Sunday, January 22, 2012

Movie Review: Journey 2 - The Mysterious Island

I loved Journey to the Center of the Earth when it was released back in 2008. It was one of the first movie that utilises 3D technology back then. It was definitely a fun movie to watch in 3D. And I'm a fan of Brendan Fraser since the Mummy movies. He manage to be both an action and comedic hero. Ever since the first Journey hit $100 million at the box office, I was hoping they'd come out with a sequel. I followed every development of the sequel since then. And it's finally here! We Malaysian even get it a month ahead of the US release. Read my review after the break...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Best of the Unreleased - End of the World by Blake Lewis

Blake Lewis was the runner-up in the 6th season of American Idol. He's the one that loves to beatbox in his performances. Didn't really watch that season but I started to notice his music when he released his 1st single, 'Break Anotha' and then 'How Many Words' which I liked a lot. It's sort of a 90's club ballad. I bought his album, 'ADD: Audio Day Dream' after seeing it on sale at HMV last year and found a number of songs I like. One of them is 'End of the World'


The song is about the hope of finding love even if that happens at the end of the world. I find it inspiring especially for those that finds it hard to find love. No matter what, if it's meant to be, love will find its way. It has that 80's romance movie kind of theme. The song could have been a fitting soundtrack to 'Some Kind of Wonderful' if anyone remembered that movie. Hope you like it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Album Review - Whatever by Hot Chelle Rae

I'm excited for this review. Why? Simply because I just wanna spread the word how good this album is! When Hot Chelle Rae first came out mainstream with 'Tonight Tonight', I thought they were gonna be a one hit wonder artist. Took them a while to get this out due to their original record company, Jive closing and moving all artists to RCA. Their album was finally released last November and it was worth the wait!


'Tonight Tonight' was the first single released from the album, peaking at no. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. A fun party song perfect for the summer. This was later followed by the 2nd single, 'I Like It Like That'. It's in the same vein as 'Tonight Tonight' but its high pitched chorus just makes me wanna jump up n down even more. Haha. There's absolutely no bad song in this set. Enjoyed every single one of them. 'Honestly' is a great follow up to the first 2 songs as it tones the sound a bit but still keeps the momentum going. 'Keep You With Me' and 'The Only One' are up-tempo ballads that fits well in the album. 'Radio' and 'Whatever' brought back the momentum in the middle of the album. 'Forever Unstoppable' is sort of an inspirational song about overcoming obstacle and believing that anything's possible. The one song that's different from the rest is I think 'Why Don't You Love Me' as it slightly moved towards a bit of rock ballad. It features Demi Lovato. Nevertheless it was still a great song to listen to. On my initial listen to 'Downtown Girl', I felt it sounded a bit like Pink's 'Raise Your Glass'. Though I've grown to like this even more. 'Beautiful Freaks' is a bit closer to their previous sound. Preview each songs in the embedded soundcloud widget below.

Hot Chelle Rae 'Whatever' Album Sampler by matheuspietroski

The sound on this album is like a mix of Smash Mouth and All-American Rejects but heavy on the pop. I actually didn't expect them to have a pop album with their initial image. I thought 'Tonight Tonight' would just be used to entice listeners to buy a somewhat mediocre album but my guesses were wrong. It has high replay value. Been listening to the whole album over and over again since I bought it. Your first impression might say all the songs sound the same but with more listen you definitely can tell the difference. It's a fun party album to bring your mood up and make you jump. It's hard to find an album where you like all of the songs so I definitely would recommend you listen to it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What R U Watchin'? - Happy Endings!

There's so many great TV shows nowadays that you can't keep up! I used to like to watch dramas a lot back when I was studying. Smallville, Everwood, the CSI series etc. But now I get bored easily and enjoy comedy more. There's no denying Modern Family is one of the most funniest new shows right now. It's hilarious! This show also makes me laugh hard. It reminded me of Friends a little bit, but crazier.


Happy Endings tell the story of 6 friends living in Chicago (I think) surviving the every day challenges of life. There's Alex (Elisha Cuthbert, '24') and Dave (Zachary Knighton, 'FlashForward'), best friends who were suppose to get married but didn't when Alex ran out on her at the altar after having second thoughts. After a while, Alex returns so they have to learn to live with what happened if they still want to hang out with their other friends. There's Jane (Eliza Coupe, 'Scrubs'), Alex's sister, who kinda has OCD and likes to be in control, who married to Brad (Damon Wayans Jr., 'Dance Flick'), who seems weirdly gay but straight. The one who's really gay is Max (), who's also a lazy slob. Lastly there's Penny (Casey Wilson, 'SNL'), who's desperately seeking love hoping not to end up a spinster. Here's a clip from the first episode of Season 2.


The series started OK with the first episode but was unstable with the comedy throughout the first season. The 2nd season really made me love the show. The casts have great chemistry together and you could really feel like they were best friends. The show's not really blowing up the ratings although it airs right after Modern Family but luckily it has enough viewers to get a pick up. I hope it just gets better from here on. You guys should really check it out!

Official Site: http://abc.go.com/shows/happy-endings

Friday, January 13, 2012

Best of the Unreleased - I'm Still Breathing by Katy Perry

I love Katy Perry! Haha... I have to admit I was captivated by her big round eyes when I first saw her. But of course, there's also the music. She just makes great pop song and her voice just suits the type of tracks she sings. Teenage Dream might've been her best album (very very high replay value) but she also had great songs in her debut that are worth listening to. One of them that I've recently been listening to is the other ballad in that album, I'm Still Breathing.


The meaning behind the song though can be interpreted to 2 things. It's about the relationship not going so well so either she's alluding her other half that they should just break up or she wants to end her life due to the lyrics about preparing for her funeral. Either way, I think it's smart for not being straight-forward. Hope you guys like it!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Most anticipated games of 2012

2011 brought me Arkham City, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Gears of War 3 and I got Kinect! It's only the beginning of the year and we already know a lot of big titles coming out this year. I can't wait! Here I count down my 3 most anticipated video games coming to the Xbox 360 (and other consoles).


Mass Effect 3
Pre-ordered mine already! I just love sci-fi games. The human vs aliens genre gets me every time. Played the first 2 and I loved it. I think this is like the only RPG I've ever played til the end. This time they said they've improved the combat system. I hope the improvement is making it feels more like a proper shooter. I felt that the combat in the previous 2 games were a bit unstable. There's also co-op support so I hope this could my friends to get the game as well. Those countries where Kinect voice recognition is supported can now use voice to select the desired dialogue. It's coming out March 6th.


BioShock Infinite
When I tried out the demo for the first BioShock I was freakin' scared. The soundtrack was so haunting that I was afraid that something would jump out from every corner. When those dead zombies (forgot what they're called) suddenly rushes to you, I scrambled to figure out which ADAM to switch to. The sequel wasn't really engaging. The main story already ended with the first that there was no way to continue it so they made a prequel story. I didn't even finish playing it. This new one will feature a whole new back story and a more brighter environment. From the trailer, it looks to have you swinging between lands floating in the sky. Comes out later in the year.


Halo 4
Of course! The game that made me addicted to the Xbox is continuing! No report on what the story will be about. A continuation to what happened to Master Chief would be nice since I was a bit sad he didn't make it back home. Tentatively releasing in the 4th quarter of the year. Definitely pre-ordering.


Honorable mentions: GTA V (Never played GTA so I might start with this one), Prey 2 (Played the first but it's been so long I forgot how it goes), Kinect Games (no news on any yet) and Assassin's Creed 3 (Given Ubisoft intends to release an AC game every year, this is possibly happening. If true, definitely getting it)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Introducing the new Nokia Lumia 900

The CES started this week with lots of new gadget announcements. Phones, PCs, TVs you name it. Of course the most I'm excited about is a new Windows Phone! And it's by Nokia! I've always loved the old Nokia phones for their maps (their GPS is the best!), hardware and the abundance of settings features. But of course, their UI could've been snappier. I also love Microsoft! Original XBOX and XBOX360 made me start rooting for them. When they announced their new mobile OS, Windows Phone, I was excited. The UI is so smooth and definitely something new. I just wished more people took notice.



Now that Nokia & Microsoft are in an agreement to create Nokia phones with Windows Phone, I'm hoping for more exposure. The first phones announced were not that impressive, Lumia 800, a somewhat rushed job to get a Windows Phone out by the holidays (However their marketing campaign everywhere was awesome!) and the Lumia 710, which is more of a cheaper alternative. The newly announced Lumia 900 does take a bit the 800 but with much more added features. I think the N9 design got a lot of good feedback so they decided to stick with what's working for them and pack it with more punch. Here's an intro video by Nokia Conversations.


Here are the specs of the Lumia 900:
Networks: GSM/EGSM 850/900/1800/1900, WCDMA 850/1900/2100, LTE Band 4 (1700/2100) & 17 (700)
OS: Windows Phone Release 7.5 – Mango Commercial Release 2 (Mango + LTE)
Memory: 512MB RAM
Storage: 16 GB internal memory (14.5GB user memory) + SkyDrive cloud storage
Volume: 90cc
Weight: 160g (5.6 ounces)
Dimensions: (max): 127.8 x 68.5 x 11.5 mm (5 x 2.7 x .45 inches)
A-GPS
Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
USB 2.0 high-speed
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
3mm headset connector

From what I've read and seen, I can say that it's on par with the Samsung Focus S phone. Focus S has a slimmer set. Similar features. Compared with the HTC Titan, Titan packs a bigger screen at 4.7". To put it easy, it's one of the full-featured Windows Phone. Unless there are newer phones from Nokia coming out by Q2 this year, I just might be getting it (need a good GPS)! No announcement on when it's gonna be released here let alone in the US so expect to wait a while.

Read more about it here: Nokia Conversations Blog

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Best of the Unreleased - Resolution by Nick Lachey

Sometimes it's a shame when good music comes out but not many gets to listen to it. I thought I'd write about music that were not released commercially as singles but should have been. Since new year's just went by, this would be an appropriate recommendation. Resolution by Nick Lachey.


This was taken from his 2nd album, What's Left of Me. It was suppose to be his 3rd single off the album but they cancelled it. Personally I think this was much better than his other songs. Simple and stripped down. I hope you guys like it!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Album Review - Battleground by The Wanted

Ever since I went to the UK in 2010, I'm back to loving music from the UK. Over there, X-Factor, Boy/Girl Bands and Pop still reign supreme. One of the acts I started listening to was The Wanted. I loved their first album! Now they're back with their sophomore set, Battleground.


I loved their first single off the album, Gold Forever. It was an uplifting song that reminds us to cherish every moment in life. It was almost trying to be like All Time Low but a little mellower. Their BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge acoustic version of it was even better (watch it below)! When they released 'Glad You Came', I wasn't a fan at first. It wasn't really their sound to do dance music. I guess that's the 'in' thing now. It grew on me but gets boring quickly. But it turned out to be their biggest hit yet! Lightning was about the same but with a better hook I would say. Their current single Warzone is my favourite of those 4. My favourite part was actually the haunting 'ooo' bridge between the 2nd and last chorus. Haha.. Reminded me of Justin Timberlake's 'Cry Me A River'.


There are more tracks in the set that are single-worthy as well. I read they're releasing 'Invincible' as the next single. A sort of dance ballad about teenagers partying...I think. Weird lyrics about drinking, principals etc but I like the hook. But my favourite tracks of them all are Last To Know and Rocket. The drum beats in Last To Know got me hooked. Reminds me of Ryan Tedder with his big ballads for Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson. I do have a problem understanding the lyrics though. I don't understand if it's about breaking up or making up. Haha. Either way, I think it's a great track. They should go more in this direction. A kinda rock boyband. Rocket, written by Dianne Warren, is an inspirational song about wanting to soar high in the sky... I like that kind of message in a song. This would make a great X-Factor winner's song I think. I can imagine it. Haha.

I don't quite like the other tracks. Maybe it hasn't got me hooked. They just seemed like fillers. Or more like experimental tracks for the guys to hone their writing skills (they wrote a few tracks!). Felt that some didn't have good hooks (like I'll Be Your Strength and The Weekend). But then, this was the same case when I heard their first album. Only enjoyed up to like track 4 on first few listen. I started to like the other songs after a good few times of listening. Sometimes there are songs where you really need to take time to love it.

Bottom line, the album has enough blend of pop, dance and a bit of rock. They are not trying to be Backstreet Boys or 'NSYNC and I think some of the tracks are perfect for them. Identifies what sort of artists they are. Definitely should give it a listen!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Movie Review - Jack & Jill

Yeah I wanna blog again, but I forgot to decide what I want to write about. Hehe. Oh well... I watched Jack & Jill on the new year weekend so maybe I'll try to write my review on it. If you're looking for simply a funny movie to watch, why not give it a try...


Now I'm sometimes influenced by Rotten Tomatoes' tomatometer when deciding to watch a show, but since MI4 sold out, this seemed like a proper alternative to bring my parents to watch. Only like 5% of positive reviews. Boy was I worried...

Adam Sandler plays twins where Jack turned out to have the better life than the sad and lonely Jill. It's Thanksgiving and Jill is visiting...or so they thought. Jill extended her stay and Jack now has to live with the embarassments Jill brings to his life. Simple premise.

My verdict...I actually enjoyed it! It's what you'd expect from an Adam Sandler movie. A funny family movie with actually a good message. Jill is of course the star of the show. The others are just to support the story. There's definitely lots of laughs in it. By the end of the show, Jill is the one you'd feel sorry for. I guess when you watch a movie with low expectations, it doesn't turn out to be as bad as you'd expect it to be. So enjoy!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! ...it's gonna be the best year yet!

New year's resolution no. 1 - blog again... After an eventful 2010, 2011 was a bore in comparison. The year passed by just like that and i think i didn't really do much with my life. Let's compare...

2010
1. Visited 4 different places - New York, Singapore, Sydney and London!
2. Had kidney stone - It was a life experience I'll never forget.
3. Moved into my own place!

2011
1. Got a promotion!
2. The last project was over - Made great friends along the way but lost them when it was all over. Miss u guys!
3. No projects for 4 months!! - this got me worried, so not a good thing.

Here's to hoping 2012 bring me more excitement & meaning to my life...and everyone else as well. I'm gonna have to start listing out what resolution I aim to fulfil but gotta keep it to myself cuz I know when you tell people about it, it will never happen!

This is my theme song for the new year... Happy New Year!!!!