Saturday, February 28, 2015

American Idol 14: Top 12 Girls

It's the second day of Semifinals round for American Idol Season 14 as we now welcome the guys to the not-so-shiny-than-usual stage. I was hoping they prepared as the boys were, for the most part, solid, but after Shi Scott note-vomit all over the place, I was terrified. Sorry. It's been 24 hours and I'm still struggling to believe it happened. Haha.

Not sure if this installment was a great improvement from the voice, but there's a good amount of talented girls that took the stage and sang with confidence and swagger.

On with the show!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

American Idol 14: Top 12 Boys

It's almost a tradition on American Idol, so I will just let it slide, but it's just good to reiterate that THE FIRST NIGHT OF THE LIVE ROUNDS IS NEVER GREAT! Haha.

It's some scary stuff for these contestants to sing in front of millions of people for the very first time and then worry about not advancing the next week. The pressure is there and at this stage, it's still pretty acceptable. True, there were a couple of performances from past seasons that were pretty awesome, but for the most part, the semifinals round is a place for contestants to do absolutely anything just to survive.

The frantic pace of the episode, on the other hand, was unacceptable. I don't know. The whole thing felt like the Idol version of speed dating. It was so fast - even the judges' comments - that I couldn't keep up. Oh, and Jennifer Lopez was actually giving a more focused critique, while Harry Connick Jr. was full of platitudes. Twilight zone, anyone?

Anyway, it's the first live rounds and while this wasn't the night I imagined - especially with the talent this season - I was fairly impressed with some of them.

On with the show!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Voice 8: Blind Auditions Part 2

Wow. The struggle was real for Adam this season! I know. I know. It could've been just the show's edit, but why are they setting this up as if Adam's not getting so much love from the contestants this season? Were they thinking that this will be good story arc for Adam as he then ends up with the strongest team again like every season? Oh, and can I just say how sick I am with the 5 minute sob story this season. Quit it. This is a singing show not a humanitarian work. Please.

On with the show!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Voice 8: Blind Auditions Part 1

Eighth season. That's right. In a matter of four years, The Voice US already aired eight seasons! While it's exhausting - I don't think I've moved on with Season 7's results yet - it's nice to see a different dynamics with Christina Aguilera in the mix and Pharrell.

I'm still waiting for a season with Usher, Pharrell, Christina and Shakira, thought that's less likely to happen as the show needs someone to represent the genre of Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. But, a man can dream. Haha. As for the premier episode, it's a solid one with a lot of singers from different genre.

On with the show!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Voice Philippines 2: Top 8 Live Show (Semifinals)

Why do I feel incredibly exhausted with this season of The Voice Philippines? Was it the predictable song choices? The annoying decisions by the coaches throughout the season? The lack of creativity and originality in every single performances? I know. It's the idiotic format!

It's annoying how they let the public vote and then give the coaches the power to pick who they want to advance. It's stupid as that 10% difference between there scores are enough to trump the public vote. If they really want to let the public decide, then split it in half!

This is why I HATE the fact that at this round, the coaches still have so much CONTROL over who goes home. ENOUGH! This show just wasted people's votes (and money!). Such a shame!

On with the show!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

87th Academy Awards: Predictions

I haven't been covering awards season as extensively as before - the last one was in 2011 - but I figured it would be appropriate, but foolishly try to predict the results of the upcoming Academy Awards.

Though there are a couple of safe bets this year, there are still a few wildcard and tricky categories. I've put on my prognosticating cap and compiled a list for major categories of who and what I think should and will win.

Let's get it on!

American Idol 14: House of Blues Showcase

I admit, I have no plans of posting anything about the House of Blues as I plan to discuss everything on a usual post for the blog once the semifinalists have been announced, but since I received a couple of requests, I will give a quick ranking of how I think the House of Blues went. Again, this is just their performance on this particular round.

As for the in-depth analysis of this year's Top 24 - as per usual - let me do that in another post, which I will publish in the next couple of days. 

You may watch the whole performances of the Top 24 on Vevo's YouTube channel, HERE.

How did you rank the Top 24 based on their House of Blues performances?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Movie Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Deliriously entertaining! Kingsman: The Secret Service was an attempt to take the usual spy formula and push it into a hipper, darkly comedic, and excessively violent territory. On paper, it looked distinctly dubious especially with an unknown actor taking the lead role, but somehow, everything worked perfectly. The story wasn't out of the ordinary, but Matthew Vaughn's directorial style made the film increasingly remarkable. The script was well written, the editing was spot on, and the pacing was exemplary that it kept me on the edge of my proverbial seat right until the end credits. Add to that the brilliantly choreographed and highly stylized action scenes that were brutal, intense, and ultra violent, and also, the fantastic performances of the cast. Colin Firth was solid, but it was the newbie, Taron Egerton's natural and enthusiastic take on his role that was an instant revelation. In Kingsman: The Secret Service, nothing was taken too seriously, and that made for a riotously enjoyable time from start to finish. It was certainly without its faults, but it was a terrific piece of entertainment. 8.5

Monday, February 16, 2015

DAM NATION: February 2015 Playlist

It's here! February Playlist is now up and although not as diverse as I wanted, there's a couple of great selection into this playlist. So, 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 FourFiveSeconds Rihanna (ft. K.West and P. McCartney)
2 All About It Hoodie Allen (ft. Ed Sheeran)
3 Stuck On A Feeling Prince Royce (ft. Snoop Dogg)
4 Little Toy Guns Carrie Underwood
5 Talking Body Tove Lo
6 I Bet Ciara
7 Haunted Beyoncé
8 Worth It Fifth Harmony (ft. Kid Ink)
9 Lighthouse G.R.L
10 It Ain't You Jordin Sparks
11 One Last Time Ariana Grande
12 What Kind Of Man Florence + The Machine
13 Restart Sam Smith
14 By The Grace of God Katy Perry
15 Style Taylor Swift

Password: In the nifty image summary (infographic) of the anticipated films of 2015, what month is color RED? (all caps)

The Voice Philippines 2: Top 12 Live Show Part 2

.. and there's still hope. Unlike yesterday, the coaches' - Sarah and Lea - decisions were a pleasant surprise. I don't know. After the disappointing results the past few weeks, I already resigned to the idea that they will be in their right state of minds when deciding on who should advance to the next round. But alas, both of them made the right decision. So yes, there's still hope.

On with the show!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Movie Review: The Imitation Game

Incredibly fascinating. I went into the film not knowing what exactly the story was based on, but I was intrigued from the first minute and left me in awe when it ended. Yes, The Imitation Game just delivered virtually on all fronts and there's plenty to rave about. The screenplay was incredibly crafted with brilliantly written dialogue, the edits and interweaving of time periods were executed flawlessly, the pacing was expertly done, and the direction was astounding. It was Benedict Cumberbatch's downright fantastic performance though that transcended the film into something special. How he moved from uptight to endearing without a hint of effort was impressive and he handled the complexities of his character incredibly well. The supporting cast also delivered solid performances, including Keira Knightley who had a calming demeanor. The Imitation Game was a powerful film backed by an exceptional story and superb acting. The overall impression is simple: a strong recommendation! 9

The Voice Philippines 2: Top 12 Live Show Part 1

It's such a shame because this season started REALLY well and then just went straight to hell. What happened? One, the voters this season are completely out of touch (see, Rence Rapanot). Two, the coaches still had too much control of the results (see, Bradley Holmes, Jason Fernandez, Tanya Diaz, and more). Three, anything Luis Manzano. Haha. Ok, I made the last one up, but seriously, the results have been pretty awful.

Not sure if we'll end up with the rightful winner at the end of this season, but I'm still hoping for the best. 

On with the show!

Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. It was short on narrative with no strong plot - especially when things got a little redundant and dragged out towards the end - but this film was high on mood that was dark, intense, and sensual. I found everything elegantly staged with a visual style that was polished, the intimacy was tastefully done and handled with care, and the acting performances were strangely compelling. Jamie Dornan was a bit inconsistent in parts as Christian Grey, but he nailed - no pun intended - the charm and mystery of his role. Dakota Johnson, on the other hand, was absolutely captivating and there's an impressive nuance to her portrayal that I really liked. I admit, I was more than ready to hate on the film, but it actually came out to be a pretty decent effort. It's heavily flawed with not a lot of story behind it - the censorship even made things a lot worse - but there's something about this film that's oddly riveting. One thing: your like or dislike for Fifty Shades of Grey may very well depend on how well you respond to content of the film. 6.5

Friday, February 13, 2015

Movie Review: That Thing Called Tadhana

Just beautiful. That Thing Called Tadhana was not a typical Filipino romance comedy film. It wasn't complex with no overbearing drama, no forced conflicts, or any gratuitous slow-mos for added kilig effect, and yet it was easily one of the more riveting Filipino films under this genre. The acting performances were superb, especially Angelica Panganiban, the direction was top notch, the backdrop was wonderful, and don't get me started with the cinematography. Haha. But what was really fascinating about the film was how utterly charming, dynamic, and insightful the writing was. Rather than the typical one-liners, the film managed to come up with some very listenable words, and the conversations were revealing without seeming forced, and had a natural flow. That Thing Called Tadhana may not be the best movie I have ever seen, but this was a great antidote to all the fluffy and brainless romance films - which tend strongly towards cliches. 9

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Voice Philippines 2: Top 16 Live Show Part 2

I didn't enjoy this group more than what Team Sarah and Team Apl had to offer. The song choices here were a little too outdated - especially Lea Salonga's choices - and Bamboo's team were a bit underwhelming. I'm still cautiously optimistic that we'll be able to get some stunning performances from the remaining contestants soon. 

On with the show!

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Voice Philippines 2: Top 16 Live Show Part 1

Since Season 1, I have been bitching about this dumb format of The Voice Philippines. The potential of the contestants this season have been pretty good, but they weren't showcased properly because some of them were in the SAME TEAM! Look, Jason Fernandez performed relatively well and yet he was eliminated because he's in the same team with Monique, Jason Dy, and Kokoi. I didn't care much about any of Team Apl - other than Daryl - and yet we're stuck with most of them for another week.

Also, the coaches just had TOO MUCH control on who goes home! Can't the voting public already have FULL CONTROL of these results? Argh.

Anyway, rant over! Here we go!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Movie Review: Birdman

Birdman was an absolutely strange film. I was enthralled, I found some parts incredibly hysterical, and I marveled at how the film was presented, but somehow, the film didn't completely blow me away. Yes, there's A TON to love about the movie. The narrative, while pretty straightforward, was presented in a way that looked like one constant shot throughout the entire film, which created a great sense of continuity. The cinematography and editing were magnificent, the direction was brilliant, and the performances were deliciously layered. Michael Keaton and Edward Norton, in particular, were outstanding, and Emma Stone managed to hold her own with the big leagues. With all that great elements, I was somehow still relatively underwhelmed with the entirety of Birdman. Maybe I just felt that it tried too hard to be profound that I got lost in the process. That's not to take anything away from the film as it was definitely a remarkable piece of work and it was admirable. I just didn't think it was all that. 8

The Voice Philippines 2: Top 24 Live Show Part 2

Well, this week's program was a vast improvement from last week. The contestants performed better, the song choices weren't as old as my grandparents - when they were still alive, of course - and the overall show looked a lot more put together than last week. That said, I have a feeling the results will be as predictable as last week.

Let’s rank the contestants!
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