Feb
24

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Win a DVD of Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness

The Scooby Gang is back in a new animated adventure, and you can win your very own copy on DVD! Find out how.

 

THIS OFFER IS CLOSED. WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL.

CliqueClack has partnered with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to offer one lucky reader a chance to win a DVD of the new animated movie Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster MadnessTo enter, just leave a comment on this post. To be eligible, provide your full name and email address in the spaces provided (NOT in the comment box). Winner will be notified by email. Some restrictions apply: DVD will only be shipped to US residents. No PO Boxes. One entry per person. Contest entry period ends Friday, February 27. Good luck!

Scooby Doo MMM DVD

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Feb
24

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Whiplash marches to the beat of its own drummer

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‘Whiplash’ comes to home video, giving everyone a chance to see why J.K. Simmons is winning every award in sight.

 

After generating a lot of buzz during its theatrical run, and quite a few awards nominations and wins along the way to Oscar night, audiences who may have missed Whiplash in theaters can now check it out on home video. Does the film live up to the hype?

The story is fairly simple: young musician attends a prestigious music school in the hopes of becoming a great jazz drummer like his idol Buddy Rich. The student, Andrew (Miles Teller), doesn’t get much support from his family, is an outsider at school, and is terribly awkward with the opposite sex. Andrew stays focused on his music and thinks he’s on the right path when instructor Terrence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) seems to take him under his wing. But the dream becomes a nightmare as Fletcher goes from mentor to monster.

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Photo Credit: Sony Pictures
Feb
22

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It’s Oscar night, and a year of uncertainty

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It’s Oscar night and there are few sure-things. Who could win the award in this unpredictable year?

 

It’s that time of year once again when Hollywood congratulates itself for another year of a job well done. Most years have pretty clear front-runners as to who and what will win, but this year has only a few clear-cut winners. The biggest prizes of the night are up for grabs in many categories including Best Director, Best Adapted and Original Screenplay, and Best Picture. The only sure things this year seems to be in the four acting categories.

I’ve made my predictions based on my gut and some internet research to come up with what I think will will. In my Oscar pool last year, I tied for first place but lost out on how long the ceremony actually ran, but last year was less of a game of chance than this year. So, with a deep breath, I’ve made my choices. We’ll see later tonight how close I actually came. Feel free to let us know who or what you think will win! Be sure to check back to see the winners.

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Photo Credit: AMPAS
Feb
20

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The real Scooby-Doo gang returns in Moon Monster Madness

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The Scooby-Doo gang returns for an all-new mystery, ‘Moon Monster Madness,’ but is sending Scooby, Shaggy and friends into space such a good idea?

 

Being a child of the late 60s/early 70s, I am an old school Scooby-Doo fan. You couldn’t get me up early during the week to go to school, but you can bet I was up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning to watch my cartoons. Scooby was always a favorite because it combined the wacky antics of Scooby, Shaggy and the gang with my other favorite things — ghosts and monsters, except not as scary as those old movies that I loved but scared me to death! Of course, the supernatural characters on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? were always some no-goodnik trying to get way with some crime that was always foiled by “those meddling kids.”

Scooby and the gang became entrenched in pop culture, spawning a variety of different series, a run of Scooby-Doo movies featuring animated guest stars like The Addams Family, Sonny & Cher, Phyllis Diller, The Three Stooges, The Harlem Globetrotters and many more. The idea of the “Scooby Gang” even carried over to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The character has been kept alive on Cartoon Network/Boomerang and through a series of direct-to-video movies. Our own Kim Tibbs reviewed last year’s Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, which was released on DVD and Blu-ray. And now Scooby and the gang are back in Moon Monster Madness.

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Photo Credit: Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros.
Feb
20

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Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is juvenile humor at its worst

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I suppose if you’re a 12-year-old boy, you’ll love ‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2,’ but anyone beyond that age (or gender) may find the film a patience tester.

 

I was never sure if the original Hot Tub Time Machine was actually funny. I had seen the movie as the second part of a double feature at the drive-in, and I had been put into such a bad mood by the first movie — Kick-Ass — that I couldn’t even crack a smile during HTTM until about two-thirds of the way through. So I thought I’d give the sequel a shot to see if maybe there was something hilarious I missed because of that other movie.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 picks up after the events of the first movie with Lou (Rob Corddry), his son Jacob (Clark Duke) and friend Nick (Craig Robinson) as the leads. John Cusack (wisely) opted not to reprise his role from the original, although the character of Adam does hang heavily over the film, especially when the three meet Adam’s son Adam Jr. (Adam Scott … that’s a lot of Adams in one movie!) in the future.

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Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Feb
20

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The Duff is She’s All That for post-millenials

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Formulaic but fun, ‘The Duff’ is a decent way to kill two hours.

 

There was a run of teen movies in the late 90s and early 2000s that were cheap, simple, and harmless. Films like Whatever It Takes, Mean Girls, and  She’s All That. Take these movies, sprinkle a little Easy A in and run them through a blender and you get The Duff, a cute but harmless entry into the teen makeover comedy category.

The Duff is about a smart, quirky girl named Bianca (played by Arrested Development‘s Mae Whitman), who is a bit of a tomboy, she loves cult movies and excels at her studies but is completely lacking in style, fashion, and popularity. While not the most popular girl in school, she does have two best friends who happen to be two of the hottest and most popular girls. Of course no teen comedy would be complete without the mean popular girl and The Duff is no exception: the beautiful and popular Madison (Bella Thorne), the queen bee of the school and all around bitch. Bianca is approached by her neighbor and childhood friend, sorta, kinda (the film briefly mentions they used to play together as small children but never expands on it), named Wesley (Robbie Amell), and he informs Bianca that she is a D.U.F.F or Designated Ugly Fat Friend. From there Bianca decides to change her station in life and Wesley agrees to help her in exchange for math tutoring.

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Photo Credit: CBS Films
Feb
19

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Holy heart failure, Batman fans: A look at the Season 2, Part 1 DVD

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Na na na na na na … Batman! Warner Bros. Home Entertainment released the DVD for the Second Season, Part 1 of the beloved, campy 1960s TV series featuring Adam West as the Caped Crusader and Burt Ward as the Boy Wonder, just in time for this week’s colorful Throwback Thursday installment.

 

The original 1966 Batman TV series took decades to see a release on DVD and Blu-ray, but the wait was definitely worth it! The first 30 episodes from the series’ second season are now available on DVD and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment graciously provided a copy for my review for this Throwback Thursday installment.

It’s like a live-action cartoon with campy music, zany guest stars and playful puns and punches flying left and right.

I grew up watching the original Batman series in reruns on cable television. It was always one of my favorites because it was so wondrously colorful and wacky. Everywhere you look in any given screenshot, your senses are bombarded by psychedelic, eye-popping costumes that only a 1960s series could pull off so well. It’s like a live-action cartoon with campy music, zany guest stars and playful puns and punches flying left and right. Don’t get me started on the delightful variety of villains the series also offered! From familiar comic book favorites like The Joker, Penguin, Catwoman and Mr. Freeze to crazy, new villainous concoctions such as Egghead, King Tut, The Clock King, The Archer and The Minstrel, the second season is full of fiendish foes and perilous plots. I’m having trouble deciding which villain is my all-time favorite because they’re all so interesting and diabolical in their own unique way!

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Feb
13

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Fifty Shades of Grey is fifty shades of painful to watch

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When erotic fiction is watered down for consumption by the masses on the big screen, is there any doubt it might have some flaws? Just how bad is ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ anyway?

 

When Fifty Shades of Grey made its way through my circle of friends back in 2012, I picked it up and read it mostly so I would know what it was all my friends were talking about on Facebook. I was mildly curious, and it was this mild curiosity that kept me reading it until the final page. However, by the time the novel was over, I felt a closure with the characters. I didn’t care enough about their fates to pick up either of the two sequels. It was this same mild curiosity that caused me to accept the review invitation for the film, released today by Focus Features, and I have to say watching the film adaptation was even more painful to sit through than reading the first novel.

I think my biggest problem with Fifty Shades of Grey is that it’s billed as this great, sweeping love story that couples should want to watch unfold on the big screen this Valentine’s Day weekend. It’s about as romantic of a notion to me as Pretty Woman. Much like I never understood why a story about a rich man using a prostitute to his advantage and then taking her off the streets on a whim is considered an epic romance, I don’t understand why this one is billed as such either.

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Photo Credit: Focus Features
Feb
12

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Kingsman: The Secret Service takes the spy movie to a new level

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Colin Firth breaks out of his romantic lead niche to become an action movie star in ‘Kingman: The Secret Service,’ and we’ll call it one of the top ten films of the year right now.

 

Spy movies have been around almost as long as the cinema. Great Britain produced the first spy movies during the silent era and the Great War (or World War I). Master German director Fritz Lang contributed to the genre (and pretty much set the standard) with his movie Spies in 1928. Lang’s Dr. Mabuse films also contained a host of spy film elements. Alfred Hitchcock, in his pre-US films of the 1930s, helped popularize the genre with a variety of films including The Man Who Knew Too Much, Secret Agent and Sabotage.

Spy movies became big in the US during World War II and into the Cold War era with the introduction of the first movie super spy, James Bond. Imitators came and went and Bond has endured but fans have to wait until November before his next big screen outing, SPECTRE. Until then, we have a new spy organization set to rival MI6 in Kingman: The Secret Service. And if you can ignore the hype of this weekend’s other big release, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by this alternative.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (based on the graphic novel The Secret Service) is an origin story of sorts. The movie opens with scant background on Harry Hart (Colin Firth), code name Galahad, and a mission which led to the death of one of his fellow agents. Presenting the agent’s wife with an offer of assistance, she rebuffs him but he makes sure her young son understands that help is only a phone call away.

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Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox
Feb
12

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Mommy hits hard but has an unnecessary visual gimmick

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‘Mommy’ is a heightened melodrama with subtitles – so that should tell you if you want to see it or not.

 

Sometimes I feel like all indie movies are the same, with stylized cinematography and lighting, achingly acted scenes of pain, and a final message of “love’s great, but life sucks for the most part for most people.” This is perhaps unfair, but soon I realized that it’s not that all indie movies are the same, but that there’s a certain type where it’s always the same. These films are painful to watch if the acting is well done, because you empathize so strongly with the characters and their pain. Naturally, this is tricky, because it also can be draining and ultimately, repetitively tiresome. So it takes a real gem or unique idea to stand out in the crowd. Does this one? Well . . .

Mommy is a French Canadian movie written and directed by Xavier Dolan that aches with sorrow with a few shining moments of happiness that only serve to make the sad parts worse. Diane (Anne Dorval) is a single mother and widow of a troubled fifteen year old son, Steve (Antoine Olivier Pilon). Steve also has issues with ADHD, but the film doesn’t quite seem to understand mental illness all that well. There is an opening splash text that in a fictional alternate version of Canada, legislation has been passed that lets parents easily institutionalize kids for a variety of reasons. This is 100% pointless, because the movie does not really need to be in an alternate world for really anything to work.

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Photo Credit: Roadside Attractions