov
26

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Download free passes to see Annie in Boston, Plainville, Columbia, DC or Virginia Beach

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - December 2, 2013

The sun is coming out again for ‘Annie’ and you can be the first to see the new movie musical. Read on to find out how to download your free passes to the advance screening.

 

CliqueClack has partnered with Sony Pictures to offer readers in Boston, Plainville, Columbia, DC and Virginia Beach an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new family musical Annie starring Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, David Zayas and Cameron Diaz.

Academy Award nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, it’s been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Diaz). But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Foxx) — advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Cannavale) — makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Stacks believes he’s her guardian angel, but Annie’s self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean it’s the other way around.

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Photo Credit: Sony Pictures
Nov
26

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Penguins of Madagascar offers perfect holiday hijinks for the penguin-lover in all of us

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Super spy teams aren’t born – they’re hatched. Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private are back in full throttle as furry agents of international espionage, and their antics are as funny as ever in DreamWorks’ ‘Penguins of Madagascar.’

 

Fewer things in life are more adorable than a cuddly, chubby penguin. Penguins have long been my favorite animal ever since my city’s zoo invested in a state-of-the-art penguin exhibit in which you can watch the graceful black and white birds playfully frolic and swim underneath your feet (looking through a glass floor) as they go from one side of their arctic backdrop to the other. Last year, a childhood wish finally came true for me – I finally had a behind-the-scenes, one-on-one personal penguin encounter at an aquarium in which I was given a half-hour with several penguins and actually got to pet some of them.

The cuteness of penguins and the amount of attention and special exhibits such as the aforementioned ones that are given them is very much the heart of the plot of DreamWorks Animation’s Penguins of Madagascar. That’s right – the hilarious penguins who pretty much stole the show for me in the previous Madagascar movies were finally given their own full-length feature. Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private are back in full throttle as furry agents of international espionage, and their antics are as funny as ever. I especially enjoyed the beginning of the movie, which sets the background for how this lovable quartet first came to be by showing them as baby penguins who don’t want to continue aimlessly marching in formation across the frozen tundra, as an overzealous penguin documentary crew looks on.

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Photo Credit: DreamWorks Animation
Nov
26

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Horrible Bosses 2 improves on the original

Horrible Bosses 2

The original was so-so, but the new kidnapping caper plot in ‘Horrible Bosses 2,’ and an entertainingly manic performance from Chris Pine, make this a better movie.

 

It doesn’t seem like it’s been three years since the original Horrible Bosses hit the big screen, but it has. In my original review, I enjoyed the cast but hated the script which forwent logic for stupid jokes. The film certainly was popular enough, though, to earn the sequel treatment and here we are with Horrible Bosses 2.

Most of the original cast has returned – minus Colin Farrell – even if they had to figure out a way to shoehorn Kevin Spacey into the plot (since his character went to jail in the first one). New additions to the cast, Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz, add some weight to the film and new director and writer Sean Anders (and his co-writers) have come up with a plot that is silly but at least follows some logical throughline.

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Nov
25

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Win passes to see Night at the Museum 3 in Baltimore, DC or Virginia Beach

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The final chapter in the ‘Night at the Museum’ series is about to unfold, and you can be among the first to see it. Read on to find out how you could win tickets.

 

CliqueClack has partnered with Twentieth Century Fox to offer readers in Baltimore, DC and Virginia Beach an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new comedy Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Dan Stevens, Rebel Wilson and Ben Kingsley.

Get ready for the wildest and most adventure-filled Night at the Museum ever as Larry (Ben Stiller) spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.

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Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox
Nov
25

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Win passes to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in Baltimore or DC

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The final film in Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth trilogy is upon us, and you can be among the first to see ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ in Baltimore or DC. Find out how you can win passes.

 

CliqueClack has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to offer readers in Baltimore and DC an opportunity to attend an advance screening of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

As he succumbs to dragon-sickness, the King Under the Mountain, Thorin Oakenshield, sacrifices friendship and honor in his search for the legendary Arkenstone. Unable to help Thorin see reason, Bilbo is driven to make a desperate and dangerous choice, not knowing that even greater perils lie ahead. An ancient enemy has returned to Middle-earth. Sauron, the Dark Lord, has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide—unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends as five great armies go to war.

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Nov
21

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Foxcatcher tries to use great acting to hide a weak movie

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‘Foxcatcher’ deserves the accolades it’s getting for the acting, but the movie is ultimately quite disappointing.

 

Biopics, my old foe. Why do you always try to hurt me like this? I want to like you, I want to know more about the interesting people of history. But then you go and make me all … yawn.

It is funny how envy works. A person can seemingly have a great life but be envious of one particular thing about someone else. Maybe it’s their job, or their family, or their face, or even their personality. Looking in from the outside, you may never understand it. Of course, an exception must be made for the mentally disturbed, because their behavior is not understable except by the mental health professionals, and perhaps not even them. I’m going somewhere with this, trust me.

Foxcatcher is based on a true story, where down on his luck Olympic wrestling champion Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is asked by the odd but obscenely wealthy John du Pont (Steve Carell) to lead a team for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. Mark is certainly talented, but he wasn’t doing well despite his gold medal win; all he really had was the support of his kind but older brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo — it’s a bit confusing, but Mark doesn’t play Mark here). Dave basically raised Mark and is a Gold Medalist himself, and is doing very well in life, getting great job offers and has a loving wife and kids. So Mark is craving to make something of himself, to be his own man and win the championship again, to prove he wasn’t just a flash in the pan. But John du Pont is a very odd person, obsessive and mercurial, supportive at times, creepy at others, and legitimately abusive still others. It’s clear that John suffers from dealing with his overbearing mother (Vanessa Redgrave), who hates the sport of wrestling and thinks of it as a “common” sport.

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Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Classics
Nov
21

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Jennifer Lawrence is superbly engaging in the fun but flawed Mockingjay, Part 1

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‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1′ is enjoyable, even if it seems far too much of a “part one” and not enough its own movie.

 

There’s been an interesting trend lately with art describing itself. Sometimes a movie, TV show, or book is obvious about it; this is when you have a character that is clearly either an author insert or mouthpiece. Or perhaps it’s the opposite, a straw man character meant to suffer the attacks of unsubtle jabs to provide a suitable target for the artist’s rage or frustration. I don’t always think it’s necessarily a bad thing; it’s problematic when it becomes pretentious or dreary. The worst offense is to be obvious, but that isn’t so common. So when you have a movie about a young girl torn between wanting to be herself and being influenced into becoming a media sensation to push a message, it’s not the craziest idea to think that maybe there’s something there. Except of course, that the original material wasn’t about that — or was it?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is the third in a series of four Hunger Games movies, with the final Part 2 out next year. The final book, as we saw with Harry Potter and Twilight, is being split into two movies. I haven’t read Mockingjay, but Twilight didn’t have the material for one movie, let alone two, and I think Harry Potter would’ve worked better as few short British-style seasons of television instead of movies. The material for this movie is mostly paced well, with only a few obviously padded scenes. The story is simple, continuing on from the fallout of the last Hunger Games movie. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, of course) destroyed the gaming arena in the last movie, escaping from the clutches of the evil Capitol with fellow tributes Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Beetee (Jeffrey Wright), but also, incidentally, an accidental friend and ally in Elizabeth Banks’ bizarre Effie Trinket. And also the home of Katniss, District 12 has been brutally bombed, but her old friend/boyfriend/ex-boyfriend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) managed to survive with her mother and sister Primrose. Yes, the names aren’t much better this time either.

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Photo Credit: Lionsgate
Nov
20

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The paradox that is Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom

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Aaron Sorkin’s ‘The Newsroom’ is anything but subtle, but can he fix the show in time to make the final season as great as his past shows?

 

Written by Guest Clacker Brandon Coulson

The Newsroom’s second episode of its third and final season is entitled “Run,” though a more appropriate title might be something along the lines of “the ethical ethics of morality or how we’re so much better than you.” The show continues to be a paradox for me. I find myself loving and hating it from moment to moment, and this episode is a perfect example why. All of the tropes I love from Aaron Sorkin’s past works are here but they feel forced. It’s like he’s doing a bad cover of his own greatest hits, and while I still love the song, the performance leaves much to be desired.

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Photo Credit: HBO
Nov
20

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Hercules on Blu-ray is a feast for the eyes and ears

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The movie may not have been a big hit with critics, but is Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Hercules’ isn’t as bad as some may have you believe. And it’s even better on Blu-ray.

 

I’ve seen one Hercules movie this year, the Kellan Lutz starrer The Legend of Hercules, so I wasn’t really sure if I was ready for another one. The earlier one was a bit of a chore to sit through, leaning more to the juvenile spectrum than even the 1950s versions that are seen as pure camp today (granted, most US audiences have never seen the original versions of those Italian sword and sandal epics, just choppily edited versions). Lutz looked the part, to be sure, but he really had nothing to work with.

But we knew then that there was another take on the legend coming, this time starring Dwayne Johnson and simply titled Hercules. The only real drawback at the time was that the film was being directed by the almost universally reviled Brett Ratner, who hasn’t made a good film in about as long as the other Herc movie’s director Renny Harlin has. But Johnson oozes enough charm out of every pore to make audiences like just about anything he’s in. Could he actually save this Hercules?

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Photo Credit: Paramount/MGM
Nov
18

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22 Jump Street, Sin City 2 and a Frozen Sing-Along lead home video releases

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Movies on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD November 18 include ’22 Jump Street,’ ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For,’ ‘Into the Storm,’ ‘And So It Goes,’ ‘As Above/So Below,’ ‘Christmas Evil,’ ‘If I Stay,’ ‘The Dark Half,’ and much more!

 

Big movies past and present make their appearances on various home video formats this week, although the biggest title of them all — Guardians of the Galaxy — is an advance Digital HD edition with the DVD and Blu-ray versions yet to come. The bigger titles this week include 22 Jump Street, Frank Miller’ Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, And So It Goes and Into the Storm. Disney’s Frozen is getting another release for the holidays in a Sing-Along edition. Older titles getting the Blu-ray treatment include The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (4K Restoration), Christmas Evil, The Dark Half, Monkey Shines, It Happened One Night (from Criterion) and an early 3D film, The Bubble. These titles and more are available November 18, and you can see all of the week’s highlights in our alphabetical shopper’s guide after the jump. Click on any link to make a purchase or to get more information. You purchase at Amazon.com through our links helps support CliqueClack.

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Photo Credit: Sony Pictures