Film Review: Straight Outta Compton

 

Last week Straight Outta Compton finally arrived in theatres and I must say it has made its mark, as the film shot straight to number one in the UK box office charts. The biopic debuted the charts with £2.4 million to claim the number one spot from Inside Out which only took £1.2 million in its opening weekend (Hegarty.T, Digital Spy, 2015). 

The film details the rise, fall and ill-fated reunion attempt, of the american hip hop group N.W.A (N****z With Attitude). They took the music industry by storm in the late 1980s, with their  distinctive style and controversial lyrics. Director Felix Gary Gray (Friday,Law Abiding Citizen, The Italian Job) did a remarkable job with this biographical motion picture as it was both entertaining and educational to watch. The 5 individuals – Eazy-E,Dr Dre,MC Ren,Ice Cube and DJ Yella – that would form the group, had no idea the amount of success they would garner just by putting their skills and talent together. However, fame and sucess is not always what it seems, and it isn’t long until friendships are broken and loyalty is misguided.

Besides the brilliant storyline, the casting couldn’t have been any better. Where do I even begin? The simple fact that O’Shea Jackson Jnr was cast to play Ice Cube was casting brilliance, and quite simply a no brainer. Apart from their resemblance (which shouldn’t come as a surprise as Ice Cube is his father) he did a great job depicting his father’s role within the group.

 

Whilst we are on this subject I feel it would be rude of me not to point out Jason Mitchell’s performance as Eric ‘Eazy-E’ Wright -he absolutely nailed it! From the jheri curl, raiders gear and thick gold chain to the high pitched rap voice. Mitchell did a fine job to really give us a glimpse into the life and death of the late rapper. This movie should surely put the relatively unknown actor on the map and on the road to secure more prominent roles.

It is safe to say that we have now established how fantastic I feel this film is, but in every analysis you have to look at both sides of the coin. The film did well to cover significant events within the group’s reign in the late 1980s to mid 1990s , but there was little and hardly any positive representation of women. They were portrayed as submissive entities who were either groupies or baby mothers in constant pursuit of male attention. The story suggests that the group reached a high level of success and popularity based on the efforts of men.

Nevertheless it would be silly not to find time and experience cinematic brilliance at its finest. The film is out across all UK theatres, so book your ticket whilst you can.

 

 

 

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School Memories: The Neeky/Nerdy Guy

When I was in Secondary School I seemed to have got along with most people in my year group, had a decent group of friends and most of all I studied and completed all of my homework. Pretty much sums up the average student doesn’t it? A part of me wasn’t happy with this, I didn’t think I was ‘cool’ enough, I wanted to have some sort of edge about me and increase my social status. I just felt like a ‘neek’, or as I our transatlantic cousins would say: a ‘nerd’.

Why was it that the unpopular guys in school never seemed to be a hit with the girls? Well your guess is as good as mine, but whilst you’re thinking about that , I could come up with a few reasons why the ‘cool guys’ were so popular.

First of all … Who are these ‘cool guys’? To simply put it, there are the type of guys that the girls went for.

In school there were THREE different types of ‘cool guys’.

They were …….

1. THE BAD GUY 

First ‘cool guy’ that girls seemed to love was the ‘Bad Guy’, who had little regard for his own education, turned up to class when he felt like it and didn’t give a flying monkeys about the school code of conduct. This somehow didn’t seem to bother girls but instead they found it quite attractive. Also let’s not forget to mention that he is usually not in touch with his emotions. So he feels no way about breaking girls’ hearts and treating them like shit, but despite all that they still liked him.

2. THE SPORTY GUY

Then there is the ‘Sporty Guy’, who was good at football and obviously on the school football team. He got fairly averaged grades and showed up to class most times. He was sure of himself and was good looking, which he played on a lot , it was no surprise that girls would throw themselves at him. Though he made some effort to learn and actually get an education, football was all he seemed to care about.

 

3. THE ‘MR STEAL YOUR GIRL’ GUY

Finally there is the ‘Mr “Steal Your Girl” Guy’ , who didn’t necessarily go around school trying to get with girls who had boyfriends – although he could if he wanted to – but was the guy who was eye candy for most girls because he was insanely handsome. He wasn’t a nerd but he was fairly smart and seemed to do all his work and attend classes most times too.

There may be a few more categories I could have added, but these were the ones that really sprung to mind. What category do you think I would come under? Don’t worry I don’t expect you to answer that as you may not have really known me in Secondary School or even know me at all. But if I were to answer my own question I would say none of the above. I was pretty much a neek/nerd at school , I’m even laughing to myself as I say this but it was the truth. Who is the Neeky/Nerdy Guy?

THE NEEKY/NERDY GUY

At school I was pretty much a neek/nerd, I went to class 90% of the time, completed homework to the best of my ability and always had school equipment.Yep! I took my education very seriously which is normal. As I said earlier I wanted to have some sort of edge and level of ‘coolness’. I tried to get on the school football team but it wasn’t long until I realised that I wasn’t  great at football. I had more chance of finding a needle in a haystack than I did in making the cut for the school football team.

I bunked off once and started hanging out with one of the ‘bad boys’ at school, in the hope that it will increase my social status. After a while I had realised that I wasn’t about that life, no matter how hard I tried. Soon enough I had no choice but to really embrace the neek/nerd in me. This wasn’t a bad thing in fact it was good that I was so studious and wanted to achieve the best grades I could, after all that’s what I was there for. I was just going through a phase because at the time being an excellent student and completing homework just didn’t seem ‘cool’ enough. I wanted to be popular and yeah admittedly be a hit with the girls , but it just didn’t happen.

Eventually when I did embrace who I really was , it felt like some sort of freedom because I didn’t have to put on this act and most of all if a girl did like me , I knew that she would like me for just simply being me. At school I’m sure we all had a little phase we went through, it’s perfectly normal.

So Guys what ‘cool guy’ category would you say you came under? and Ladies what type of ‘cool guy’ did you fall for?

Are You Connected or Attached?

Ideally (well most of us) we want a partner that makes us feel good about ourselves, someone who is there to encourage us and get us through our darkest hours. It’s a good feeling right? It sure is! But what if you’re with someone that mentally or even physically drains you? 

That is probably the worst feeling ever, when in a relationship! Nobody wants to take on that title of the nagging boyfriend/girlfriend , although (in my experience) you females tend to be the one that nag the most: ‘where were you babe?’‘why didn’t you call/text me today’ .. the list goes on. Don’t feel offended as I said guys can nag too .. LOL. Nobody wants that headache, it’s not healthy and most of all it usually results in a break-up.

So tell me what is it that you look for in a prospective partner?

Good looks and charm?

A Kind and Loving nature?

Good dress sense?

Stability?

Dependancy?

Is it okay to want a girlfriend/boyfriend you can depend on, someone that can make you feel safe and secure? I think so, most people would want that and it seems perfectly normal. The only thing that I can’t get my head around is when a person is totally dependant on their partner, like for their well-being, as in they are practically living off that person.  Come on! How crazy is that , it’s almost embarrassing to tell you the truth. Financially you always need them , you aren’t physically disabled but you feel like you need them to look after you , need them to give you money, but you’re not unemployed :/

Don’t get me wrong it’s nice to be in a relationship where you feel that you can depend on your missus/mr emotionally, physically and even financially , but only when you need to be. You shouldn’t be relying on them all the time. I’m pretty sure Beyonce is not heavily dependant on Jay Z – as rich as he is! – to survive financially or even physically , she’s a global superstar … Need I Say More?

It’s okay to know that you can depend on your other half, but you shouldn’t become so attached to the point where you feel that your relationship is the ONLY thing that makes you feel happy. I am telling you now and speaking from experience, that journey can only end in disaster! The moment things go completely pear shaped you will probably be miserable,sulking all the time and have zero self-confidence.

At University, during my second year to be precise, I was that same miserable person that I have just described. I had met this girl, I liked her a lot and decided to pursue her, so long story short she became my girl. Things were going okay and I was so happy, I felt as though she completed me. Sadly things didn’t last as long as I expected, I felt so crushed and had such low-self esteem. You’re probably thinking this is normal when experiencing a break-up, which it is to a certain extent. However the reason I was so crushed is because I felt that I couldn’t be happy without her, I felt like she completed me. I was distraught, a mess and upset because I was solely dependant on her to make me happy. Happiness should come from within, as cheesy as that may sound, it’s true.

You can’t let one person solely take control of your happiness, you’re the only person that can take control of that. He/She can make you happy but you have to be happy with yourself as an individual first, whether it is through what you have achieved in your life, your career , your hobbies, whatever it is that keeps you happy. Just don’t let it be one person. Now let’s go all wildlife for a moment:

There are these creatures called Hirudineas, commonly known to us as Leeches, which are these slithering little buggers that often suck on blood as a form of survival, now if a leech cannot find a prey there is a big chance that it won’t be able to function properly. Leeches depend and attach themselves to their prey. They often stay attached until they are satisfied. Such creatures will find it very hard to survive on their own if they were unable to suck on their prey. Such a bad way to live isn’t it?

What I’m trying to say is…….

Don’t be a leech, don’t depend on someone for survival and especially for your happiness. At this point I probably sound cynical about relationships and the idea of love and happiness.  Sincerely, I am far from, I just don’t believe that it is good to solely rely on your partner to complete you , or be the missing part of your jigsaw. As I said that is a recipe for disaster! Instead you should feel a sense of connection with your partner, the relationship should have some deeper meaning. You both should be happy in the relationship, but he or she shouldn’t be the sole reason for that.

selflovefortune

I had to learn this the hard way, during my relationship at the time, I was so insecure and ultimately I wasn’t happy with myself. I was happy in the relationship ,but throughout I depended on her to make me happy. The break-up was a reality check and a few months after the penny eventually dropped. I soon began to realise that in order for me to be truly happy in a relationship I need to be happy with myself and most of all take responsibility for my own happiness rather than putting someone else in charge of it.

As sad and  heartbroken as I was at the time, I honestly don’t regret the experience, in fact I am glad that I went through that because it taught me a very valuable lesson: Love yourself and be in control of your own happiness.

A Relationship shouldn’t be about attachment or excessive dependancy, there needs to be a healthy balance. Rather than feeling attached to your partner , you should feel connected. Connection is important it will help you grow together and give you this sense of power. When two people are connected you join forces, your worlds collide for the greater good. Most importantly you make each other happy, but essentially you aren’t each others sole source of happiness.

This mindset has worked for me and I have never been in better space (relationship wise) than I am now. In my current relationship my girl makes me happy , because she has accepted me for who I am, but most of all encouraged me to be confident and happy with myself. This is why I feel that I am in such a good space,  I feel connected and more confident with myself as a person. I have well and truly learnt from my past and have decided to be in control of my own happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Limitless

Hello Guys! I have had quite a hiatus, apologies for that , but I am back now and ready to share my thoughts and experience as per usual. So Here it goes…

How would you feel if a friend/relative told you that in the next 24 hours you have to go and deliver a speech – in a hall filled with thousands of people – for an hour about your life?

 You would be nervous wouldn’t you?

OR

Would you be overwhelmed at the magnitude of the task?

I know I would because it seems like such a big task and I wouldn’t exactly feel comfortable sharing my life story with someone I don’t know let alone thousands of people. Now lets make it a bit interesting here, lets say there was some kind of cash incentive involved in this task, like say  £5 million. You would jump at the chance right? Damn right I would! That’s a lot of money! It’s a no brainer!

A £5 million cash injection in your bank account could really improve your life, improve you physically, and so on. But can it guarantee eternal happiness? Now that’s the £5million dollar question. Money can give us options in life, but we shouldn’t require it to help us get out of OUR comfort zone.  I mean I could see why it is such a comfortable place … It is where you can be yourself, primarily it is a place that you like if not love. Me personally I love MY comfort  zone, I feel relaxed, I can be myself and I don’t have to do anything that will allow me to get out of it. Well this has changed because the COMFORT ZONE is a place where growth cannot happen. This year has been quite a handful for me , but one of the things I have discovered is that; I need to grow mentally, need to be confident in unfamiliar surroundings. It is about time that I remove this mask made up of fear and insecurity, that I have been wearing for so long. I have slowly started to tell myself that I can grow in my comfort zone.

Now more than ever I am eager to learn, be teachable and just help others , in all honesty I doubt I will achieve that by just adopting one approach , or at that an approach I am just comfortable with. I will have to meet people I have never met before, put myself in environments that I am not usually familiar with.  After a while and even at times now, I often doubt myself and question whether I can actually push myself beyond my limits.

As crazy as this may sound, one of my fears (well still is to a certain degree) is speaking to people I don’t know face to face. Due to this I always feel so nervous about job interviews , I always dread them! … I bring myself down thinking; what can they really see in me?, or what if they realise that I’m nervous? Two weeks ago I had a job interview for an Executive role at a really good media company. When I received the email inviting me to come to the office for an interview. I was so excited at first , then after a couple days I started to think the worst:

What if when I get there, they don’t like me?

What if I market myself in a bad way? 

Do they even find my CV interesting or are they just trying to fill the vacancy as quickly as they can?

I was so close to not even attending the interview because I was just so negative and lacked confidence and self-belief.

I bet you’re thinking how can one person have such low self-esteem and have such a low view about themselves. Believe me I hate myself for it, there is no reason why I cant be comfortable in my abilities and most importantly believe in myself. I have decided that I cannot continue to cripple myself with fear and enjoy the idea of being happy within MY comfort zone. I have learnt to have a positive mindset and just really do my best when it comes to job interviews and anything that set my eyes on. Understandably nervousness is commonplace when it comes to job interviews but it can be tackled by one simple thing: The mindset.

I have learnt a lot about myself over this year, One of the key things that I have grasped is that having the ‘right’ and a ‘positive’ mindset is so important in your life journey. Although I still find job interviews quite daunting and nerve racking, I do try and adopt a positive mindset about them. In the end I did go to the interview and gave it my all and ensured I looked that part too. It was tough being in that office for 3 hours, but at the end of it, I sure came out with a sense of pride and relief. I was proud of myself because I went in there and tried my best and most of all faced up to my fear.

What has this got to do with breaking out of the comfort zone? For me personally , it has a lot to do with breaking out of my comfort zone. For so long I was telling myself that I was content with my job; the workload wasn’t stressful, money was decent, I didn’t have to worry about a job interview because I had a job and most all I was comfortable. Earlier on this year I started to realise that I need to get out of this job as I didn’t feel that I was learning and I wasn’t surrounded by people who shared my values, vision and were like-minded. They were all comfortable at the job, so was I. But I knew that if I wanted to grow I had to leave. Which I did and I was so worried because I hadn’t secured a job nor saved a lot of money to help me get by. So I thought maybe it is silly of me to leave. Nevertheless I kept telling myself no matter what I have to leave.

Honestly I was so glad that I did leave, I felt more confident about myself and it really gave me a sense of belief that I am making necessary steps to break out of my comfort zone. I am currently looking for a job, but I am not looking frantically, as I know the right job offer will come along in the right time.

In this life we must always strive to learn and grow, it is good when you do things differently or learn something new. Breaking out of YOUR comfort zone is an amazing feeling and even more amazing when you accomplish the things you thought you couldn’t do. All you need to have is the right mindset and self-belief. I know it’s easier said than done and may be hard because you may be going through a difficult time. I can genuinely say to you that it is possible, this year my father passed away and I was stuck in a dead end job, self-belief wasn’t so easy to have. I was in a dark place and had zero confidence in myself. It took a few months but I realised what I needed to do in order to eradicate my negative thoughts. I started believing in myself more when it came to job interviews, started attending more social and networking events to interact with new people face-to-face and I have never felt better! I have a strong belief that I will make my father proud of the man I am today.

Getting out of your comfort zone is not something that will happen overnight, and it is not to say that you can’t enjoy the way your life is or even love your life. I would be wrong in saying that. I am merely trying to point out that we as individuals can like our lives but we must not stop striving for mental enrichment and knowledge. At times to achieve this it does mean we have to break out of our comfort zone, which is never bad. We must always remember that in doing so we have nothing to lose but much more to gain.

 

Is Materialism The Route To Happiness?

“Money can’t buy you happiness” … “Well I would drown my sorrows in a Range RoverHaven’t we heard all that before? I’m not going to just spend the next 20-30 mins telling you that Money isn’t everything and how we as individuals shouldn’t admire nice things. If I did then I would be completely talking nonsense. I personally like nice things, there is something great about walking into the shop and trying on that really nice jacket that looks fantastic on you, even if its £100. Yeah that’s right! I do like to spend money on nice things even if they are a bit pricey, I don’t see a problem with that because I like what I am buying and know that I won’t return it anytime soon.

Okay I could waffle on about what I like to buy and all that jazz, but I will choose another day to bore you (ha ha  … I’m joking). As stated earlier: “Money can’t buy you Happiness”, which is true to an extent, but it depends on what you class as ‘Happiness’, so some might believe that it does. Others might think that such a statement is total rubbish. So you see it’s all about our individual perception. There are days I picture myself driving around London in a Lamborghini or going on a big shopping spree down Knightsbridge. For now such are wishful thoughts, but I do hope to someday. I don’t think it’s wrong for people to want nice things, the only problem that I have is when we start to allow these things to consume us, to the extent we value them more than others. I will be adopting the same train of thought similar to my last post (Diamonds and Gold), as there are some similar points that need to be addressed.

When I was younger (like 16 or 17 or so) I used to always get excited when it came to Birthdays and Christmas, all I was concerned about was what present I was going to get. Admittedly when I was younger I was quite spoilt and used to sulk a lot when I didn’t get what I wanted –life of typical brat ay!. There was one birthday in particular when I actually started to think different: On my 15th birthday I remember waking up that morning in high spirits, as anyone would be on their birthday. I was excited because I had got a Nintendo Gamecube, which at the time was newest console. Later on in the day a few friends came over and we were all taking turns to play, but I wasn’t happy even though I got what I wanted. My mum had travelled that day too, so I kind of felt upset after a while because I  felt that I didn’t really get to celebrate with her properly. At that time I didn’t fully understand why I was getting so upset, it’s not like she was travelling for months it was just a week holiday!

It was only until I got older I started to fully comprehend the reason for this sadness. Presents are nice and all but nothing beats time spent with loved ones and those you value highly. These days I’m more content with spending time with my pals and just having a good time. I feel that it’s a waste of time constantly being fixated on materialistic goods.  It’s perfectly okay to want a new pair of shoes or a nice bag from Zara. But why must these things consume us? It’s not quite easy to fathom, some of us just like good things. When you’re younger I guess it’s okay to love materialistic things, because you probably don’t know any better. But as you get older you really start to understand what’s important.

There was a point when I was completely obsessed with footwear. I would always want the latest trainers without fail- I had a sense of pride when I wore the newest pair of trainers in the shops. My friends always used to hail me for having such a neat footwear collection. I felt like the man! Now I hardly buy trainers, I’m not really fussed anymore, there are far more pressing matters on my mind.

How do you live your life? Do your materialistic possessions consume you? More importantly what’s your perspective on life? I want to travel around the world and learn about different cultures. I yearn one day to start a family of my own. The way I see life now is much more different, mental stimulation and growth are way more important to me than materialistic possessions.

Treat yourself to that bag you saw the other day in the shops, those pair of loafers you spotted when you were out and about in Oxford Circus. And once in a while buy something for your missus, brother, wife, husband and so on, they will appreciate the spontaneity.  Life will feel good when we buy things to create meaning and love, rather than constantly trying to ‘Keep up with the Joneses’.

Football Focus

Last week’s action in the Premier League

Crystal-Palace-v-Leicester-City-Premier-LeagueWasn’t last week full of excitement? Well yes it was – for some teams more than others. Manchester United were certainly in good spirits last week Saturday as they managed to grab a 2-1 win at Old Trafford against West Ham. Wayne Rooney just can’t seem to keep his leg down as the newly promoted skipper received an instant red card for – what some might call a ‘fierce’ tackle.  Leicester City travelled to Selhurst Park only to find their jubilant spirits deflated as Crystal Palace defeated them 2-0. Whereas Manchester City seemed to have had a blast at the KC Stadium after knocking 4 goals past Hull City. The Tigers managed to grab 2 consolation goals, but didn’t quite have the panache to get the victory.

The derby clashes managed to end well for all sides involved as we witnessed draws at The Emirates and Anfield. Steven Gerrard almost had the last laugh with his critics after firing home a brilliantly taken free-kick to give Liverpool the lead. But Everton skipper, Phil Jagielka – in the dying embers of the game! – showed Gerrard he could bend one in too, with a stunning cracker, resulting in a 1-1 draw at full time.  Arsene Wenger almost added more grey hairs to his scalp when his side came close to their first defeat of the season. Spurs’ Nancer Chadli slotted one in to put the visitors ahead, but it wasn’t long until Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tucked a goal away, leaving the match at 1-1 at stoppage time. Chelsea sealed yet again another seamless victory, with their 3-0 win against Aston Villa.

Matches in store for this weekend

Graziano Pellè of Southampton

This weekend’s games are undoubtedly going to have many highs and lows. Aston Villa are one of the many teams that kick off at 15:00pm, as they go head to head with Manchester City. Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge, ahead of what might be a tough test against Chelsea.  Tottenham play host to Southampton – who have kicked off their premier league campaign with a flying start! Graziano Pelle will surely be looking to find the net again, as the forward has been looking prosperous for The Saints.  Everton trot off to the North West of England for their clash with Manchester United.

Hot Topic of the week

Both Everton’s Men and Ladies may not have got a victory last weekend, but it was the Ladies who will be finding the defeat harder to stomach, as their defeat meant relegation from The Woman’s Super League. Read here to get the full news:  http://www.gaff.tv/news/everton-ladies-relegated/

Picture: BBC Sports

Picture: BBC Sports

 

 

FIFA 15

Eden Hazard of Chelsea

Eden Hazard of Chelsea

Gaming fans brace yourselves! There isn’t long to go now until the release of EA Sports’ FIFA 15, as the popular game officially hit stores this Friday. With a range of new features and even more dynamic gameplay, gamers are most definitely going to be in for a treat once they get their hands on the new edition.

One of the many exclusive features – which I’m sure gamers will be pleased about – is that you are now able witness players showing emotion and intensity based on the events of that particular game. With over 600 new emotional reactions, you can be sure to expect  disappointment, joy and frustration displayed more uniquely by your favourite players during crucial moments – missed tackles, missed chances, penalty decisions and many more! – in the game.

ATLETICO MADRID

It gets even better! As goalkeepers have been completely transformed for FIFA 15, you can now expect them to be much more responsive than they were in the previous edition. There are a variety of save animations that can be witnessed, making the gameplay exciting and realistic as can be.

Tomorrow be sure to get a copy, as they – without a doubt! – will sell out fast. Once you do, make sure you get on that settee, sit back, relax, turn on your console and enjoy what might turn out to be one of the best of the lot.