SCIENCE BITES BACK IN JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

YOU WON’T LIKE THEM WHEN THEY’RE HUNGRY

 

 

What could have more bite than Shark Week, induce more heart palpitations than Lobster Fest, and grab the attention of more kids than the Puppy Bowl? Dinosaurs of course! And it’s time we started counting down to next week’s release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in up to 4K UHD on Vudu. Luckily, you don’t need to wait for the next extinction-level event to get the movie. You can pre-order it now and get a $3 movie credit to spend as you please after release day. Once you’re finished enjoying all the spine-tingling, human-munching thrills of course.

 

Bro, do you even science?

 

 

In the newest installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, the “fallen kingdom” isn’t just the once beautiful Isla Nublar. As lava ravages the cloned-dinosaurs’ island home, the kingdom of humanity must reckon with the consequences of creating the genetically-engineered beasts. As one returning character warns (in a scene-stealing cameo), it may already be too late to close the Pandora’s Box of Velociraptors, Mosasauruses, and hybrid horrors leftover from Jurassic World.

 

 

Jurassic Park isn’t the first franchise to deal with experiments gone apocalyptically wrong. Just as John Hammond’s scientists ignored the warning signs in their pursuit of a new race of revived dinosaurs, the negligence of biotech firm Gen-Sys ignites a full-scale interspecies war in the Planet of the Apes series. The pros and cons of ape world vs. dinosaur world (take your stinking claws off me you damn dirty dinos!) are up for debate, but the message is clear: meddling in the gene pool can have unintended results.

 

 

But why should monkeys and lizards have all the fun? In the Resident Evil films, it’s humans that are subjected to the unregulated experiments of a shady genetic research corporation, and the resultant zombie army causes enough trouble for six films worth of gory genetically modified chaos.

 

 

And why have hundreds of medium-sized mistakes when you can have a handful of very, very big ones? The Godzilla franchise is home to countless skyscraper-sized monsters (or Kaiju) including moths, aliens, and-of course-dinosaurs. Not all are the direct result of human tampering (unless you count disturbing their centuries-long nap in the middle of the ocean), but when they’re not created by our nuclear warfare, genetic experimentation, or corporate greed they tend to be bailing us out from those same problems. The humanity-Kaiju relationship status is “It’s Complicated.”

 

 

And just because a scientific disaster isn’t Indominus Rex-sized doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. Just ask the Szalinski family, who are consistently being shrunk, blown up, and otherwise inconvenience by dad Wayne’s ill-advised inventions in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movies. It’s all family fun until somebody ends up in the vacuum cleaner.

 

MORE RAPTORS, MORE PROBLEMS

 

 

So, what have we learned? Probably nothing. But for now, just leave the super-science to the “professionals,” and pre-order Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom to get your $3 movie credit before the offer (or the world) ends.

 

 

NEW THIS WEEK: COMPULSION, SUPERFLY, AND MORE

PLUS RENTALS AND MOVIES STILL IN THEATERS

 

PULSE-POUNDERS

 

You’d better use the bathroom now, because you won’t want to look away from this week’s new releases. With murderous party games and winner-take-all drug wars on the agenda, anything goes and the stakes have never been higher.

 

 

When you’re the one that got away, how do you keep yourself from being pulled back in? When writer Sadie is visited by the ex who inspires her most dangerous work, his invitation to an unusual party is too alluring to resist. Will she escape to tell the tale, or fall victim to Compulsion?

 

 

Superfly may be a remake of the 70s Blaxploitation classic, but with the modern Atlanta backdrop, Future-curated soundtrack, and a cast of up-and-coming stars this remix is all 2018. Drug dealer Youngblood Priest wants out of the game for good, but getting there is going to be the fight of a lifetime.

 

NEW TO RENT

 

With 30 days to start watching and 24-72 hours to finish once you’ve started, you can enjoy these fast-paced flicks at your own speed.

 

 

 

Everyone thinks they could pull of a heist, but in 2003 four twenty-somethings put their money where their mouths were. Cutting between documentary interviews and faithful reenactments, American Animals tells the fascinating story of what happens when regular people go all-in on a bad idea.

 

 

Tricks aren’t just for kids anymore. Five grown friends locked in a lifelong game of Tag will go through embarrassment, disgrace, great personal cost, and furniture to claim the title of champion, and they just may learn the value of friendship along the way.

 

 

Why ask Siri or Alexa to do your dirty work when you can do it yourself? With a powerful onboard AI implanted directly in his body, a man with nothing to lose and everything to avenge is going to do just that. Sometimes all you need is a little Upgrade.

 

STILL IN THEATERS

 

 

I Am Vengeance is a moving portrait of love and longing between two lost souls bonded in their shared love of cats and ice cream. Just kidding. An ex-disappeared ex-soldier rains blood and hellfire on the people who killed his best friend, and has a bloody good time doing it.

 

 

THE CON IS ON WITH OCEAN’S 8

High Crime Is In Fashion

 

 

The Ocean’s franchise strikes again, this time with a new criminal mastermind (Sandra Bullock) assembling an all-woman murderer’s row of felons, fences, cons, and counterfeiters for the attempted robbery of fashion’s biggest night: The Met Gala.

 

With Ocean’s 8 now available on Vudu, in up to 4K UHD (high definition haute couture), we’re wondering just how possible this high-fashion heist really is. We rolled up our sleeves and got to work researching what it might take for the average movie-buff to pull off such a caper (You know, for science. Please don’t try this at home).

 

GALA CRASHERS

 

 

Ocean’s 8 was filmed at the real-life Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute (there were even some actual high stakes happenings that occurred on the film’s set). The Met is home to the annual themed Gala that raises funds for the museum and is the social event of the year for the filthy rich, famous, and fabulous.

 

Unsurprisingly, even getting into the party is no small feat. The Ocean’s 8 team may be able to infiltrate the soirée with a little string-pulling and cyber-subterfuge, but in reality, the 500-800 annual invites are generally reserved for fashion tastemakers, Hollywood royalty, the museum’s largest private donors, and a who’s who of the trending-est names in pop culture. In other words, no fashionista shirt or shoes, no service.

 

 

That’s not to mention the $30,000+ price tag for a single ticket, but if money’s no object there could be an empty seat with your name on it. Ultra-wealthy fans of the event have been known to waitlist tickets in the event of a celebrity dropout (say, a last-minute shooting conflict or pregnancy). With deep pockets and a little bit of luck, you could be sashaying past confused red carpet photographers and onwards towards your big score.

 

If you’re stealing on a budget though, an alternate route may be through the kitchen doors. The waitstaff for the event are meticulously selected and trained by Vogue editor-in-chief and Met Gala organizer Anna Wintour’s private chef, but the only requirements are catering experience and (according to one anonymous server from this year’s event) model good looks. so, if you or a friend have the place-setting and eye-catching qualities to make the cut, this could be your in.

ARTSY & CRAFTY

 

 

Of course, getting in is only the tip of the iceberg-sized diamond. The larcenous ladies of Ocean’s 8 have to get past magnetic locks, a round-the-clock security detail, and state-of-the-art surveillance to try and lift the $150 million Cartier Toussaint necklace from an A-list actress (Anne Hathaway).

 

If your target is a sparkly specimen as well, you’re in for the same types of challenges. In addition to each celeb’s personal security entourage, the jewelry brands that loan out such expensive bling provide their own highly-trained jewelry guards to boot. If that’s not bad enough, brands like Tecori utilize Radio Frequency ID tags to track the jewels’ location in the unlikely scenario that they’re not where they’re supposed to be.

 

You might think that at this point the museum’s art itself might make for an easier target, and you might be right—kind of. Famed street art provocateur Banksy notoriously smuggled one of his pieces into England’s Tate Britain Museum, where it hung amongst the official artwork for hours before falling down of its own accord. As if to double-down on the point, another artist reenacted the same stunt with their own painting at an exhibit of Banksy’s own work, so the idea of secretly adding or subtracting from the exhibits may not seem so far-fetched.

 

 

Times are a-changing, however. In response to rampant pilfering (French art thief Stéphane Breitwieser stole over 200 pieces of art from over 172 museums between 1995 and 2001, simply by picking them up or prying them off the wall), museum security professionals have upped their game. Individual pieces may be outfitted with the same RFID tags used to locate the previously mentioned jewels, and motion sensors are sometimes attached to the frames of valuable paintings.

 

In regards to the Met, metal detectors and bag/package searches are now in full effect. While these methods are by no means foolproof (a police detective has reported surprisingly lax security checks on multiple visits), you may find yourself agreeing with the pros of Ocean’s 8 that the designated exits don’t make for the best escape plan.

 

NOW MUSEUM, NOW YOU DON’T

 

 

Slipping away from couture’s hottest night is—as you’ve probably guessed by now—easier said than done. Even a momentary regrouping or stealthy switcheroo in the restroom may prove difficult, as the event organizers are cracking down on bathroom loitering in response to excess selfies and unauthorized smoking.

 

There’s also the exhibit’s normal security staff to contend with. These are no mere rent-a-cops; a current LinkedIn job post for Met security calls for both a Bachelor’s degree and previous security experience.

 

However, the veteran guards may, in fact, represent one of the few possibilities for a clean getaway, at least according to designer Zac Posen. When Posen needed space to help Christina Ricci change outfits in 2011, Met guards that he knew personally from having interned at the museum allowed him to use a back room and even escorted the original ensemble out the back entrance. Seems like the perfect avenue for some stolen goods…if you’ve got those kinds of connections.

 

HEISTING AIN’T EASY

 

 

If you’re starting to feel like infiltrating and robbing the scenesters and socialites of a famed public institution is more trouble than it’s worth, you’re not alone. Even the badass burglars of Ocean’s 8 find themselves sweating, squabbling, and improvising in their pursuit of the biggest haul of their criminal careers. With a little luck, a few double-crosses, and one or two happy accidents they just might pull it off, and the rest of us are better off enjoying the movie.

 

 

NEW THIS WEEK: ACTION POINT, AMERICAN ANIMALS, AND MORE

PLUS RENTALS, TV, AND MOVIES STILL IN THEATERS

 

LIGHTS, CAMERA… ACTION!

 

Hold onto your hard hat: this week’s new releases are coming at you fast with an all-out onslaught of death-defying stunts, reality-defying special effects, and boredom-defying thrills.

 

 

Ever wonder what would happen if the guys from Jackass got to run their own low-budget, low-safety theme park? Wonder no more, friend. Action Point owner D.C. (Johnny Knoxville) will do whatever it takes to keep and his relationship with his daughter open for business, even if that means a few crash landings and bear attacks.

 

 

From the maker of the mind-bending documentary The Imposter, American Animals is a half doc/half docudrama following four young men in pursuit of  $12,000,000 and something to do. Stealing their school’s rare book collection from under the nose of the watchful librarian won’t be easy, but it definitely beats learning the dewy decimal system.

 

 

We’ve seen zombies get sliced, shot, splattered, and spewed, but have we ever tried talking to them? (Maybe they have feelings too.) One man who can see and talk to dead people will have to conduct some up-close and personal interrogations if he’s ever going to locate Patient Zero and save the world.

 

 

War is hell, and it doesn’t end with coming home. When an army private returns from Iraq without the comrade he swore to protect, he’ll have to answer to the army, the government, and the family of his fallen friend about what he witnessed among The Yellow Birds.

 

 

Living well is the best revenge, but hunting down your wife’s killers with the help of an ass-kicking, ninja-flipping AI chip implanted in your spine can be very satisfying too. Upgrade gives a whole new meaning to the term “self-driving.”

 

NEW TO RENT

 

 

Defeating Thanos and his gauntlet is going to take every super soldier, Asgardian, Wakandan, sorcerer, and raccoon (/rabbit) that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to offer, and even that may not be enough. Cross (don’t snap!) your fingers and hope for the best in Avengers: Infinity War.

 

STILL IN THEATERS

 

 

When a departed loved one reaches out from the other side, it would be rude not to answer. But when demonic forces start tapping into the call, you may want to hang up before it’s too late. You wouldn’t want to wind up like the family in Along Came the Devil.

 

 

Elizabeth Harvest’s new scientist husband seems like a dream come true: he’s kind, rich, and his only request is that she never, ever goes into his secret room. Wait, what? Secrets are no fun, but curiosity may kill more than just the cat in this Bluebeard-esque tale.

 

TV (SPOILERS AHEAD)

 

 

There’s no place like Gilead, and that’s not really a good thing. With a baby on the way and an ever-shrinking list of options to better her position, Offred must take action to change her fate or be pulled under by sinister tides in The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2.

 

 

Book a date with BOOK CLUB – AVAILABLE IN UP TO 4K + HDR

FIFTY SHADES OF GREAT

 

 

The reviews are in: Book Club is a sweet and saucy smash that audiences can’t put down. Loosely based on the writers/producers’ own experience sending copies of the book, Fifty Shades of Grey, to their mothers, Book Club is a laugh-filled love letter to friendship, romance, and finding adventure at every stage of life.

 

Plus watching Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen hang out, share secrets, and eat ice cream is just plain fun.

 

WIN EXCLUSIVE SWAG TO SHOW-OFF AT YOUR BOOK CLUB

 

 

Now that Book Club is available on Vudu (in up to 4K UHD), we’re having our own little release party by offering up some ultra-rare swag, including a framed poster signed by all four stars.

 

Other awesome prizes include a movie-exclusive t-shirt, windbreaker, and book bag, and all you have to do is send us a picture of your favorite book for a chance at the loot. Great literature is meant to be shared, so whether it’s a canonical classic or guilty pulp pleasure, upload your pick here and you’ll be entered to win.

 

 

Grab some friends, some wine, and maybe a nice cheese plate, and check out Book Club ASAP.