Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Voice Season 5: Season 5 Preview!

Another season already? Aren't we in for The Voice overload? Are we seriously ready for another season even if they haven't done anything yet with their winner just last June? I'm not, but whatever.

Anyway, here's a preview of The Voice Season 5, which will premiere this September 23, 2013 with Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and the return of Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera.

The X Factor US 3: Season 3 Preview!

So, here are the promos for the upcoming The X Factor US Season 3, which now includes Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio as part of the judging panel - replacing LA Reid and Britney Spears - alongside returning judge Demi Lovato and, of course, Simon Cowell. The X Factor US will premiere on September 11, 2013.

I must say, I'm actually liking the fun vibe of this season a lot more than the past two seasons. I mean, this one looks more fun, unrehearsed and has that certain lightness to it. Last year looked uncomfortable with Britney Spears and Season 1 had this smug and intimidating aura. Haha.

Oh, and the chemistry of this panel seems just about right - again, compared to the mess that was on both Season 1 and 2. I really think Season 3 is the make or break season of The X Factor US.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

X Factor Australia 5: Top 12

X Factor Australia started airing it's live shows and I thought to myself, why not? Let's see if I can keep up reviewing this show. Haha. I think this group isn't as exciting as last year's, but I can see potentially good artists.

No, I will not review them as detailed as I do with American Idol, The Voice or The X Factor US, but I'll probably give a short commentary on each performances.

Without futher ado, let's get to the rankings!

MTV Video Music Awards 2013: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

MTV Video Music Awards! The only show that gives us two thousand close up shots of Taylor Swifts face through out the show. Haha. Of course, this show is mainstream and I'm not even afraid to admit it. It's highly entertaining with a couple of meltdowns and some performances that were too over the top, I wanted to punch their faces. Total guilty pleasure.

So, here let's take a look back at the performances!

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Voice Philippines: Top 24 Live Show Part 1

This was the first live show on The Voice Philippines and I was prepared for an underwhelming episode. So, while some of the performances were filled with tiny mistakes, there were a few gems that shouldn’t be ignored. We will get to the rankings in a second.

But, before we jump right into the review I need to have a moment to comment on the stage and the judges. Everyone looked amazing and I thought the opening was great! Oh, and the design crew deserves a serious raise for making the stage look fantastic. In fact, everything looked really sharp and new tonight, clearly there is a concentrated effort afoot to make the show an improved version of The X Factor Philippines.

Anyway, here we go!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Idol News: Dr. Luke As An American Idol Judge?

Yes, according to Deadline, which later picked up by E! News, Dr. Luke will join Keith Urban and not-yet-confirmed Jennifer Lopez (ugh!) as judge on American Idol.

According to E! News,
E! News can confirm that music producer Dr. Luke has officially signed on as the 3rd judge for the Fox reality show. It was reported that declined the Idol job to return as a coach on The Voice U.K. for season three. Regardless, Dr. Luke's got some pretty awesome chart-toppers under his belt, making him a great addition to the show.
In case you're totally unaware who Dr. Luke is, he is the songwriter producer responsible for hits such as Kelly Clarkson's Since U Been Gone, Breakaway and My Life Would Suck Without You, Avril Lavigne's Keep Holding On and Girlfriend, Britney Spears' Circus and Hold It Against Me, Jessie J's Price Tag and Domino, Ke$ha's Tik Tok and We R Who We R and Katy Perry's I Kissed A Girl, Hot N Cold, Teenage Dream, California Gurls and her latest hit, Roar, among others.

To be honest, when I realized that Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson (to replace Jimmy Iovine) were back this upcoming season, I really didn't care much about the panel - or maybe the show? I mean, when you add Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban, what is new? It's hard to feel excited because at this point, it's almost impossible to think of further changes the show could make to reinvigorate the show on it's 13th year.

That said, I'm really interested to see what Dr. Luke might bring to the panel. He certainly has the credentials and it would be nice to have a big time record producer on the panel. He knows what genuinely sounds good and FINALLY someone who's not trying to push his own musical career.

True, it didn't work well with Kara DioGuardi a few years back, but I watched a few interviews of him and he's well-spoken and has a good enough television presence with a strong personality. Oh, and he's sort of nerdy.

But we'll see.

Movie Review: R.I.P.D

R.I.P.D was an ordinary fare, which was barely entertaining and had a suspiciously similar storyline to Men In Black. I wouldn't say that this was a blatant rip-off, but swap Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones with Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges and have them fight ghosts or dead monsters instead of aliens and you have R.I.P.D. I don't know. Part of me thinks that had Men In Black movies never been made, this would've been decent, but the effort just paled in comparison. The plot was dull and lifeless with unimaginative story telling, the writing was predictable and nothing really happened in the film. There were occasional funny moments, but these were few and far between. Jeff Bridges was fine, while Ryan Reynolds seemed totally out of it and their chemistry was just lacking. R.I.P.D wasn't THAT bad, but I'd rather watch this on HBO than in a movie theater. Just saying. 4.5

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Movie Review: The Conjuring

From the get-go, The Conjuring was eerie. It delivered the creeps with its excellent use of photography, visual design, sound and music and a welcome absence of gore. This, to me, was a step in the right direction for the genre and, arguably, a better piece than the overrated mess that was Insidious. That being said, the plot and the set pieces were horribly familiar and frustratingly unoriginal - opening doors, basements, whispers, rocking chairs, dolls, imaginary friends, mirrors - that I felt like I'd seen it all before. The film also had the tendency to confuse the scary with the startling, and resorted to increasing physicality and jump scares rather than an effective slow-burn. The Conjuring was generally fine, but I didn't think it passed my key horror movie test: when you leave the theater, the outside world does not look quite as reassuring as it normally does. Oh, and one more thing, if your dog won't enter your new house, it's time to move out. Ha. 6.5

Movie Review: The Purge

There's no actual gore, there's not an absurd amount of action and none of it was surprising - there was no shocking twists and everything flowed along pretty generically. Yes, the premise was too ludicrous for this to actually work as a brilliant film, but The Purge had the potential to be an entertaining one and a goldmine for social commentary. Was the concept fully explored? No, and that's unfortunate, but this film got some reaction out of me, and somehow served as a good documentation of human conscience, which was surprisingly insightful. It did lack in character development though as I felt disconnected to most of them. In fact, I was hoping for some of them to die - Max Burkholder's character was instantly hateable - or perhaps representative of my own subconscious feelings to purge. This was a very visceral film, but The Purge certainly wasn't memorable enough to be a classic and the execution relied to much on the same cliches. Just enjoy it for what it is. 6

Movie Review: The Call

Despite the highly incredulous ending, The Call was actually a pulsating crime thriller that had me on the edge of my seat. Sure, the plot fell flat in parts and it was generally a predictable film, but so would any movie in this genre. I thought the pacing was spot on, the direction was tight, and the acting performances from Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin were incredibly strong - especially their palpable chemistry considering the fact that their interaction were mostly over the phone. Again, the ending could've been better as everything didn't come across as believable for the characters that had been established through out the film. It almost felt like the movie went into that route for the sake of defying the convention. Nonetheless, The Call still delivered what I expected, a quick and undemanding entertainment. 7.5

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Movie Review: Kick-Ass 2

Eh. As a fan of the original film, Kick-Ass, and having held a ridiculously high expectations going into this, Kick-Ass 2 was consistently decent but remarkably disappointing. The story was a bit of a mess as I felt like it couldn't decide if it was going for a tongue-in-cheek action comedy or a generic full blown superhero film. The wit and charm that made its predecessor glorious was missing, the jokes were a tad sloppy and there's a depressing lack of carefree violence. Sure, there was still a good amount of blood and gore, but the execution was frustratingly bland. The lead actors were still great especially Chloƫ Grace Moretz and there were still a couple of strong action scenes, but Kick-Ass 2 just didn't live up to its potential. This could've been such a great movie. 6.5

DAM NATION: August 2013 Playlist

Yes, 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. Roar Katy Perry
2. Beneath Your Beautiful Labrinth (ft. Emeli Sande)
3. Take It Easy On Me Robin Thicke
4. Royals Lorde
5. Where We Came From Phillip Phillips
6. Sorry Naya Rivera (ft. Big Sean)
7. Me & My Girls Fifth Harmony
8. Hold On, We're Going Home Drake (ft. Majid Jordan)
9. Slow Down Selena Gomez
10. Dirty Laundry Kelly Rowland
11. Skipping A Beat Jordin Sparks
12. Baby I Ariana Grande
13. Everything Has Changed Taylor Swift (ft. Ed Sheeran)
14. Best Song Ever One Direction
15. Applause Lady Gaga

Password: The Movie Review score I gave "The Heat"?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

X Factor UK: 10th Anniversary Mash-up!

It's X Factor UK's 10th Anniversary and it was pretty cool of them to come up with a mashup of songs from their successful alums: Leona Lewis, One Direction, Cher Lloyd, Little Mix, Alexandra Burke, Olly Murs, James Arthur and many more. Why didn't American Idol think of this before??

As you all know, the last time I posted something regarding X Factor UK was when Matt Cardle won the show in Season 7. Yes, I still follow Simon Cowell's little show, but I refuses to write anything about it because I just don't have enough time. This is their 10th year however, so why not? Enjoy!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Movie Review: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

So they called this movie Sea of Monsters, but where exactly were the monsters? While Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters was slightly better than the Lightning Thief, on the surface, the plot was still fairly basic, the visuals were decent, and the acting were mostly fine. There was just nothing spectacular about the film - and I love superlatives! Haha. The movie was also a little light on action. Yes, it wouldn't be a problem if the story and characters were interesting and compelling, but they just weren't. They were neither exciting nor involving and I don't know if its the screenplay's fault or the direction. I don't know. I can't help but feel that something was really missing with Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Maybe that sort of epicness, which I was expecting, wasn't there. 6.5

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Idol News: Keith Urban is back as an American Idol Judge

This maybe old news, but I'm posting it anyway. Keith Urban will be returning for Season 13 on American Idol.

Keith Urban himself tweeted,
Thrilled to be back on with my pal and dying to know who the other judges will be!!!! -KU
Fox president, Kevin Reilly, also confirmed the news at last week's Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills. Oh, and he also mentioned that they are considering a Jennifer Lopez comeback although not a done deal yet. The other name in the mix, the Will.I.Am! Ugh.

While I wasn't completely impressed with Keith Urban last season, he made me tolerate the panel a bit more. I enjoyed how he sang along with nearly every song and he seemed like he was enjoying his job. I also thought that he did an amazing job of navigating the minefield American Idol was last season with Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey.

Yes, as the season rolled, his comments and feedback became more dodgy and lazy and he seemed to be echoing the producer's desires more than offering constructive feedback for improvement, but I'm willing to give him another chance given the toxic panel with the two divas and I have a feeling that his wit would have really come out more in a much more easy going, fun, and less "competitive" situation.

As for Jennifer Lopez and Will.I.Ain't, umm, NO. I thought the idea of "encouraging" Randy Jackson to leave was to reboot the show with a clean slate, and the best way to do that is to bring back Jennifer Lopez? She's the epitome of being there just to boost her career! Also, Will.I.Am was awful in The Voice UK!

Sigh. Nothing but retreads that weren't so great the first time, but maybe this is their way to make it all about the contestants! Keep the judging a snoozefest!

Movie Review: The Wolverine

After the rubbish and disappointing X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I wasn't really sure what to expect with The Wolverine. But while this wasn't exactly the strongest film in the entire franchise, it's quite hard not to like the substance and stylish action in a sequel set primarily in Japan. I was nearly always engaged. The plot trajectory somehow followed the traditional superhero movie structure, but the pacing was surprisingly good, the Japanese layered cultural backdrop was fantastic, the action scenes were well choreographed, that bullet train sequence was outstanding and Hugh Jackman was just brilliant - no one actor can portray this role better than this guy! True, The Wolverine, in parts, went into the generic blockbuster territory, but for what it's worth, this film was pretty solid. A good, action-packed and satisfying addition to the X-Men franchise. 7.5

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Movie Review: Red 2

Like many sequels, I more or less knew what to expect with Red 2. The fantastic repartee between the actors, which was the film's strongest appeal, was still present and the action sequences were absolutely top notch, but something about the movie fell short of my expectations. I thought the story seemed a bit all over the place, the sleekness of the production were lacking, and there was just not enough tension. The pacing was uneven that I felt like the film was stalling the action scenes for no reason at all. Red 2, just like it's predecessor, was obviously not high art, but this was still pretty much an entertaining film with an good mix of action, comedy and a bunch of A-list actors that have tremendous screen presence. It could've been much tighter though, but I digress. 7
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