Wednesday, December 31, 2014

DAM NATION Year-End List: Anticipated Films of 2015

As 2014 draws to a close, eyes are inevitably on the films that are lying ahead for 2015. With that in mind, we've got our line-up of the movies that are golden in DAM NATION's radar. Of course, "anticipated" does not necessarily mean "movies I think are going to be awesome", but more of "movies we hope are going to be awesome". Haha.

Speaking of awesome, DAM NATION with the help of a friend also made a quick summary of the list that may come handy in the next 12 months!! Of course, the dates are subject to change, but you know how that works. Click on the image.

See what you make of this little lot below, which also includes details - director, actor, synopsis - and trailers.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

DAM NATION Year-End List: 25 Best Movie Performances

This year's best movie performances may not all be the biggest parts or the showiest bits of acting, but just the actors and the parts that made you feel passionately about what you're watching. All the actors listed below turned in what we thought were the most impressive performances of the year. They will not all win the Oscars, but this list isn't about awards - it's about awesome.

Read on to see what made the shortlists and let us know in the comments what made yours.

Monday, December 29, 2014

DAM NATION Year-End List: 10 Worst Movies of 2014

Now that we've looked at the Best Films of 2014, we like to turn the spotlight on the worst. This year has had its fair share of films that fizzled faster than we expected and it's time to look back at the movies that didn't just disappoint, but caused us the most pain. Haha.

And just like my "best" list, it’s not physically and financially possible for me to go and watch ALL films that were released this year,  so you may not find some of the garbage here.

Read on to see what made the shortlists and let us know in the comments what made yours.

DAM NATION Year-End List: 20 Best Movies of 2014

As another year comes to a close, there's only one question - well, at least to those people following DAM NATION just for the movie reviews - that lingers in the air: What were the best films of 2014?

Like every year, 2014 seems to have gone by far too quickly. But, like almost every year, 2014 was filled to the brim with a couple of great movies. From moving dramas to the usual big summer blockbusters, and endless movie franchises, DAM NATION had its work cut out sifting through all the diverse, and downright good films of 2014.

One thing though, it’s not physically and financially possible for me to go and watch ALL films that were released this year, so you may not find some of them here. And yes, I regret to say that I haven't seen the other early Oscar favorites like Birdman, Whiplash, Into The Woods, Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game and the likes, so again, you will not see them on this list.

Read on to see what made the shortlists and let us know in the comments what made yours.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

DAM NATION Year-End List: 25 Songs of 2014

In 2014, it was all about the booty, and that bass, and that anaconda, who preferred the buns, hun. We had one less problem, we claimed to be fancy, and we were all introduced to the Starbucks lover. We wanted to swing from the chandelier, we were so happy we were clapping endlessly and chanting on Michelle Obama. Yes, that's probably the best way to sum up another year for mainstream pop music.

Just like every year, these are my picks for the 25 Songs of 2014: endless songs about butts, an ode to the father-in-law, and even tunes about someone's drinking problem and getting high. These are the songs that I've shared on this blog at some point over the past 12 months.

Of course, this is admittedly a subjective list based on my personal judgments and preferences, but this list should also be a great conversation starter and feel free to agree or disagree. Either way there is a lot of great mainstream music - again, take note, MAINSTREAM MUSIC - to be found here.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Movie Review: The Interview

Why was there so much fuss about The Interview? Yes, this was basically a silly comedy about killing the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, but at the end of the day, it's just a silly comedy. Once you strip away the controversy surrounding it, it's actually a consistently amusing comedy film. It didn't hit on all cylinders all the time - some jokes really fell flat and some parts felt disjointed - but there's a charm to the film that's quite riveting. The editing was rightly done, the cinematography was good, and the production design looked awesome. But it was the chemistry between Seth Rogen and James Franco that made the film work as they play off each other perfectly here. Their banters were hysterical for the most part. The Interview wasn't anything groundbreaking, and I don't think it changed the way I live my life - especially with the most unrealistic premise - but this was still a pretty solid movie. 7.5

Movie Review: English Only, Please

Romantic comedies are, by nature, formulaic predictable fluff, and English Only, Please is no exception. This will never go down as a cinematic gold especially with its trite storyline, but for what it's worth, the film was cute and delightful. So, despite it's cheesiness and inevitable predictability, this film was all about the chemistry of Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsay. I mean, you really have to be incredibly dense and daft not to know how a romantic comedy is going to end, so one should hope the pleasure of the film is going to be the journey the lead actors take the audiences on and yes, the movie somehow succeeded on that. I found most of the characters to be charmingly entertaining, and while I cringed at some of Derek Ramsay's attempt to sound like he's just about to learn Filipino, it was something forgivable. English Only, Please was a typical romantic comedy. But every once in a while, it's good to see a movie that's simply pleasant to watch. It was formulaic, simplistic, and flawed, but it wasn't a complete waste of time. 6.5

Thursday, December 25, 2014

American Idol 14: Listen to the Top 24 (Almost) Revealed

Here's the latest American Idol XIV Promo, and yes, they are sort of revealing the Top 24 just before the season even premieres next year, January 7, 2015. This is the first time the show has done it, and I personally think it's an absolutely fantastic idea - this makes for an interesting audition phase as people get to look for those mysterious people in this promo.

The video looks good, the editing is fabulous, and they actually sound terrific - it's not hard to do it in a studio recording, but I digress. This seriously got me excited and I'm cautiously optimistic for the coming season. Let's hope they pull it off this time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

DAM NATION 2014 Christmas Playlist

It's been a couple of years since I last posted a Christmas Playlist no? Let me all give you a nice treat and provide you with a compilation of Christmas songs. I made sure that the list is as diverse as possible - some old classics, new songs, upbeat, somber, and Mariah Carey. So there! Enjoy and Happy Holidays everyone! 

1 All I Want For Christmas Is You Mariah Carey
2 That's Christmas To Me Pentatonix
3 I'll Be Home Meghan Trainor
4 Merry Christmas Darling Carpenters
5 Winter Wonderland Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett
6 It's Not Christmas Without You Katharine McPhee
7 Winter Song Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
8 We Need A Little Christmas Glee Cast
9 Underneath The Tree Kelly Clarkson
10 8 Days Of Christmas Destiny's Child
11 Santa Tell Me Ariana Grande
12 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Sam Smith

Password: Check DAM NATION's twitter or facebook page.

The Sing-Off 5: Holiday Special Edition

The most underrated reality singing competition is back just for one night, and somehow, it's better than nothing to be honest. But yes, The Sing-Off, tops everything else if it's just based on pure singing talent! Seriously.The talent pool is, once again, impressive and the performances were really good. It's a tad short, but again, it's better than nothing.

Also, the show got the BEST JUDGES EVER! Ben Folds was definitely missed this season, but Jewel was knowledgeable enough to compensate for the technical judging, which was incredible. They all know their stuff and they give articulate and constructive criticisms. Patrick Stump was no Ben Folds, but he's fine.

On with the show!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Voice 7 Wrap-Up: 25 Best Performances

To the obligatory countdown. 27 Episodes. 70 Blind Auditions. 24 Battles. 16 Knockouts. 20 Live Playoffs. 61 Live Performances. It's been a long and interesting season. I admit, I bitched several times that this season turned out to be a dud. I mean, there were a lot of underwhelming to almost pathetic performances, the coaches were nothing but annoying cheerleaders as they were basically unable to give any sort of constructive criticisms, and the girls were gone after Top 10 - well, DaNica survived until Top 8, but still.

Looking back though, there were still a couple of outstanding performances throughout the entire season, and yes, this is where this definitive list is for. Again, this is VERY subjective and I guarantee that there will probably be some performances that are nowhere to be found on your list that may be as high as 10 or something on here. But please respond maturely, flames don't make me particularly happy.

Without further ado, here's The Voice Season 7 25 Best Performances!

The Voice 7: Finale

I knew it! The moment the pandering started after his last song, it was game over. Not taking anything away from the winner because he was consistent with his performance the whole season and he's good, but I was really hoping that someone else would win. His win was probably a big blow to Adam Levine's ego no?

Interestingly, as much as we talk about the country voting block, I'm shocked that The Voice took them seven (7) seasons to finally crown a male country singer. Well, American Idol waited 10 seasons, but I digress. I bet Gwen's kicking herself for letting him go and Blake saving him.

Also, as much as I bitched about how underwhelming this season was, the last two weeks slightly made up for it. Somehow.

Oh, and we had the Finale performances. Highlights were the girls - DaNica Shirey, Sugar Joans, Mia Pfirrman, Jean Kelley, and Bryana Salaz - outstanding version of Bang Bang, Matt McAndrew's performance with Taylor Phelan and company, Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk, and of course, the fantastic duet of Chris Jamison and Jessie J.

So yeah, just for the purpose of writing it down..


X Factor UK 11 Wrap-Up: 25 Best Performances

34 Episodes. 105 Live Performances. 16 Finalists. 9 Sing-offs. 5 Deadlocks. 1 Stevi Ritchie. This was quite a season no? To be honest, I'm not sure how to rank this season compared to the previous ones, but I actually had fun watching and reviewing this season since Season 7 when Matt Cardle won. Sure, I tried last season, but I gave up at the mediocrity of it all. This year, it wasn't phenomenal, but it had enough talent to keep me glued the whole season.

So yes, just like every other reality singing shows in this blog, here's the a VERY subjective list of 25 best performances of the season.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Voice 7: Top 4

The Voice 7 Finale night was indeed the Twilight Zone episode! I've been bitching for weeks now as to how this season turned out to be a dud, and then suddenly everyone's delivering good to outstanding performance. Did they just need enough time to settle and be comfortable? If this season consisted only of tonight and last week's performance shows, this season would probably one of the better ones. 

As of now, I just can't, for the love of me, figure out how will America vote. There's Damien who's probably the underdog in the competition after getting eliminated last week, but can't be disregarded as he has his own genre behind him. He could pull a Jermaine Paul - remember him? - and win the competition when no ones expecting him to. 

Then there's the country block supporting Craig Wayne Boyd. He's definitely not my cup of tea, but he has people and with Blake by his side, a possible win is imminent - especially with the song choices given to him. Then, we have Matt McAndrew, who's been probably the most consistent of them all. He's been charting iTunes incredibly well and Adam Levine seems to back him up more than his other acts.

And lastly, Chris Jamison, someone who no one thought will make it this far - especially after just being saved by Adam during the Live Playoffs - but he's been proving week after week that he deserved the spot and probably the win. The momentum is in his side and he's peaking at the right time, but is it enough? I genuinely think he's the most marketable, but we shall see.

On with the inevitable Adam Levine show! Haha.

Music Video: Wasted Love - Matt McAndrew

Arguably, the best original song out of all The Voice finalist this season, Matt McAndrew's Wasted Love sounds like a potential hit. It's a soaring sound with an almost anthemic melody that's quite memorable. Plus, his voice was surprisingly distinctive. Awesome.

Live performance after the jump!

Music Video: Velvet - Chris Jamison

Check out Chris Jamison's music video for Velvet - his original song from The Voice Finale. Watching and listening to this further strengthened my belief that this guy is probably the best bet of The Voice to actually have a successful artist after the show. The cool retro vibe of the song perfectly fits Chris' solid vocals and fantastic falsetto and with the right promotion and people behind him, he's ready to go.

Live performance after the jump!

Music Video: Soldier - Damien

Watch Damien's music video for his original song Soldier that's arguably the best possible sound for him to prove that he can be a current and viable recording artist - more than an old fashioned ballad singer. It has a relatively solid melody and a catchy hook. I doubt this will sell a ton, but it's a good enough effort.

Live performance after the jump!

Music Video: My Baby's Got A Smile On Her Face - Craig Wayne Boyd

Here's Craig Wayne Boyd's music video for his song, My Baby's Got A Smile On Her Face. Not particularly a fan of country music and as I much I wanted to enjoy this, I honestly couldn't get into it. It's awfully generic and sounded like a Blake Shelton reject - well, he wrote it! Haha. That said, I know there's a huge market for this kind of music, and this could be a good vehicle for his career post-The Voice.

Live performance after the jump!

Monday, December 15, 2014

X Factor UK 11: Finale

.. and they're down to 2. To be honest, this edition of X Factor was a lot better than the dud that was Season 10 and this was mostly because of some particularly strong performers. I would argue that most of them weren't as consistent as I hoped, but that made for a lot more interesting year.

As for the results, I was impartial. I was honestly pulling for both of them - including Andrea Faustini the other day - and at the end of the day, the public votes. I would argue that the runner-up NEEDED it more as I'm not really sure of the chances of being signed after the show, but it is what it is. Oh, and the winner's single fit the winner more than the runner-up.


DAM NATION: December 2014 Playlist

Wow. It's that fast! Yes, we're now at the last set of songs for 2014. To be honest, I had a hard time coming up with a playlist at this time of the year as most artists opt to wait until the the Christmas season is over to release new singles, but then again, there a couple of good songs out there. Anyway, here's 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.


1 Uptown Funk Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars)
2 Masterpiece Jessie J
3 I Won't Let You Down OK Go
4 This Love Jessica Sanchez
5 Geronimo Sheppard
6 Avalanche Nick Jonas (ft. Demi Lovato)
7 In Your Arms Nico & Vinz
8 Bed Of Lies Nicki Minaj (ft. Skylar Grey)
9 Make It Rain Ed Sheeran
10 7/11 Beyonce
11 The Hanging Tree Jennifer Lawrence
12 Yours Ella Henderson
13 I Lived OneRepublic
14 Time Of Our Lives Pitbull (ft. Ne-Yo)
15 Sugar Maroon 5

Password: Who ranked first in The Voice US 7: Top 5?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

A grand spectacle of mayhem! The Battle of the Five Armies was indeed a satisfying albeit exhausting conclusion to The Hobbit saga. Sure, the story was understandably weak as this was basically the climax of the whole trilogy, but for what it was worth, the film was almost a visual masterpiece. It was exceptionally and skillfully shot, the atmosphere was absorbing, and the cinematography gave the film a genuinely epic feel with grand shots and sets designs that were immensely detailed. Plus, that long showdown extravaganza was big in scale and a lot more visceral and dynamic than I expected. I was a tad exhausted though coming into the final act and some scenes already felt too long for its purpose, but it was still a great send off for the Middle Earth saga, especially Martin Freeman's Bilbo who was a joy to behold. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies had it's fair share of flaws, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable and well made blockbuster film that's guaranteed to entertain. 8

X Factor UK: Top 3

Well, that was fast! The Finale is here and the performances were pretty good. I mean, it really felt like everyone's fighting to be the last one standing that at one point, I didn't really care who gets the win at the end. Oh, and the duets were surprisingly good. 

On with the show!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Voice 7: Wildcard Performances

Not a fan of a Wildcard Show - especially this late in the season - but I digress. The performances ranged from decent to pathetic and I actually felt most of them didn't really care. Was I the only one who noticed that?

One thing's for sure. Team Pharrell was the strongest and that's without the guidance of their coach. Says a lot about, well, Pharrell no? Haha.

On with this atrocious proceeding!

The Voice 7: Top 5 Results Show

I will be making two posts today. One, for the results show, which basically gives out who is in the Finale next week, and two, is the Wildcard performances. So yeah, there's that.

Anyway, the results were expected. So I will not drag this any longer.

On with the show!

The Voice 7: Top 5

This was an odd episode. For the most part, I thought I enjoyed it, but there were moments when I wanted to just throw something at the screen out of frustration - mostly from the utter uselessness of the coaches and some of the song choices. But then again, there's the ultimate rise of a serious dark horse, which I will not mention Chris Jamison's name. Ha. It was interesting to see how he fought hard and see the others took step backwards from last week. I just hope America gets it right.

On with the show!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

X Factor UK 11: Top 4

This was a bit disappointing episode with mediocre performances - well, until one exploded with possibly one of the best performances this season. That's right. There's still hope this season! Haha. Can't wait for this to finish.

On with the show!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Voice 7: Top 8 Results Show

Usually, I hate the idea of eliminating three people in one week - it was a bit harsh last season - but with a talent pool as shallow as this season, I actually didn't mind. The fodders are mostly gone, and somehow I feel like the remaining five are probably the best out of the Top 12. Sure, there were a lot of good singers prior to the Live Shows, but I digress.

On with the show!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Voice 7: Top 8


This episode had all the elements necessary to be an awful night. I mean, I don't understand why everyone sucked the energy out of everyone who's watching - it's a TV show, not a sleeping aid - but I can't deny the fact that some people stepped up their game - except for the coaches who were totally useless cheerleaders that's beyond laughable, it's not even funny.

Oh, and three will be eliminated tomorrow! It's about time. Ha.

On with the show!
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