Monday, August 31, 2015

The Voice Australia 4: Finale

I've been saying this over and over again, but The Voice Australia Season 4 has been a fantastic show to cover this year. It was diverse with a lot of awesome artists providing performances. And yes, I couldn't be happier with the remaining four (4) finalists.

Sure, the performances in this Finale weren't as showstopping as some of their previous performances and the original songs were relatively underwhelming than, say, X Factor's Original songs, but I digress.

On with the final review for the season!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Voice Australia 4: Top 6

Yay Australia! This was seriously a strong Final 6 and there's a good amount of diversity in the remaining finalists. I'm very impressed. But of course, they were further whittled down to the Top 4, which will fight next week for the win, and even that, I'm not in any way disappointed. I got a little confused with the format, but I digress. Oh, and yes, the song choices were, for the most part, pretty stellar. Good job, coaches!

On with the show!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Movie Review: Hitman: Agent 47

Hitman: Agent 47 was heavily flawed. The story was incredibly formulaic, the script was a mess, parts of the editing were sloppy, and most of the characters were pretty one-dimensional. That being said, I can't deny the fact that it was relatively and surprisingly entertaining. Yes, some action set pieces looked annoyingly familiar, but the flashy and highly stylized visuals were somehow enough to gloss over the film's obvious flaws. It was all appropriately tense with a couple of decent action sequences. Oh, and Rupert Friend did a rather passable job as the lead role as it only calls for little emotion. Ha. Hitman:Agent 47 was problematic and, at times, even laughable, but I never got bored. More like, it's so bad that it's good. 5

Friday, August 21, 2015

Movie Review: Inside Out

Just when I thought Pixar was starting to lose steam - based solely on the studio's underwhelming output since Toy Story 3 - Inside Out proved that they have not lost the potential for greatness. The plot was incredibly audacious, insightful, emotional, and even profound, and the sheer creativity that went into every single detail of the story was brilliant. I admit, I feared that things would become overly complicated and messy given the premise, but the film managed to pull everything off without those excessive expositions. As expected, the visuals were beautifully rendered, striking and vibrant, and the voice actors were wonderful particularly Amy Poehler and Phyllis Smith who provided great contrast throughout the whole film. In an era where most Hollywood movies are either reboots, adaptations, sequels, and remakes - leaving very little room for originality - Inside Out was an outstanding breath of fresh air. A film that created such lasting and resonant memories in my mind making it one of the best animation films in recent memory. 9.5 

The Voice Australia 4: Top 8

Other than the early ouster of Scott Newnham, Australia has been pretty flawless with their eliminations and the coaches were also quite good with their choices. I didn't necessarily agree on everything, but this is a pretty stellar group - definitely a lot stronger than the latest edition of The Voice UK

Without further ado, on with the show!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Movie Review: The Man From U.N.C.L.E

Spy films are a dime a dozen - 2015 alone has five (5) movies under this genre - and while The Man From U.N.C.L.E didn't present anything that I haven't seen before, the excess of style, class, and humor was enough to make this a fun, retro romp. Yes, there was something incredibly familiar and basic from the narrative down to the script, but the execution brought something different to the table. On a technical standpoint, the film had it all in spades. The camera work was stupendous, the cinematography was stunning, the editing was masterful, and the overstated scoring gave the whole film an added punch. The cast was also quite stellar. Henry Cavill's dry wit and quips was a nice departure from his serious role as Superman and Armie Hammer somehow redeemed himself from the awfulness that was The Lone Ranger. Not going to lie, this film would've been another stale addition to the genre if handled differently. No, The Man From U.N.C.L.E wasn't a masterpiece, by any means, but it was a rather entertaining film to watch that was stylish, often funny, and quite delightful. 7.5

Saturday, August 15, 2015

DAM NATION: August 2015 Playlist

Finally managed to keep up! Here are another 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 Drag Me Down One Direction
2 Live Forever The Band Perry
3 Like I Can Sam Smith
4 High By The Beach Lana Del Rey
5 Work From Home Jordin Sparks (ft. B.o.B)
6 Love Myself Hailee Steinfield
7 Body On Me Rita Ora (ft. Chris Brown)
8 Dirty Work Austin Mahone
9 That's How You Know Nico & Vinz (ft. Kid Ink/Bebe Rexha)
10 Back Together Robin Thicke (ft. Nicki Minaj)
11 Criminal David Cook
12 Growing Up Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (ft. Ed Sheeran)
13 Wings Delta Goodrem
14 Omen Disclosure (ft. Sam Smith)
15 I'm In Love With A Monster Fifth Harmony

Password: In my Fantastic Four movie review, what was the word I wrote in the comment section?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Voice Australia 4: Top 12

Well, I guess the format remains and we'll eventually lose a great artist from Team Madden and get stuck with a relatively underwhelming Team Ricky or Team Delta. I digress. This week, the performances were almost at par from last week and I saw a couple of potential dark horses in this lot. I hope Australia will be wise enough to pick who should go home next week.

On with the show!

Monday, August 10, 2015

DAM NATION: August 2015 Throwback Playlist

Here's the latest set of throwback tunes that will make you reminisce of those good old days. I made sure that there's variety in this compilation. Again, make sure to dim the lights and crank up this playlist.


1 Are You Gonna Go My Way Lenny Kravitz
2 Naughty Girl Beyoncé
3 Could've Been Tiffany
4 Life Des'ree
5 Hand In My Pocket Alanis Morissette
6 Stop Spice Girls
7 Heartbreak Hotel Whitney Houston
8 That's The Way It Is Celine Dion
9 Jaded Aerosmith
10 Country Grammar Nelly
11 Dreaming of You Selena
12 Beautiful Day U2
13 Real Slim Shady Eminem
14 Larger Than Life Backstreet Boys
15 One Sweet Day Mariah Carey (ft. Boyz II Men)

Password: DAM NATION's score for Fantastic Four

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Voice Australia 4: Top 16

This year, I would say that the talent is immense compared to past seasons and there's diversity in this group. It would be a shame though if this season's format will just be the same as before since some groups have really strong artists. What I also liked about this year's show is the brilliant choice of songs and arrangement - with a few exceptions, of course.

Hope this season will be worth the time and effort to blog. I'm looking forward to how things will pan out.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Movie Review: Fantastic Four

There was nothing remotely fantastic about this reboot. Sure, the first ten minutes of backstory was relatively watchable as things didn't feel forced, but Fantastic Four got progressively worse after that. I was hoping for, at least, an engaging and immersive plot and story, but there was none of it here. It was lifeless and dull with so little charm to it. The screenplay was dreadful - the idea to skip a whole year after getting their powers was a huge mistake! - there was no build up or pay off, and a lot of things just didn't make sense. If Doctor Doom could kill people thru telepathy, why didn't he just use it to beat the foursome? What were his motives to destroy earth? Where did he get his fabulous shawl?  Was there a redeeming quality to the entire movie? It was almost a non-brainer that the visuals would somehow salvage the film from being an absolute garbage, but even the effects were lazy and underwhelming. Doctor Doom's character design, in particular, looked terrible. Oh, and the cast had no chemistry whatsoever. I was really trying hard to enjoy Fantastic Four, but this was incredibly flat that I'd rather watch Jessica Alba and her bad acting again. If not for Mortdecai and, to some extent, Minions, this would've been the worst movie I've seen this year. 3

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Movie Review: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

While Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was, by all measures, an astounding piece of entertainment, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation was equally riveting and awesome. I thought the story was gripping, the direction was confident, and the editing was so masterful that it ensured the story to flow well and didn't seem choppy or overwhelming. The cast was also pretty stellar. Simon Pegg's comedy hit the spot and never felt out of place, Rebecca Ferguson was fantastic, and I have to hand it to Tom Cruise; that man is 53 and he may have just carried one of the best films of the franchise to date. The action sequences were also beautifully choreographed and stunningly shot. The motorcycle chase scene in Morocco, in particular, was gorgeous. Yes, nothing in this film rivaled the best sequence in the entire Mission: Impossible franchise - that entire Burj Khalifa scene from Ghost Protocol - but I didn't really mind as this was still an all around solid movie. Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation reinforced the freshness of the series as this delivered a thrilling and slick blockbuster that has enough substance to match the style. To say that this was exhilarating was an understatement. Do yourself a favor and see this on the big screen. 9
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