Monday, September 30, 2013

X Factor Austrailia 5: Top 7

I'm getting bored. Every week, maybe with the exception of one act, the people I usually rank at the top of the pack are those who are killing their all performances, and the mediocre ones are just plain mediocre. Can't we have a horse raise instead?

Anyway, let's get on with the performances!

X Factor Australia 5: Top 8

Yes, this blog post was a little late as I was a bit busy last week, but here it is - this week's live show, I will post within the day as well! I honestly didn't expect much from the finalists as Rock wasn't exactly their genre, but some of them actually pulled off some interestedly good performances.

Anyway, let's get on with the performances! 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Voice Philippines: Slowly - Klarisse De Guzman

Here's the studio version of Klarisse De Guzman's Slowly.

Hey, you know what would have really worked well in this song? A strong melody! Klarisse did her best to sell the moment, but without that soaring key change it completely disappointed the audience. I don't know. The song just sounded a bit underwhelming. Yes, Klarisse elevated it from "pure crap" to "meh", but let's not pretend like this was a good song.

The Voice Philippines: Fix You - Myk Perez

Here's the studio version of Myk Perez's Fix You.

Out of the all the original singles, Myk's Fix You wins hands down. It does exactly what it needs to do. It establishes an identity for the singer and gives the voters a clear idea of what Myk Perez will be like as a professional recording artist. People who are into this kind of genre will eat this song up like it's a wickedly awesome cronuts. And when he gets to the chorus? His voice soars. Sure, there were some tired vocal moments, but he so enveloped in the single that it really didn't take away from the performance since there’s such a natural honesty. The song doesn’t feel put on. It feels comfortable!

Movie Review: 2 Guns

Better than expected. 2 Guns probably wouldn't surprise anyone with it's predictable and often convoluted story, but there's something about the movie that just worked - chemistry! Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg's chemistry was so immense and palpable, it elevated the film from being a run-of-the-mill action flick to something surprisingly entertaining. Wahlberg brought a comical levity that complemented Washington's drama chops and that made the film a fun to watch. The action set pieces were pretty basic, but good enough. 2 Guns was far from being revolutionary so don't go in expecting a clever plot or a script worthy of an Oscar, but this was a fun one and it did exactly what it's supposed to do: Entertain! 7

The Voice Philippines: Grand Finale

It’s the The Voice Philippines Grand Finale and this means that all of the angst, anger, grief, sarcastic remarks are all being dusted off and will be applied to the contestant tonight. Haha. But seriously, doesn’t it feel like this season just flies by?

Well, the night was mostly uneventful, but that's not shocking by any means. I mean, the show's momentum and buzz slightly got lost when most of the good singers got eliminated last week. But then again, what do I know. 

Here we go!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Movie Review: Prisoners

Ok. This one's a bit tricky. While Prisoners was a gritty, incredibly well-acted, smartly constructed and thought provoking crime drama thriller, the film's running time was utterly excessive that it almost felt like a lengthy prison sentence in itself. The pacing was decidedly slow, which was not enough to generate real gut level of excitement, and it also had too many meaningless distractions that it lost the terrific story it had set up during the first half. But again, that's not to say that the film was bad - it was far from it actually. The performances were top-notch. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal gave excellently layered performances. The rest of the cast also kept me engaged as well as the stunningly gritty cinematography. Prisoners wasn't perfect as it lost me a little towards the end, but the film also had brilliant moments, which made this a bit of a mix bag for me. 6.5

Thursday, September 26, 2013

X Factor US 3: Live Auditions Part 5

Why am I having a hard time watching this show now? I mean, the judges as I've said in my previous reviews were pretty spot on - especially Kelly Rowland - but I think it's the editing and the fact that they NEVER argue about anyone. If it's a YES, it's a YES to everyone. Weird. Also, I somehow didn't find this episode entertaining aside from the last audition, which was a total earworm despite the silliness.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Voice 5: Blind Auditions Part 2

As much as I love American Idol, The Voice just aired two solid premiere episodes this week. I mean, I've ranted about the show and it's infinite ability to pimp their SUPERSTAR COACHES than their actual contestants and that the format really sucks, but I like that the show doesn't have joke contestants.

For all the debate about these reality singing shows, I think it is that quality that brings in viewers for The Voice. All jabbing is done by the judges to each other and isn't serious. So yes, that's what sets this show apart from the rest.

As for the talent today, they've been mostly good. So, who did the best?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Voice 5: Blind Auditions Part 1

.. and yes, in just a matter of three months, The Voice is back and I'm already exhausted with two seasons in a year! Why not take their time to REST and make up something for their winners? They're now on their 5th season and yet, no breakout stars yet. Sure, they have Cassadee Pope, who has created a decent career after the show, but her career isn't any better than say, Katharine McPhee or Kellie Pickler.

Enough of that though, let's get to the most important part of the show, THE COACHES! Haha. Yes, not the contestants, but the SUPERSTAR COACHES! I must say, I was hoping for Shakira and Usher to come back as I'm not particularly fond of Christina Aguilera's attitude, and Cee Lo's wierdness, but it's nice to see the whole group back. Christina wasn't as annoying this time, but I wonder if it was the editing. I have to wait for the actual live shows.

As for the contestants, they were mostly fine. A couple of stand outs, but nothing yet to say that they've found THE VOICE.

Anyway, let’s see how the contestants did in this episode,

Music Video: Heart of Dixie - Danielle Bradbery

Today, The Voice US Season 5 premieres and in time for that, Season 4 Winner, Danielle Bradbery debuts her music video of her first single, Heart of Dixie.

I never doubted Danielle Bradbery's potential to probably be the most successful contestant to come out of The Voice US - aside from Cassadee Pope - and this video proved that she could very well be a marketable country artist. Not sure about the song as I still find it a bit old for her - can't she have something more upbeat for her age? - but this is quite a lovely video. It's sweet, believable and mesmerizing. Let's see how she'll do once her album comes out.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Voice Philippines: Top 8 Live Show (Semifinals)

It's such a shame that this season started REALLY well and then just went straight to hell. What happened? Give me Paolo, Morissette, Radha or even Thor in the Finale - anyone of them - and that would've been THE Finale!

Ok. I liked Klarisse over Morissette in this particular show, but when you find Mitoy and Janice in the Finale when they shouldn't be in the first place - mostly carried by their coaches' scores over Darryl Shy and Jessica Reynoso - then you'd know that the format is so f*cked up. The show just wasted the people's votes (and money!). Why do we have this format in the first place?

I don't know, but tonight, The Voice Philippines crossed a line with me. Somehow, the whole thing just became too heavy handed. Why do these coaches even have a say on who should go or not at this stage of the competition? Can't we just public have the sole power already?

But again, I digress.

Movie Review: Insidious: Chapter 2

I didn't believe that they could have made a successful sequel out of Insidious, which the first installment I thought was more funny than scary, but Insidious: Chapter 2 was surprisingly good. I thought the story was more grounded, and I liked how they really toned down the scares and went for a more story based horror film - how James Wan seamlessly woven the intricate plot of this sequel to the original film was actually quite impressive. The pacing was perfect, the character development was palpable, the lighting was a little problematic, but I digress, and the performances from both Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne was pretty strong. True, the film resorted to a couple of jump scares with little to no pay off, but I liked that towards the second half, it quickly progressed into a plot driven horror. Insidious: Chapter 2 wasn't scary or creepy enough to keep me up at night, but it was not as silly as the first one. Oh, and there's obviously a third chapter, and I hope this franchise will know when to stop for the sake of quality film production. 7.5

Movie Review: About Time

Possibly one of my favorite films and, arguably, one of the best romantic comedies this year had to offer! About Time was an unexpectedly charming and heart warming film - or experience. I admit, I initially had reservations with the use of time travel as its main plot device, but everything was executed well that I eventually didn't really mind. I thought the writing and direction was spectacular, it was brilliantly layered, it didn't sound preachy, and Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson were just absolutely brilliant that I got a real sense of their relationship in the movie. The cast was actually so right it was almost frightening as they play off each other so well. It felt a tad too long, but it's a minor blip that won't stop me to do it all over again. About Time wasn't a riotous comedy, it's not a thriller, nor an adventure film, but its a lovely and sweet comedy drama that one can enjoy with a love one and come out feeling warm inside. I just can't praise this film enough. 9

Movie Review: We're The Millers

We're The Millers didn't really bring anything outstandingly new to the table, but as a genre film it actually worked. It was consistently hilarious, even if some of the jokes were a little recycled, and it was raunchy and crude, but not tasteless. In fact, I wanted to be more offended. Haha. The cast was also pretty stellar. I never really liked Jason Sudeikis, but I honestly felt like he really broke out in this role. Jennifer Aniston was also pretty charming and hysterical, but it was Will Poulter who stole the show. Where did he come from? While definitely not a masterpiece in terms of story or character development, We're The Millers was thoroughly enjoyable and delivered from start to finish and rarely saw a dull moment. See it. 8

Saturday, September 21, 2013

X Factor US 3: Live Auditions Part 4

The show was pretty nice with a couple of standouts, but I have to say again that I'm in love with Kelly Rowland and her candor and humor. She's pretty funny. Can she just resign and transfer to American Idol instead? Gah. Total revelation. Oh, and Paulina's beginning to be like a speaking Britney Spears - if that makes any sense. Haha.

Friday, September 20, 2013

X Factor US 3: Live Auditions Part 3

It's X Factor US' second week, and the show was actually pretty interesting. I laughed at some of the most horrible performances on the show, and I saw a couple of interesting acts that might make this season worth watching - or reviewing, in my case.

Oh, and yet again, Kelly Rowland was everything X Factor needed. She was just so refreshing to watch.

Anyway, let's get on with the auditions:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

DAM NATION: September 2013 Playlist

It's that time of the month again! I tried my best to give a more varied playlist this month and with so much songs to choose from - there were a lot of new releases recently - I finally came up with a 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.

So, there! Enjoy!

1. Wrecking Ball Miley Cyrus
2. I Wish Cher Lloyd (ft. T.I.)
3. Atlas Coldplay
4. Give It 2 U Robin Thicke (ft. Kendrick Lamar)
5. Almost Is Never Enough Ariana Grande (ft. Nathan Sykes)
6. Stay The Night Zedd (ft. Hayley Williams)
7. Back Together Jesse McCartney
8. Berzerk Eminem
9. Who You Love John Mayer (ft. Katy Perry)
10. All Night Icona Pop
11. Rock N Roll Avril Lavigne
12. Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix) Lana Del Rey
13. True Love P!nk (ft. Lily Allen)
14. Gorilla Bruno Mars
15. Work Bitch Britney Spears

Password: DAM NATION's Twitter ID 
(include @)

X Factor Australia 5: Top 9

I don't know what happened, but now that they were given the chance to tackle something more modern, most of them faltered. Was it the song choices? I'm not really sure, but something was off with most of them and I honestly hated most of the performances - or if not, pretty underwhelmed.

Anyway, let's get on with the performances!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Voice Philippines: Top 16 Live Show Part 2

This week is very important because it marks the halfway point of the Live Shows. It’s time for these remaining contestants to take it to another level and prove to us that they have what it takes to win. I fully expect to see that next week, because tonight was like a good warm up for them. Every single one of them left that stage knowing that next week, if they survived, would have to be out of this world.

Oh, and I have to say, the stage lighting was still a mess. Fix that! Ugh. Other rants with the format are on my last week's post, but can I just say one thing? The manipulation from last night's results - yes, I'm talking about TEAM APL - was pretty obvious. Apl messed up when he forgot, which card to look for his "scores". Was it because the other card he was holding was the actual tally of the public votes?

It's pretty interesting how Apl "scored" Janice a 65 and Jessica 35, which was enough to trump Jessica's 60% public vote. Was that the reason why Apl was so confused on what to give since giving a 60-40 split in favor of Janice would still mean her elimination. This is why I HATE the fact that at this round, the coaches still have so much CONTROL over who goes home. ENOUGH! With Janice - and Mitoy for that matter - moving on to the next round means that this show just wasted the people's votes (and money!). Such a shame!

Movie Review: After Earth

I understand that Will Smith loves his son, and probably wants the best for him, but giving Jaden the lead role in a movie was a complete disaster. I mean, if he wants to bond with his son, they should just go fishing or something, and not make a terrible movie. Ok, After Earth wasn't THAT awful, but it was utterly charmless, dull, and borderline dumb. There was no character development whatsoever, the visual effects looked cheap, and I seriously didn't sense any real danger - in the end, it was just an empty film. Oh, and Will Smith came out dry and wooden, and Jaden Smith was shrill, annoying, and quite painful to watch. I could go on and on. Not even sure why Hollywood kept on giving M. Night Shyamalan money to direct movies as after The Sixth Sense everything has been a wild tumble downhill. After Earth just failed miserably. Save your money. 3.5

Saturday, September 14, 2013

X Factor US 3: Live Auditions Part 2

Somehow, I felt like this season of X Factor has finally hit the right notes, but with two terrible seasons, everything seemed too little too late. America have given up, which is such as shame as this panel of judges have been pretty impressive.

Of course, Demi Lovato is a firecracker with her infectious laugh, and Kelly Rowland is everything! Haha. I loved her almost immediately. Her warmth is appealing, she's not hogging all the attention, and she's pretty funny. As for Paulina Rubio, she's not my favorite, but she's holding her own.

The contestants, on the other hand, have been pretty good for the most part and I have a couple of people to hate, which is always interesting. Anyway, let's get on with the auditions no?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Movie Review: This Is The End

Stoner comedy? Sure. Immature humor? At times, yes. Hilarious? More of hysterical! I seriously had mixed expectations with This Is The End, as I've seen most of the Seth Rogen films and found some of it fairly disappointing, but this one was downright ridiculous, silly and extremely funny. I have not laughed this hard in such a long time - maybe since Bridesmaids. I thought the premise was fresh and I loved that the actors played themselves giving the film an interesting layer and dynamics. The writing, although a bit of mess, was pretty solid, the visual effects were surprisingly decent, the cameos were fantastic, and the performances of the leads were spot on. It did trail off slightly towards the end, but I digress. This Is The End may just be the funniest movie I've seen this year. 8.5

X Factor US 3: Live Auditions Part 1

.. and yes! X Factor US is back and now on it's Season 3. Britney Spears and LA Reid both ditched the show after last season and it is Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio who filled those judging seats this season. To be quite honest, I'm actually like this panel. They have an exuberant vibe as a panel and they all seemed like they were enjoying the ride.

Oh, and Mario Lopez was actually more watchable now that the Kardashian got axed after a terrible hosting job last season. So yeah, things are looking up for the show.

Anyway, on with the auditions

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Movie Review: Elysium

Elysium was fine. I liked the strong hints of real present problems, I found the visuals to be quite fantastic and detailed, and the action pieces were exciting. It wasn't as good as Neill Blomkamp's previous effort, District 9, but it was a decent film. It didn't take off as I was hoping though mainly because the narrative felt very shallow and predictable with horribly written characters. I mean, most of the cast were underused. Jodie Foster really didn't have much to work with and I felt like she was just there to move the plot forward, and Matt Damon, though convincing as the lead, came off one dimensional. I don't know. Elysium could've been so much more, but it's flaws held it back from being as good as it could've been. 6.5

X Factor US: 20 Best Performances of Season 2

Today, X Factor US Season 3 premieres with Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato with the new judges Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio. I have seen previews of the upcoming season and I hoping for the best. I mean, somehow, the show managed to propel careers for both Emblem3 and Fifth Harmony, which both are doing SO well, just after one season - something you can't say about The Voice. Haha.

Anyway, enough of that. Here's a definitive list of the best performances last season as  refresher for the upcoming season. 

X Factor Australia 5: Top 10

This week, Top 10 tackled Top 10 Hits and I must say that most of them improved, while the others were just plain stuck. I still enjoyed the show nonetheless. Oh, and a different contestant topped my rankings this week.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Voice Philippines: Top 16 Live Show Part 1

We are down to 16 and somehow, The Voice Philippines production team decided that it's their best interest to change the process - to further manipulate the results - and came up with an incredibly idiotic format, and here's my problem with these changes:

One, the coaches just had TOO MUCH control on who goes home! I mean, can't the voting public already have FULL CONTROL of the results? For all I know, these coaches have had their hands on the pairings - no, I don't think they were done randomly - so it's annoying that they were still giving scores!
Two, the potential of the contestants have been pretty outstanding, but they weren't showcased properly due to the faulty, and yes, dumb format. Look, Morisette Amon and Maki Ricafort performed relatively well and yet one of them SHOULD be eliminated because they're in the same team. I didn't care much about Thor or Penelope, and we're stuck with one of them for another week. What gives?

Also, why are they always battling each other head-to-head instead of as a team? Wouldn't it be better to have all 4 perform and then just pick the best 2? And do they keep on going against each other of their own team? Isn't it more interesting to compete with the other teams instead?

Oh, and yes, the stage lighting was just as screwed up as the format! Blech.

Anyway, rant over, let me just say, I'm relieved (sort of) with the results, but I digress. Here we go!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Idol News: First Look At The American Idol Season 13 Judges' Table

Look at the new (or not really) judging panel for the upcoming American Idol Season 13. I already wrote my piece about this trio - regarding their ability to judge and whatnot - so there's no need to point that out again. Although I will say this, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. make a pretty good looking panel. For some reason, there's something almost natural looking about this set of judges. It's more laid back - even Jennifer Lopez had her casual look going - no gimmicks, tacky outfits and there's none of that annoying tension going around like last season. Very nice!

I guess, at long last, the circus didn't come to town this season. No Captain Kangaroo jacket, or the feathers hanging from the hair, or the magenta wig, or the those humongous boobs about to bust out of a top. Haha. Thank you!

See you January 2014 for American Idol, guys! Can't. Wait.

X Factor Australia 5: Top 11

Yes, after two live shows, I now have a pretty clear view of the real contenders this season. Most of them improved this week, which is good, while the others crashed and burn. So, who did well?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Movie Review: On The Job

Probably one of the more compelling films this year! On The Job was a stylishly gritty noir that was brutally violent, painfully realistic and absolutely brilliant. From the moment the opening credits came up, the movie just grabbed me by the neck and didn't let go until the final scene. Every character was pitch perfect, every shot was right on the money, and there was a certain sophistication and intricacy here that was quite refreshing for a Filipino film - at least, from the movies I've seen. I thought the direction was masterful, the writing was outstanding, the soundtrack was fabulous, the cast were uniformly wonderful (especially Joel Torre) and this one had a stylistic flair that was quite riveting to watch. I could've done it without that unnecessary intimate scene, but I digress. On The Job was a visceral tale of crime and consequences. Of corruption and power. TANG INA! 9

(No, I'm not cursing for the sake of cursing, it's a reference to the film, so go watch it!)

The Voice Philippines: Top 24 Live Show Part 2

Here's the second set of The Voice Philippines Top 24! This is always a fantastic night for any reality singing competition because we finally get to see what these people 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 for the whole country to see.

So, the verdict? Well, tonight showed us why the first couple of live shows are always so uncomfortable. To me, this was a lackluster night for the most part, but I’m not worried. I mean, they usually pick up their game when they start to feel more comfortable with the machine that’s slowly eating away at their souls. Haha. But I digress.

Anyway, let’s talk about some performances, shall we?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Idol News: Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr To Complete The American Idol Panel?

After the deal with Dr. Luke flamed out, Harry Connick, Jr. reportedly landed the third and final spot on the upcoming American Idol Season 13 judging panel alongside returning judges Keith Urban (Season 12) and Jennifer Lopez (Season 10 and 11), according to both The Hollywood Reporter and US Weekly.

According to reports,
Harry Connick Jr. is returning to American Idol -- this time, in a judge's seat.  The singer, who has appeared on the Fox reality competition multiple times as a mentor and performer, is inking a deal to serve as a judge alongside Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez on the upcoming 13th season.
To be perfectly honest, I can't say I'm excited about this news. I mean, this is the time American Idol has a legitimate chance to overhaul completely the show - of course, without losing its appeal - and bring something fresh to the viewers and yet, we were stuck with two returning judges and someone who mentored twice.

This panel of Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. won't offend anyone - unlike the polarizing Nicki Minaj last season - but I don't see this group bringing in any new viewers either. This can, however, get their old lady demographic back and this could actually stop the "bleeding" of its rating with Harry Connick, Jr. in it.

I'm pretty intrigued with Harry Connick, Jr. though. I mean, based on his previous appearances on the show, this guy had strong opinions, a lot of energy, pretty funny, and I really think he will have more useful things to say than Jennifer Lopez ever did.

Oh, and one more important thing, Harry Connick Jr., doesn't seem like the person who will have goosies and have standing ovations for every contestant. So, yeah, Jennifer Lopez may have to up her game. I guess, she's there to pick the contestants up off the floor after Harry eviscerates them? Haha.

Also, I am prudently ignoring the fact that Randy Jackson will replace Jimmy Iovine. For the love of God!

What do you think of this panel?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...