Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Idol News: Mariah Carey Is Officially An American Idol Judge

It's official! In the wake of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez' confirmation that they are indeed leaving American Idol, FOX just announced that Mariah Carey is now on board as a judge on the hit reality singing competition. I wonder what Simon Cowell is feeling right about now? Haha.

According to Fox Entertainment Chief, Kevin Reilly,
"I think it's the biggest recording artist that any of these shows have ever had. It's an artist that many contestants have tried to emulate, have tried to have sung the songs, have tried to have hit the notes and because it really was concluded only hours ago, our new judge cannot be with us."
Mariah Carey herself gave a brief statement following the announcement,
I am so excited to be joining Idol, I wanted to be there today and I wish I could have been there myself to tell you. I can’t wait to get started in a couple months.”
Reilly didn't confirm, however, if Randy Jackson will be back for his 12th season, but he mentioned that he played a big role in bringing Mariah Carey on American Idol.

Surprised? No. Excited? Well, I'm not jumping up and down about this because I seriously don't know what Mariah will be like as a judge in the live shows - once the season gets beyond the edited part and the taped auditions, that's the time her judging ability will be put to test - but at least it wasn't a downgrade.

Talent-wise, Mariah Carey is possibly the most vocally talented judge in any reality singing competition - yes, Christina Aguilera you have to move over. Haha - and that's a very good thing for American Idol. She brings star power, which should help following the departure of both Steven "beautiful" Tyler and Jennifer "goosies" Lopez. I think she's more credible as a judge than the auto-tuned singer from the block in terms of singing, plus she's kooky and unpredictable, which will be pretty entertaining. 

Imagine how she will react when a contestant butchers her song! Haha. Heck, I can even see her say to Phillip Phillips, "You don't have enough range, listen to this G8", and then all the dogs in LA start to bark. Haha. I kid. But seriously, she would give this upcoming season a ratings boost at the very least, and American Idol can also help with her comeback - not that she needs it really, but still. Just ask how the show helped Jennifer Lopez be relevant again. Haha.

She made a good mentor during Season 7 and she seemed genuinely interested in them as a group, but then again, I said the same exact same thing with Jennifer Lopez when she mentored during Season 6. Admittedly though, I'm interested to see her as a judge. As long as she never says, "you look beautiful tonight baby" or "that gave me goosies", she'll be fine.

This upcoming season will be crucial to the future success of American Idol, but I said that as well after Simon Cowell left the show after Season 9, so I'll still keep an open mind. For now, next vacancy..

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Gripping. Intense. Powerful.

This movie was bound to be rife with comparisons with it's classic predecessor, which arguably set a benchmark on how superhero movies should be executed, but while The Dark Knight Rises wasn't exponentially better than the previous installment, it was still equally brilliant.

For one, this followed a more solid plot line compared to The Dark Knight. It was well developed and complex without being a mess and that kept me intrigued the whole time. Sure, the first half or so required patience as it, arguably, offered some dreariness, but when the second act took off, it was sky high with no limits. The script was, yet again, overly ambitious that at times lost itself amongst the weaving subplots, but that's already a given for a Nolan film so I digress. Ha!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Movie Review: Magic Mike

Let's be honest, Magic Mike seemed like a film that doesn't have much to offer other than men stripping. Shockingly though, the movie was actually a lot better than I expected.

The plot did ramble a bit and some parts felt a bit disjointed especially towards the end, but the film had well drawn characters and there was reasonable character development. The amount of emotional depth was a pleasant surprise, I thought the writing wasn't so bad, and the direction was actually pretty good - just the skillful ability to bring a certain level of charm and glamor to this dark world of stripping was quite impressive.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Idol News: Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler Are Leaving American Idol

Two years ago, I blogged about the new judging panel for American Idol Season 10. Now, both Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are leaving the show for good.

It started when FOX confirmed last July 12, 2012 Steven Tyler's departure from American Idol.
"After some long, hard thoughts. I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress American Idol before she boils my rabbit. I strayed from my first love, AEROSMITH, and I’m back – but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I’ve got two fists in the air and I’m kicking the door open with my band. The next few years are going to be dedicated to kicking some serious ass – the ultimate in auditory takeover. On Nov. 6, we are unleashing our new album, Music from Another Dimension on the Earth, Moon, Mars, and way beyond the stars. Idol was over-the-top fun, and I loved every minute of it. Now it’s time to bring ROCK back. ERMAHGERD."
Jennifer Lopez followed suit a day after and announced that she's also leaving the show during an interview with Ryan Seacrest on his morning radio show.
"I have my movies and my music, but it gets more complicated. As the kids get bigger. Something has to give. I think, that’s where I am right now. I could just keep doing Idol for the rest of my life, but that would be giving up a bunch of things. We had an amazing run." She then added, "The time has come".
As for Randy Jackson? According to US Weekly, Randy Jackson maybe relegated to a mentor position.
"Randy Jackson is also making a big move -- with plans to leave the judges' panel but remain involved with a mentoring role on the show."
My thoughts? Too happy I had goosies. Haha. Both had great moments, but both JLo and Steven were terrible judges. By turns, they were either useless, an obvious mouthpiece for the producers, or randomly kind of mean for no reason. Good thing, Steven brought some lulz here and there, but that's about it. They were paid tons of money AND got to use American Idol to promote their music and yet they didn't do their jobs as judges instead were mere cheerleaders.  Sure, they brought buzz to the show, but they absolutely would not judge.

Oh, and sadly, with this latest development, American Idol now became a "Celebrity Career Rehab". Arguably, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler revived their moribund music careers and increased their profile overall. It's like "I've gotten everything I need - I'm gone."

But enough of that because now, American Idol has a golden opportunity to bring in a panel that does not necessarily have something to pimp for themselves, but once and for all make it about the contestants. Glue the new panel to the seats to alleviate the over usage of standing ovations. I just hope the show's creator and producers don't screw with their winning formula in the name of change.

As for you Jennifer and Steven, good riddance!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

Yes, "Amazing" just about fits the bill for this one.

I was fairly skeptical with another Spider-Man film since I honestly didn't think the series needed a reboot this early - considering the commercial success of the trilogy. But even after Hollywood had pretty much reached saturation point in superhero movies, this reboot was oddly refreshing. The Amazing Spider-Man had that effortless, genuine charm complete with a youthful appeal that was sort of lacking in the Sam Raimi films.
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