Thursday, July 17, 2014

Movie Review: Begin Again

I had no idea when I stumbled across Begin Again that it would turn out to be such a great, yet simple, film. Sure, it didn't have the most original of storylines, but the story had a sense of authenticity and there's a certain complexity to the characters that was pretty compelling to watch. I thought Keira Knightley was divine and Mark Ruffalo was just fantastic. Adam Levine wasn't given much to work on, but he's decent. Of course, the soundtrack was simply mesmerizing and it wonderfully sets the tone of the film. I liked the fact that the actors just did not break into song and dance numbers and there were no artificial and spectacular props as backdrops. The music were mostly performance pieces, yet it moved the story along more than most of the current crop of musicals. Quite frankly, I didn't put much faith into the movie based on its music, but I have now fallen madly in love with everything about Begin Again, and yes, the film was grounded in simplicity without being preachy and too cliched, and that's what dazzled me the most. 8

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Movie Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction

If anyone tells you that Transformers: Age of Extinction is a good film, you should punch that person in the face and run away. Haha. Seriously. This was an incomprehensible three hour hodgepodge of overly congested action scenes - despite looking flashy - a disorganized plot, blank slated characters, and canned drama. The humor was groan-inducing and forced, the editing was horrible, and while the visual effects were extravagant, they were nothing but garbled metal. But what's most egregious about this film was it's running time. It was mercilessly long that I was begging for the movie to end. Transformers: Age of Extinction wasn't totally garbage as it had moments, but there was nothing here to balance out the drawbacks. It's an obnoxious mess with little to no charm at all. 4

Friday, June 27, 2014

Movie Review: How To Train Your Dragon 2

When I heard about a sequel, I was more cautious than excited. I mean, how could they possibly top the awesomeness that was the original How To Train Your Dragon? But while the storytelling this time sort of drifted towards the conventional - save for some interesting plot developments - How To Train Your Dragon 2 was still a flat out terrific animated film only vastly expanded and explored. The imagery was stunning, most of the set pieces were greatly orchestrated, the characters were all well sketched, and there's a mix of maturity and playfulness in the film that was very refreshing to watch. The film also had enough authenticity and darkness, which avoided the overly kiddy tone most modern animated films set for themselves. The humor was a little lacking and the middle part slightly dragged, but I digress. How To Train Your Dragon 2 was a glorious animated adventure film that's every bit as entertaining and endearing as the original. 8.5

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Movie Review: 22 Jump Street

Look, there's every reason in the world for 22 Jump Street to suck. It was basically the exact same premise in the exact same way as the first film but just in a different setting. I figured that this would've been just one of those cash-grab, unnecessary sequels - see, The Hangover series - but for some reason, the film successfully achieved a rare balance of character and vulgarity that made the original an instant hit. In fact, this was A LOT better! The script was neatly written, the direction was good, the pacing felt right, and it also staged some good action sequences. The real treat in this movie though was the palpable and unmatched chemistry between Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill - they bounce off each other perfectly. Frankly, all 22 Jump Street needed was the same level of sustenance the previous one had throughout its running time with it's incredible humor and charm and the film's actually good to go, but the movie somehow took it up a notch delivering possibly one of the funniest and most exceptional comedy sequel this year. 9

Monday, June 23, 2014

DAM NATION: June 2014 Playlist

Sorry for the late post of the playlist. It's been a pretty rough busy week, but here it is! Another list of 15 songs that I (personally) fancy, that are already doing good on it's own and maybe some new singles from different artists that will probably - or maybe not - be hits in the next coming weeks in whatever format. Oh, and a couple of them are carry overs from last year, but I digress.

So, there! Enjoy!

1 Scarecrow Alex & Sierra
2 Boom Clap Charli XCX
3 Ghost Ella Henderson
4 Rude MAGIC!
5 Tennis Court Lorde
6 Love Never Felt So Good Jackson and Timberlake
7 Crazy Stupid Love Cheryl Cole (ft. Tinnie Tempah)
8 Not About Angels Birdy
9 Pills N Potions Nicki Minaj
10 A Sky Full of Stars Coldplay
11 Ugly Heart G.R.L.
12 First Love Jennifer Lopez
13 Wiggle Jason Derulo (ft. Snoop Dogg)
14 All of the Stars Ed Sheeran
15 Maps Maroon 5

Password: The song that ranked 3rd on the American Idol 13 Wrap-Up: 25 Best Performances

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Movie Review: Maybe This Time

I was told before that if I couldn't think of, at the very least, three nice things to say, I wasn’t allowed to say the bad stuff. So bear with me as I try hard. I thought Maybe This Time had a couple of nice funny moments, Ruffa Gutierrez was unknowingly hysterical, and yes, my review of this film is over. Haha. 3

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Movie Review: The Fault In Our Stars

What a fine film! Having never really read the book and with little to no idea of the exact premise, I had no clear expectations going in and it was shocking to know that The Fault In Our Stars had this rare ability to send a grown man out of the theater pretending that he NEVER shed a tear. Haha. True, the film could've been a lot tighter as it slightly dragged towards the end, but for the most part, it was a well written story and despite its sensitive topic, the movie actually held a lot of ground. The script was extremely witty, the direction was fantastic, awesome soundtrack, and the cast did terrific. Shailene Woodly was sublime, but I thought Ansel Elgort was a sweetheart - his natural warmth added greatly to his character's gentle appeal. Charming. Poignant. Funny. Tragic. Thoughtful. Heartwarming. Sweetly devastating. That's The Fault In Our Stars right there. 8.5
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