Monday, June 30, 2014

Owl City- Ultraviolet EP REVIEW

What better time to write this review than night time? It's Owl City for crying out loud!

The sky is dark, the night is lovely, the stars are mesmerizing and you're all alone in front of your desktop. Let's take a few moments and listen to Adam young's infamous solo project- Owl City. Tonight, we venture with Adam's journal about the beauty in loneliness with his new 4-track EP, Ultraviolet. 

Now keep in mind that I am not an Owl City aficionado. I have not heard any of his materials before Ocean Eyes, and I have only heard a few songs from that record. I wasn't a fan of All Things Bright And Beautiful but I did like the first single, Alligator Sky. I have heard The Midsummer Station in its entire, but I feel like it's not the definitive Owl City experience. 

The EP is only composed of 4-tracks so it will be a short ride. But will it be a memorable and cherish-able one? LEt's find out as we begin our journey into Ultraviolet. 

The first track Beautiful Times (ft. Lindsey Stirling) is easily the most lyrically optimistic of the record. Sure it also has very sad elements to it like the rest of the record, but it was the composition, the relatable and beautiful lyrics, the lovely synths and graceful violin track from Lindsey Sterling is what made this song stand out. You can almost imagine Lindsey dancing around Adam gracefully, playing her violin while Adam is playing his keyboard in the middle of a star-y night.

Up All Night is like an homage to his older works but with a much more upbeat sound to them. The rhythm is catchy and you can easily hum to this song even without knowing what the song is about. Lyrically, this might be the most straightforward song next to the consecutive track. 

This Isn't The End features a sort of storytelling that starts of really depressing and ends with a little bit hope for the listeners that was touched by the lyrics. The fluidity of this specific track is flawless. Compared to the other songs, this is the one that is more stripped-down from the synths and is very piano centered.

The closing track of this record, Wolf Bite, is easily the most upbeat song of the record. With imaginative lyrics and an electro-pop beat, making this song the most dance-y out of the bunch. This song is the best way to end this record, on a high and happy note. 

Ultraviolet is no doubt an homage of Owl City's previous records. Imagine, it's like all of his previous records mashed into four songs. The fun part is that it feels like there aren't any filler songs, just four greatly composed and produced songs. This is like the essential Owl City for the new listeners, and a must-have for the fans. 

Track-by-track  thoughts:
  1. Beautiful Times (ft. Lindsey Stirling) - beautiful.
  2. Up All Night - dreamy.
  3. This Isn't The End - hopeful. 
  4. Wolf Bite - bubbly.

When you go to sleep, think of these songs.You will not regret it. 

Score: A

Owl City- Ultraviolet available now.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

How NOT To Hate "Transformers: Age of Extinction"

Promise, you won't die trying. 

Not like Optimus here.

So the latest Transformers movie Age Of Extinction  is out for awhile now. Fans of the film franchise has at least found enjoyment from the flick, the others, not so much. And here you are, you haven't seen the movie, you don't know if you want to see the movie. But your friends is calling you on your phone right now, check it. What does it say? DUDE (or girl) let's see the new Transformers movie! Wow, someone who wants to see a movie with you, and for that, some who calls you. A family member, a friend, your girlfriend/boyfriend, your family, your kid(s) or even maybe your boss who has a weird taste of movies and wants to bang you wants to see Transformers: Age Of Extinction with you. You haven't seen the movie  by now, probably because..

  1. You don't like these Transformers movies
  2. All the negative reviews restrain you from seeing the movie
  3. You do want to see the movie, but you don't have time to do so. Or..
  4. You're too broke to see a movie. 
Which ever of those is your reason, you're here to see a movie to be entertained, but with seeing this movie that is uncertain. You're unsure whether you'll like this movie or not. But you don't want your partner to be disappointed and made them feel their efforts unappreciated because they brought you to see a bad movie. So you'll want to like this movie and fight the urge to hate it. I hated this movie, fans of the film hated me because I hated the movie. But let it be me, the amateur blogger that gave this movie a D score, help you like this movie. Together, we will explore the ways of..

How NOT To Hate "Transformers: Age Of Extinction"

Now you might think this is like a very comedic blog, like I'm to pull off an Honest Trailers  on you. No, I'm being serious, I am definitely trying to help you. So without further ado, here we go.. 

Erase all memories of the first three films!

Erase all of them! That means there should be a giant X here.

Many have complained that this movie is practically a carbon copy of the first three, and by many I mean many. It's true, I saw it myself. But you might feel lucky if you haven't seen the first three, or you have but you couldn't remember them. You'll actually find the unnecessary humor necessary, it's like hearing the joker for the first time. You wouldn't mind that the fight scenes are restless, because this is your first time seeing one. You wouldn't find Mark Wahlberg's character's daughter a clone of Sam Witwicky's blonde girlfriend from the third film. In fact, you might actually care about the new batch of Autobots.

Be Creative!

If you don't what this is, you're lucky.

So you might find the fight scenes exhausting, the dialogues so stupid, T.J. Miller looks so stupid. Simple, just be creative. You find Mark Wahlberg's voice funny? dub his dialogue with your's, come up with something more interesting than what they're saying. You see his character's daughter looking so typical-slutty-Bayfied-girl, actually take time to appreciate her.

Remember her?

This is her now.

Everyone hated her on The Last Airbender as Katara, maybe it's time to give her credit that she finally bloomed as person and as an actress. While her acting isn't so good in this film, it's not as bad from her film with M. Night Shawarma. 

The Crusade

Now this one isn't originally mine, but it came from YouTuber Jeremy Jahn's review of the film, which you can check out below. His wisdom of words are as follow.

"..this is Michael Bay's mission in life, just to show people that they can get bored watching things blow up. Maybe he's this crusader, he's like I wanna make be a good filmmaker but people really just run after BS just because of this visual effects. so i'm gonna make a visual effects orgy of garbage so people can be like, Hey! maybe I don't like that. Michael bay's a crusader, he's doing it for better films.."

At the end of the day, it will always be your choice. If you've seen the movie and you hate it, it's okay. Be honest with your partner, but don't be so rude to him/her. After all, they made this effort to hangout with you. Maybe write a bad review about it one the net, and leave it as it is. Don't let it get to your head, don't let it ruin your day. If you however, did like this movie even without hesitating to hate it, then it's good for as well. Don't mind what other people think, if you feel that reading other people's critique of the film will unleash your inner fanboy/girl and put yourself on the rage cage. If you think you can, handle it with class. You can comment you disagree with a review, but don't be an ass. don;t let your emotions get the best of you, be reasonable to yourself and to others. Make this decision if you'll want to see the movie, if you don't want to see the movie, if you'll want to see it again or not and stand by that decision. If you see someone being a dick because of his/her hatred to the film, show him what's class and be the better person. at the end of the day.. 

it's just a movie and it will not hurt you. 

If you have any other ideas to how to hate this movvie less, let me know at the comment section below.

Transformers: Age Of Extinction now in theaters. 

Check my review of the film HERE

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Check Jeremy Jahns' review of the film HERE

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Linkin Park - The Hunting Party ALBUM REVIEW

" I give you what you came for
This is not the same flow
Got a different method
But I still can bring the pain so "

Take a few moments and read vocalist Mike Shinoda's rap verse from the opening song Keys To The Kingdom above, because if there's anyway to describe what the Cali based rap-rock group Linkin Park has to offer in their six full length record The Hunting Party, is perfectly summed up in that verse. We'll get to that specific song later, let's talk about the album in its entire first. 

For some fans, this record might be a dream come true. The band gears up their DeLorean time machine, feeds it with all the trash they got from the nay-sayers, preps their flux capacitor and literally goes back in time to take notes from influential acts like Motorhead, Helmet, Eric B. & Rakim, Anthrax and almost every other acts that inspired Nu metal to make a not so Nu metal record, but something close. But it's okay, because in a way the record is not aiming to be a Nu metal record by any means, but rather the record is some sort of a diary about the band's journey of refining old school rock music. 

The opening track Keys To The Kingdom doesn't takes it time to slow down and introduce the record smoothly, the song is just firing missiles in every direction. That energy continues on with All For Nothing (ft. Page Hamilton of Helmet) and the album's lead single Guilty All The Same (ft. Rakim). Both songs have different structure to them which makes them both unique and identical in some way, but they are songs that could make the crowd go crazy like it was 1999. The Summoning/War is a song though that is kind of hard to swallow, especially if you didn't get the punk influence that the song offers. By the second half of the album it is undeniable that some of that high energy from the first half ran dry. Wastelands and Until It's Gone both are good songs, but both felt like the play-safe of the record. Drawbar (ft. Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine) maybe the biggest surprise of the album, because if you're expecting Linkin Park/Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave going all out wrecking your house, this is not that song. It's more a soft piano instrumental track, but a good one though, makes you feel relaxed after all the boom-bastic noises we've heard before. Final Masquerade, is undeniably one of the most saddest Linkin Park songs of late, it's just that great it makes you feel sad. The closing track A Line In The Sand, I honestly have mixed feeling to it. It's like it's both a tribute track to the previous songs of the record and just a rehash of recent ideas because they're simply running out of it.

The band themselves pushed their limits to show everybody that they are still capable of pulling such amazing feats. Lead vocalist Chester Bennington still has that amazing vocal range, even though with age he sounds like he could use a glass of water badly. Mike Shinoda's verses are all relevant, both singing and rapping. He's rap verses are maybe few but it made him look like an underdog claiming victory from the big players, but he sings like a less-intimidating puppy. Guitarist Brad Delson and drummer Rob Bourdon are the members the felt like they've pushed their limits and channel their inner angst-y teenagers to bring out the fire of this record. Bassist Dave Farrell and DJ Joe Hahn are the ones that felt like they were left out in the background though, but their functionality still brings more fire power to the record. 

The Hunting Party may not be the Hybrid Theory III or Meteora 2.0 some fans were expecting. It's not a perfect record, but in terms of fluidity it is flawless. This is definitely the rock record every Linkin Park fan and regular head-bangers deserve.

Track by track thoughts:

  1. KEYS TO THE KINGDOM - bring on the pain, brotha!
  2. ALL FOR NOTHING (ft. Page Hamilton) - you know what would make this song more awesome? crowd vocals. Ya'know? like the ones from Thirty Seconds To Mars.
  3. GUILTY ALL THE SAME (ft. Rakim) -  hit me with the double peds Rob. Just don't break your back again.
  4. THE SUMMONING - Err, okay. I guess?
  5. WAR - Is Chester calling out the astral beast? 
  6. WASTELANDS - a bit generic, don't you think?
  7. UNTIL IT'S GONE - play-safe, next. 
  8. REBELLION (ft. Daron Malakian) - where's my crowd vocals with Serj Tankian? That would have been cool 
  9. MARK THE GRAVES - the filler song
  10. DRAWBAR (ft. Tom Morello) - Yeah, I could use some slow instrumental
  12. A LINE IN THE SAND - you're running out of ideas, aren't you? 

Score: A

Linkin Park's The Hunting Party available now. 

The Raid 2 MOVIE REVIEW - Thug Power!

Same Game. Same Rules. Bigger Maze.

The Raid showed us that being trapped in an apartment filled with some of the city's worst criminals is a living nightmare. The Raid 2 showed us that taking down the corruption of the city is just the same as being trapped  in an apartment filled with some of the city's worst criminals.

With a bigger budget, Director Gareth Evans didn't hesitate to go bigger and bolder. After the incidents that takes place during the first film, the rookie SWAT member Rama (Iko Uwais) was offered a job to go undercover and infiltrate a local crime family who is connected tot he people who own the apartment from the first film.

The story isn't as simple and straight forward as the first film. The film had a relative amount of sub plots and thankfully MOST of them blended greatly together. The film had a good amount of suspense in it as well. The drama is actually relatable this time around, you do care for what characters do feel, at least the characters that the film wants you to care about. 

Iko Uwais' Rama is just as badass as you remember him, it almost felt like not only he improved as a martial artist but as an actor as well. He did a decent job having the audience get invested with his character. Him and Evans made sympathize with the character when he's going through tough times, but they also made us cheer for him when he's getting the upper hand or when finally life sheds a light on him even for just a little while. But we really do cheer for him when he does what he does best, beat the living lights out of people, well bad people that is.

The second best actor of this film is undeniably Arifin Putra, who plays the character Uco. Here, he is the only son of a major crime lord and he's doing his best to impress his father of giving him the empire. Even though his goals are the opposite of Rama's, we all just want to give this guy a hug, even if he wouldn't appreciate it. Again, props to Evans and Arifin for making us easily connected to the character.  

Now the fight scenes, oh boy. Those fight scenes are in no way sugar coated like some people thought it would be, for some reason. If there is ONE REASON we all went to see this movie, is because of the fight scenes. And those fight scenes are...


The prison fight scenes? Radical. The introduction of the assassins? Fearsome. The car-chase scene? Mind-blowing. Every fight scenes in between? Overwhelming. The final fight scene, which is what I call "The Raid" scene? Breathtaking. My words are not enough to praise these fight scenes, just see the movie yourself. Props to the film makers and the fight choreographers. 

My only real gripe about this film is a specific sub plot that to me didn't matter at all. This one involves Yayan Ruhian's Prakoso, an assassin who wanders in the streets. His plot point didn't matter at all and the fact that he was played by the same guy who played Mad Dog from the first movie and that Mad Dog and Prakoso had no relation whatsoever, made this casting choice just seem odd and the character pointless. That and the fact that this movie ended, even though it's two-hours long. Though it did end perfectly. 

It is very rare when an Indonesian martial arts film takes most of Hollywood's present action-flicks to shame. But The Raid 2 takes everything to the next level, it made The Expendables 3  look like a joke even though the latter film isn't even out yet. 



Bigger scenario

Better story

Surprisingly better acting


Is that Mad Dog?

No, I'm not yet done with you movie!

Score: A-

The Raid 2 now in theaters.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Transformers: Age Of Extinction MOVIE REVIEW

Enough is enough!

The day comes when a nostalgic franchise is rebooted to the big screen with a specific film so promising, the studio just milks it out with disastrous and lackluster sequels. After Dark Of The Moon, I was pretty sure that we all deserve a break from Bay's Transformers franchise and we did, about 3 years. we were all convinced enough is enough. Their say? Screw everyone who thinks so! let's make another Transformers movie almost no one ever wanted and very little cared about. And who's dumb enough to see it after all the hate? ME and every other Crtic-wannabe like me out there who are curious about this film.

Going to this film, I wasn't expecting anything groundbreaking by Transformers standards. I knew exactly what i was going to see; human characters that I'll never care about, a story so big and so dumb, robots fight to the death and explosions, explosions, Explosions, EXPLOSIONS, EXPLOSIONS. Oh, and unnecessary humor too. Well, this movie gave me all of them and TOO MUCH of them. 

The films has several different plot points:

Mark Whalberg's Cade Yeager, a single father and struggling inventor trying his best to give a better life for his daughter Tessa, played by Nicola Pelts, who is secretly having an affair with race car driver Shane Dyson, played by Jack reynor. Doing so, he accidentally discovers a wounded Optimus Prime and thus brings us to..

Optimus Prime reuniting the remaining Autobots; Bumblebee, Hound (John Goodman),
Crosshairs (John DiMaggio) and Drift (Ken Watanabe). Together with the humans they must stop a new villain arising in the form of..

Lockdown (Mark Ryan), a rouge Decepticon bounty hunter and the most promising villain of the franchise. Who has teamed-up with a paranoid government official Harold Attinger. Together, they hunt down the remainin Transformers in our planet and held them responsible for the events that occurred in Dark Of The Moon which basically destroyed Chicago. But they also got some big help from..

The business tycoon Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) and his technological firm Kinetic Sciences Institute (KSI). Who is working to revolutionize technology by making man-made Transformers. Which includes Galvatron (Frank Welker), which carries fragments of Megatron's mind, leader of the Decepticons. 

That's four different plot points and I'm not going to give out the fifth, yes there is a fifth sub plot. That sounds way too many for just one film to handle, and yes it is too many. The film had so many human characters that we all never cared about and yet we see most of the film's perspective through their eyes. Which is bummer 'cause WE JUST DON'T CARE ABOUT THEM. Marky Mark may have been the best actor of this movie, but even his performance can't cover up his co-stars flat acting abilities. 

But when the film delivers us the action, they GIVE us the action. BUT, there's just too many of them. Five Autobots and how many Transformers are with Lockdown and Galvatron? I can't even remember and i lost count, because there's just TOO MANY OF THEM. Might sound sweet, that means more robots fighting to the death, no it's not. It's exhausting and it's like the Energizer Bunny of summer action flicks, it doesn't want to stop when it needed to stop. You can simply watch the fight scenes cut into different parts when someone uploads it on YouTube and you wouldn't care what the story is about. Just don't watch them all at the same time, you might not believe all of them came from the same movie. 

Overall, the film just felt it dragged when it shouldn't be. It's really hard to be entertained with something that just goes way too fast and cram up everything to your face witha  movie that felt like it was more than two-hours long. Was it better than the first Transformer  movie? That depends, but maybe not for me. How about Revenge Of The Fallen? Yes it is better than that crap-fest. This film feels a lot like Dark Of The Moon, it's way too long with way too much things to tackle. It's either they didn't manage their time or they couldn't decide which plot point is a better story to tell.

This movie is completely unnecessary and I still stand by my statement about the film, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. 

Cool looking action
Lockdown's the most promising villain of this franchise

Way too long
Way too much
Just stop, please. 

Score: D

See Transformers: Age Of Extinction in theaters June 27.

Monday, June 2, 2014

"X-Men: Days Of Future Past" MOVIE REVIEW

After being busy for the past couple of weeks, I have finally seen X-Men: Days Of Future Past. The film's been out for awhile, and waves of positive reviews has already hit the web. The question is, what else is there for me to say? Well, let's find out, shall we.. 

Days Of Future Past is the glue to every X-Men movie out there. From the (very) best to the (very) worst of the franchise, the film's main purpose is to re-write its history intending to keep the good parts and taking away the terrible ones, no matter what the cost is. 

Out of all the X-Men movies, Days Of Future Past puts its focus on every aspect of the story and every essential characters of the film. Making it more plot and character driven, as opposed to being an extravagant fireworks display. Don't worry, the movie has a solid story to tell, a pretty compelling one. But you'll have to be patient enough to sit through that till the next fight scene/action sequence. 

The best characters in this movie (in my opinion), is hands down 70's Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and 70's Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender). Whatever chemistry they had way back in X-Men: First Class that got you invested with these two characters even more than their present day counterparts, it's all back. Not saying Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen didn't did good in their parts, because they did, but the former two are just undeniably better.

Now for the million-dollar-question, is Days of Future Past still Wolverine-Club-House? well, yes it kind of still is. But you just can't deny that Hugh Jackman is still doing a great job as The Wolverine. Too bad you don't get to see him much in action though. Jennifer Lawrence does a very good job of portraying a more mature and driven Mystique, making her far more than just the blue-chick with hot legs from the previous X-Men movies. The biggest surprise of this movie is easily Quicksilver. Whatever bad things i've said to him, I take it back. Honest, you'll just have to see the film to find it out yourselves. 

Some old faces are back, including new ones as well. But most of them are under used as characters. Which in truth, they are more like expendable mutants, what I call The X-pendables. Seriously, some of them are just there to be there and the others are just there to die. You know Sunspot? yeah the guy that got ****** up by Sentinels, yeah that's him. What an introduction to the silver screen. 

The main complain one can find about this movie is that there isn't much action scenes in it, and from the story's perspective it's pretty understandable why. 

The Sentinels, is as of today, the most dangerous villain(s) of the franchise. From head to toe, their soul purpose is to destroy mutants, and even humans that are destined to create mutants. With the set of powers they have, it's only logical to run in the opposite direction when one is approaching you. To win this war you don't fight the Sentinels, you run and think of something, which is what this movie does. Even if you hate them for killing The X-pendables, you just can't resist of liking them, because they are pretty good on what they are made to do. 

The movie did have a great story to tell, the only thing that pulled me out of the experience is the continuity errors. Too many unanswered questions with too many more questions to come that you'll hope be answered in the sequel. 

This film has a lot of nods to the previous films. Also the original score from X2: X-Men United  is back, hanks John Ottman! The special effects are look pretty good as well, though not sure if watching this in 3D will add the experience. 

X-Men: Days Of Future Past differs itself from any other comic book movies of this year. With a compelling story, great characters and a few but breathtaking fight scenes, this is easily the BEST X-Men movie to date.

(+) X-ceptional story with (+) X-cellent ensemble cast, but has some 

(-) pretty bad continuity errors

(+) X-travagant action, but (-) very few of them

Blanced with (+) X-traordinarily great characters, and (-) The X-pendables.


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