‘Katy Perry: Part of Me’ is a bittersweet rocky road trip!

I could never listen to her songs ever again like before.

Having watched this documentary, all I have now is respect and appreciation for her.

The film drives us through her first tour which involves her performing at least 2 hours a night around the world for a year.

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So it was a whole lot of traveling and bits of glitches to her personal life for time lost for work.

We’re also taken to her life us a child and growing up which involves a lot of strictly Pentecostal Christian upbringing by her parents, and a tad of breaking it lose as a teenager.

Okay I’ll hit some details in bullet form:

1. Her parents were Pentecostal ministers who employed much of their beliefs to their parenting style.

As such, Katy and her siblings grew up a bit unknowing of stuff like Michael Jackson.

Not to prove anything but it seemed like anything on media had been sort of communicants of the devil of sort.

2. Katy’s early musical exposure was for the church.

She did sing for the choir and she did a lot of gospel singing growing up.

3. (I hope I’m getting this one right.) One time at a friend’s house, she heard of Alanis Morissette’s song that goes ‘Coz I’m here to remind you of the best…’ (something like that).

She was deeply moved by her somewhat fresh exposure to something pop and had this subtly devious instinct for rebellion.

4. At seventeen she met this Glen guy, a producer for Alanis Morissette and Michael Jackson, who was impressed by her music.

So she had somewhat a mentor-business-manager thing going on with him.

He helped her produce her compositions and look for big labels to sign her.

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5. At 18, she’s finally free and traveled to places like Los Angeles where she did her music and led her musical life.

She met people and started to live her dream.

Yet it wasn’t always good for her.

For some time she had trouble with her finances trying to live on her own and working on her music career.

There was even a time she asked financial help from her then 16-year-old brother.

Yet she continued writing and singing and trying to make a living.

6. She signed up for Columbia records and had her producers the Matrix who worked for artists like Britney Spears.

The label somehow found it hard to position (as in marketing) her at first trying to find a direction that has both the edge and commercial value.

7. Dismayed of how Katy’s account is going with Columbia, this Columbia publicist woman pitched her files to Capitol Records.

Capitol was rather impressed and Katy got the deal with three songs in mind as a single to introduce her.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac: Front Row - Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2012

8. Katy got it big-time first time through her single I Kissed A Girl. Darn, I think I was senior high school then?

The release kind of had her relationship with her parents a bit rough what with the song’s utterly deviant theme.

9. She met this Russell Grant and fell utterly in love with him.

10. Katy becomes phenomenal as being the first artist ever to have five number one songs from one same album.

11. Amid her success she found it hard to keep her marriage going.

In between locations she found time to travel to where her husband was.

In Sao Paolo, Brazil amid thousands of fans, she broke down backstage before the start of the show.

Yet a true professional, she managed to pull things through and carried on.

Day 365 was at London.

By the end of 2011, she divorced Russell Grant on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

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12. In an interview she admits to be unconcerned of the notion of celebrities mixing love and career.

She realizes that there could really be things in life that don’t work but nonetheless it was some journey.

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13.Success in career and family relationships continue, and so she continues to live.

The film presents Katy’s strong point of view as an artist, a professional, a lover and an individual.

Not particularly politically correct, it is consistent with portraying all involved as whom they should be and what they are to Katy’s life without so much of kissing their asses.

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I like the fact that she comes from a Christian background and that for now she is more of spiritual than adhering so highly to religious traditions. I am so one like that – I can’t stand too much religious traditions but I do like some, like memorized prayers and some kind saints.

There sure are a lot of artists right now who has a point of view that somehow needs to be refined to juice out commercial value.

But truth is, the entertainment industry is quite crowded. Industry turnover is really fast what with abounding competition.

It is fascinating that Katy Perry climbed up on top with a strong point of view beforehand.

After all, her success has never been an overnight work for her.

Plus it surely did help that she is an amazing people person.

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What with how she treats her coworkers as the best of friends and how they understand and care for her on her very troubled times.

As for her love life, there could always be time and maybe soon enough we’ll see.

Carry on.

Popdanthology’s 2012 Songs Mashup!

Because Sherwin my classmate showed this at school and I’ve seen this featured on TV for quite some time so there.

My favorite 2012 songs are:

  1. Glad you came, The Wanted
  2. Somebody that I used to know, Gotye
  3. Set fire to the rain, Adele
  4. Payphone, Maroon 5
  5. Call me maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen

Oscars Forecast: Rowing Rooster’s Favorites

It’s the Oscars season! I can’t believe I’m too phony to have said that but it’s true! And I haven’t seen all Best Picture nominated movies yet. Which is good coz it means I’m not addicted yet! Yay!

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BEST PICTURE NOMINEES

  1. Amour | Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz, Producers
  2. Argo | Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers
  3. Beasts of the Southern Wild | Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers
  4. Django Unchained | Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers
  5. Les Misérables | Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers
  6. Life of Pi | Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers
  7. Lincoln | Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
  8. Silver Linings Playbook | Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
  9. Zero Da rk Thirty | Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers

Truth is of these nine, I’ve seen four of these only. And have reviewed them. And that’s Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi and Zero Dark Thirty. So I’d narrow my guess to these four.

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Based on freshness and boxoffice performance, I’d give the Oscar nod to… Django Unchained. Close second is Les Miserables. Life of Pi comes next, then Zero Dark Thirty.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

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  1. Anna Karenina | Seamus McGarvey
  2. Django Unchained | Robert Richardson
  3. Life of Pi | Claudio Miranda
  4. Lincoln | Janusz Kaminski
  5. Skyfall | Roger Deakins

Of these five, I’ve seen three. That’s Anna Karenina, Django Unchained and Life of Pi.

Based on awesomeness, I’d give the Oscar nod to… (No sweat, it’s so easy!) Life of Pi! Second is Anna Karenina. Third is Django Unchained.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

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  1. Anna Karenina [Production Design: Sarah Greenwood, Set Decoration: Katie Spencer]
  2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey [Production Design: Dan Hennah, Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright]
  3. Les Misérables [Production Design: Eve Stewart, Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson]
  4. Life of Pi [Production Design: David Gropman, Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock]
  5. Lincoln [Production Design: Rick Carter, Set Decoration: Jim Erickson]

Of these five, I’ve seen three. That’s Anna Karenina, Les Miserables and Life of Pi.

Based on ingenuity and awesomeness, I’d give the Oscar nod to Les Miserables! Anna Karenina then Life of Pi.

SOUND EDITING

  1. Argo. Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn.
  2. Django Unchained. Wylie Stateman.
  3. Life of Pi. Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton.
  4. Skyfall. Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers.
  5. Zero Dark Thirty. Paul N.J. Ottosson.

Of these five, I’ve seen three. That’s Django Unchained, Life of Pi and Zero Dark Thirty.

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Based on sounds that are apropos and don’t bore, I’d give the Oscar nod to Zero Dark Thirty! Django Unchained then Life of Pi.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

  1. Jessica Chastain. Zero Dark Thirty.
  2. Jennifer Lawrence. Silver Linings Playbook.
  3. Emmanuelle Riva. Amour.
  4. Quvenzhané Wallis. Beasts of the Southern Wild.
  5. Naomi Watts. The Impossible.

Of these five, I’ve seen two fantastic performances. That’s  from Chastain of Zero and Watts of Impossible.

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Based on role’s difficulty and the actress’ intensity, I’d give the nod to Naomi Watts!

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  1. Amy Adams. The Master.
  2. Sally Field. Lincoln.
  3. Anne Hathaway. Les Misérables.
  4. Helen Hunt. The Sessions.
  5. Jacki Weaver. Silver Linings Playbook.

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I’ve seen one performance and that’s enough. My hero the ANNE HATHAWAY deserves and OSCAR!!!

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The Impossible: Either they live or die stars do shine.

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Two boys and an old woman sit below the stars on the night of the tragic tsunami that swept Thailand in 2004.

“Some of the stars have been burned out for a long long time. Did you know that?”

“They’re dead, aren’t they?”

“They’re dead, but once they were so bright that their light is still travelling through space. We could still see them!”

“How can you tell which ones are dead and which ones are not?”

‘No you can’t. It’s impossible… It’s a beautiful mystery, isn’t it?”

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The Impossible is a heart-breaking tale of love for family. It shows innate traits of generosity and kindness in people that come across cultures, despite the severity of situations that arise.

Naomi Watts was outstanding in here. Her eyes are enough to feel her hurt. Her whimpering is bullet to the ears. You feel her character’s longing for her lost husband and children. Actually she could pass as her children’s older sister or something.

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Ewan McGregor and the children look adorable too. Actually the lead stars are too cute, you’d never want to make them feel hurt or something.

The movie excels much on its exposition of the main happenings of a tsunami. That tsunami scene sweeping the beachfront and tearing down palm trees was so gruesome; I guess you’d have seen horror on my face. That was some genius production there.

That dream right at the climax was gripping. I could never imagine myself surviving amid high waters with metal bars and wires and posts and all. The visuals was stunning. Realism achieved. The montage of harsh underwater visuals makes every heart pound.

If there’s one thing I could opt to improve on, it’s on how this movie solicits sympathy more than it really needs. The cast has played their parts well already; we see enough reasonable histrionic moments from them. If the direction rather have toned down a bit on its music score, and made some scenes subtler, I would have appreciated the movie better. You know that sequence in every drama where one person’s looking for the other, the camera focuses on him, strides to and fro to make the effect of bewilderedness and desperation, then the camera zooms out to a wide expanse with lots of people, then the camera focuses on the other person, then the other person  makes a scene or something, then the other person recognizes the other through his voice or his silhouette or something, then they end up with a slow-motion grand hug and kisses scene.

Alright, it’s heart-warming and all, but there’s a way subtler and more committal. After all, I’ve had enough of pensive, histrionic flairs from Les Mis so I guess I’m a bit bitter lately to these kinds of stuff.

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Other than that, I think The Impossible is a great family drama.

More than anything else, I think this movie is a tribute to the survivors and the ones departed from the tragic event; and a reminder that their light still shines from the stars.

Life of Pi (3D) puts the seas and the heavens right before your eyes.

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Life of Pi is the first 3D movie I liked.

Not that I’ve watched much 3D movies in theatres; I may have just watched two 3D Shreks and some other stuff. But Life of Pi, among all others, makes the whole 3D experience worth every penny.

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Life of Pi excels much on its animation and post-production. I don’t exactly know anything about those but I could see true hardwork to make this movie work.

I swear if you could have been with us at the theatre when we watched it, you’d never want to get identified ever in your life.

A mate and I were like those early audiences of cinema in the 1800s – so afraid of the silent running train before their very eyes.

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As for us, we were kind of scared Richard Parker would eat us alive, or that we’d drown in the Pacific, or that we’d soak wet in the roaring tides of the storm, or that we’d get lost with the stars in space, or that we’d get stuck in the carnivorous island, or that we’d get a bite from the hyena, or that we’d be Moby Dick-ing or something with a whale in the ocean.

Life of Pi has very powerful visuals. Watching it on theater was an experience!

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As for the story, I do respect religious beliefs but I am at a point where I get quite critical with materials using religious drivels.

As much as I appreciate how the story is interpreted visually, I think the writing was quite formulaic.

The premise of One God and religious traditions was rather interesting, yet I think it needs to be more sublime as I find it quite expository-preachy, needs more kick (which I really don’t know how it could be done), and not just rely on making the whole gimmick cute (what with a child having multiple religions).

This means that I don’t buy the premise that one’s multiplicity in religious beliefs is by sheer simple choice or some metaphysical perspective of sort.

There must be a deeper reason – like introspective conflicts, big break-ups, or some Eat, Pray and Love drama of sort.

And so, if this movie has some problems in it, I think it’s in its attempt to take on big subjects as religion and trying to attack them with simple cute premises.

I know it was a minor part of the story but it kind of drove or set the tone of the whole thing. I would have wanted some street bad-ass Tarantino-esque harshness to cut the subtlety and the Ocean Park Adventure of this.  (Or maybe I’m just feeling a bit bitter as a gourd lately that’s why.)

Nonetheless, Life of Pi is one of the most enjoyable films I’ve watched on theatre. Kind of made me miss dipping by the seashore. Never with a tiger though.

Zero Dark Thirty plays Counter Strike.

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It’s not stereotyping the movie’s military antics as some RPG or arcade game or anything, it just feels like one.

Well for starters, Zero Dark Thirty has some interesting detective-like, military intelligence-like narrative going on, with the exposition set through a female agent who has got some serious balls.

She just can’t wait to get the thing done. Well if you’re someone working on something that’s taking you more than getting a college degree then that’s worth the impatience.

The writing was good, although I’ve read some article before that’s more gripping than the perspective presented here in Zero.

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Zero banks on its heroine, played by Jessica Chastain who’s one of my newest heroes since The Help, and it’s quite interesting actually.

I understand that through her the exposition of intelligence methods and tactics and all are done so, there.

Going back to Jessica Chastain, I really think she’s good, and the nomination she deserves. Chastain is simply brilliant; she plays relatively a wide range of characters.

She could be tough, vulnerable, charming, never too sassy, and ends up looking very appropriate whatever that means.

I understand where public opinion stating distaste for the movie’s stance on torture as intelligence method is.

For me, the movie is serious and tackles the subject torture with passivity.

Although we see Chastain’s character slightly abashed by the proceedings, she still does it as she thinks it’s pertinent to get things done.

I think it’s where the problem is: the heroine isn’t a real phony who cries much or introspects for having done a ridiculous act of torture just to get the job done.

Had she been singing like Hugh Jackman in Les Mis for every phony misdeed she does, then the movie could have been cleared of such ‘torture’ allegations. Or nope?

As for me, I really enjoyed the night vision territorial intercept going on in the last hour.

That scene where they intercept the subject’s territory and they’re geared and all. That was cool.

Darn I miss Counter Strike. Not that I used to play much of it.

Inside Claridge’s (Part 3) plays well at the 2012 London Olympics.

Inside Claridge’s of BBC shows the ways and means of the hotel’s management, and its very rich clients. After long negotiations, the hotel’s management agreed to do the documentary.

This episode shows preparations for the 2012 Olympics as heads around the world are booked at the hotel. A 10-day pop-up restaurant is also marketed for the Olympics featuring world’s top-rated restaurateurs from Noma.

If I could only work at Claridge’s someday. I’m graduating soon. I could start out as a waiter or a telephone man there.

(Idea taken from chuvaness.com)

Inside Claridge’s (Part 2) tales customer demands and supplying staff.

Inside Claridge’s of BBC shows the ways and means of the hotel’s management, and its very rich clients. After long negotiations, the hotel’s management agreed to do the documentary.

We’re seeing more of the meticulous head of housekeeping, the butler, the lift man, quality control procedures, renovations.

(Idea taken from chuvaness.com)

Inside Claridges (Part 1) tells why good old rich people go back to Mayfair, London.

Inside Claridge’s of BBC shows the ways and means of the hotel’s management, and its very rich clients. After long negotiations, the hotel’s management agreed to do the documentary.

In here, we are introduced to Claridge’s hardworking staff led by General Manager Thomas Kochs. Funny coz he’s a German in a highly Brit world.

My favorite part in here is the story of the old couple who’ve been going to the hotel for many holidays.

(Idea taken from chuvaness.com)

Maroon 5 and Makes Me Wonder.

Wikipedia says:

“Makes Me Wonder” is the first single released from Maroon 5’s second album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (2007). It premiered on the Las Vegas radio station Mix 94.1, and became an instant hit worldwide. Upon release, the song set a record for the biggest jump to number-one in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, rising from number 64 to number-one. However, the record was later broken by Kelly Clarkson’s 2009 single, “My Life Would Suck Without You”.

“Makes Me Wonder” also became the band’s first number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 50th Grammy Awards, their second song to win the award. The song was among the most successful of 2007, and was their biggest hit until the release of “Moves Like Jagger” by the band in 2011.

Despite the song’s commercial success, critical reception was mixed. It was ranked No. 49 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007. Maroon 5 performed the song in May 2007 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

I was sophomore in high school when I first heard this song. It’s a sex song obviously and has some seriously great tones, beats and all. It’s still my favorite Maroon 5 song to date.

Maroon 5 says:

Wake up with blood-shot eyes

Struggled to memorize

Way it felt to hearing lies

People that made you cry

Feel so good to be bad

Not worth the aftermath

After that, after that

Try to get you back

I still don’t have the reason

And you don’t have the time

And it really makes me wonder

If I ever gave a thought about you

Give me something to believe in

‘Cause I don’t believe in you anymore, anymore

I wonder if it even makes a difference to try

Yeah, so this is goodbye

I copied the clean version, I guess.

50 Cent sings My Life and features Eminem and Adame Levine.

50 Cent says:

Cause I’m ain’t writing anymore, they not making hits
I’m far from perfect, there’s so many lessons I done learned
If money is evil look at all the evil I done heard
Im doing what im supposed to
Im a writer, im a fighter, entrepeneur
Fresh off the sewer, watch me manouver, what’s it to you?
The track I laced it, it’s better than basic
This is my recovery, my comeback in

My life, my life
Makes me wanna run away
But there’s no place to go, no place to go
A lot of confusion, it’s like illusion
Like a movie, got nowhere to go
Nowhere to run and hide, no matter how hard I try

Wikipedia says:

“My Life” is a song by American hip hop recording artist 50 Cent and the second official single of his forthcoming fifth studio album Street King Immortal.[1] The single, which features his mentor and fellow American rapper Eminem and Maroon 5’s lead singer Adam Levine, was produced by American music producer Symbolyc One.[2] The song premiered on American radio station Hot 97, and was made available for digital download on iTunes Store on November 26, 2012.[3]

The track was produced and written by Symbolyc One, 50 Cent, Eminem, Adam Levine and Herb Rooney. Recorded in 2010, it finds the two rappers spitting about the pressures of fame, with Eminem and 50’s past collaborations focusing on menacing wordplay. However on this song they both opened up about their lives like never before. 50 Cent raps about pressures of fame, rifting on his meteoric 2003 rise and former G-Unit artists Game and Young Buck, who he feels took advantage of his creative generosity. While Eminem goes as far as to question even returning to rap to make Recovery.[6]

This song’s a crossroads moment for the non-phonies.

Les Miserables (2012): Top 7 must see scenes… or songs… or both!

Okay, I think I’m not done with my Les Mis froufrou yet. Again, Les Mis is enjoyable no matter how boring it can be to some. Les Mis is Les Mis that you can’t go missing its nicely made songs.

So let’s do a run, shall we?

7. Stars by Javert

Okay, you may be thinking of Russel Crowe now. But if you listen to the music closely it’s got some beautiful lyrics in it punctuated by a strong melody in low register. I could seriously sing this song, you should hear me out! Hahaha.

The song talks about Javert’s frustration of not catching Valjean. You think he has a crush on him? No. Javert is so obsessed with his job, that’s just why. He wants the law done, and the law says prisoners sent out for temporary pardon to work like Valjean must come back, yet Valjean managed to escape, so Javert’s all itchy now.

Now in the song Javert’s swearing! He’s swearing to the stars. He’s showing some balls – his testament of truth and devotion to his profession, and most importantly to his God.

6. Master of the House by the Thenadiers

This is a fun song. A very dirty, fun song, I’d like some wipes and some bleach to clean up the mess!

The song introduces the crooked landlords of an inn-slash-brothel. They’ve got serious lessons for cost-cutting. I must say they’re revolutionary in hotel cost management there. It can be all that simple you see – cat for sausages, watering the barrel of wine, charging much for looking at the mirror twice.

5. Do you hear the people sing? By cast ensemble

This is one scene repositioned in the film. This is a great song.

It talks about revolutionary people how they’re eager for change, how they’re strong and bold, all that.

4. On My Own by Eponine

This song carries the musical to pop culture. This is an amateur singing contest piece for young female singers.

Looking closely, you appreciate how soft the melody is, how rich and leveled it goes on the ears. The song is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius who loves Cossette. So she’s there, a bit bitter as a bittergourd, but she can do nothing about Marius’ feelings. She can’t make her love him so she does do it on her own. No not that, I mean, maybe live life on her own. Go on with life on her own.

Not do as in do it on her own. She can, but quite gross, but she’ll do it on her own.

3. Valjean’s Death by Valjean, Fantine and Bishop

This is one heartfelt, nicely choreographed scene. But yes, I still am not amenable to the pensive Hugh Jackman but he worked it out in here.

This scene comes close to heart as it shows Valjean departing from a life spent mostly hiding and paying for moral debts. And it’s nice to lay to rest in a Church. It’s serene and peaceful. And there’s an angel fetching you. And the angel happens to be Anne Hathaway. Sigh.

2. Bring Him Home by Valjean

This is one difficult song to sing. Hugh Jackman can sing this just enough. But if you’ve watched renditions of this from the tenors of the musical (like Alfie Boe in this vid), they’re so good.

This is a prayer song asking God for protection and that Valjean may do safely his plans.

1. I dreamed a dream by Fantine

What did I just say about Anne Hathaway? On this? Enough said. Period.

*All media belong to Universal, the producers, or entities who may claim ownership to these materials. Thank you very much.