Thursday, August 30, 2012

Music: Fairytale - Jessica Sanchez

Aside from Joshua Ledet, American Idol Season 11 runner-up, Jessica Sanchez, also debuted a new song, Fairytale, which according to her is a little preview of what's in store for her fans in her upcoming debut album set to be released at the end of the year.

Catchy hook. Radio friendly melody. Age appropriate lyrics. Yes, the song is a bit generic and vocally lightweight, but this should play well with the younger demographic - same demo that made David Archuleta's Crush and Jordin Spark' Tattoo certified hits. So, while I was expecting Jessica's sound to be more Urban with a tinge of pop a la Beyonce or Rihanna and not Carly Rae Jepsen or Selena Gomez, I can somewhat see this as a potential hit for her. I just hope she can have the right mix of Urban and Pop on her upcoming album and they can try to take her in Beyonce's route. Enjoy!

Music: Broken Man - Joshua Ledet

A couple of American Idol Finalist from Season 11 and Haley Reinhart from Season 10 performed the other day at the iHeartRadio Concert in New York and a good number of new alums debuted new song. Joshua Ledet, debuted his new song, Broken Man, which I think will be part of his upcoming album.

While I'm not really a fan of his throwback style and this is definitely not the most current sounding song out there, I have a funny feeling that a certain radio format will eat this up. Joshua, yet again, proves that he can sing the heck out of whatever song he's given and with this arrangement, it gives him more opportunity to showcase his vocal prowess. The delivery is insane and amazingly soulful. I think his fans will love this, but I'm not sure if this will earn him new fans. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Music Video: In & Out - Marcus Canty (ft. Wale)

Look! It's Marcus Canty's new music video for his second single, In & Out. If you don't know him, Marcus is X Factor US 4th placer and now a recording artist under Epic Records.

Now, the music video looks amateurish, but let me say that this single is actually pretty solid. People can trash - and yes, that somehow includes me - this show all they want, but X Factor US for the most part give their alums superior material from Chris Rene to Rachel Crow and to this. Melanie Amaro, the winner, is another topic, but whatever. I personally think that this song eats Stefano Langone's song for breakfast. Haha. Not the type of song you'd normally hear out of a singing show - yes, American Idol and The Voice - and this is as current as it gets. Enjoy!

Movie Review: Total Recall

For the record, I extremely have little knowledge of the original version making me unaware of what to expect with the film. So, if you ask me if they did justice to the story, you're asking the wrong guy. Haha. On it's own merit though, Total Recall was, to say the least, decent.

The premise was intriguing and had the potential to be great, but somehow the film lost the nuances and complexities it initially had as it all seemed to be just one long chase sequence. The story was, at least, cohesive, but that's not really saying much.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Movie Review: The Expendables 2

Sylvester Stallone. Bruce Willis. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Chuck Norris. Jason Statham. Jet Li. Jean Claude Van Damme. The Expendables 2 could've been one massive clusterf*ck - bringing in more action stars into the mix compared the previous film - but this was possibly one of the best action films this year. Seriously. It was so good that it had me gripped until the end.

Sure, the story was weak, contrived and almost non existent in parts, but that fact didn't matter to me in the slightest way. I mean, this was NEVER marketed as a "story" kind of film in the first place so clearly the story was just there to support - yes, that's right - the action. I appreciated how the film didn't take itself too seriously and the very tongue and cheek demeanor of the film was actually quite refreshing.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

X Factor Philippines: Top 9

Well, this was actually a pretty solid night. I don't think anyone was terrible - aside from the usual suspect - and there were surprisingly a good number of nice performances. Plus, Gary Valenciano's group actually brought it. Really hard.

I also thought that after tonight, I would be able to narrow in on the potential winners. Fortunately - or unfortunately - I STILL have no clue who’s going to take this - mainly because the voting public has been very unpredictable!

Also, the judges were being judges this week and not merely cheerleaders! Yay! They weren't exactly on point, but again, I'll take that. Haha.

So, without further ado, here we go!

DISCLAIMER: I am no expert, but this is my opinion - to each his own - and yours will be in the comments below! Haha.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Movie Review: Bourne Legacy

As an action film, Bourne Legacy worked just fine. But having LOVED the Bourne trilogy, which starred Matt Damon, I left a little disappointed as I was consistently reminded of how amazing the first three films were.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy this film because it was actually quite entertaining. I found the story to be coherent, the characters reasonably well-defined and the writing fast-paced - almost to a fault. There were some parts that did drag a bit though and segments that could've worked better with some editing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Idol News: Nicki Minaj As An American Idol Judge?

Yes, according to US Weekly, which later picked up by Billboard, the Super Bass singer will join Mariah Carey as a judge on American Idol.

Multiple sources confirmed to US Weekly exclusively,
"I'm not sure the deal is completely done yet, but yes, she is definitely doing it," one insider reveals. "A few more slight things to sign off on but it is happening." A second source says Nicki Minaj, is "100% confirmed to judge American Idol."
It's interesting to note that Nicki Minaj cancelled her fall tour and she tweeted the following last August 1, 2012,
@NickiMinaj Barbz, I now have 2 start the Fall tour a bit later than originally planned. I will now END the tour where I was originally planning 2 BEGIN 
@NickiMinaj When the barbz find out "why" I'm starting the fall tour a bit later, they will be VERY happy.
@NickiMinaj *completely ignores the barbz' spazz session about the and casually moves on to next topic*
To me, Nicki Minaj is a bigger coup at this point than Britney Spears on The X Factor. She's at the peak of her career and currently at the top of her genre - yes, more than ANY judge who has been hired for any reality singing show - and that possibly makes American Idol seem bigger and more important than I thought it had become.

I also think she's smart, sharp and obviously understands how to build a personal brand. She's someone who has been able to attract a diverse audience to her music, her popularity is wide spread right now and she'd bring a fresh genre into American Idol. And yes, she has this big crazy personality that's good for reality TV.

It's also pretty clear that she's not afraid to say what she wants, even directly to her fans, which god knows American Idol terribly needs now: honest opinions. And as judges go - Nicki Minaj is like a million times better than Randy Jackson. Haha.

Now, I read over twitter that some people were "upset" because she's just a "female rapper" with no actual vocal talent, but amazing vocal talent has never been a prerequisite on American Idol. Look, Jennifer Lopez can barely hold a note and Paula Abdul isn't far behind. Plus, Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres and Randy Jackson don't even sing. True, I'm still unsure of her ability to judge, but this complaint just doesn't make much of an impact.

Ultimately, the panel looks promising at this point. I think 2 women on the panel means that there will be 4 judges and they better have strong personalities that can stand up to the diva tsunami. Haha. Mariah Carey was quite opinionated and critical during her stint as mentor on American Idol during Season 7 and Nicki Minaj is also pretty blunt herself, so I like that these two strong women appear to have backbone and hope that they will be honest with the contestants and give constructive criticism, as well as be entertaining.

The men better have balls of steel to be able to handle those two, and while I think Brad Paisley - a rumored judge - has enough snark in him to stand up to these ladies, I just can't see Nick Jonas - another rumored judge - handling it. He'd be eaten alive. Haha. I wonder where does that leave Pharell, Diddy, and Keith Urban?

On a side note: I'm amazed that American Idol managed to work out the fact that Nicki Minaj is a Pepsi spokesperson, when one of the show's biggest sponsors is Coca Cola. Haha.

ETA: Up On Your Face - Mariah Carey (ft. Nicki Minaj)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

X Factor Philippines: Top 10

Well, this week was an improvement from last week. There were a couple of terrible performances from the usual culprits, but we saw possibly the first showstopper of the season. It was so good, I had to lift my jaw after that ridiculously stunning performance.

Also, the judges sounded a little more critical this time. Yes, Pilita Corales didn't bring anything new aside from her hysterical comments - I can live with that - but it was nice to see Gary Valenciano and Martin Nievera stepping up their game. Charice struggled a couple of times in the delivering her comments - get a grip Charice, you can speak in Filipino! - but she also brought a couple of pretty good constructive criticisms on this episode.

So, without further ado, here we go!

DISCLAIMER: I am no expert, but this is my opinion - to each his own - and yours will be in the comments below! Haha.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Glee Season 4: First Promo!

Here's the first promo of Glee Season 4, which will debut on September 13, 2012. Look out for Kate Hudson and Alex Newell (The Glee Project Season 1 Runner-up) in this clip.

I'm seriously interested to see how Glee will do this. Rachel Berry is in New York and yet, we will still see new characters on that choir room back in Ohio. So yeah, I'm relatively excited for this one. I'm intrigued by Kate Hudson's role, but not so much on Alex Newell. Where's Lindsay? Oh, but Brittany's line at the end of this promo is to die for. HAHAHA. 

The Voice Seaon 3: Promos!

Here's the extended preview of The Voice Season 3, which will premiere this September 10, 2012.

I loved Season 1, not so much for Season 2. Season 3? I don't know. But after watching the promos, the judges certainly love to contradict themselves no? Here's Blake saying that there's so much excitement knowing you could be listening to the next superstar, but a couple of days ago during the show's press conference, Adam Levine said that The Voice doesn't need to produce a star after they got criticized for their flop alums.

What good is a show about finding the next singing sensation if they flop right out of the gate. At this point, I think they are all just flying by the seat of their pants and their logic makes less sense by the day. I don't expect The Voice to have produced a superstar in two short seasons and that's fine if they see their show as pure entertainment and that intent of the show is not to launch the contestants careers. But they need to stop pontificating about about how they are doing this for the "right reasons" unless that reason is self promotion.

Oh, and Adam is delusional for saying that the show is already becoming an institution after two seasons with absolutely no stars. It is yet to be written as to whether The Voice will even be a blip in television history. Just saying.



The X Factor US 2: Season 2 Preview!

So, here are three promos The X Factor US  aired for their Season 2 premiere, which now includes Britney Spears and Demi Lovato as part of the judging panel - replacing Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. The X Factor US will premiere on September 12, 2012.

I must say, I'm actually liking the vibe of this season a lot more than last year. I mean, this one looks more fun and has that certain lightness to it. Last year looked smug and intimidating, and yes, we know what happened with that attempt. Haha. I'm also liking the Demi snippets. This young girl can hold her own with the much older judges.

Oh, and the chemistry of this panel seems just about right - again, compared to the mess that was Simon-Paula-Nicole-LA. Shockingly, I'm quite excited for this season.




Sunday, August 12, 2012

X Factor Philippines: Top 11

This week was a bit of a mixed bag for everyone. There were a few contestants who have managed to build some incredible momentum, but a couple of them were pretty atrocious. I thought the theme was lame, it was like "We were too lazy to think of a theme so you just pick some random word.. Yay! LIFE". Haha. Oh, and the judges suddenly became cheerleaders. Haha.

I have nothing more to say, so here we go!

DISCLAIMER: I am no expert, but this is my opinion - to each his own - and yours will be in the comments below! Haha.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Movie Review: Step Up Revolution

You know what, this movie was too derivative of it's predecessor from the basic storyline to the fantastic dance sequences that I could basically just copy paste the review I wrote for Step Up 3D in 2010.

Admittedly, the dance sequences were still top notch, but slightly better than the previous installments as this infused more styles of dance other than what we've seen before. Here, they incorporated contemporary and modern dance to successful winning measures. Add to that the idea of an elaborate, cutting-edge flash mob crew and this was easily a "step up" from the rest. Ha.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

X Factor Philippines: Top 12

DAM Nation has covered American Idol since Season 7, X Factor UK for two seasons, and even The Voice and X Factor US. So, why not give X Factor Philippines a shot and dive down the proverbial rabbit hole in the quest to find a new recording superstar capable of taking the Philippine music industry by storm.

How did everyone do last night? I thought that this was a pretty solid first live show. Sure, there were some missteps here and there, but we finally had a chance to see which contestants were smart and which ones believed in their own hype. The stage looked great - not at par with it's international counterparts, but good enough - and the production of the performances looked sharp.

Well, it's about time. I’ve been waiting to get to my traditional ratings for weeks now since the show started. Here's a quick reminder on what I look for: strong vocals, unique qualities, artistic merit, strategic decisions, appearance and stage presence. Which contestant last night got to bolster their case of why he should win X Factor Philippines? It's nothing scientific, of course, but whatever.

Here we go!

DISCLAIMER: I am no expert, but this is my opinion - to each his own - and yours will be in the comments below! Haha.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Movie Review: Brave

Although Brave fell slightly short to the ridiculously high standards of the Pixar brand, this was still a stunningly animated delight on its own.

Let me start with the obvious: Brave looked spellbidingly gorgeous. Without one iota of exaggeration, I found the film to be visually stunning. The animation looked vibrant, the backdrops were exquisitely rendered and the characters had excellent detail especially the fiery red hair of the lead character, Merida.

Music Video: Home - Phillip Phillips

Talk about perfect timing no? After the song hits #1 on iTunes AGAIN - thanks to the Olympics exposure that the song got during the Girls Gymnastics Team competition - Phillip Phillips debut the music video for his coronation single, Home.

Despite the fact that this has no proper narrative, I must say that the music video is ridiculously arresting. I felt a certain level of authenticity to this and somehow the "style" fits the song perfectly. Laid back. Honest. Simple. Add to that Phillip's screen charisma and yes, we have a winner! Enjoy!

Music Video: Blown Away - Carrie Underwood

Finally, the long wait is here! Here's Carrie Underwood's new music video for her second single, Blown Away, off her latest studio album of the same title. 

To me, this is probably one of Carrie Underwood's better music videos conceptually and visually. Yes, it's not perfect - I felt the ending to be a bit sudden and almost an afterthought - but it's quite a powerful video combined with the actual song. Beautiful cinematography. Great acting. Stunning Carrie. Enjoy!

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