From Girl Grouper to Solo Act

Doll GroupCredited to flickriver.com

In any girl group, there will always be that one girl who stands out in her group. No, not because she’s pretty, has a great body or dances really well, but because of the basics, ie. She sings really well. Like better than her group mates and sometimes, even some existing solo singers.

Which is why that the inevitable soon happens, girl needs to go solo. So she goes solo, does songs that she personally prefers or that producers think she suits; then bam!, becomes an immediate solo singing sensation and then has to decide whether or not she wants to stay with said group or remain solo forevermore.

Sounds simple enough. The truth is not all solo singing attempts end up successful like Beyonce. For every Beyonce, there are cases of some unsuccessful attempts at solo stardom such as Nicole Scherzinger, maybe? You have to have the right ingredients to stand out as a solo artiste and differentiate yourselves from your group’s music according to my non-expert critique.

Girl group member gone solo have been going on for many years now. Off the top of my head, I can cite Diana Ross of the Supremes’ as a good example and of course her modern counterpart, Beyonce. Both women came from R&B based groups and successfully forged ahead with a solo career, leaving their groups in the dust.

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Diana RossBeyonce

Credited to musictour.eu

Based on what I’ve seen so far, it seems to me that other than the aforementioned Beyonce, most girl groupers that go solo are usually from British girl groups. This isn’t surprising as America has not actually supplied us with a steady-stream of girl groups. So to the British we go to. I’d like to mention that while all three of the Destiny’s Child members did go solo, not all of them reached Beyonce proportions. Kelly Rowland has had a decent solo career while Michelle Williams is more focused on gospel music. I admit I do like some of new mother Ms Rowland’s tunes with her recent forays into electro-dance, EDM type music with a tinge of sexuality thrown in. Not that’s a bad thing, because Ms Rowland also does it on a grand scale, as her collaboration with David Guetta can testify. Sometimes, she’ll still do R & B. Kelly’s had a stint as a judge on the now cancelled The X-Factor US version. As for Michelle, besides gospel, she also does musicals in her off-time. Recently, she had her Destiny’s Child sisters reunited for her latest single. So, least to say, at least all three Destiny Child’s members careers are secured. I will add here another name I can think of and that is Fergie from Black Eyed Peas and previously from the girl group Wild Orchid who did manage a successful solo career and that was when she was with the Black Eyed Peas. We all know her hit singles, “London Bridge”, “Fergalicious”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” ,  “Clumsy”, “Glamorous”, as well as her recent release “L.A. Love (La La)” from her soon to be released second album.

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Credited to fanpop.com                                                       

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Meanwhile, we go back to the British girl group solo explosion. Starting with everybody’s favourite British girl group, the Spice Girls. All of the Spice Girls have gone solo, even Victoria Beckham, before she went all designer on us. All the girls have had some degree of success, with the most successful being Melanie Chisolm (Mel C) followed by maybe Geri Halliwell went she left the Spice Girls. Then of course there are the solo careers of Emma Bunton and Melanie Brown (Mel B). Though Mel C did achieve a degree of success with her solo careers, it wasn’t comparable to her success with her girl group, Spice Girls. Still, she was the most successful, solo-wise with her songs cracking and topping the charts. She’s collaborated with a slew of artistes as diverse as Bryan Adams and the late Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes, proving to be the most versatile Spice Girl. While her earlier solo career was successful, her later efforts were rather lukewarm. Geri Halliwell, since her departing the Spice Girls before reuniting with them, had a decent solo career. I can still recall some of her songs, including her cover of The Weather Girls’ It’s Raining Men being featured on the soundtrack to The Bridget Jones movie. Her other songs, Lift Me Up, Look at Me, and Mi Chico Latino appeared on the charts too. Emma Bunton had a pretty decent solo career with some of her known songs being “What Took You So Long?” and “Maybe”. She too has had stints on various television shows. Meanwhile, Mel B is best known nowadays as a judge on “America’s Got Talent”. She’s had stints as a judge on the The X-Factor Australia and UK. Since then, many of the Spice Girls’ successors have also had members who’ve gone solo, most notably Girls Aloud Cheryl Cole. The band itself has disbanded so Cheryl Cole is now a full-time solo artiste. Cheryl Cole has had it good, it helps that she’s the most beautiful in Girls Aloud (all the Girls Aloud members are gorgeous BTW), she’s had a stint on The X-Factor UK version and an almost stint on the US version. She was also once married to England and former Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole. She’s done collaborations and is friends with Black Eyed Peas member Will.I.Am. Cheryl Cole, it can be said is the most marketable member in Girls Aloud.

tzed-girls-aloud-7122201-1280-960England itself has also given us other equally good girl groups such as All Saints, Atomic Kitten, and the Sugababes. Just to be clear, no member of Atomic Kitten has gone solo. Several members of those girl groups have gone solo and made somewhat of an impact on the charts. For example, the All Saints sister-duo (not technically a solo, but still) Nicole and Natalie Appleton founded Appleton with limited success. The rest of the other All Saints members,Melanie Blatt and Shaznay Lewis have also gone, all with limited success. All Saints are one of those girl groups who appeal more as a group, lacking charismatic members who have the potential to really go big as a solo artiste, which possibly explains their lack of solo success.

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Credited to fan-lexicon.de

The Sugababes meanwhile, is the British girl group best remembered for having a string of hits on the charts as well as rotating their group members. Starting off with their original three members, Siobhan Donaghy, Keisha Buchanan, and Muya Buena and later adding in replacement members, Heidi Range, Amelle Berrabah, and Jade Ewen. So far, only the original members who reformed the original line-up of Sugababes have taken on solo careers. Right of the bat, I remember Mutya Buena releasing a solo album Real Girl, to limited success and Siobhan Donaghy released Revolution In Me. Their solo efforts were obviously not very successful.

Keisha-Mutya-Heidi-sugababes-16902977-685-798Credited to fanpop.com

So there you have it, the key to actually go solo for a girl grouper is if, preferably, you have the voice, the popularity, the charisma, maybe the looks and body. Other than those factors, you’ve gotta have the right management behind you, the right production team for your solo music, and girl, if you can, write your own music. Writing your own music shows credibility and you taking charge of your own music and image. Ah yes, image. Do look a little different when you go solo so people can differentiate you between your girl group persona and your solo identity. Do promote your music aggressively, maybe a tie-in with a successful commercial, movie or drama. Go on the talk show circuit, the Internet, maybe go viral? Have a song that can appeal to the public without compromising your own artistic integrity. Show yourself more through your solo work. Hopefully, with a little bit of luck, your solo career will flourish and make you even more popular than your group.

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Credited to popcrush.com

American Idol Top 13 Season 13 VS The Voice Top 12 Season 6 Fan Analysis

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Credited to rickey.org                                                                                       Credited to jayblessed.com

In recent years, the most prominent reality singing show has either been Fox’s American Idol or NBC’s The Voice. Fox’s other singing import; The X-Factor tried to join the party too but was sadly stopped before even entering. So while American Idol is seen as the dominant reality show, over the years since being aired 12 years ago, its appeal has dropped among the general public. This is because of its status as the aging reality singing show, its rotating judges, lack of chemistry between the judges, producers’ hand in contestant selection, and overall quality of contestants.

On the other side of the fence, The Voice meanwhile is seen as the rising new kid on the block. With seven seasons already under its belt (thanks to its twice-a-year schedule), The Voice is seen as a breath of fresh air. Having a slightly different concept than American Idol, with singers auditioning based on their voices (hence the title), not on by their looks. With no age limit, The Voice attracts various contestants with different levels of experience (professionals are allowed on), thus, the quality of the contestants are slightly a head and shoulders above American Idol.

Never has this held true than this season’s crop of contestants on both shows. I will not do a side-by-side comparison of every contestant or the judging panel, but merely a simple analysis on both. The first to be noted would be that even before American Idol Season 13 aired, it underwent some massive changes, starting with the firing of its long-time Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe. Out with Nigel, in comes Per Blankens, all the way from Sweden as his replacement. You can definitely tell with the aesthetic changes made by Per, from the first episode of this season with the split screens and all, and overall, much cleaner editing. There were more changes but enough of that, let’s get with the real analysis. However, to be fair, The Voice slightly altered its format by letting the coaches determine the Top 12 instead of America voting them in. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I also noticed more number of ‘steals’ allowed during the Battle Rounds process and beyond. As usual, there were cases of letting go of some truly talented contestants too early.

AI Judges Panel

 

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Credited to both http://static.parade.condenast.com and bloggar.aftonbladet.se

 

Onto both the judges panel on American Idol or the coaches panel on The Voice. On American Idol, the judges’ panel definitely had more chemistry than the mismatched panel of Season 12 when you could tell that Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj were definitely not BFFs and poor Keith Urban was forced to sit in between, acting as neutraliser between the pair. Though Idol did recycle their judges panel (excluding Harry Connick Jr., even though he was a mentor for last season), me thinks it is the best judges panel since the glory days of Simon, Paula, and Randy. This panel genuinely like each other and the audience can tell and feel that. However, Randy Jackson really needs to be fired as the in-house mentor. Somebody, please speed-dial Jimmy Iovine ASAP (now impossible with him working for Apple) or get someone that is a more effective mentor. Could David Cook be hired on a part-time basis perhaps? Someone other than Randy, please. Now to the coaches’ panel on The Voice. The thing about The Voice’s coaching panel is, since the beginning, they’ve always had chemistry. Whether they rotate between Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green (ex-coach), Shakira, Usher, and soon I’m pretty sure Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani, they’ll always have chemistry. It’s like Executive Producer Mark Burnett managed to find the magic ingredient when it comes to putting together a panel. They all genuinely appear to really like each other and get along well judging by their joint interview appearances. Their lively banter is refreshing to watch and make the audience enjoy their interactions when they are on screen.

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 Credited to http://idol-mania.com

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Credited to homorazzi.com

We now come to the quality of the contestants of the current seasons of each show. Let’s compare them all as a group of their respective Top 12/13s or whatever. When you look at both contestant groups, I’d say that the more talented singing group is definitely The Voice’s batch. Can you even recall the Top 13 of American Idol? Granted, there are several contestants who stand out such as Caleb Johnson, Jena Irene, Alex Preston (Yeah, they’re in the Top 3), and several others, but can barely recall any of the others. But over on The Voice side, you’ve got Sisaundra Lewis, Kat Perkins, Christina Grimmie, and Josh Kauffman for example. Both shows did eliminate some good contestants before revealing their top total whatever and if American Idol had actually replaced some of their Top 13 contestants with the eliminated contestants, maybe there’d be a better pool of talent. Same thing goes with The Voice, there were contestants with potential who sadly had to be let go, due to the show’s rules. Now on American Idol, I’m aware that there were contestants who were voted in by the American Idol, but I wonder, after seeing Dexter Roberts, MK Nobilette, and C.J. Harris, why again? Admittedly, the country fan base is strong but, C.J., pitchy, I rest my case. These are just some of the contestants I would like to single out for being slightly below average than other contestants.

Another comparison would be the system of elimination, favouritism, popular voting, and rigged results. Some of the aforementioned points are pretty much the same regurgitated points but there are some differences. On American Idol, it’s a little straightforward with voters calling and texting in the good-old fashioned way for their favourites. Nowadays, they’ve even added in online votes. The Voice is way ahead with its voting system being the traditional text and call, there are also iTunes votes, Facebook votes, and Twitter Instant Save votes (with Twitter being the most controversial). The Voice’s Team Adam’s Christina Grimmie is a YouTube star and has many followers on Twitter so the Instant Save gives her an advantage? But what about those who don’t have Twitter accounts and want to vote for their favourite contestants? Then, there is always the good-old favouritism present on both shows. On American Idol, there’s the obvious sabotaging of Jessica Meuse and the favouring Sam Woolf saga, just some examples. While on The Voice, coach Blake Shelton’s picking of Jake Worthington as a finalist on his team instead of other deserving talents (just my opinion) amounts to favouritism. However, to be fair, Jake did prove himself, just that I thought not at the level of more talented contestants. As mentioned earlier, popular voting does play a part like the previously mentioned Christina Grimmie case and her Twitter votes, as well as the show’s obvious favouritism towards Christina Grimmie herself. The judges on American Idol constantly pimping out Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene (they are good, but still; don’t go all out on showing it). As for rigged results, the ever changing rules by the The Voice producers as I have addressed earlier in the beginning.

As the results would show on both shows, the unexpected happens. The Voice ended up having Team Usher’s Josh Kaufman as the winner but not without controversy after eliminating the iTunes votes when Josh’s song could not be voted on when it never appeared on the chart. The Voice did however insist that didn’t affect the results tally and Josh Kaufman would’ve won regardless. American Idol, seemingly the fairest show now, crowned Caleb Johnson as their winner, which is not unexpected, because we kind of predicted that’d both contestants would be in the finals. Besides, it really doesn’t matter who wins on Idol nowadays, but more who can have a long-lasting musical career AFTER the show.

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.

Holy Batman!It’s Ben Affleck

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    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.

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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.

                                                                         

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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.

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                                                                                                    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.