5 Sports That Are ‘In’ This Year

ID-100212903 By duron123
Free Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/By duron123

Like hairstyles and clothing, some sports experience periods of trendiness, fuelled by our changing curiosities and interests. Gone are the days of stock-standard, gender-specific sporting pursuits; instead, each year brings a new range of undiscovered and unheard of sports to the table. Here are 5 of the sports that will take 2014 by storm.

1. Skateboarding

Skateboarding is a timeless sport – whether the goal is grinding in some of the world’s biggest parks, or simply cruising from A to B. The boards themselves have evolved from wood planks atop clay wheels to state-of-the-art designs, fuelled by innovative companies like Z-Flex Online who design boards for the smoothest ride. Skateboarding is no longer seen as simply a mode of transport used by youths – celebrities like Tony Hawk and snowboarder Shaun White have actively pushed for skateboarding to be included in the next Olympic Games. With strong support for the cause, don’t be surprised if you see skateboarding on the bill for the next summer Olympics.

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Blu Tuesday: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Ride Along and The Nut Job

Every Tuesday, I review the newest Blu-ray releases and let you know whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping, along with a breakdown of the included extras. If you see something you like, click on the cover art to purchase the Blu-ray from Amazon, and be sure to share each week’s column on Facebook and Twitter with your friends.

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

WHAT: Daydreaming photo editor Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) has just learned that the magazine where he works is transitioning into a digital-only publication, and to make matters worse, the photo negative that was intended for the final cover has gone missing. With his condescending boss (Adam Scott) breathing down his neck, Walter embarks on an adventure around the world to track down the missing photo before it’s too late.

WHY: Hollywood has been actively trying to remake “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” for nearly two decades, so it’s curious that the way the movie finally ended up getting made was to not remake it all. Directed by and starring Ben Stiller, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” doesn’t resemble James Thurber’s 1939 short story (or the 1947 film version with Danny Kaye) that much apart from its daydreaming title character, although that’s probably for the best. While Stiller has retained the core spirit of the original story, he’s produced a more modernized, feel-good road movie that’s got a bit of a “Forrest Gump” vibe to it without quite the same heavy-handedness. The film’s Big Message isn’t as profound as you might expect, but there’s something to really admire about its contagious optimism about the joys of life. It’s sweet without feeling overly saccharine, and that’s due not only to Steve Conrad’s screenplay, but Stiller’s contributions behind and in front of the camera as well. Though the movie is incredibly predictable from start to finish, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” succeeds thanks to the lighthearted story, visually-stunning fantasy sequences and great performances by its cast.

EXTRAS: The Blu-ray release includes five production featurettes (covering things like music, casting and shooting on location in Iceland), as well as a host of deleted and extended scenes.

FINAL VERDICT: RENT

“Ride Along”

WHAT: High school security guard Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) has spent the past few years trying to prove to detective James Payton (Ice Cube) that he’s worthy of dating his sister. So when Ben gets accepted into the police academy, James decides to take him on a ride-along designed to scare him. But James’ little prank suddenly gets very real when they find themselves hot on the trail of the city’s most notorious criminal.

WHY: I’m a firm believer that the best way to get a laugh is by grounding the situation in reality, which is probably why “Ride Along” failed to make me chuckle even once. This is the kind of movie where a supposedly intelligent character (Ice Cube’s undercover cop) is constantly surprised that an unarmed citizen with zero authority (Kevin Hart’s cadet-to-be) is unable to successfully police someone breaking the law. It’s also the kind of movie where firing a shotgun or lighting a gas grill miraculously catapults the person backwards like a cartoon. And it doesn’t help that Hart, one of the most annoyingly over-the-top comedians working today, is the cartoon in question, especially when his incessant screeching makes Chris Tucker seem tolerable by comparison. “Ride Along” is an incredibly by-the-books buddy cop film that’s every bit as predictable as it is short on laughs. This is a movie, after all, that was co-written by the guy behind such bargain bin gems as “Sorority Boys” and “Employee of the Month,” and the only thing more insulting than its childish script is the fact that it managed to make over a $100 million at the domestic box office.

EXTRAS: Universal has gone all out with the Blu-ray release, including an audio commentary by director Tim Story, a host of production featurettes, deleted scenes, a gag reel and an alternate ending.

FINAL VERDICT: SKIP

“The Nut Job”

WHAT: After a self-centered squirrel named Surly (Will Arnett) is exiled from the neighborhood park, he must team up with his fellow animals (including a pair of squirrels voiced by Katherine Heigl and Brendan Fraser) to raid a nut store with enough food to last the entire winter. But they run into trouble with a gang of bank robbers who are using the store as a front for their latest job.

WHY: “The Nut Job” might just be one of the worst animated films ever made, eloquently described by one Letterboxd user as “‘Over the Hedge,’ but shittier.” There’s nothing about this movie that is even remotely entertaining, from its clichéd story, to the out-of-date animation, to its totally miscast voice actors. The latter issue is particularly annoying, because with the exception of Liam Neeson (who could make the phone book sound good), director Peter Lepeniotis seems to have cast the movie solely based on name recognition instead of whether or not they were right for the part. Consequently, the characters sound like soulless versions of their human counterparts (especially Will Arnett and Katherine Heigl), as if they were crammed into a recording booth and held at gunpoint to record their dialogue. And believe it or not, South Korean production company Redrover somehow manages to make things worse by not only forcing Psy’s “Gangnam Style” into the movie, but also an animated version of the chart-topping singer during the end credits that will leave viewers scratching their heads. It doesn’t just smack of desperation, but accentuates the sheer laziness surrounding this film.

EXTRAS: In addition to some deleted scenes, there’s a short featurette, storyboards and the animated shorts “Surly Squirrel” and “Nuts & Robbers.”

FINAL VERDICT: SKIP

  

Picture of the Day: Lana in sexy hand-bra pose

Here’s blonde bombshell Lana in a classic hand-bra pose as she covers up her impressive all-natural assets while revealing a sexy underboob peak. We love her piercing eyes in this photograph as well.

Lana in sexy hand-bra pose

  

How the Skateboarding World Has Transformed From What It Used to Be

ID-10016295 By jscreationzs
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/By jscreationzs

Skateboarding appears as fresh-faced as some young women and men riding boards to school, the market, or local skate parks. What’s surprising to some, despite its popularity and association to exercise, is skateboarding’s age! The sport has been around since the 1960s.

Skateboarding, like those who mature, gain experience, and evolve, has transformed; the moves, direction, and riders look different today as compared to skateboarding’s beginnings.

The Beginning

It’s difficult for skate historians to attribute one event, invention, or person to the beginning of skateboarding; it seems multiple stories place the advent of skating around the same time. At some point, surfers, looking to replicate the experience on land (especially when waves were minimal), fused roller skates to a flat board, emulating the skating experience but with two (free) feet on one board.

Like surfing, the ‘new’ way of riding was considered alternative and ridiculous by most, yet a select few, enjoying the sensation of paving streets in style and speed, continued the practice. Despite athleticism of riders, the clay wheels, getting caught in cracks and sidewalks, often pitched riders off boards.

If smooth riding was an end goal, improvement was needed.

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Girl Next Door: Nikki Rodriguez

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We were thrilled to meet this lovely blonde in South Florida and photograph her at a friend's condo. Nikki loves to design bikinis and here we have her posing in several of her creations showing off her all-natural figure.

You can follow Nikki on Instagram and Twitter.

Check out more models like Nicolle in our Girl Next Door channel.

Photography by Bullz-Eye Staff.

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