Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Voice 7: The Knockouts Part 2

Is it just me or is the talent this season really lacking? Yes, most of them can sing, but there's nothing that pops out of this group. By this time, the likes of Matthew Schuler, Melanie Martinez, Javier Colon, Dia Frampton, and Michelle Chamuel have already had breakout performances. This season, nada.

But again, I digress.

On with the show!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Voice 7: The Knockouts Part 1

The Battle Round is finally done - yes, I don't review them for the most part - and The Knockout Round is here. I'm still not particularly fond of this stage of the competition as I feel like some of the pairings are a little unfair, but I digress. Tonight, there were a couple of great good performances, and one decision that's totally annoying.

Oh, and Taylor Swift was actually a good mentor no?

On with the show!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Movie Review: The Judge

While The Judge was a smartly constructed and incredibly well-acted, the film's running time was utterly excessive that it almost felt like a lengthy trial in itself. I found the pacing decidedly slow, especially the first half, and it had too many meaningless distractions that it lost the story it had set up. The romantic subplot, in particular, was unnecessary and awkward. The screenplay could've been a lot better, to be honest, but the solid acting of the two leads buoyed this otherwise predictable courtroom drama. Robert Downey Jr. gave an excellently layered performance, and Robert Duvall was just brilliant with a fantastic sensibility to his performance. The supporting cast was a little underused, but I digress. Oh, and the cinematography was awesome. The Judge obviously wasn't perfect, but it's engaging, more complex than I expected, and nuanced. 7

X Factor UK 11: Top 12

This was by far the weakest episode of this season. Almost everyone delivered awful to boring performances. Sure, a couple of acts managed to pull off some good numbers, but I was ultimately disappointed as a whole. I guess, they all need to step it up next week no? Why do I have a funny feeling a shocker boot will happen tomorrow?

On with the show!

Movie Review: Fury

It's hard to know where to start with such a deliciously intense film. It's hard to say that Fury was "the best war movie ever" - since it all boils down to preference - but I'd rank this up as one of the greats as the film perfectly captured the raw brutality of war backed with an intriguing narrative, confronting but impressive battle sequences, and fantastic character nuances. The overall direction of David Ayer was masterful and educated, the cinematography was excellent, and that last act was immensely emotional and beautifully executed. The movie was mostly carried though by the impeccable cast. Brad Pitt had some terrific moments, but Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman stole the show. Both delivered some amazingly poignant take of their characters giving us the best performance of their careers. Fury was possibly one of the most gripping films I've seen this year. Gripping in the sense that it grabbed me and didn't let go. It did not manage to avoid a few cliches, but this was a totally powerful experience. 9

Movie Review: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Eh. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was just a run of the mill fluff. The story itself was utterly predictable filled with cliches and overplayed scenes. It was so paint-by-the numbers that literally, I guessed every scene in my head. The direction, while competent, was uninspired. The script was marred by random moments that somehow undermined the marginal believability of the story. Heck, even with a good cast, their genuine talent wasn't enough to overcome some of the things they needed to do. The characters lacked depth, and the overall humor was bland. Sure, the movie was still watchable, but when the movie was played out, I was less than fulfilled. 4.5

Saturday, October 25, 2014

X Factor Australia 6 Wrap-Up: 25 Best Performances

Such a shame that I didn't get to cover X Factor Australia this year as I enjoyed doing it in Season 5, but here's a little gesture to correct that. Ha. Here's that obligatory wrap-up post for the season that was. I thought the finalists were mostly strong and there were a couple of people who really managed to deliver strong to fantastic performances throughout the season.

Again, this will be VERY subjective, but it's fun to take a look back at some of the best live performances of this season.

So, what performances made the list?

Monday, October 20, 2014

X Factor UK 11: Top 14

I had reservations with the theme - I figured that it would make for a very predictable night - but the song choices were mostly interesting and there were some serious rearrangements this week. The usual suspects delivered fantastic performances, while some faltered. How did everyone fare?

On with the show!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

DAM NATION: October 2014 Playlist

Here you all go. October's pretty odd. There were A LOT of good songs to include in the playlist, but there's not much space. In fact, the month was so loaded, I already have enough for next month. Haha. Oh, and this is probably one of the most diverse sets I've ever compiled. You have Pop, RnB, EDM, Boybands, Indie pop, Folk, Country, and Pseudo-country. Ha!

Anyway, here's the 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 Out Of The Woods Taylor Swift
2 Blame Calvin Harris (ft. John Newman)
3 Amnesia 5 Seconds Of Summer
4 Budapest George Ezra
5 Yellow Flicker Beat Lorde
6 L.A. Love (La La) Fergie
7 Love Me Harder Ariana Grande (ft. The Weeknd)
8 Dangerous David Guetta (ft. Sam Martin)
9 Riptide Vance Joy
10 Steal My Girl One Direction
11 Don't Tell 'Em Jeremih (ft. YG)
12 The Days Avicii (ft. Robbie Williams)
13 Stolen Dance Milky Chance
14 Thinking Out Loud Ed Sheeran
15 Something In The Water Carrie Underwood

Password: Who ranked third in the first X Factor UK Season 11 blog?

Monday, October 13, 2014

X Factor UK 11: Top 16

I had a go last year after not writing about the show since Season 7, but I gave up on the show after Top 6 as the performances were mostly mediocre. There were a couple of stand out performances, they were so few I just couldn't.

Fast forward to Season 11 and I've decided to give this another go. I passed on X Factor Australia this year - though there are some fantastic performances in there - as I was a bit late with that edition, so I think it's best to focus with the UK version of the show.

I will be ranking the performances from worst to best every week with some short commentaries on their performances.

On with the show!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Movie Review: Gone Girl

Speechless. Gone Girl was possibly one of the craftiest and most satisfying films this year by leaps and bounds. The script was written masterfully, the structure was brilliant, the direction was outstanding, the pacing was spot on, and it has got a lot more substance and plot elements than I ever expected. The story was simple on the onset that got seriously complicated, but somehow pulled off the miracle of not making it seemed overwrought. Oh, and the contrast of that first and last scene was genius and disturbingly glorious. The acting performances were also pretty astounding. Ben Affleck delivered a good performance, but Rosamund Pike came away as the real winner here. She was certainly intoxicating, especially during the third act of the film where it was a no holds barred roller coaster ride for her character. She was the driving force behind this film and I just cannot express how perfect she was for the role. Despite the long runtime, Gone Girl shockingly didn't drag. It was striking, dark, disturbing, absolutely riveting, and made me both exhausted and exhilarated all at the same time. Fantastic. 9.5

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Voice 7: Blind Auditions Part 5

Whoa! I didn't expect to get annoyingly bored with today's episode. What happened? Most of them were mediocre singers and there's only a few who stood out during this whole Blind Auditions of Season 7. In general, I seriously think the talent this season is the most underwhelming of this series. Should we be worried? Or too early to tell?

On with the show!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Movie Review: Annabelle

I have to admit, Annabelle initially felt like an unnecessary prequel to last year's The Conjuring, but it pleasantly turned out to be a tightly executed horror thriller. Sure, the film was still horribly familiar and frustratingly unoriginal, which I bitched about last year, but there's something oddly compelling about this film. The mood and atmosphere were both disturbing and eerie, there were terrifying moments especially when the demon appeared on screen with unending ease - which stayed in my mind up until now - and the slow progression of the story to the horrifyingly subtle build up of tension was fantastic. Everything was present from the loud startling music to the scares that were well-planned it got to me on so many levels. Plus, the acting were believable especially Anabelle Wallis. Of course, the film was not without flaws, but I succumbed to the little hints of absurdity as they were needed to move the film along. Annabelle will never be remembered as a classic, but it definitely achieved it's unpretentious goal of being an entertaining, scary horror flick and a slightly better than your average standard haunted tale. 7

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Movie Review: The Maze Runner

Adaptations of young adult novels to film are now a dime a dozen and while The Maze Runner didn't really do anything that I have not seen before, this was still a surprisingly solid entertaining little movie. The premise was intriguing, there was a decent amount of mystery, and the plot runs pretty evenly with minimal drag. The acting across the board was also quite good especially Dylan O' Brian who carried the film with great depth to his character. A lot of the characters were underdeveloped and dry though, and that's mostly on the writing. The visual effects, for the most part, were stunningly executed and well shot, and some of the action sequences were awesome. Everything went well until the sloppy ending that pulled this film to a rot. It was just horribly executed. It didn't ruin The Maze Runner entirely, but it just left the movie a lot flawed than I expected. 6.5

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Voice 7: Blind Auditions Part 4

Tonight wasn't too bad of an episode. In fact, quite a few singers tonight stood out. Finally! I'm still not too ecstatic with any of the Blind Auditions though like when Sarah Simmons' One Of Us or Christina Grimmie's Wrecking Ball. That said, I'm still pretty optimistic.

On with the show!
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