Thursday, February 28, 2013

American Idol 12: Sudden Death Top 40 - Girls Group 2

WOW. This group was incredibly strong that I realized it's the luck of the draw for most of these girls. It's kind of annoying that someone like Tenna Torres from last week got through when some of the girls eliminated tonight were stronger. Sigh. One thing I noticed though, there was just TOO MUCH of the same timbre in the same octave! Haha.

As for the judges, they were mostly decent. Keith Urban was fine and Randy Jackson should just die. Mariah Carey actually looked more engaged and gave some solid critiques, which I enjoyed, but I was quite baffled with Nicki Minaj. Haha. I mean, she gave some great comments, but I wish she was as critical with the guys as she was with these girls. It was obvious that she has this a distinctly much higher level of enthusiasm for the guys than the girls, which I don't like to see.

Anyway, how did the second set of girls do? Let's get on with the rankings!

American Idol 12: Who made the Top 20? (SPOILERS)

Hooray! Semifinals Part 1 will air in the next two weeks and I got some spoilers as to who managed to crack the Top 20 this year. Yes, they changed the format for Season 12. Instead of the usual cut to 24, we get to hear all 40 semifinalists. The catch? The Boys and Girls will remain separated, but will be divided into groups of 10. They will then perform in front of the judges and 5 will be eliminated in every group leaving a Top 20.

And yes, the first batch of 10 girls performed earlier and here's a quick spoiler as to who made it to the second round of semifinals and who got cut.

Again, read at your own risk!! I warned you. If you want to be spoiled.. read on! If not.. go away!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Movie Review: Django Unchained

Django Unchained was a relatively straightforward yet well written and brilliantly directed film. The acting performances were spectacular and the music was awesomely varied - from country to classical to rap - but never seemed out of place. The stylistic flair, which defined virtually every Quentin Tarantino film was present here too, but almost to a fault. Yes, the ludicrously violent style did work in parts, but some of the blood became egregious and without a point. Plus, a couple of parts felt a little overworked. If you don't mind the violence and the language, I would recommend this film in a heartbeat. If not, go and watch an animated film or something. Haha. 8

Movie Review: This is 40

Comedy films are supposed to be one of the luckiest genres in Hollywood. I mean, they can be campy, illogical, totally absurd and crazy, and it won't even matter as long as they make the audience laugh.They can easily get away with almost anything, but alas, not This is 40! This film was just insufferable. The script felt like it was never completed that it had no direction whatsoever and the story dragged especially the nonstop bickering. I also found the characters to be self centered, annoying and depressing. They were not charming or witty or interesting. Not a film that will leave you feeling good, which was unfortunate. 3

Friday, February 22, 2013

American Idol 12: Sudden Death Top 40 - Boys Group 1

Based from tonight's episode, it's pretty apparent that American Idol is seriously looking for it's next female winner as almost everyone royally sucked!

Not that I was expecting anything different and I've also been begging for a girl winner since Season 9, but this may actually backfire on them. I mean, if they cast mediocre male singers and one will eventually find his way to the crown a la Lee DeWyze, American Idol is officially done. Haha.

As for the judges, it's a mixed bag. I've been a fan of Nicki Minaj's judging, but she was all over the place tonight. And as much as I hate to say it, Randy Jackson actually made the most sense in this episode. Maybe with the addition of three good judges, he's forced to raised his game a bit no?

Anyway, let's rank the contestants!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

American Idol 12: Sudden Death Top 40 - Girls Group 1

The American Idol newly configured semifinals format has arrived and we finally get to see what these kids can do in a "live" setting. We’ve seen them audition for weeks and weeks and now they get to sit there and compose a performance still for the judges to decide, but for America to witness. I’m fine with that.

But how did the girls do tonight? Actually, I thought this was quite a solid first "live" show. There were some missteps here and there, but we finally had a chance to see which contestants were smart and which ones believed their own hype. Remember: nothing is written in stone. I’m sure many of you went into tonight just KNOWING who was going to make it to the next round of the semifinals, but there were a couple of nice surprises. 

Oh, and let me just say that this is by far the BEST judging panel on American Idol EVER. They're not phoning it in and they gave constructive comments without being overly obnoxious. I didn't agree with everything they said, but it was just refreshing to hear constructive critiques rather than "You're Amazing!" that plagued this show in the last few years. In fact, the way they critiqued the first performer was already a million miles better than in the entirety of the Jennifer Lopez/Steven Tyler era!! 

Without further ado, let’s rank the contestants!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Movie Review: Flight

While I was entirely amused at the absolute high points of Flight - that plane crash sequence, to be specific, was incredibly realistic - I was, for the most part, annoyed with the characters and exasperated with how the story unfolded. The writing was inconsistent, the almost romantic subplot was unnecessary and awkward, and the ending felt painfully forced. The acting performances were on top form though, especially Denzel Washington during the final act. Flight didn't exactly crash and burn, but it also didn't soar to it's potential either. 6.5

Sunday, February 17, 2013

DAM NATION: February 2013 Playlist

It's that time of the month again! Here's another set 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.

So, there! Enjoy!

1. Stay Rihanna (ft. Mikky Ekko)
2. Crying On A Suitcase Casey James
3. Oh My! Haley Reinhart (ft. B.o.B)
4. Troublemaker Olly Murs (ft. Flo Rida)
5. Two Black Cadillac Carrie Underwood
6. Scream & Shout Will.I.Am (ft. Britney Spears)
7. Kiss You One Direction
8. Better Dig Two The Band Perry
9. Feel This Moment Pitbull (ft. Christina Aguilera)
10. As Long As You Love Me (Acoustic) Justin Bieber
11. Carry On Fun.
12. Ho Hey The Lumineers
13. Downtown Lady Antebellum
14. Battle Scars Guy Sebastian (ft. Lupe Fiasco)
15. Just Give Me A Reason P!nk (ft. Nate Ruess)

Password Hint: DAM NATION's Best Movie for 2012

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Movie Review: A Good Day To Die Hard

Let me go straight to it and say that A Good Day To Die Hard was an immensely entertaining film. It was solid and punchy at every second - almost to a fault. Often, the movie acted as though it was in a rush, attempting to get from one action sequence to the next as quickly as possible turning it into a one long chase sequence. It never really dragged, which is always good, but I felt slightly disconnected in parts. I liked though that it had an effective bits of humor, the fight sequences were bone crushingly good and the stunts and effects had excellent timing. Plus, Bruce Willis was awesome! 7

Movie Review: Upside Down

While the premise of Upside Down was actually quite refreshing and absolutely fascinating, the film somehow failed to deliver a certain degree of tension and dramatic suspense mostly on the unexpectedly weak writing. Everything felt too convenient and easy that the story became strangely predictable towards the second half of the film. Visually though, it was fantastic. The cinematography was superb and the imagery was quite astonishing. It can be disorienting at times, but I guess it's part of the film's charm. Oh, and Jim Sturgess was quite a charmer despite the lack of chemistry with Kristen Dunst. 6.5

Thursday, February 14, 2013

American Idol 12: Top 40 Spoilers (Groups)

A month ago, I have posted the list of this season's Top 40 - composed of 20 Boys and 20 Girls - and apparently, there will be two parts in this year's semifinals.

Instead of the usual Las Vegas Round where everyone will perform until we get the Final 24, this year, the Boys and Girls will remain separated, but will be divided into groups of 10. In the next four episodes, 10 will perform in front of the judges and 5 will be eliminated in every group leaving a Top 20. 

After that, the second phase of the semifinals will begin, where the Top 10 Girls and Top 10 Boys will perform where America votes for this season's Top 10. Yes, just 10! But looking at American Idol's schedule this season until the Finale, I have a feeling they will consider a wildcard.

Here's how they are stacked together!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Movie Review: Gangster Squad

If only the cliches were a bit less over-the-top and the premise not as exceedingly formulaic, Gangster Squad could have been a lot more satisfying. Sadly, the film was too predictable and poorly staged that it's interesting potential, which faltered mostly on the execution, barely managed to elicit any reaction from me. The writing was underwhelming, the characters were forgettable, and the action, for the most part, were bland. There were some scenes that had some stylistic flair to it, but that's not saying much. I admit, Gangster Squad wasn't THAT bad, but you will forget about it as soon as it is over. I did. Haha. 5.5

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Movie Review: Warm Bodies

No creature in the history of film or television has been represented more than zombies, and I liked that this film took the conventional zombie premise to something new and fresh. It was annoyingly inconsistent at times that it somehow pulled me out of the story, but it's redeeming aspect was the fact that it just simply didn't take itself too seriously. The writing was clever, the humorous narration kept the tone of the film surprisingly upbeat, and I was actually impressed with the cinematography. Plus, Nicholas Hoult was fantastic. I enjoyed Warm Bodies for what it was. It wasn't quite as spectacular as it could have been, but it made for a fairly enjoyable throwaway. No gratuitous sex. No cursing. Just good clean zombie fun. 7.5

Friday, February 1, 2013

American Idol 12: Oklahoma Auditions

.. and just like that, the Audition Round for Season 12 is done. Wow. Not sure if it was because American Idol this year suddenly decided to focus on the good contestants - even if several of them begin to blend together already - or if it was the newly critical yet crazy and entertaining judging panel, minus Randy Jackson of course, but I seriously felt like the auditions this year went by WAY too fast compared to previous seasons no? I actually enjoyed the fact they kept the crappy auditions to a minimum this year..

Well, until tonight. Haha. Seriously! This episode was a great smorgasbord of crazies!! I mean, compared to the other audition episodes,  this one felt like a filler before Hollywood week and somehow, I'm not complaining. It's quite entertaining.

On with the show!
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