Goodbye CliqueClack. Hello Hotchka.

cliqueclack old

Hello, everyone! It has come time for for us to say goodbye.


It’s hard to believe that it was over six years ago that I and some ex-TV-Squaders started CliqueClack. We had some pretty high hopes at the time, that we could go out on our own and show AOL what it really meant to be writer-fans of television. It was an incredibly ambitious goal that we never came close to, but we quickly learned that that didn’t matter to us. What did matter was that we had an outlet to write what we wanted, when we wanted, for people who continued to engage in discussion with us.

It’s pained me all these years to never have earned enough with ads and Amazon referrals to pay our writers regularly. We’ve certainly lost some great folks because of it, and I don’t blame them at all. Some have gone on to continue writing for paying gigs, full-time, and that’s been awesome. With the declining frequency of posts comes declining traffic, which results in declining ad revenue … you get the picture. Maybe that’s a bit TMI, but I thought being up-front about where we were at was something I owed you.

This will likely be the final post here at CliqueClack, but there is a silver lining.

For quite some time now, Chuck Duncan and Ivey West had been heading up editing duties for the site. Chuck, I know, very much wants to continue writing. I didn’t want to simply hand over CliqueClack to someone else, though, partly because I’m just not ready to give it away and, primarily, I thought it made more sense to let Chuck have something that was truly his own. That’s just what he’s done.

Friday, April 3, Chuck launches his own site, Hotchka.com, to continue where CliqueClack left off. You’ll see some new and familiar faces there, writing about movies, TV, pop culture, and anything else Chuck might want to throw into the mix. He and his partner, Carl, have already done a fantastic job putting the site together, and I think you’re really going to dig it.

As for CliqueClack, my plan is to keep all of our 11,000+ posts around for as long as I’m possibly able, even if they are thrown in straight HTML and image files in a searchable archive somewhere. I think it’s criminal when sites decide to completely wipe away all traces of past content when they shutter, and dammit I’m going to do my best to make sure that never happens here.

Thank you so much to the writers and, of course, to all of you readers who’ve stuck with us all these years.

Photo Credit: Keith McDuffee


Win passes to see Furious 7 first in Boston or Hartford

Film Title: Furious 7

Rev your engines and get ready to roll! We’ve got free passes to the advance screening of ‘Furious 7′ and you can grab a pair. Read on to find out how!



CliqueClack has partnered with Universal Pictures to offer readers in Boston and Hartford an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new action film Furious 7 starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Elsa Pataky, Lucas Black, Djimon Hounsou, Tony Jaa, Ronda Rousey, Nathalie Emmanuel, with Kurt Russell and Jason Statham.

Continuing the global exploits in the unstoppable franchise built on speed, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson lead the returning cast of Furious 7. James Wan directs this chapter of the hugely successful series.

Continue reading 'Win passes to see Furious 7 first in Boston or Hartford' »

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures


Cinderella weaves its magic and brings a fairy tale to life


Disney has taken another classic cartoon and brought it to life, and the live-action version is just as magical.


Unless you’ve lived under a rock or have lived a very sheltered life, you probably know that Walt Disney became the king of animated films when he first released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. A hit, the film led to more classic fairy tales and children’s stories being brought to life through the wonders of animation.

In 1950, Walt Disney Productions brought Cinderella to the big screen and the film has charmed audiences ever since. Now Disney has gotten into the business of remaking its classic animated films, past and present, as live action extravaganzas. Last year’s Maleficent, based on Sleeping Beauty‘s grand villainess, was a monster success and more remakes — Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book — are in the works (and let’s not forget Disney did remake 101 Dalmations several years ago). For now, we have Disney’s Cinderella brought to magical life.

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Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures


The Flintstones meet the WWE in a Stone Age Smackdown

Flinstones 01

‘The Flintstones’ are back in action as Fred and Barney meet prehistoric WWE superstars and team up for a ‘Stone Age Smackdown.’ Is the new home video worth your hard-earned clams?


Not too long ago, Warner Brothers Animation teamed up the classic Scooby-Doo characters with animated versions of WWE stars in Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery. The pairing must have been successful as the two entertainment giants have joined forces once again, but this time taking a step or two — or 65 million — back in time to meet that modern Stone Age family, The Flintstones.

I grew up watching The Flintstones and I always enjoyed the shows with current stars appearing in Stone Age form like Ann-Margrock and Stoney Curtis. Other celebs, who probably didn’t actually voice their cartoon characters, included Cary Granite, Ed Sulleystone, Rock Hudstone and Perry Masonry. Through many revivals over the years and two live action feature films, the Flintstones and their friends the Rubbles, have encountered many prehistoric versions of modern celebrities. And they’ve done it again with the new home video release The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown.

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros Home Entertainment


Unfinished Business is an unfunny experience


Unfinished, unpolished, and unacceptably bad, with misfires on all fronts.


It’s rare for a film to come along and be consistent from head to toe. Which makes Unfinished Business a true feat when you realize just what a failure of a film it is on every conceivable level.

Unfinished Business  is the new “comedy” from the director of Delivery Man, and the writer of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (those words should be enough to get your spidey sense tingling). Vince Vaughn is Dan Trunkman, a fast talking salesman of some sort (the film never really explains what he does very well … something with numbers and making deals). The film opens on him having a heated discussion with his boss (played by Sienna Miller) over a five percent cut back to his salary. Long story short, Trunkman thinks he can start his own business and do a better job than his jerk of a boss. He then does his best Jerry Maguire tribute when he starts asking who will go with him and ends up alone in the parking lot. There he bumps into Timothy McWinters (Tom Wilkinson), who coincidentally has just been forced into retirement, as well as Mike Pancake (Dave Franco), a young enthusiastic but dim applicant who has just been turned down for a job. Of course Vaughn’s character hires them both and they get to work.

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Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox


Classic movie musicals sparkle on Blu-ray

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MGM produced the best movie musicals of the 1950s and now Warner Brothers presents ‘The Band Wagon,’ ‘Kiss Me Kate’ (in 3D!) and Warner’s own ‘Calamity Jane’ on Blu-ray for the first time. And the wait was worth it.


Any die hard movie musical fan knows that MGM produced most of the greatest musicals of all time in the 1950s. The Arthur Freed Unit became the touchstone of musicals with productions ranging from The Wizard of Oz in 1939 to Bells Are Ringing in 1960. While the 1940s was a productive decade for Freed, the 1950s gave us some of the most beloved, classic musicals of all time.

Now, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment has taken two of these MGM classics, plus one from the Warner Brothers library, and has given them a good scrubbing for Blu-ray and the results are astonishing. Best of all, you can purchase your favorite film as a stand-alone disk or get them all in the new Musicals: 4-Movie Collection. The three new titles are The Band Wagon, Calamity Jane, and Kiss Me Kate. Warners has added Singin’ in the Rain as a bonus to the 4-disk set.

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros Home Entertainment


Chicago can still razzle-dazzle ‘em

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It’s the longest running Broadway revival in history, and the touring company of ‘Chicago’ brings the music, the dancing, and all that jazz.


“All That Jazz.” “Cell Block Tango.” “When You’re Good to Mama.” “Mr. Cellophane.” “Razzle Dazzle.” If you’re a fan of Broadway musicals — or movie musicals — you know that those songs all came from the Broadway hit Chicago. Chicago first hit Broadway in 1975 under the guidance of the incomparable Bob Fosse. The show ran for 936 performances and was revived in 1996 and is still playing today. That makes it the longest running Broadway revival in Broadway history, and the second longest running Broadway musical behind Phantom of the Opera.

The Broadway show has been sustained by the familiarity of the music and the dancing, and has had a revolving door of big name stars taking on the roles of Roxy Hart, Velma Kelly and Billy Flynn. Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles is currently treading the boards on Broadway, while a new tour is crossing the country with John O’Hurley taking on the role of Billy Flynn in select cities (luckily, Baltimore was one of them). But if you’ve already seen the Oscar-winning movie, is it worth the time to see the show live on stage? In a word … yes!

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Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik


Focus is a frothy, forgettable, fun heist movie


‘Focus’ is kind of enjoyable, but it’s also kind of stupid.


Stop me if you’ve heard this before. A con man walks into the room and stares at you. He winks and says, “Am I playing you or are you playing me?” After some daring adventure, the “game” becomes increasingly convoluted and less and less feasible. Soon enough, you say to the con man, “Perhaps ’twas I that played you, eh?” After another few twists that only make sense if you had read the script beforehand, you part ways feeling happy but hollow, like you just ate a giant inflatable plate of spaghetti smothered with real cheese. Sure, it was good going down, but it won’t leave you with anything.

Focus is a heist movie in the spirit of The Italian Job or Ocean’s 13 (that’s right, I said 13). It stars Will Smith as Nicky, an older, talented thief who has charisma nearly akin to Will Smith himself! That’s a minor miracle, Will Smith actually showcasing his fun, dangerous side (not too dangerous, but still). The movie also stars Margot Robbie as Jess, a grifter wannabe who stumbles across Nicky and decides she wants a mentor in the “art” of what you might call “gentleman theft.” It’s all slick moves and distractions, nothing violent, but a lot of pickpocketing.

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros


Head on up Schitt’s Creek, no paddle required

Schitt's Creek

Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara join forces again as a husband and wife who find themselves hilariously up ‘Schitt’s Creek.’


What’s an upstart network — or a rebranded version of an old network — to do to attract new viewers to the channel? With hundreds of options out there, what’s the best way to get people to sample your new wares? How about purchasing a Canadian sitcom with a provocative title starring two comedy legends!

The new POP TV network, formerly TVGN, has launched with a new scripted comedy from the minds of Eugene Levy and his son Daniel. The show, Schitt’s Creek, also stars Levy’s longtime comedy cohort Catherine O’Hara so you know the show just has to be funny, right? I’m very happy to say that yes, it is very funny.

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Photo Credit: CBC Television


The Walking Dead: Is there too much going on?

Aaron and Eric

Robert Kirkman’s brainchild is all about excess. And overkill. And ticking people off.


How much is too much?

Based on common sense and experience, it’s not unreasonable to believe we have a pretty good grasp of what “too much” means. Between you, me and every other reader out there, we can attach a reasonable answer to the question in pretty short order.

Take common sense for example: We know when there is too much salt on our food, when it’s too cold to go outside without a jacket, when you’re too tired to concentrate on something. Pretty basic stuff.

On the flip side, the concept of “too much” is not so easy to discern when it comes to some of our television preferences … and especially so with our favorite shows.

Already in The Walking Dead‘s current season’s second half, there’s been a bevy of examples of excess.

Already in The Walking Dead‘s current season’s second half, there’s been a bevy of examples of excess. And many of them have elicited its fans’ displeasure. (This isn’t exactly news to anyone; the show has been doing so from its inception, a big part of its draw and watchability.)

Recent events have caused fans (read “angry villagers”) to wield their pitchforks and lit torches on a vocal little stroll down Main Street, U.S.A.

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Photo Credit: AMC
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