Amusement Park Rides Are Becoming More Like Video Games

Justice League: Battle For Metropolis

Justice League: Battle For Metropolis

Cruise ships aren’t the only ones integrating new technology to attract customers, theme parks are getting in on the act too. We’re not talking about Epcot or MGM Studios, which have been renowned for their use of cutting-edge technology for quite some time. We’re talking about run of the mill amusement parks—the kind that at one point not too long ago resembled the county fair. They’re finding it more and more difficult to lure customers away from their home entertainment systems and the comfort of the couch, so they’re now integrating ideas generally associated with video games and virtual reality: immersion and interactivity.

Those were the key concepts highlighted by vendors and companies at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo. They essentially want to merge video games with rollercoasters and other rides. Six Flags in St. Louis and Texas will eventually showcase a new ride called Justice League: Battle for Metropolis that combines the usual adrenaline with laser guns, animatronics, and a 3D fog screen. Or customers can lower themselves into vehicles inspired by submarines and shoot 3D sea creatures in an attempt to save a drowning berry farm in Voyage to the Iron Reef. At the Expo, U.K.-based Holovis touted an interactive indoor attraction in which customers ride in vehicles that travel through tropical scenes enhanced with animation and CGI, special effects, and music as they fire away at pirates.


Syfy’s Childhood’s End Casts This Under The Dome Star In The Lead

Mike VogelSyfy is trying their level best to distance themselves from the schlock factory image they’ve had over the past few years. To list all of the ambitious titles they have in the works would take all day, but the network is developing a ton of projects that we’re totally psyched to see, and one of those that we’re most excited about is their adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End. Casting wise, they have a couple of pieces in place, but they just added a key player as Mike Vogel has been tapped to take the lead role.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the Under the Dome star has been cast to front the six-hour event miniseries based on Clarke’s classic 1953 novel about aliens coming to Earth. He joins Game of Thrones star Charles Dance on the call sheet, as well as Ashley Zuckerman of Manhattan and Osy Ikhile (Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea).


The Stand Adaptation Just Got A Whole Lot Bigger, Get The Details

The StandJust when we were starting to think that things surrounding the adaptation of Stephen King’s epic post-apocalyptic joint The Stand were settling down a bit, this happens. No, the director hasn’t jumped ship again, as has already happened twice, but we might be getting a little more than we initially expected, like four movies worth of The Stand.

After Ben Affleck bailed on the project, The Fault in our Stars director Josh Boone stepped into the role and appears incredibly psyched to be there. The book is a massive, sprawling tome, but the scope was also scaled back some, and the project was envisioned as a single, three-hour, R-rated movie. Back in October, King indicated that might expand again into multiple installments, which makes sense, as The Stand is a huge intersecting network of characters and stories and to try to trim it down is a Herculean task indeed.


This Jurassic World Trailer Announcement Revisits A Legendary Moment

Jurassic World is coming, though not for seven months. Before that, however, we have a trailer on the way, and though that won’t drop until next week, there’s this little teaser to announce the trailer, because that’s the world we live in. There’s nothing new in this short video, in fact, it revisits one of the oldest moments in the Jurassic Park franchise, but it does let you know that something very, very big is on the way. Check it out for yourself below:


Could Robot Bartenders Convince You To Take A Cruise?

robot bartenderThe idea of taking a cruise has never appealed to me. I love to travel, but not being able to control anything about how you travel, how long you stay somewhere, and who you’re with sounds like a nightmare. I also had a run-in with the norovirus last winter and would avoid cruise ships at this point if only for that reason. Oh, and this. But cruise ships—Royal Caribbean cruise ships, more precisely—now have one thing going for them: robot bartenders.

Royal Caribbean has a 4,180-person ship called Quantum of the Seas, and it makes good on its futuristic title—it’s the first “smart ship” in the world. Honestly, that sounds like a decent idea. Humans have proven that they’re not awesome at piloting ships. Oh, Quantum of the Seas doesn’t drive itself, unfortunately. But it does have robots and that’s always the next best thing. Apparently, that was their business strategy: robots are cool.


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1 Is Just A Piece Of A Larger Whole

The Hunger GamesThere are parts of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 that are harrowing, moving, and action-packed. While that can be fun to watch, and there are some nice bits of spectacle level eye candy, including the destruction of a massive damn, the problem is that the film never becomes more than simply the first part in a larger saga. This makes sense, obviously, as the third book in Suzanne Collins’ dystopian young adult trilogy has been split into two movies, but in this case, the film is all build up and feels like it’s just killing time before getting to the meaty part of the story.

If it sounds like I didn’t enjoy Mockingjay, that’s not true, it’s an entertaining enough way to spend a couple of hours, and there is enough going on to keep you occupied. This simply feels more like a chapter than a complete work. Again, that’s because it is, but it also skips over a number of elements in short order, and cuts off just when you’re most engaged and invested.