Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Voice 9: Blind Auditions Part 3

While I'm still not particularly sold on anyone yet this season, I've seen a couple of potential artists that I can get behind. That said, this phase of the competition is getting a bit tired and to some extent a bit labored no? I wonder how many episodes of this.

On with the show!

Monday, September 28, 2015

X Factor Australia 7: Top 12

See, the last time I covered consistently X Factor Australia was in Season 5, where Dami Im eventually came out as the winner of the show. I don't know. Something about that season made me do it. Last season, I didn't have enough time, but I did wrap-up post of the best performances from that season,

And then, here we are! The seventh season of X Factor Australia. Quite frankly, I had high hopes with this group. I've been following almost everyone's journey since their auditions and I thought that this group had potential to be great. I admit, this episode was a bit of a letdown, but I'm hoping for the best for the rest of the season.

On with the show!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Movie Review: The Intern

To sell a sophisticated comedy to a youth-obsessed audience was a gamble that would surely signal a train wreck by default, but The Intern pulled that daunting task with aplomb. Sure, I had problems with the film shifting abruptly from light to melodramatic and the story may not be the most original, but the brilliant and heartfelt acting carried the film to something more than your usual comedy fare. No scene seemed forced and it seemed like a realistic exploration of the premise thanks to the endearing and magnetic performances of both Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. The chemistry between the them was simply outstanding. Seriously. The Intern may just be one of the most immersing movies I've seen this year - there was more of an emotional tug here than in Everest. No, it wasn't without any flaws, but it was charming and thoroughly touching. 8

Friday, September 25, 2015

Movie Review: Everest

Everest may not be the most exciting film this year, but what really made this work were the stunning visuals. Really. Every single shot looked breathtaking, the cinematography was splendid, and it was just an all around spectacle. There were even moments where I was transcended to the vast landscape of the mountains that I genuinely felt the chills, literally. The cast also delivered some fine performances. Jason Clarke was unexpectedly good as the lead, but it was the support from Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson, and Robin Wright that made things a lot more relatable. That being said, the narrative became progressively cluttered, and the character development was a tad weak and inconsistent that I somehow didn't care much about any of them, which was odd. Ultimately, Everest's magnificent visuals, at the very least, made this a dynamic experience and somehow compensated to some of the film's glaring flaws. 7

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Voice 9: Blind Auditions Part 2

I have to admit, I didn't expect things to pick up from yesterday, but there were a couple of solid blind auditions tonight. Sure, it still didn't make me excited for the season, but I'm hoping for a few more outstanding performances from here on out.

Oh, and why did they montaged three of Gwen's artists? Ha.

On with the show!

Movie Review: Heneral Luna

I was ready to endure yet another earnest, somewhat insipid and lengthy biopic, but Heneral Luna turned out to be quite riveting and strangely comical - almost to a fault. I thought the story was gripping, powerful, and frankly, a bit eerie, and while not entirely accurate as it took some much needed dramatic licenses, it still had a ring of truth and authenticity to it. On a technical standpoint, everything was on point. It was beautifully shot and edited, the cinematography was stunning, the costumes and set designs were admirable, and the acting performances were exquisite. John Arcilla seized the chance to play this larger than life character and ran with it. He made me care about a man who wasn't all that immediately likable, and in lesser hands the role would've been a mess. Mon Confiado, on the other hand, was just as impressive. He may not be as showy, but his performance was textured and subtle. Heneral Luna was not a perfect film by any means - the humor, for example, became too overbearing at one point that it almost felt contrived - but it packed a powerful wallop regardless and it made me think, and that's all too rare. 8.5

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Voice 9: Blind Auditions Part 1

Guess what? The Voice is now on it's ninth season! It's crazy! Can't they take a longer break? Both Blake Shelton and Adam Levine need it! Haha.

Tonight, the blind auditions ranged from decent to good. Nothing stood out really in a Christina Grimmie, Kimberly Nichole, Javier Colon, Taylor Phelan, India Carney kind of way. I'm hoping this year will match or even top the epicness that was Season 8.

On with the show!

Monday, September 21, 2015

DAM NATION: September 2015 Playlist

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 Wildest Dreams Taylor Swift
2 Locked Away R. City (ft. Adam Levine)
3 Here Alessia Cara
4 You're So Beautiful Empire Cast
5 Lifted Up (1985) Passion Pit
6 Can't Sleep Love Pentatonix
7 Downtown Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
8 Levels Nick Jonas
9 Jealous Labrinth
10 Smoke Break Carrie Underwood
11 Beautiful Now Zedd (ft. Jon Bellion)
12 When Love Hurts JoJo
13 Till It Happens To You Lady Gaga
14 King Years & Years
15 What Do You Mean? Justin Bieber

Password: Who topped The Voice Australia 4 Wrap-Up post?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

I've NEVER been hugely passionate about the Maze Runner franchise, but The Scorch Trials was a solid piece of entertainment. Yes, the story seemed a bit labored and confusing - things were still left frustratingly unanswered from the first installment - but with a relatively even pace, the movie went on gradually with a riveting intensity. This was that kind of movie that kept me on the edge of my seat and gave me a good adrenaline rush. It was incredibly absorbing and compelling thanks to an impressive mix of great direction, stunning cinematography and visuals, creative and masterful blocking, and some impeccably well-choreographed action sequences. The cast did better this time around, especially Dylan O' Brian who gave the perfect mix of physicality and charisma throughout the film. I could seriously rant about so many things about Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials - the story was clearly not it's strongest suite - but this was surprisingly compelling, and infuriatingly enjoyable jaunt despite the straightforward and cliched plot. No, this won't live forever as a shining example of its genre, but it's the best I could have hoped for. 8

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Voice Australia 4 Wrap-Up: 25 Best Performances

To the obligatory count: 18 episodes. 80 blind auditions. 24 battle competitions. 8 super battles. 52 live performances. 1 winner. Yes, this has to be possibly one of the more interesting The Voice edition in recent memory. I mean, I've been following a lot of The Voice editions in several parts of the world, but Australia managed to build a pretty impressive roster this year.

So yes, there were a good amount of outstanding performances throughout the entire season, and 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 Australia Season 4 25 Best Performances:

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Movie Review: Pixels

Lazy. Annoying. Terrible. I genuinely didn't expect much from Pixels - given that it's a film with the charisma-free Adam Sandler - but I never imagined it to be this bad. Like, Fantastic Four crap. Nostalgia would've been the perfect selling point of the film had it been executed decently, but that didn't happen. The script was incredibly bland, the jokes were non-existent, the screenplay was dull, there was no context to the premise, and the characters, for the most part, were annoying. Josh Gad, in particular, was loud and irritating. Visually, the film looked crisp and colorful, but that's about it. Pixels was your typical Adam Sandler comedy that's garbage, but with a bigger budget. 3

DAM NATION: September 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 Pon De Replay Rihanna
2 If You're Not The One Daniel Bedingfield
3 Semi-Charmed Life Third Eye Blind
4 The Scientist Coldplay
5 Miss Independent Kelly Clarkson
6 Hanging By A Moment Lifehouse
7 So Sick Ne-Yo
8 Leave (Get Out) JoJo
9 1 Thing Amerie
10 Private Emotions Ricky Martin (ft. Meja)
11 Never Leave You Lumidee
12 When It Was Me Paula DeAnda
13 My Immortal Evanescence
14 Somewhere Only We Know Keane
15 In The End Linkin Park

Password: The score given by DAM NATION to Hitman: Agent 47.
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