The Fan Appeal of Jared Leto

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Credited to fanpop.com

Jared Leto, the man known as a mash-up of an actor and a singer. A man who is good looking, and excels in both areas equally. He isn’t exactly new as he’s in the game for quite some time now and has a few respectable releases, both in music and movies. His works that have given him public recognition are the 90s TV series My So-Called Life, movies such as Requiem for a Dream, Panic Room, American Psycho, and as frontman for the platinum-selling band, 30 Seconds to Mars. Other than that, he’s also known for his interesting dating life with past flames ranging from actresses Cameron Diaz and Scarlett Johansson.

But it is his recent role in Dallas Buyers Club that’s been getting him a whole new kind of attention lately. For one thing, the role marked his onscreen comeback after six years away promoting and touring with 30 Seconds to Mars. Jared did it big, playing the role of Rayon, a transgender in the film and was rewarded with multiple nominations during this year’s awards season. Awards season in Hollywood, as everyone knows, is when all the actors and musicians get together earlier in the year, mostly earlier with exceptions, some are held mid-year or end of the year (majority earlier). They then get rewarded with awards given out by the press, fans or industry peers on a job well done on whatever it is that they were working on previously that warranted an award nomination in the first place.

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Credited to mtvnimages.com

So anyway, Jared Leto gets nominated this year for his Rayon portrayal and only now do people realise that all this while Jared Leto is actually a damn, good actor. However, this truth has been known to many for quite some time now, the guy just never had the opportunity to show off his acting chops off. Without a doubt, he was in some good flicks in the past, it was just that it was in a few obscure movies and some duds (Alexander anyone?). There were roles such as Chapter 27 where he gained weight to play John Lennon’s killer. Committed to his role? Absolutely. Committed to his music? That too as seen by the dedication to his band with him writing and composing the music. And not to mention him directing and conceptualising the band’s music videos under the name of Bartholomew Cubbins, among them the songs “From Yesterday” and “A Beautiful Lie”.

Jared is indeed a talented fellow. The fact that he won The Best Supporting Oscar for a Supporting Actor, things are really changing for the better. Having that and ‘Academy Award Winner’ tagline next to his name, it would really bring him the respect needed to further cement his status as a true star. After all, we’ve all given him the respect that he needs all this while. In public, he is seen as a true gentleman, always respectful and polite. He is seen as humble and grateful for the success that he’s had, either when at an awards show or a 30 Seconds to Mars concert. Having seen him perform live at a 30 Seconds to Mars performance, I deduce that Jared seems kind and respectful to his fans. He seemed to enjoy performing wherever he is and is sensitive to his surroundings. Of course, one can argue that it is all a public image and the likes but his conduct tells otherwise.

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Credited to cdnds.net

The public is aware that Jared is supposedly single so the fact that he brought his mother and brother cum band mate Shannon is just touching. Him dedicating a part of his Oscars acceptance speech to his mother just makes him the absolute loyal son. It is a known fact that he acknowledged that he was raised in a single-parent family.  It seems that his mother did well in raising him.

So beyond the glitz and glamour, the rumours linking him to everybody from Lupita Nyong’o and Miley Cyrus, let’s just openly acknowledge this: That Jared Leto is first of all, is an artiste beyond the labels of musician and actor. He is a creative being and letting him be an artiste is the only way we can all enjoy the display of his artistic talents.

Jared will only go on to do bigger and better things. His latest project is a joint tour with the band Linkin Park so it looks like he’ll be focused on the music for a while. As for potential film projects, it might be a while before we see him on the big screen again. Whatever future projects that Jared Leto gets himself involved in, it’ll surely be worth the wait.

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Disney’s Frozen: Warms Hearts

Frozen TitleCredited to http://24.media.tumblr.com

Disney, the mega-juggernaut entertainment company has unleashed their latest animated movie, Frozen. This is their 53rd animated feature stretching back from the very first Disney animated movie release, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves way back in 1937. An impressive feat considering the 67 year age gap, with 53 animated films not counting all the Disney cartoons made prior or after the release of Snow White.

As an avid Disney fan and growing up on a staple of Disney animated movies (as most kids are), I, an adult woman in her 20s was as very eager and anticipating this new Disney release as much as had I still been a child. You gotta admit, Disney’s got some magic hold on us that even in adulthood; we still yearn for some good Disney movies. For most girls, that means Disney Princess movies. Having been impressed with the recent animated Disney movies that were produced such as The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Brave (not so much) so two out of three isn’t bad, and comparable to classic Disney animated movies such as Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin among many others. I had heard great early reviews about Frozen coupled with the buzz surrounding the excitement of having TWO Disney Princesses in one movie. Sweet.

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Credited to http://www.cartoonbrew.com

Frozen introduces us to the tale of Anna (Kristen Bell) and her sister Elsa (Idina Menzel), two princesses who live specifically in a kingdom called Arendelle. Early on in their life, the two Princesses are cared for by their parents and as adults Elsa is crowned queen. Elsa, as a child possesses magical powers to control the frozen elements around her and while playing with her sister Anna, accidentally injures her. Thus, leading to damage control by her worried parents involving some form of Disney magic and a breakdown in the relationship between the two sisters. Go see the movie to see what I mean. In the midst of the girls growing up, we are treated to some traditional Disney musical performances. Surprise everyone, Kristen Bell has a fantastic singing voice which doesn’t come as a surprise when you realise she was discovered on Broadway before embarking on a screen acting career. These musical numbers, “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” and “For the First Time in Forever”, while good don’t seem to match the oomph exhibited  by previous Disney numbers such as say, “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast or “Colours of the Wind” from Pocahontas. Of course Idina Menzel is excellent in her singing considering her Broadway pedigree as is most of the supporting voice talent cast actually who are all Broadway vets.

A few years later, upon Elsa’s ascension to the throne, several misunderstandings lead Elsa to revealing her true abilities to the people of her kingdom. This of course shocks the kingdom who just can’t believe that their newly crowned queen is literally, an Ice Queen. Elsa flees into the mountains with her ice powers, away from the glare of her subjects, sister and repercussions. Of course, she gets to perform a rocking ballad while building her new ice castle, arguably the best song of the film, “Let It Go”. Meanwhile, Anna, who just as the entire kingdom is shell-shocked that big sis has icy powers, starts to piece together her childhood memories. Still equally protective and as any sister, concerned and worried about the whereabouts and state of her sister, decides to go out into the cold and bring her sister back. She does this while still dressed in the ball gown donned for her sister’s coronation. Atta girl. It should be noted that on Coronation Day, Anna has met Prince Hans from the Southern Isles and in the span of a day upon knowing him, agrees to his proposal of marriage. Therefore, she leaves her kingdom in the care of her fiancé while she looks for her sister.

Frozen GIFCredited to bp.blogspot.com

On her journey to finding her sister, girl obviously needs some help in the search-and-rescue department. While all for girl power, imagine searching for your loved ones in cold and frozen temperatures with absolutely no clue as to how exactly where or when to get there? While exchanging her ballroom kit for more appropriate safety gear at a lodge, Anna stumbles into mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven. Realising that he’s a seasoned mountaineer, she hires him as a guide to help her in the search for her sister. Reluctant at first (it is night time and the man’s got to sleep) he finally agrees after Anna tempts him with some big, fat money and the promise of a brand new sleigh.

FROZENCredited to http://collider.com

Now, as in any good Disney movie, you have to have some form of a Disney sidekick. Watching Anna, Kristoff, and Sven go off to search for Elsa is all intriguing, and VERY SERIOUS. There has to be some funny moments thrown in and this is the part where Olaf comes in. Olaf (Josh Gad) is a snowman somehow accidentally created by Elsa while on the run. Olaf is a remnant from both Elsa and Anna’s childhood as he was the snowman that they used to make as children. Olaf is the classic epitome of a Disney sidekick joining the likes of previous Disney sidekicks such as Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast, and Iago from Aladdin among many others. I cite classic Disney sidekicks as they’re more memorable unlike recent modern Disney flicks where I just can’t recall any. He’s there to be the comic relief in the movie otherwise the movie would be extremely drag-gy and very serious in tone. Josh Gad is extremely entertaining voicing Olaf making his character extremely likeable as well as appealing, especially to children. It is a Disney flick after all.

92956-disney-frozen-gif-XbMCCredited to pandawhale.com

The best part about this new Disney offering is that there are no clear-cut villains. Well, maybe there is but, no spoilers, he is quite a predictable baddie if you really watch the movie and is less of a threat than the traditional Disney villain. Basically, the villains that have to be battled are the challengers faced by the two Princess Sisters themselves in order for them to rediscover their sisterly love.

The two lead actresses, Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel do a fantastic job voicing their characters as are the supporting cast in the form of Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad. The songs, though not as memorable as past Disney songs, are good especially the aforementioned standout, “Let It Go”. Overall, Frozen is a perfect addition to the Disney stables, a very modern Disney animated flick that will be enjoyed through the ages.

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Credited to imgur.com

Fallen Star: Paul Walker

paul-walkerCredited to mooshworld.com

Paul Walker, the blonde, blue-eyed star of the Fast and Furious film franchise, passed away on November 30, 2013. He, along with his friend and business partner Roger Rodas died while test-driving a Porsche during a charity event that was hosted and founded by the late Walker. Walker was 40 years old while Rodas was 38 years old. Walker left behind a daughter, 15 year old Meadow Walker.

Arguably, Paul Walker was best known for the Fast and Furious films. Ironically, it was also fated to be that a fast car took his life. When we think of Paul Walker, you can probably recollect that Paul is in the Fast and Furious films, that he’s a good-looking actor, and that he’s an all true-blue relatable American guy. Truth be told, he wasn’t the best actor around but he was present, in his many ensemble films such as said Fast and Furious, Into the Blue, Varsity Blues, and Pleasantville.

You didn’t hear of Paul Walker drawing any attention to himself by falling out of nightclubs or hooking up with the latest Hollywood starlet. Unlike other attention-grabbing celebs, Walker let his work do the talking for him while just focused on doing other things that interested him more such as his family, charity, and racing cars. Acting was just a side activity, a job like any other job. The only time you might hear a peep from Walker was when he actually had to promote his own film.

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Credited to homorazzi.com

Hearing about reports of Walker from those closest to him and fans that had had the chance to meet him, Walker seemed like an absolutely nice guy. He treated his fans with respect, his co-stars, family and friends nicely. Though he was a movie star, he didn’t act like one. There was an incident in which it was recalled that while in a jewellery store, he overheard a Marine and his fiancé’ who couldn’t afford a ring, picked up the tab for said ring anonymously after exiting the store and calling up the store manager stating his intention. Truly a class act and just shows you what kind of man Walker was.

The fact that he started his own charity Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW) to help those affected by natural disasters and was willing to help out if ever there were any disasters, either in America or overseas spoke volumes about his character. Why did he do it? It was because he had the resources to and knew the right people; those who were closest to him; who could provide their expertise such as builders and doctors.

Walker seemed to prioritize other more important things in life. His daughter, who he had started to establish a relationship with after she moved to California to be near him, gave him a purpose. He managed to connect with her and find joy in fatherhood. You could also point out that there is less emphasis on his personal life, more on his personal and professional accomplishments.

Judging by the outpouring of grief to the reaction of Paul Walker’s death, it seemed that he was a well-loved man. Seeing his co-stars, past and present, as well as friends pay him tribute and expressing sorrow at his lost serves to know just how much of an impact he had had on their lives. The stories told by his fans on various sites serve to highlight how Paul had touched their lives; either through meeting him or through his films.

It’s always sad when a good person goes, but that’s the way life is. True, there are probably people who deserve to go sooner than Walker but everyone will get their due someday. All we can do is to remember Walker for all his good deeds and keep his memory alive through charitable activities; any charitable activities that he would’ve approved of. Rest in Peace Paul Walker.

* P.S: This video was recently released; a tribute to Paul Walker from his Fast and Furious family.

Once Upon a Time and Why it’s One of the Best Shows EVER, Well, on Network TV

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Credited to teenskeepchick.org

Fairy tales. As children, we were enthralled by them. From the tales of princesses being rescued by princes fighting fire-breathing dragons, fairies, goblins to all sorts of talking animals, they represent the innate innocence of childhood. They were sometimes used to teach a moral lesson or passing down tales that may or may not have occurred yonder by.

The fact that there is still a fascination for fairy tales even in adulthood tells us that these stories are relevant even in our now grown life. Observe the many adaptations of fairy tales told in a more modern adaptation or presented just as it is. Movies such as the Disney animated movies represent a retelling of these tales to a more contemporary audience. Musicals and stage performances are constantly staging these timeless tales as material for their repertoire so guess what, it’s still relevant. Observe the newly released Disney’s Frozen, a retelling of, surprise, a fairy tale, The Snow Queen.

Nowadays, TV dramas have also got in on the act. TV series such as Game of Thrones (not a fairytale but based on a book series, so similar, no?), Grimm and the subject of discussion, Once Upon a Time.

ABC’s Once Upon a Time (OUAT) debuted on TV screens in 2011. As the title suggests, yeah everyone, it’s about fairy tales as almost every fairy tale starts with, well, Once Upon a Time. Look closer and you’ll realise it’s not all focused on Princess meets her Prince, falls madly in love and ride horseback into the sunset. Let’s face it, this is reality and nothing like that ever happens and ends well. In reality, after riding off into the sunset, said Princess will probably have fights with her Prince and go through trials and tribulations in her marriage. Oh, and raising their future children.

That’s what I like about Once Upon a Time. At the core of it, it’s very much steeped in reality. Yeah sure, you have your merry band of characters from various fairy tales such Snow White, Prince Charming, Little Red Riding Hood (used to until she moved shows), Red Riding Hood’s Granny, the Seven Dwarfs and the Evil Queen. This being from ABC (Disney), of course core Disney characters are a part of it such as Mulan (May or may not be a real person?), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Prince Phillip (Sleeping Beauty), Ariel (The Little Mermaid) and many more.

In contrast, Grimm’s premise is such that the main character discovers that he’s descended from hunters who fight supernatural/fairytale characters. I admit, haven’t caught it yet but that’s kinda reality based being like a cop show featuring fairy tale characters.

Once Upon a Time is centered on the premise of Snow White and Prince Charming’s only daughter, Emma Swan being the savior of the fairy tale world who have been under a curse put on by the Evil Queen to forget their true selves as fairy tale characters and instead live their lives as their real-life alter egos in the real world.

Three seasons already in the States, but only concluding its second season here in Asia, a new episode every weekday by the way, I may be a little behind but thank you Internet for getting us up to speed on the going-ons in the third season. I prefer waiting it out for the third season to air here in its entirety instead of agonizing over waiting for a new episode per week and that dreaded half season break in the States.

Anyway, back up to speed here and why the show is just awesome. What initially attracted me to Once Upon a Time was, fairy tales being presented in a relevant modern way; ie. The 21st Century. How would fairy tale characters behave in our world? Would they be just like us or be a little bit more special because all they’re all fairy-tale-ly or something? Well, turns out that our poor Emma Swan is an orphan by word as she wasn’t raised by her fairy tale parents having been sent away as a baby to save her from the impending curse.

28 years passes by before she meets her real parents again, breaks the curse and reunites with her long-lost son whom she gave up in her teens. Wait, what? Snow White’s kid had a kid? Without marrying her Prince? To add to that, her parents and the residents of Storybrooke, the fictional town where the series is set haven’t aged a day? So Emma and her parents could totally pass off as buddies instead of parents and child. And they’ve got a grandson, so that makes it look like one really bizarre family reunion. Emma knows it and she’s the most real character on the show, as is her son Henry too. When I say ‘real’, I meant that they’re not actually creations of a fairy tale. So you could say, the series is real but just ignore the age gap mathematically and all the magic stuff and you’ll do just fine. It is still based in fairytale-dom after all.

Being a new character introduced to the fairytale, Emma Swan’s character is given leeway to be developed as there’s no template for Emma Swan in books. So I could say that Emma Swan is an awesome warrior princess who will somehow save the day and restore peace to Fairytale Land or something close.  This is quite true as she is the destined savior of the show.

To make things simpler; I will run through why OUAT is awesome by season and for Season 3 just give simple commentary based on recaps. So here goes:

Season 1

Once-Upon-A-Time-once-upon-a-time-28309802-1920-1080Credited to fanpop.com

1.       The season introduced us to Emma Swan & company and their respective real-life counterparts in Storybrooke. Due to being under a curse for 28 years, they don’t age. So, stay young forever!

2.       The flashbacks in Fairytale Land. Could be confusing for some, as one minute they’re all modern and stuff and next, dressed in really cool Fairytale costumes which are eons better than modern day clothes.

3.       Recognizing who’s who in Fairytale Land and if they resemble anything like their Disney cartoon counterparts is always fun. Snow White/Mary Margaret looks so much better with longer hair; take note Ginny Goodwin.

4.       Henry’s extremely cool storybook that tells the story of the tale of the inhabitants of Storybrooke.

5.       Realizing the complete awesomeness of the characters that stand out e.g. being Emma, Regina, Snow, Charming, and Rumplestiltskin. Other supporting characters like Ruby and Archie deserve mention too. Sorry Henry, you’re way too annoying to be credited.Credited to thenotoriousscuttlecliff.tumblr.com

 Season 2

Once Upon a Time S2 iTunesCredited to getvideoartwork.com

1.       The curse is broken. Hail Emma Swan! Now everyone remembers their true Fairy Tale selves again and can act like it.

2.       Emma and her mom Snow White landing in Fairytale Land and meeting up with Mom’s old pals like Lancelot. The introduction of Aurora, Prince Phillip, Mulan, Jack and the Beanstalk and the Giant.

3.       The rediscovery of Rumplestiltskin’s son, Baelfire/Neal, Henry’s dad and Emma’s baby daddy.

And of course;

4.       The introduction of Captain Hook/Killian Jones

5.       HOOK. Need I say more?

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Credited to rebloggy.com

Premature awesomeness of Season 3 (Through recaps as the season ain’t over.)

OUATS3Credited to http://www.examiner.com

1.       Neverland. Granted, it’s to save Henry but it’s Neverland OMFG.

2.       Who else lives in Neverland but Peter Pan? So in with the introduction of Peter Pan. Yes, the Lost Boys too.

3.       Ariel and Eric from the Little Mermaid finally make an appearance.

4.       Captain Hook’s growing affection for Miss Swan.

5.       The twisted love triangle of said Captain Hook, Emma, and Neal/Baelfire.

Pan gif

Credited to f**kyesonceuponatime.tumblr.com

Malaysian Double Standards Towards Visiting Female Performers

beyoncegagabritneypicCredited to thatgrapejuice.net

Recently,Robin Thicke had a performance in a joint concert organized by MTV here in Malaysia.

Which led me to think, that for the guy who crooned ‘Blurred Lines’ while cavorting with topless models in his uncensored version of the video, there was hardly a ripple about him performing here in Malaysia. His arrival was also after the infamous Miley Cyrus MTV VMAs twerking performance. Again, not even a squeak was heard.

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Credited to thatgrapejuice.net

Don’t get me wrong,I am a huge fan of Robin Thicke,way before he went, “I know you want it”, and Hey Hey Hey!” aka Blurred Lines. The guy is super talented what with his ability to write and produce songs, and of course as a live performer.

But how is it that when it came time for the ladies to perform here in Malaysia, there is always a big brouhaha. From the likes of the Pussycat Dolls (understandable in this country) as well as Beyonce and Rihanna, these women have all got the backlash treatment usually from religious authorities and the higher-ups. For the record, Beyonce had wanted to perform in Malaysia before twice but was always followed by protests leading to her cancelling and opting to perform in neighboring Indonesia instead. Rihanna was supposed to come to Malaysia for a concert until the Chris Brown incident happened.

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                              Credited to rackcdn.com                                                  Credited to thatgrapejuice.net

The two singers and group mentioned above do represent performers who push the limits when it comes to performance and the showcase of their blatant sexuality on stage but there is a problem here when the likes of Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne get a similar reaction to them coming here.

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Credited to nydailynews.com                                                   

Credited to fanpop.com

Like seriously, Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne? Those two are considered tame when it comes to being super sexy compared to their peers.

Not that male performers haven’t been welcomed without a fuss, these are usually met by openly gay singers such as Adam Lambert and Elton John and occasionally metal bands such as Lamb of God, but this posting is about the ladies. And it usually is the ladies who are put under a different microscope than the men. The men will probably be mentioned some other time.

It’s become expected and ridiculous that when a female performer shows up, you can expect two things. A protest over her arrival in the country and a demand that she comply with local regulations ie. dress up decently.

Decently meaning only one thing; covered up. Oh hey, how about covering her with a sheet while she’s performing with only her eyes showing? Now that’s something worth to see at a performance, eh?

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Credited to blog.halloweenexpress.com



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Precisely, and that’s exactly how Mariah Carey performed when she was in Malaysia. One outfit throughout the entire performance with not a single costume change! The same with Pixie Lott at her first performance in Malaysia as well as Katy Perry. While these women didn’t exactly dress up as a ghost at their respective performances, they wore only one outfit throughout. Though they can just wear trash bags and still rock it, or as the aforementioned one outfit, it is a loss when they are not allowed to parade their stage outfits onstage or their incredible fashion sense all because of some ‘decent’ ruling.      Credited to magxone.com                                                              Credited to fanpop.com

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Credited to hiphopwired.com

How about when Erykah Badu was scheduled to perform here and then banned for inciting religious sensitivities. If that is the case, then they shouldn’t have approved for her performing in the first place or even announce her arrival. A thorough background check would have sufficed.

Apparently Malaysians can’t think for themselves about choosing who or what they want to watch. Are we so gullible that watching a homosexual singer perform means that we will all turn gay the minute we exit the concert venue? Or have our morals corrupted as soon the singer ends the song? There are things that are even worse out there, people.

Still, there have been some improvements seen. Miss Jenny on the Block Jennifer Lopez performed not too long ago and seemed to have gotten off scot-free. Then again, she did make alterations to her outfit.

It seems that ‘safe’ performers like Celine Dion are allowed to perform here without any hassle as they have an image of being conservative and are known more for their vocals. There are probably examples of many performers I have not mentioned but you get the idea for the kind of performers that are allowed here.

I long for the day when performers such as Lady Gaga and Madonna can perform here in Malaysia without anyone batting an eyelid or demanding that some conditions be met. To let performers do what they do best; perform with no restrictions and repercussions.

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Credited to fanpop.com

I am however worried about the reception for Ke$ha what with her concert scheduled later this month. Everyone knows the kind of shows that she puts up. Of course, expected protests here and there. In an update; with Ke$ha due to arrive in a week, it’s been relatively quiet on the front. Perhaps a sign of things to come? Hopefully so, maybe we are changing. Still, I’m not really concerned about the imminent arrival of Alicia Keys’ concert. She is after all, a ‘safe’ performer. At least for this country.

Improvements have to be made. Perhaps just be a little lenient when it comes to letting performers in. Standardize the conditions set for allowed performers with no discrimination concerning gender whatsoever. Let the people decide and judge for themselves who they want to see perform.

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Credited to bostonmusicspotlight.com

Quick update: Ke$ha’s concert was a no go as it was said to be “undermining religious and cultural sensibilities”. Some things never change. Point taken. Need we say more?

Holy Batman!It’s Ben Affleck

Superman-Batman-Logo  ben-affleck-oscars

    Credited to youngadulthollywood.com                        Credited to ourmaninchicago.net

Following up on my review of Man of Steel,I’d now like to talk about its impending sequel.

According to details provided by director Zack Snyder at Comic-Con recently, the sequel will feature of course Superman and Batman, DC Comics other big moneymaker superhero.

Except this time it’s not Christian Bale who’s donning the Bat cape,it’s Ben Affleck.

That’s right,Ben Affleck of Good Will Hunting,Argo,Armageddon, Jersey Girl, and Gigli fame. Or of the pairs Bennifer Part 1 and its sequel Bennifer Part 2 aka his lovely wife Jennifer Garner. Jokes aside, THE Ben Affleck. The response to his casting has been unprecedented, albeit  in a bad way. People just seem to really hate the idea of Mr. Affleck as Batman.

The reason being? Well, once upon a time, Mr. Affleck starred in another superhero flick, Daredevil a decade ago. Which is known as not exactly the best superhero flick ever made. Oh yeah, Daredevil is also from DC Comics rival, Marvel Studios. People are venting that it’s just wrong for Ben to now become Batman. It seems Christian Bale, who I am a big fan of, really set the bar high when it came to playing the Batman even though he’s done better in other roles and all he did in Batman was look like a billionaire, be sorry for himself as a billionaire and speak in a growl-y voice while in the Batman costume. Yes, and another reason people cite is that Ben can’t, for all his achievements, really act.

The upcoming Superman sequel pits the two DC Wonderboys against each other and calls for an older Batman, implying an aging Batman against the much younger Superman perhaps? Now, while Ben Affleck isn’t exactly Grandpa’s age, the story calls for a much more experienced and wizened Batman who somehow manages to beat Superman or something like that. How that happens is beyond me as I’m not exactly a comic book reader but that is something I would pay to see.

And besides, isn’t it natural that Batmans change and evolve according to times? We’ve had a many different Batmans, James Bonds, Doctor Whos and heck, even Superman himself! The new Batman is supposed to be a bit older and mature, and somehow for now Ben fits the bill. Or as Warner sees it.

So by all means, while we may have our opinions on how Affleck’s acting is, it can’t be denied that the guy is pretty good at what he does. After all, he’s directed some well received movies and some of his roles haven’t exactly been an abomination.

Save our critique of Ben when the new Superman’s (and Batman) movie is well and done. If he fails and somehow screws Batman up, then we’ll know who to blame and we’ll all be better enough for it. So look out, Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder. And of course Ben Affleck too who would be bearing most of the brunt.

And if the finished movie sucks; don’t ever watch another new Batman movie and just stick to the classic Batman movies, cartoons , television series, video games and old and new Batman comics.

Like those that star Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and Christian Bale. And not forgetting Adam West.

On second thought, until a new Batman is chosen in a new Batman franchise; Give peace a chance.

My Man of Steel Review

Though it was released back in June,I finally got around to finishing my review of Man of Steel,what with it already on its way to DVD and grossing USD$600 million in box office receipts,still better late than never.

Without further ado,here is my Man of Steel review.

                                                                                                                Credited to fanpop.com

After countless incarnations of the red caped superhero, we yet again have another Superman flick merely seven years after the last one was released. Superman Returns (2006) anyone? While that flick wasn’t necessarily bad, I must confess I watched it in theaters when it was released, lured to it by the image of an attractive Brandon Routh on said movie poster. Then again, Superman spawning a child and Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane is just a wee bit frightening to comprehend.

I wouldn’t go on a limb and call myself a die-hard Superman fan. Sure, I’ve watched several adaptations of the guy whether it was a movie or TV series. No, I have never read a single Superman comic book. As a child of the 90s, born in the late 80s, I’ve never watched the previous George Reeves incarnation. Surprisingly, I don’t recall watching the late, great Christopher Reeve’s portrayal either, maybe an occasional glance. Of course I am highly familiar with the 90s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman TV series and later Smallville that ran for ten seasons.Just call me a regular Superman fan.

The truth is; even if you aren’t a Superman fan, you’d be most familiar with him. Superman is a pop culture icon, managing to embed himself into our psyche ever since he burst out in the 1930s. He’s just a figure of cultural relevancy, managing to integrate himself into anything and everything by constantly reinventing himself according to the times. That could also be due to the many forms of Superman, through the multiple actors portraying him and the medium he’s been presented to us. There’s also the well documented Superman curse and it’s easy to see why he’s everybody’s favorite superhero. He was the first and will forever hold a dear place in our hearts.

Anyhow, back to the Man of Steel. When I first heard that Brit actor Henry Cavill had been cast as said Man of Steel himself, I was a little doubtful. The only thing I remembered Henry Cavill in was Showtimes’ The Tudors. That guy who played the friend to Jonathan Rhys Myer’s King Henry VIII. A few still images from the movie showing Henry as Superman didn’t help.People complained that Superman looked angry and menacing. And gasp, Superman arrested. Well geez people, maybe it was the camera angle, the set-up, gosh, just watch the movie!

The movie starts with its setting on Krypton, which as everybody knows is Superman’s birth place. Here, we can see the decaying state of Krypton and an introduction to three main characters namely Jor-El, his wife Lara Lor-Van, and General Zod. Oh yes, there was Faora too so that makes it four but only three main players. Oh, and a bunch of council members but never mind them, they’re kinda irrelevant. Anyhow, when I first saw Russell Crowe playing Jor-El, I was kinda surprised. I had no idea he was even in the movie, to me his casting was kinda low key. I even expected Crowe to just make a random cameo in the movie as Superman’s dad and then adios Jor-El when Krypton goes boom, as we all know it would. But it was heartbreaking to see him die in the movie, I expected Lara to die after, but you’ll just have to see the movie to see how her fate turns out. General Zod and company get banished into outer space and little Kal-El is of course shipped off to Earth.

We are then shown the grown Kal-El, or Clark Kent as he is known in the form of the extremely buff and built Henry Cavill. But this isn’t the same bespectacled Clark Kent that we’re used to in previous incarnations of Superman working at the Daily Planet but a hard-hitting, rough and rugged odd job laborer Clark Kent. Like seriously, in the twenty minutes that we’re introduced to Kent, he’s taught a lesson to a harassing bar bully and rescuing men on a burning oil rig shirtless.Director Zack Snyder manages to exploit Cavill’s looks very early on in the movie.This version of Superman is a little different than previous Supermans in the fact that Clark Kent doesn’t yet understand the limits of his powers until later. There are no scenes of Martha and Jonathan Kent joyously finding their new child from the ship and the child Clark Kent lifting cars to retrieve his ball. Because those scenes are scenes that we are used too and there is a need to upgrade this new reboot of Superman. Instead, what we get are flashbacks of Clark’s childhood which help us understand his journey to becoming who he is and the man he has become. I was wary of the casting of Diane Lane as Martha Kent. Like, ain’t Martha Kent a grandma and not a MILF? While not the best performance from Lane, we’ve seen her better; she did a solid job in her limited role. It turns out that Lane was aware of her limited screen time but accepted the role as her character was a crucial support to the film. Kudos however goes to Kevin Costner in his brief turn as Jonathan Kent, he made an impact in his role as Clark’s Earth dad who raises his son to conceal his powers until the world is truly ready to accept a man with super powers like him.

                                                                         

                                                                                                         Credited to nokia.com

Henry Cavill plays his role well as the brooding Kal-El/Clark Kent, a man who doesn’t understand why he is so different than others and is forced to control and hide his feelings from the world. There is no one to empathize with Clark’s condition though his Earth parents do try. Credit goes to Michael Shannon who plays the villainous General Zod avenging on his incarceration by the rulers of Krypton and a desire to seek out Kal-El and restore Krypton to its former glory. The cast members who truly stole the show were Michael Shannon as General Zod, Russell Crowe as the resurrected as a download Jor-El, and as previously mentioned Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent. Ah, but what about Amy Adams as Lois Lane? I was also wary of the casting of Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Let’s face it, Amy Adams as Lois Lane is just a little far-fetched. She is also a well-known REDHEAD. As everyone knows,Amy Adams is a damn good actress and of course aces her role. But isn’t Lois Lane an eternal brunette? Before you start protesting with your pitchforks, this is of course a reboot. Director Zack Snyder explained that as Lois Lane is a very busy reporter, she just has no time to think about something as trivial as her hair color. Adams’ version of Lois Lane is modern, independent, feisty, precisely the portrayal of a modern-day journalist is. It is a refreshing take on Lois Lane. Unfortunately, there is a downside. For all the tales of the ultimate love story epitomized by Lois Lane and Clark Kent, Cavill and Adams absolutely lack chemistry. It’s hard to believe that these two are going to form one of the best love partnerships of all time, the love story here just seems a bit rushed. However, understandably this film does serve as an origins story to Superman barring any future sequels. The focus in this film is not the love story which we get in a hint of something, watch the film.

                                                                    

                                                                                                  Credited to filmonic.com

A complaint about this film is the over-excessive use of CGI effects which are incredible in the battle scenes between Superman and General Zod, but just leave the story-telling part of the movie incredibly lacking. Yeah, we get it Snyder, you just love blowing up buildings and the world ala Transformers but still? A movie’s got to have a story and this is where Man of Steel falters. Not to say that the movie wasn’t great, it wasn’t, it was a good superhero flick. It however could’ve been a lot better if the filmmakers had given a lot of thought to the storytelling aspect and character development instead of caring about how much destruction they were able to inflict on the world. Hopefully, these areas would be addressed in the announced sequel with Snyder and writer David S. Goyer already on board.

All in all, a good Superman reboot film and a great introduction to the Superman franchise for this generation.

Farewell Cory Monteith

As has been reported,actor Cory Monteith of Glee fame recently passed away on the 13th of July 2013 in his native Canada. He was 31 years old.

Who would’ve thought that a member of the Glee television series would pass away so soon at such a young age?

Admittedly,Glee’s latest seasons had deteriorated in quality but it had only started to pick up steam in its latest season,is my opinion.

The latest we heard on Monteith was the fact that he checked into rehab in April 2013 and got discharged recently.The actor himself had been very open about his struggles with substance abuse.

I admit the first time I heard Monteith had died,I thought it was a cruel joke.No,Cory Monteith can’t be dead,it’s gotta be one of those random RIP Twitter Fake Celeb deaths.Upon rushing to the Net though,that was not the case.

I will say that Cory Monteith wasn’t exactly my favorite cast member on Glee,heck he wasn’t even my favorite anything or whatever.I had been aware of Cory Monteith pre-Glee thorough his work on the TV series, Kyle XY where he played said Kyle’s love rival.Truthfully,that role wasn’t really special and did not show off his true abilities as an actor.

As for his role on Glee where he played popular school jock Finn Hudson however,he wasn’t exactly the guy with the vocal chops and dance moves.To his credit,even he admitted it and didn’t even know he could sing prior to joining the show.

                                                                              cory-monteith-glee-death

                                                                                                    Credited to goldderby.com

His recent autopsy reports state that he died due to an overdose of heroin and alcohol.Cory was seen as having had a relapse after his stint in rehab which ended in tragedy.To add further credence,he died alone in his hotel room.

Judging from the reports that I’ve read,those who knew Cory described him as a good guy,humble and willing to do anything to help others.He was grateful for his fame and knew that it was fleeting.At the end of the day,he took those drugs and alcohol himself which led to his death.

This has taught me and something I personally believe in,that life is short and everything can be taken away from you just like that.

His death is a lesson that all of us should stay away from drugs and not end up as a statistic on the drug-related death charts.

Remembering Cory,here’s the performance that started it all,Don’t Stop Believin.

Death of Dramacrazy & Henry Cavill’s Got a New Girl

Last week (1-7 July 2013) was a whirlwind in the world of entertainment (at least it was to me).

But when you think about it,the world of entertainment is ALWAYS a whirlwind.

Two things captured my attention.First up, my ultimate favorite source of all things Asian dramas,dramacrazy.net decided to shut down.Another one bites the dust I say.There have been too many closures of sites that offer Asian dramas for free.We all know the reason for being is that it’s a copyright infringement issue.Apparently,offering free drama streaming is illegal in the eyes of the law.But what are we,as users supposed to do?

Dramacrazy offered us the opportunity to not only stream rare Asian dramas but an entire community to connect to with its forums.Granted,I just preferred streaming the dramas but some people made lifelong friends on that site.

To have the opportunity to watch streamed dramas is indeed a privilege.Watching something at your own time,on your own terms,your own leisure and pace meant no commercials (sometimes) and generally at your own behest.This goes for all types of programming and not just Asian dramas.Dramacrazy was a complete space that offered every (East) Asian drama under the sun.It was easy,user-friendly,and ultimately complete.This was why users kept flocking back to the site.Another fan favorite,mysoju.com had unfortunately suffered a similar demise.Not all of us can afford to go out and get the latest dramas on DVD.We would,but only if it was really good.Dramacrazy.net was a drama-fan’s democracy working at its best.

I mourn the death of Dramacrazy.True,there are other sites to head off to but Dramacrazy was the best.Who knows just how long other sites can stay afloat?

Now onto my second posting would be regarding the latest,hottest British import into Hollywood and newest Superman,actor Henry Cavill.The guy’s not exactly new,just unknown.Fans of The Tudors would have remembered Cavill as the Duke Charles Brandon.Anyhow,Henry was reported to be dating former mixed martial artist-turned-actress Gina Carano.And now he’s moved on to The Big Bang Theory actress Kaley Cuoco.

That guy sure moves fast with the ladies,it seems.He reportedly splits up in May and a mere two months later he’s bagged himself a new girl.Cue the millions of fangirl hearts he’s broken.Henry has already chalked up quite a massive female fanbase thanks to the release of the new Superman movie,Man of Steel.Henry should be taking things a little slowly if he wants to cultivate a serious actor image.He should learn from his previous relationships and new girl Kaley.Her previous relationships were very private.He’s allowed to have relationships,but be careful in flaunting it.Even if a million paparazzi abound,keep your relationships on the DL.

Some Henry-Kaley pix,credited from justjared.com, ImageBam.com, and henrycavillnews.com.

a50           a75

Re-Writing Back

It’s been almost four years since I last posted in this blog.

The last time,this blog was created as a student project but now,it is my own personal domain.I shall now post on whatever my heart desires based on no one’s assigned tasks.

But mostly though,this blog shall see me post on my own personal musings and likes and dislikes such as my love for all things entertainment and desserts. (LOL)

Until then,till the next posting.

Toodles!