Jul
25

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Lucy is an entertaining hot mess of a movie

Film Title: Lucy

Luc Besson returns to the director’s chair with the new sci-fi/action flick ‘Lucy’ which is mindlessly, stupidly, entertainingly dumb (but Scar-Jo is terrific).

 

Director Luc Besson was a darling with movie critics and audiences with his particular brand of action films that had a touch of humanity to them – La Femme Nikita, The Professional, The Fifth Element, even the original The Trasnporter. But somewhere along the line, he completely went off the rails, writing and producing not very funny action-comedy films (Taxi) and family dramadies (The Family), while continuing to have a hand in neverending Transporter sequels, and even a TV version of Taxi (Taxi Brooklyn).

But the previews and concept for his latest effort, Lucy, had me intrigued. The story wonders what would happen if humans were somehow able to access 100% of their brain capacity (flouting the myth that we only use 10%)? Would we be infinitely more intelligent than the super-est super computer? Would we remember everything from the time we gained consciousness … or even all the way back to the Big Bang? Would we be able to manipulate our own bodies, electromagnetic waves, and the people and environment around us? It all sounds like an interesting premise for a movie.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures
Jul
25

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They Came Together is a riotously funny take on romantic comedies

They Came Together

‘They Came Together’ is ridiculous, which means it’s not for everyone, because humor is subjective. But I sure liked it.

 

A spoof movie is a delicate thing. The absolute classics like Airplane! or Galaxy Quest work because they combine real characters and absurd situations to make a legitimately interesting movie, not just a simple parody. Sometimes a specific movie or movie series can be parodied like Spaceballs or Austin Powers, but in both cases the characters are more than just the caricaturish cardboard versions of the original characters. But get too ridiculous, and the movie becomes a different sort of animal; something like the under-rated UHF works by combining cliched drama story ideas with absurdism, and the Naked Gun series plays things mostly straight except for a few dips into slapstick.

There is, of course, the danger of using reference humor, which can quickly become dated and boring years later. I still like Not Another Teen Movie, but will those unfamiliar with the spate of 80′s and 90′s teen movies find it as uproarious as I do? Probably not. The absolute worst thing a spoof movie can do, though, is to become hateful and unfunny, like Epic Movie or (shudder) Date Movie, the worst movie I’ve ever seen. But that’s a really low bar I don’t expect to ever see met again.

They Came Together is the latest film from writer/director David Wain, known for the cult movie Wet Hot American Summer and the middling Wanderlust. This time, he pokes fun at the entire genre of romantic comedies, using more references in one movie than any one person’s likely to have ever seen. The movie is the story told by Molly (Amy Poehler) and Joel (Paul Rudd) to their friends Karen (Ellie Kemper) and Kyle (Bill Hader) over dinner of how they met and fell in love. From that moment on, the movie is told like an actual romantic comedy, except that every single scene is exaggerated and bursting with over the top absurdity.

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Photo Credit: Lionsgate
Jul
25

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San Diego Comic-Con 2014: Day One (and a half)

Ali Larter TNT Legends SDCC

The first day – or so – of SDCC 2014 is in the books. Take a look at the highlights of CliqueClack’s experiences as the Con kicked off.

 

As the sun sets on San Diego, the first full day of Comic-Con 2014, too, comes to a close. The first day and a half of SDCC have been full of glamour and glitter, fashion and fame … wait, no, not Jem! (Though if the event continues to be the continuing evolution to a wider base of “Popular Culture,” it wouldn’t surprise me if Jem showed up next year.) Until then, however, CliqueClack will focus on whatever the SDCC planners have in store for us.

Michael and I spent the day getting our feet wet, traveling here and there across the San Diego Convention Center and out into the Gaslamp District, attempting to get a feel for everything going on (though, with nearly 30 years of SDCC experience between us – that’s my four years to Michael’s whole-lot-more – we know darn well there’s no way to experience it all). These, however, were some of the highlights: Continue reading 'San Diego Comic-Con 2014: Day One (and a half)' »

Photo Credit: Ivey West
Jul
25

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And So It Goes was less than I’d hoped for, but better than I expected

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Is ‘And So It Goes’ a comedy hit or miss for acclaimed director Rob Reiner?

 

It’s probably not the best sign when a film’s opening date gets pushed back by a studio. And So It Goes, the latest comedy from Clarius Entertainment and acclaimed director Rob Reiner, was my first encounter with such a scenario involving a film I was reviewing. There’s a scene toward the film’s end in which Michael Douglas’ character tells Diane Keaton’s character that something had gone “less than he had hoped for, but better than he expected.” Unfortunately, I’d have to say the same expression applies to And So It Goes for me – it was less than I had hoped for, but better than I expected.

As a fan of Rob Reiner’s previous work, I had high hopes.

As a fan of Rob Reiner’s previous work, I had high hopes. However, I knew from watching the previews, And So It Goes was not going to be another unexpected gem about life, love and relationships like When Harry Met Sally… or as hilarious as the irreverent This Is Spinal Tap. It looked like a run-of-the-mill, romantic comedy – one that is quickly forgettable when the discerning moviegoer is bombarded with countless others of the same caliber. I don’t think my initial assessment was very far from the mark, but I did enjoy watching it unfold a little more than I had expected.

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Photo Credit: Clarius Entertainment
Jul
25

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson elevates the decent but not great Hercules

hercules

‘Hercules’ may not be the best action movie this summer, but it is the only one where you get to see The Rock fight a lion.

 

When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson began acting, with a mostly-CGI cameo in The Mummy 2: The Mummiest, any fans of him from his wrestler days thought that he’d become the next Schwarzenegger. With charisma oozing out of every pore and legitimate athleticism, it seemed a perfect fit. So first there was the The Scorpion King, which was very direct to DVD, but hey … it was his first starring movie. But after a few failed starts, Dwayne Johnson turned to kid’s movies, playing a modern day version of Hulk Hogan’s old incongruous one joke movies in The Tooth Fairy.  And then, it was a miracle when he showed up in Fast Five and immediately made every scene he was in interesting. After doing the in the GI Joe sequel and Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain, the old school Rock fans were saying “Finally, The Rock has come back to action movies!”

When Hercules was announced, it seemed like a great idea. The Rock vs mythological monsters? How could it fail? Then it was discovered that it would be based on a lesser known series of comics from Radical Comics called The Thracian Wars which had a far more realistic take on the story. Well, we thought, that might still work. The Rock could still smash heads in a grittier version of the classic tale. And then we found the director was Brett Ratner and we shuddered. After all, the guy hasn’t made a good movie since Rush Hour and to a lesser extent, Rush Hour 2. And then it was decided that the movie would be PG-13 and we said “C’mon, why are you making this so hard? We just want to see The Rock fight the Hydra already!” Well, I have some good news for you. You do get to see that. Sort of.

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Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Jul
24

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Neverending nostalgia: The NeverEnding Story celebrates 30 years this week

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This Throwback Thursday is a love letter to a childhood favorite that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this week. Join CliqueClack for a fond look back at ‘The NeverEnding Story’ and the beloved book of the same name. Look for a special anniversary Blu-Ray release later this year.

 

“If you have never spent whole afternoons with burning ears and rumpled hair, forgetting the world around you over a book, forgetting cold and hunger – If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashlight, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up so early – If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless – If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won’t understand what Bastian did next.”

And thus begins one of the most beloved children’s books of all time – The NeverEnding Story by German author Michael Ende. Until last night, I had never actually read the book, which was first published in German in 1979 and translated into English in 1983. But what he wrote still rings true, if my bloodshot, “I was up reading until 1 a.m. even though I had to be up for work by 6 a.m.” eyes are any indication. While it’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since the film adaptation of The NeverEnding Story premiered on July 20, 1984, part of me knows not only is that possible but it’s probably been at least a good 25 years since the film first rocked my world.

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Photo Credit: Bavaria Filmstudios
Jul
24

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Win free passes to see Into the Storm in Boston or Hartford

INTO THE STORM

A storm is brewing in Boston and Hartford, and you can be among the first to witness ‘Into the Storm.’ Find out how to enter the drawing to win a pair of passes to an advance screening.

 

CliqueClack has partnered with Warner Brothers Pictures to offer readers in the Boston and Hartford areas an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new disaster movie Into the Storm starring Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies Matt Walsh, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Arlen Escarpeta, Nathan Kress, Jon Reep and Jeremy Sumpter.

In the span of a single day, the town of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes. The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come. Most people seek shelter, while others run towards the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot. Told through the eyes and lenses of professional storm chasers, thrill-seeking amateurs, and courageous townspeople, Into the Storm throws you directly into the eye of the storm to experience Mother Nature at her most extreme.

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Photo Credit: Warner Brothers Pictures
Jul
23

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Win free passes to see Get On Up in Chicago or Indianapolis

Get On Up

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, is getting the big screen treatment and we want to send you to the advance screenings in Chicago and Indianapolis. Find out how you can get a pair of free passes.

 

ALL PASSES HAVE BEEN CLAIMED. WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL. 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 the Chicago and Indianapolis areas an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new James Brown biopic Get On Up starring Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis, Lennie James, Tika Sumpter, Jill Scott and Dan Aykroyd.

Chadwick Boseman (42) is James Brown in Get on Up. Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, the film will give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures
Jul
23

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Transcendence Blu-ray extras are better than the movie

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Warner Brothers’ technological thriller finally arrives on Blu-ray and DVD. Despite a dull plot, the special features do deliver. Get writer Jaylen Christie’s opinion on the bonuses and learn whether or not this disc is worth purchasing!

 

Every year or so there is a life-changing movie released in cinemas that completely alters the way an individual may perceive film. Generally these movies are epic, thought-provoking and ultimately very captivating. Pardon my slang, but Transcendence ain’t one of those movies. Released back in April to negative reviews, the film has now arrived on Blu-ray/DVD and isn’t much better despite the high definition treatment.

The movie tells the story of Dr. Will Caster, played convincingly by the talented Johnny Depp, an influential leader in the field of artificial intelligence. Caster is working to create a sentient machine that combines mankind’s collective intelligence with true human emotion. As with most films of this genre, this protagonist has his share of issues – the main one being that several radical extremists want him dead. Apparently they aren’t fans of technology. After a threat on his life, Caster records and uploads his mind and thoughts into a supercomputer to achieve, ahem, transcendence. Nice, right?

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Photo Credit: Warner Brothers
Jul
23

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Download free passes to see Guardians of the Galaxy in Baltimore, DC or Virginia

Guardians 01

Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is coming to Baltimore, DC and Virginia Beach and you can get a pair of free passes to see the movie first! Read on to find out how.

 

CliqueClack has partnered with Marvel Studios to offer readers in Baltimore, DC and Virginia Beach an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new sci-fi action movie Guardians of the Galaxy starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime Rael and Benicio Del Toro as The Collector.

An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits — Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand — with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

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Photo Credit: Marvel Studios