ABC’s ‘Duets’ is off to a rough start, needs a new host

ABC’s new singing competiton, “Duets” launched a couple weeks ago.

While I found the idea of bringing back the heart-wrenching appreciation for duets, I don’t think the show is going to go over well with American families. It may be trying to compete with the mega-singing competitions, such as American Idol, The Voice or the X-Factor. Tragically, it’s more realistic to say it’s competing against NBC’s “The Sing Off.”

Quite frankly, who even watched that show?

I missed the premier. I also missed the second episode. I caught up on both episodes by finding it in COX’s “On Demand” guide.

If you’ve missed “duets”, the concept is similar to The Voice in that music stars, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, Robin Thicke and Kelly Clarkson each form a duo-team to compete against each other. These ‘amateurs’ as host Quddus repeatedly refers to the contestants sing duets with their team captain. The remaining team captains (judges) rate each  contestant on vocal talent and performance on a scale up to 100-points.

The contestants hope to be at the top of the charts after each week. In you find yourself in the original ‘bottom two’ you risk being eliminated.

I’m a huge fan of singing shows. I enjoy the underdog-scenerios where you can see someone really wanting to go for their dream and than get that ultimate opportunity. As much as I want to enjoy this show, it hasn’t been executed properly. It almost seems like a charity show competition in the harshest words.

Aside from the obvious stars, the talent is minimal. The performances are very theatrical to the point that they become cheesy. It’s a singing competition. There needs to be a balance between serious singing and booking a gig at a 90th birthday party.

The judges are not providing serious critiques after each performance. There really giving the contestants a “poop sandwich.” They mix together a series of compliments in between the real piece of constructive feedback. If it is a competition, it’s okay to be harsh. You’re trying to coach them. At least that is what I thought.

Quddus as host is pretty similar to when Brian Dunkleman hosted alongside Ryan Seacrest on the first season of American Idol. He doesn’t move the show along besides what is written in his prompts. He hasn’t developed a charisms that connects the audience through the television set. Most of the time, I find his interactions to be awkward with the contestants. Does anyone think he is flirting with every female contestant?

Right of the bat, I don’t think “duets” will succeed beyond this first season. I truly like the idea. It fits into a new niche in singing competitions that isn’t on any other network. To be successful, it will need some structure changes.

We shall see as the season progresses.

Check out a couple other blogger reviews below:

Dipped in Cream – ‘Duets’ Review, Does ABC Have A Hit On Its Hands?

Entertainment Weekly – Duets recap: Sandwiches, Skittles, and Thicke

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Fun Tidbit: Seth Rogen buys booze, gets ID’d

Was surfing through the Entertainment sites, which typically consists of TMZ, E! News, and Showbiz Tonight, and came across this enlighting story about Seth Rogen.

The comical Hollywood star was out buying a case of cold ones and ended up getting ID’d, according to TMZ.com.

You can view the whole story on TMZ — http://www.tmz.com/2011/04/12/seth-rogen-carded-idd-picture-711-la-los-angeles-picture-corona-beer/

Chris Brown finally speaks out about incident on “Good Morning America.”

 

TMZ has reported that Chris Brown as finally spoke out regarding his anger-incident this week on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

According to the video where Brown spoke with BET’s “106 and Park”, he said the talking points were to stick to his new album and about moving forward. I don’t think it really explains or covers up his obvious anger issues.

For the full article by TMZ, check it out here: http://www.tmz.com/2011/03/24/chris-brown-good-morning-america-apology-robin-roberts-rihanna-video/

 

Does this make everything okay with you and your view of Chris Brown?

YouTube’s Nick Pitera unleashes new “One Man Disney Movie” medley.

Youtube Star Nick Pitera or Goonieman86 released a Disney-inspired medley today in which he calls a “One Man Disney Movie” where he brings together music from the old-school classics and throws in a few more recent snippits here. Together he shows off a heroine, villian, and the hero.

It’s a fun-filled 8 minute video full of props and some quick costume changes, but most of all entertainment.

Can you name all the songs and their movie he used?

Do Chris Brown’s recent actions on ABC’s “Good Morning America” alter your view of him?

This week Chris Brown appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to promote his new albume- F.A.M.E. But recent news about the lessening of his restraining order against Rihanna was also big news.

After not liking a few of Robin Roberts questions about his past legal troubles with Rihanna, he apparently entered his dressing room, obviously upset about the questions, and alledgedly tossed a chair at a window overlooking New York City. While article say no one physically saw Brown throw the chair, the pictures definitely show a different story. TMZ obtained these photos, as well as repairmen coming to fix the windows. And ABC has said they won’t press charges. And E News! is reporting that ABC wants Chris Brown to come back on the show to talk more about his frustration I’m guessing.

Later that evening, TMZ captured pictures of Brown grinding up on some girl as a club. The photos obtained by TMZ clearly show Brown happy-go-lucky and enjoying the performance.

But, what does this show about Chris Brown’s character?

Does this alter your view of him as a role model, which he often said he wanted to be? I can see where a man going through that situation would definitly want to move on from the story, ensure that it gets out of the public eye. But, as a celebrity figure, the general public is curious about your life. Celebrity news and turmoil is news. It comes with the job.

And I think one of the more practical ways to get your story through the media and out of the media quickly, while also retaining a positive image, is to do what so few celebrities do–Is to be upfront and honest with yourself and the public. People are curious. It is human nature. This isn’t was Chris Brown has done very well. He publicly apologized for the incident with Rihanna and we have moved on from that. The questions now are how is your relationship, do you hang out, and if not, does it bother you. Mr. Brown, I don’t think these are difficult questions or anything to get upset over.

If you don’t like the questions, all you need to do is simply answer them quickly and then let the interview move on. You don’t need to give an attitude and then go and make a seen. If you didn’t notice, you took the focus away from your album and put yourself back in the public eye, which I’m sure is in a much more negative light then you would have wished. But then again, maybe that’s what you wanted in the first place–more publicity.

Ryan Seacrest and Nick Jonas surprise American Idol eliminee Karen Rodriguez and sister on radio show

You might have missed it, but Karen Rodriquez was eliminated from American Idol this past week after a performance that some could say fell a bit away from her comfort zone, or even genre. But, before she went on to perform, she let the audience in to exactly why she tried out for American Idol–her sister is a huge fan of Nick Jonas. And perhaps by meeting Ryan Seacrest, Rodriquez would be able to help connect her sister with her own American Idol.

By a glimpse of Hollywood magic, Ryan Seacrest had Rodriguez on his radio show, talking about the recent experience of American Idol and her sister’s love for Nick Jonas, when the Disney-Star walks into the studio.

Nick Jonas then called Rodriguez’s sister and after a few “oh my gosh’s” and some tears, the star told her sister that the next time she is in New York or Los Angeles and he has an event or a concert, she would be his guest of honor. He thanked her for continuing to support him, his brothers, and their music.

It was a really great moment to watch on “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” as it showed that people can enjoy a Hollywood-Style experience, but still be humbled and appreciative, while still focusing on the importance of family.

Kicker: If you’ve heard Rebecca Black’s “Friday” music video in the past couple of weeks, Nick Jonas put his own spin on the song during a recent concert. You can check out at video here at, As The Reel Unwinds, as well. You can be the judge if it’s a better version or not or if the song itself is just horrible.

‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ features Cage, Baruchel in a magic-less movie

Right off the broomstick’s handle, this movie really left me disappointed. As many who went to see it–and as many reviewers have already pointed out–it initially looked to have a newly attractive concept, taking an adaption from the notorious Fantasia. The scene where Mickey looses control all the brooms, buckets, and cleaning supplies and everything goes crazy. Well, you will see a modern-day version of that scene. And that is the only scene you see from the Disney classic.

What else do you get? A quality script with a lot of potential… However, it just needed a few more months to become perfect. Instead, it was rushed to printing. You get some over-used graphics.

But… you do get some great acting by Nicholas Cage, Jay Baruchel, and Theresa Palmer. That counts for something.

Nicholas Cage has put down his treasure map and replaced it with a spellbook. This time around, Cage is a late disciple of the Great Merlin, known as Balthazar Blake. A powerful wizard who has no mortality. He’s looking for the next great Sorcerer of our time–having waited 1,000 from inside a magical “junk” shop in one of New York City’s allies. Yet, when a young school boy wonders into his shop, the wait is over. Dave hears his fait; that he is the next sorcerer’s apprentice. But it isn’t until Dave reaches college that he and Balthazar meet again. At this point, Balthazar needs Dave’s help to save the world from a mortal enemy. Yet, Dave his a nerdy kid who wants to live a normal life. Can he survive the training and win the heart of a girl? Life is about choices.

The film does have some attractive scenes, especially where Dave shows Becky is experience. It’s a creative musical concert performed by active electricity. That was visually exciting! The most exciting part of the movie was the final 10 minutes where the battle scenes were. Then the credits were rolling. It happened to quick. The battle scenes, although filled with some 2000-style graphics, should have been in the middle of the movie. Then other battles could have escalated from there. At least the audiences attention would have been kept.

Rating: D

Angelina Jolie is Agent ‘Salt’

Editor’s Note: This is perhaps the one blog post that I’ve been the most excited to write. It’s not just because the film was really good, but moreso because this could be a conversation starter. Also, check out my friend Lauren’s review, here

Before I hit the review, I have a question. Does Angelina Jolie have a large following? Do people get excited to see her films? Honestly, while I was watching Salt I realized that this was the first movie starring–or even having her in it, frankly–that I had seen (I do want to see Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Changeling).

I felt that the only times I saw Angelina in the news was over people’s dilemmas with her relationships, jealousy over her husband, or her humanitarian work abroad. It just seemed that there was a general feeling of resentment towards her. I’m not saying there is. This may not be a big deal to people, but it is to me because I was actually surprised Salt was that good. Jolie’s performance was incredible. She played the character well. Why didn’t I think she would do a good job? Her other movies are well done from what I’ve heard.

I talked to a few people and I did get some interesting perspectives. One person agreed that she doesn’t have a hyped up following such as Jennifer Aniston (not intentional connection with past drama), or Leonardo DiCpario, or even Adam Sandler. However, that people are drawn to her movies because her acting is phenominal. She plays these dark and creepy roles well. And that people like to see that.

Another take on it was that yeah, people don’t like her personally, but she has a following. People see the movies because she IS starring in it. They said not to care about her personal life, but focus on her professionalism. This take was saying that Jolie usually performs her own stunts saying “how can you not respect that?”

What’s your take? I’m just curious. Thought it’d be an interesting discussion.

The Review

Angelina Jolie is Agent Salt, who works for the Central Intelligence Agency. She’s known to be the best when it comes to interrogating potential threats. On the day of her wedding anniversary, Jolie (Salt) is just getting off work when a defector enters the agency. Salt is quickly called to the interrogation room to clear this one out. But when he accuses her of being a Russian spy, she becomes the center of the interrogation. She flees pleading that her husband is in danger, while the CIA thinks she guilty. Now, who is Evelyn Salt? And is it possible for a spy to plant themselves into the CIA? In an almost Bourne Supremacy-like fashion, the chase begins.

With Inception blowing the minds of many only a few weeks ago, Salt is a very likable dessert. It’s an intense movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat, literally. Expect to put your hands to your face and say, “What!?” You may even say it more than once.

Jolie’s performance was phenomenal. She committed to every scene, had so much intensity and emotion with her character, it was visually striking to watch. I felt the intensity while I was watching the film–I couldn’t stop eating the popcorn!

Hopefully, next summer we’ll rock a Salt 2.0!

Rating: A-

‘Despicable Me’ is nothing to complain about, a film for all ages

I’ll admit it, from the moment I saw those green jellybean-shaped minions in the trailer, I had a hunch that Despicable Me was going to be a good movie to see. It certainly didn’t let me down.

Steve Carrell, who voices Gru, a light-hearted evil villain, is competing for his place in the world–to be the ultimate villain. In his world, being the ultimate villain means being the mastermind behind the biggest trick. Right off in the beginning, Gru is out tricked when his dorky arch enemy, Vector (Jason Segel) steals the Great Pyramid and replaces it with a balloon replica.  Now the pressure is on for Gru to come up with a much better plan–to steal the moon. Gru takes his chances and is willing to go to all lengths to ensure he stature isn’t broken, even if that means deceiving 3 orphan girls–Margo, Edith, and Agnes–who give him the chance at being a dad. A mission that proves to be his toughest yet.

Other familiar voices you may or may not recognize include Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, and Miranda Cosgrove.

Despicable Me isn’t just a movie that is suitable for little kids. C’mon, this movie is not G-Force. It’s a film that can entertain people from all ages. I guarantee you will smile at least a few times throughout the film. Maybe it’s because those little green minions can’t speak, but make hysterical sounds, or perhaps its the cuteness of a little girl who says, “Does this count as annoying” and proceeds to smack her cheeps together. In any event, the film will have you feeling warm and fuzzy and even laughing.

For me, I’m hoping they make a minion keychain. I want one.

Rating: B+

‘Toy Story 3’ closes chapter with laughter, tears, and memories

Woody. Buzz. Jessie the Yodelin’ Cowgirl. Bulleye. Slinky. Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head. Pizza Planet Aliens.

The Toys are back! The masterminds at both Pixar and Disney reopened up their storyboards and brought together the perfect closing to a 1990s blockbuster series with Toy Story 3.

While bringing back the original all-star cast, including Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz), and Joan Cusack (Jessie) the movie was sure to be another blockbuster hit for the 21st century. This time the toys were on their largest adventure yet–Sunnyside daycare.

In a film that many  kids grew up with, quite literally, Andy has now grown up and is now heading off to college. Throughout the years Woody and the gang made their way to the dusty toy box being replaced by skateboard and band posters and iPods (slight cameo in the scene with the sister). In a college cleaning mixup, the toys find themselves being donated to Sunnyside daycare under the care of a deceivingly fluffy pink bear, Lotso. In a daring and emotionally filled adventure, the toys desperately seek to be reunited with their teenage owner.

Along the way, we meet a few new characters that are hilarious, such as the materialistic Ken (voiced by Michael Keaton) and Barbie (voiced by Jodie Benson), and the dramatic Mr. Pricklepants, Trixie, and Dolly.

Pixar is the leading contender when it comes to animated movies. Not only did Toy Story 3 go back to the original animation styles similar to what we saw in Toy Story 1 and TS2, they continue to create crisp and detailed settings scene after scene that can, in the words of another blogger, Lauren Cohen, “rival” the previous films.

Toy Story 3 is a huge success because these toys were not just seen as pieces of plastic, these were toys that many of us owned and played with growing up. I’ll admit it, I had Woody, Buzz, and the RC racing car (even though he didn’t make the 3rd film). These movies had the ability to add personality to each of these characters. There is no exception when it comes to the third one. In the final minutes of the film–no spoiler here–in a theatre filled with graduating high schoolers and current college students, whether anyone will admit it or not, smiles and tears were in nearly every eye.

Congratulations Pixar and Disney. This is a success.

Rating: A