Why are horror films popular?

scared

Horror films are a strange thing. Why do people pay to be scared and to watch horrible things happening on screen? Some of the most famous and biggest films in history have been horror films – from Psycho to The Exorcist, to Friday 13th to the Blair Witch Project. Read more

Why Breaking Bad was so good

bb

I’ve just finished watching Breaking Bad and wow what an amazing series it is – for me it’s the best show ever – beats The Sopranos easily and even better than The Wire as well, which I really liked too. Here for me are the reasons it was so good. Read more

Best music releases 2014

Pharrell

2014 has been a pretty good year for music, and here’s a list of my favorites.

Pharrell Williams – Happy

Seems like everyone likes this song. Pharrell can do no wrong at the moment, has been having phenomenal success in the past few years, Blurred Lines was massive too – I loved that song as well despite all the controversy about it. His stuff is often pretty retro but done in such a modern way – and great tunes and style.

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Fergie Duhamel: Then and Now

I am a huge fan of the Black Eyed Peas. I have every album they have ever released and have watched concerts they’ve held in my area. For today’s post, I thought I’d write a piece on Fergie, the only female member of the group.

Fergie is one of the most popular female vocalists of the millennia. Aside from being the only female member of the award winning hip hop rock band Black Eyed Eyes, she has also released a solo album that also landed at the top of the charts in 2006. To top it off, she has also been very successful in her business ventures in the fashion industry.

Indeed, Fergie seems to have it all. However, like most celebrities who started in show business at a very young age, she also went through some dark and troubled times. Let’s take a closer look at how Fergie has managed to turn her life around over the years.

Early Life

Stacy Ann Ferguson was born on the 27th of March 1975 in Hacienda Heights, California. She started starring in TV commercials at a very young age. By 1984, she was signed to be a part of Kids Incorporated, a show based on a fictional musical group with the same name. Fergie left Kids Incorporated in 1990 but in the 6 seasons she was part of the show, she was able to sharpen as well as showcase her singing skills.

In 1992, Fergie joined Wild Orchid, an all girls singing trio that consisted of herself, fellow Kids Inc alumnus Renee Sandstrom, and Stefanie Ridel. However, Wild Orchid failed to reach stardom despite releasing 2 albums and fronting Cher’s Do You Believe Tour with Cyndi Lauper. After their label decided to not release their third album in 2001, Fergie decided it was time to leave the group.

Battling Drug Addiction

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2006 Fergie revealed that she struggled with drug addiction from 1993 until the early part of 2002. She believes that it was the stress and frustration she felt as Wild Orchid was struggling that lead her to start using drugs. On top of that, she said she also felt like she lost a sense of her identity because she was trying so hard to keep up with the image that the trio was built on. All that lead her to start partying where she learned to experiment with Ecstasy. Her experimental drug use eventually lead her to become addicted to crystal meth.

In a recent interview with Oprah, she revealed that her extreme paranoia when under the influence of crystal meth and her faith in God were what lead her to sobriety. She said that she’s been sober since the day she asked God for a sign in 2002.

Today, Fergie supports many addiction recovery movements and talks about her experience in hopes of inspiring drug addicts to live a life to sobriety.

The Black Eyed Peas

Shortly after she decided to become sober, she was offered the front man spot of the hip hop rock band Black Eyed Peas. In 2003, the band released the album Elephunk which carried the song that launched the band into stardom – “Where is the Love?”. From then on, the group has enjoyed continuous success from the succeeding albums and singles they released.

The Black Eyed Peas are still together to this very day despite the fact that its members have released solo albums over the years.

Personal Life

Fergie married actor Josh Duhamel in 2009 after 5 years of dating. It was then that Fergie decided to legally change her name to Fergie Duhamel. In 2013, she gave birth to their first child and named him Axl Jack Duhamel.

Style

Fergie is considered one of the most stylish women in the music industry. Her personal style is a mixture of sexy modernism and a little bit of funk. She has graced the red carpet wearing pieces made especially for her by top designers all over the world.

However, the most noticeable thing about Fergie’s physical appearance is how her teeth have improved since she first started singing with the Black Eyed Peas. A cosmetic dentist who specializes in veneers in Atlanta said that crystal meth addicts can never deny that they used the drug because the substance destroys teeth.

Looking at Fergie’s photos back in the early years of the Black Eyed Peas, it can be seen that her teeth clearly showed signs of crystal meth damage. But today, you can see her sporting a bright smile in every photograph. Gossip blogs have speculated that she got porcelain veneers in Altanta or from a renowned cosmetic dentistry clinic in Los Angeles.

Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story – Film Review

Christopher Guest has influenced a whole generation by creating a sub genre of film comedy that uses improvisation in a mockumentary style; this style is seen in contemporary television and movies where it ceases to be pale imitations and more an accepted style of filmmaking. Blackballed: The Story of Bobby Dukes is greatly by Guest’s films but seems to miss the point of the earnestness of his mockumentary filmmaking.

Bobby Dukes is a legendary but disgraced championship paint baller, self-exiled for 10 years and has returned to his hometown in upstate New York for redemption from a fall from grace because he was caught “wiping”; when a player wipes the paint off his uniform to keep playing is the most serious offense in paintball and considered cheating. In one of the more brilliant segments and the opening scene to the movie is Lenny Pear’s (“The League’s” Paul Scheer) re-creation of the controversial event with his He-Man action figures on a miniature paintball field. Bobby’s back and wants to play so he tries to get a team together but being branded a cheater doesn’t make him a desirable teammate and the search proves futile. He turns to Lenny for help in finding new blood for the team and they fashion together a ragtag band of brothers, and his sister Erika, to regain the glory of another championship win. But first, they go on a quest to find sufficient paintball markers and gear.

Corddry delivers an understated performance, portraying Dukes as Zen-like in his approach to paintball. Rob Riggle, D.J. Hazzard, do most of the heavy lifting as far as outlandish, intense characters are concerned but as far as character development it works well. Bobby Dukes is a paintball guru who still holds a reputation as being the best at what he does and that attracts the intensity of those around him.

The issues I have from first time director, Brant Serson is the inconsistency of plot. Minor characters are introduced and one gets the distinct feeling that there are more stories behind the relationship between Bobby and that character but Serson drops it. The old high school girlfriend, the rival Sam Brown who gets thrown in again haphazardly in the last 10 minutes to remind us that he still exists. Situations are introduced that lead the audience down one path and makes us think we’re watching a different movie. The best example of this is when, in the championship game, Bobby gets hit and the question is brought up if he wiped again or did his sliding in the grass wipe it off; a good opportunity for Serson to show the conflict in character that Bobby has. Instead, he’s out of the game and the game goes on, the camera doesn’t follow the subject of the “documentary”; Bobby has been in every shot or present in the background that it is reasonable to assume that the camera goes with him wherever he goes. It makes very little sense why Bobby would quietly go to the sidelines and the camera wouldn’t follow for his reaction or showing us the rest of the game from Bobby’s POV.

The film had minor laughs and the characters were watchable; I would have liked to see more of the one-scene wonders of Ed Helms and Jack Brayer personally. What I think the film was missing was more heart; Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries have an earnestness and respect for the characters that involves them in a world that makes sense to them and isn’t created to make fun. Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story would have worked better as a straight narrative comedy film in the vein as “Blades of Glory” or “Dodgeball”.