Columbia Pictures’s Aquaverse in Thailand Will Feature Movie-Themed Rides and Attractions

Columbia Pictures Aquaverse opening in 2021
(Facebook/Columbia Pictures Aquaverse)

Few things feel better than fully immersing yourself in your favorite movies, escaping the real world for a while and embracing another reality entirely. While escapism through movies, TV shows, video games, and books is something we’ve relied upon heavily over the years, some of our favorite franchises are inviting us to take things a step further. Last year we learned about Super Nintendo World, a theme park with a Disney World feel but filled with all things Nintendo. Now, Columbia Pictures is following suit with a water park based around some of our very favorite movies.

The newly-announced Aquaverse water park is coming to Thailand thanks to Sony Pictures Entertainment and Amazon Falls. Rather than building the entire thing from the ground up, an existing Bangsaray water park is being given a real-life movie makeover.

Though other parks such as Universal Studios in Orlando have attractions based on movies from Sony-owned Columbia Pictures, Aquaverse will be the first to draw all of its inspiration from the production company’s films.

“We are creating opportunities for all audiences around the world to immerse themselves deeper into our stories through water parks, touring exhibitions, and theme park attractions,” Jeffrey Godsick, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s executive VP of global partnerships and brand management and head of location-based entertainment told Variety.

The park is set to open this coming October and will include both land and water attractions for the ultimate wave of family fun. Here’s just a preview of what you can expect from the one and only Aquaverse, courtesy of Variety:

A Men in Black water coaster includes a 12-meter free-fall, a fully-enclosed Ghostbusters-themed water dome where you can dodge ghost traps via raft, an outdoor neon Bad Boys-inspired go-kart track, and even a Jumanji jungle adventure.

You’ll also encounter rides and attractions inspired by classics like Surf’s Up and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to round out your movie-magic adventure. With nearly six months to go before the park opens, you have time to watch them all again before diving in IRL.

Disney’s Immersive Star Wars Resort Features Real Lightsaber

Rey holding a new Disney lightsaber

Before the pandemic hit, Disney’s Star Wars themed park, Galaxy’s Edge had just opened, and promised to give visitors a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s so much like being in a Star Wars movie, one dad and his kid even filmed their own in between rides. But, then the park closed along with the rest of the world, and we’ve had to wait a whole year to spend way too much money pretending to be a Jedi Knight.

But not anymore! For May (the) 4th (be with you), the unofficial “Star Wars Day” Disney didn’t miss the opportunity to hype their newest draw to Galaxy’s Edge, Their Galactic Starcruiser… hotel? Ride? LARPing Convention?  It seems like it’s all that wrapped into one, and next summer, promises an even more immersive experience, complete with this:

Reportedly that’s not a camera trick. That’s a new kind of lightsaber -an apparently real one, created by Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development for the Starcruiser experience. No word on if it can cut and cauterize wounds. But otherwise, during a stay on the Starcruiser, passengers will board a pod and “travel” to the Halcyon, the Galactic Starcruiser that will be their home/hotel for the 2-night adventure.

The Disney blog describes the whole experience, which sounds like living in a Star Wars movie, complete with familiar characters,  lightsaber training, secret missions and some terrible musical numbers courtesy of George Lucas’s refusal to stop messing with success.

According to the Disney blog, “This isn’t storytelling – it’s storyliving, where you’ll see, feel and live Star Wars in a whole new way.” It’s also story-goingbroke, as I’m sure you’d have to rob Jabba the Hutt to afford it.

James Vanderbeek Opens Up About the Pain of Miscarriage

Vanderbeek Opens Up About the Pain of Miscarriage

In recent years, society has been making big strides in destigmatizing mental health issues, especially when it comes to men. Traditionally, men have a harder time being open and honest about their struggles, despite the fact that we often struggle as much as women.

One particular area that men are becoming more open about is the pain of losing a child through a miscarriage. Most of the time, the sympathy is with the woman who was carrying the baby, but the pain of a miscarriage is not isolated to that potential mom. Dads feel it too, and it’s time we acknowledge that.

Nothing does more to help legitimize this reality than when men who’ve experienced such loss speak out, especially men in the public eye, who have a platform not all of us do. One such man is James Vanderbeek, the actor and former star of Dawson’s Creek.

Vanderbeek has 5 children with his wife, ranging from 9 years old to just one, and they were trying for another when they lost the baby. Late last year Vanderbeek took to his Instagram to discuss the pain of the loss, and to explain how and why he told his children about it.


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A post shared by James Van Der Beek (@vanderjames)

“One year ago today, I had to explain to my then 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 year-old a late-term #pregnancyloss while @vanderkimberly was still in the hospital,” Van Der Beek wrote. “I’m not sure there’s any one way to do it, since every kid is so different – one bawled immediately, one had questions, one tried to make jokes, one tried to avoid by acting crazy.”

In the video he posted, he shows himself answering his daughter’s questions about their loss, which was the 5th miscarriage they’d suffered over the past nine years.

His wife, Kimberly, also posted about the loss on her IG.

It can be understated how devastating these losses are, for both men and women, nor how brave James and his wife Kimberly are for sharing their grief with the world.

Hopefully, their openness and honesty will help others feel less alone.

5-Yr-Old Uses Make-a-Wish Request To Help Hospitalized Kids Sleep Comfortably

5-year-old uses wish to buy comfortable sheets for hospitalized kids
(YouTube/FOX 2 St. Louis)

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has been granting wishes to critically ill children for over 40 years, creating lasting memories for families who truly need them. Most kids wish for experiences – visiting theme parks, meeting their favorite celebrities, about half of all Make-A-Wish requests even involve Disney in one way or another. When you present a kid with seemingly endless possibilities, the vast majority zero in on things they want for themselves – but 5-year-old Grayson Nunley is not your average Make-A-Wish recipient.

Grayson was recently hospitalized for nearly three weeks due to his battle with leukemia, but the quiet warrior isn’t one to complain. Fortunately, the 5-year-old is nearly finished with his weekly treatments and doctors are hopeful that he’ll be able to ring the “chemo bell” within the year signifying the end of his chemotherapy.

Grayson’s mom, Ann Nunley, was recently approached by the Make-A-Wish Foundation who extended an offer to her young son. Though Nunley previously believed wishes were reserved for terminally ill children, the life-changing foundation uses medical criteria to determine eligibility. Once Make-A-Wish confirmed Grayson was in fact eligible, Nunley explained the possibilities and asked the 5-year-old what he wanted to request.

A world full of possibilities in front of him, but Grayson knew exactly what he wanted almost immediately: he wanted to use his wish to make life more comfortable for other kids in the hospital. Rather than take a trip to Disney World or split a pizza with his favorite celebrity, Grayson chose to give cozy sheets to every kid in the hospital.

Likely recalling his own time in the clinical rooms, nearly three weeks of sleeping in the hospital-grade sheets, Grayson wanted to make sure the kids who aren’t yet lucky enough to go home have a more pleasant stay.

“He understands the wish could be for him. He knows and understands how important it is to give back,” Ann told FOX 8. “We’ve asked him a million times if this is what he wanted to do and that he’s happy and that’s what he wanted to do.”

Move Over Air Bud, Dog Jumps Into High School Track Meet and Wins

Dog Wins Track Meet
(YouTube/KSL News)

Air Bud flew so this track bud could run. A high school track meet got escalated to the next level when a dog ran onto the track and joined in a 4×200 meter relay. It happened during a high school track meet in Utah and in the final leg of the race, a dog comes out of nowhere to enter the fray.

And this dog doesn’t just run around aimlessly. This dog starts to BOOK. He soars down the track, catches the leader, and in a photo finish, beats out high schooler Gracie Laney to earn the major victory for canines everywhere. Just an incredible flex by this dog.

The dog even wins over the crowd, which begins to go crazy as she gains steam towards the end. Laney said she couldn’t believe she lost to a dog and started to run faster because she thought the dog was the runner behind her. Nope, instead, it was just Holly, the Goldendoodle who had gotten away from her owners so she could show the world what she was capable of.

“I honestly am just glad that we didn’t get hurt,” the human who *technically* won the race said. “It’s a fun experience.”

If this proves anything, it’s that high school sports are WAY more fun to watch when a dog is allowed to compete.

Parrot and Puppy Go Viral on Tik Tok Because Animal Friendships Rule

Parrot and Puppy Friends

Sometimes you’re having the type of day where you just need to see animals doing stuff.  Whether it’s dogs delivering beers, or a special needs puppy finding a forever home,  or just the classic “Dad who didn’t want a pet falls in love with new pet” routine, pet content gets a lot of people through a lot of days.

And if Tik Tok is good for anything, it’s an extremely efficient delivery system for this feel-good content. To make things the internet will enjoy, a good starting formula is “anything, + a puppy.”  In this case, its’ a runaway hit, as the viral video of a parrot meeting a puppy and saying “I love you” has had nearly 40 million views on Tik Tok.

Idaho pet owner Wendy Albright made a Tik Tok for her parrot Sweet Pea and quickly found some traction. But it wasn’t until Sweet Pea met Albright’s black lab puppy (see?) that things really took off.

@theparrotlady🥺 SP Meets Puppy #puppy #puppytiktok #fyp #lab #cute #cockatoo #parrot #baby #love♬ original sound – The Parrot Lady

Tens of millions of views later, she’s continued to churn out that sweet animal friendship content. There’s the parrot and puppy together after it gets a name (Copper).

@theparrotladyReply to @ne0nskyy This brought everything into a name for me! Thank you! 💕💕 ##puppy ##parrot ##baby ##love ##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage ##lab ##puppies♬ original sound – The Parrot Lady


We even get more of the original hit, with more “I love you”s.

@theparrotladySuch pure love ❤️❤️❤️ ##puppy ##parrot ##baby ##lab ##fyp ##dogsoftiktok ##puppytiktok ##cockatoo ##cute ##truelove ##foryoupage♬ original sound – The Parrot Lady

Let’s face it; before this is all over, Sweet Pea and Copper should probably have a buddy-sitcom on Disney+. And your kids are going to watch it. Every. Single. Day. But that’s OK, because cute animals never disappoint.

Albright told a local news station why she thinks the pet duo became a social media sensation. “In this time we live in, people saw that video and just loved the unadulterated love of two animals just caring about each other,” she said.

Stranger Things Season 4 Trailer Has Major Shining Vibes

Teaser for Stranger Things 4
(YouTube/Movie Trailers Source)

Finally, after a long delay, Stranger Things is coming back.

It has been nearly two years since season 3’s summer of Strange, and now that the world is opening up again, Netflix is getting ready to bring the show back. The last time we saw the kids from Hawkins, Indiana, they were getting split up, with Eleven moving out of town with the Byers family after Chief Hopper sacrificed his life (not quite) to save them, leaving boyfriend Mike and the rest of the gang behind.

Since then we’ve learned that Hopper is alive, somewhere in Russia, and that the show will leave Indiana, and the U.S. to track the fourth season’s storyline. We may delve into Hopper’s past, and judging by the new teaser, which brings back Eleven’s sinister “dad,” Matthew Modine, Eleven’s past as well. The season will also reportedly feature Robert “Freddy Kruger” Englund in an unknown role.

They’ve just released a new teaser trailer for the new season, and while the star of the Nightmare on Elm Street series may be a part of the cast, the teaser gives off major Shining vibes, showcasing what seems to be the hospital or lab where Eleven was “created.”

Season 4 won’t drop until 2022, and this intense trailer won’t make that wait any easier.

“Loki” Release Date Mischievously Moved Earlier

Loki Release Date Moved
(YouTube/Marvel Entertainment)

The God of Mischief strikes again. Loki star Tom Hiddleston made a “surprise” announcement on Marvel’s YouTube channel that the upcoming show will do something its predecessors, “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and Winter Soldier” never did; premier in the middle of the week.

The video started with your typical Marvel superhero montage. Think the emotional score, a series of superhero images, only to get quickly interrupted by Hiddleston, who claims Loki is always left out of the big montages. And, he says, he also acts heroically. And is charming, and cunning, and then, well, he decides to prove it.

“Why don’t I prove it?” he said. “Wednesdays are the new Fridays.”

Both of Marvel’s previous shows, WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier both premiered on Fridays. With a mid-week release, Loki has the chance to capture more of that “water cooler” hype. At least, that’s the hope from Disney execs. This isn’t *just* about Loki being mischievous, it’s part of a larger Disney+ experiment on release timing and what works best to get new content onto the screens of fans.

The idea with the original Friday releases was the shows could dominate the weekend and then the discussion would carry over much of the next week, in advance to the next episode dropping. We’ll get a different schedule this time, and we’ll see how it plays out for the hotly anticipated “Loki”.

“Loki” premiers on WEDNESDAY, June 9th on Disney+.

Hugh Jackman Enlists NYC Officer to Pressure Ryan Reynolds For Deadpool Cameo

NYC Parks Officer Pressures Ryan Reynolds

Hugh Jackman really wants to collaborate with Ryan Reynolds on the next ‘Deadpool’ movie. Sure, the two have a long and storied history, consumed mostly by a tragic feud between the two that’s led to a lot of money for charity and some awesome personal jabs back and forth.

Jackman is ramping up his campaign to cameo in Deadpool 3, though, and this time he’s enlisted the help of a police officer in New York City. Jackman shared the “random” encounter with officer John Dobkowski in New York who ‘randomly’ had a pretty specific message for one Ryan Reynolds:

“Hey Ryan, you gotta get this guy in Deadpool 3, even if it’s for a 10-minute cameo. That would be awesome!” Jackman shared the video saying the man was doling out ‘incredibly smart career advice’ for Reynolds.

“That would be so cool, so great, it would blow the box office,” the man continued. Jackman then jumped into the background, with some more helpful coaching, saying “You can add, or I’ll ticket you!’”

The officer obliged, punctuating his request to Reynolds with an “Or I’ll ticket you!”

One thing is clear, Jackman wants to get in this dang movie. And who wouldn’t want a little Wolverine with their Deadpool? More importantly, getting Reynolds and Jackman back together on the big screen would be downright delightful.

Black Director Being Sought For First Black Superman Movie

Black Superman Director

The first major superhero movie was Richard Donner’s Superman, some 40 years ago, and while it took a while for them to take hold. Tim Burton brought Batman to screens, the X-Men followed, then Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man trilogy – but once Robert Downey Jr. uttered the words “I am Iron Man”, there was no looking back. And now they’re beginning to look forward.

Now that the Avengers project has come to fruition, the MCU is looking to Phase 4 and the emergence of a multiverse to keep expanding their world and enter a new decade of dominance. DC is trying to keep pace but has yet to really nail it, and they two are beginning to experiment with one-off movies outside of continuity, and with a multiverse that will include various incarnations of some of Batman, at least.

Studios are also looking for diversity to go with all that multiversity, with Marvel having huge success with Black Panther and their newly-minted black Captain America – as well as their forthcoming first Asian superhero, Shang-Chi. Meanwhile, DC is developing a gay Green Lantern for HBO Max, a Latino Blue Beetle, and may be going even bigger with one of their next projects:

They’re going to bring a black Superman to the screen.

A few months ago, we told you about acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates signing on to develop a Superman script, and now something that was speculated about has been confirmed: the movie he’s writing will feature a black Superman, for the first time, and Warner Bros. is currently seeking a black director to helm the project.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that directors like Creed II’s Stephen Caple Jr., One Night in Miami’s Regina King, and Judas and the Black Messiah’s Shaka King are being considered for the director spot – and may also be on the list for Marvel’s Blade. As for the potentially historic casting of its star, no names are mentioned in the piece, except Michael B. Jordan, who says he’s probably sitting this one out.

Predictably, the news launched a firestorm on social media. We had the typical fanboy wailing (“That’s not canon!”) that accompanies every slight change to a popular character (remember the uproar when the blond Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond?), plenty of discussion of other black superheroes deserving of adaptation as well as black versions of Superman that already exist (Val-Zod), as well as objections to the idea that Warner Bros cares about diversity after recent controversies.

All of those controversies aside (and for real, if you’re screaming that an indestructible alien from a fictional planet can’t be black because he’s not black in the comics, you have some real growing up to do), Superman is a huge character to mess with, and there are sure to be plenty of bumps on the road while they try to get this movie right. The movies haven’t nailed the character, black or white or whatever since Christopher Reeve played him; it’s no small task.

But as big as Superman is, the impact a black Superman would have on millions of young black kids desperate to see themselves in their superheroes, the impact would be infinitely bigger.

The Rock Channels His Inner Maui in Video for Young Moana Fan Battling Cancer

The Rock sends Moana fan battling cancer video of him singing Maui's song

No matter how packed Dwayne Johnson’s schedule is, he somehow manages to find time to reach out to fans in need (even if that time is 1 AM). The Rock knows how meaningful small messages of encouragement can be to those who look up to him, and even days filled to the brim with work and training can’t come between The Rock and his fans. Heck, even the fact that someone isn’t explicitly a fan doesn’t stop this top-notch dad from trying to brighten the day of a kid who needs it.

When you’re young, cartoons often feel like another reality entirely. Kids don’t necessarily consider the voices behind their favorite cartoon characters, because those voices belong to the characters themselves. But when Johnson received a video of a little girl singing along to Alessia Cara’s rendition of “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana, his Maui alarm bells began to ring. I mean, his own daughter didn’t realize he played a part in her favorite movie for a while.

The touching clip featured 4-year-old Indy Llew Jones, who is bravely fighting cancer. Within seconds of watching Indy’s video, it’s abundantly clear why The Rock felt compelled to respond with a video of his own. While Indy listens to the Moana song, she’s fully immersed in the magic of the song. She mouths the words to the admittedly catchy tune, lighting up at the parts she loves most.

This is sadly not Indy’s first battle with cancer, which she has been fighting on and off since 2018. After years of medical treatment and their options running out, the young girl’s parents had to make an impossible decision.

“Out of respect for her body and her spirit, further medical intervention feels wrong,” Indy’s mom wrote on Instagram. “The chance of cure from more treatment is extremely minimal. Our brave girl has just been through too much.”

Between Indy’s heartbreaking story and her contagious energy, the father of three girls could think of no better use for the beginning of his 49th birthday – so he recorded a video of his own.

“I know you have no idea who I am, and that’s totally cool,” The Rock said in his moving response to Indy. “But I was in Moana – I’m Maui! I know, where’s my hair?”


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To give Indy the evidence she needed, The Rock proceeded to sing a few lines of Maui’s song, “You’re Welcome.”

“Stay strong honey and keep singing your songs,” The Rock captioned his video before giving Indy the sign-off she really wanted: “Love you, MAUI.”

Proud Dad Encourages Talented Son To Play Piano at Crowded Geneva Airport

Dad encourages talented son to play piano at airport

There’s no easy way to build confidence in kids, but that doesn’t stop us from trying pretty much constantly. From being their biggest cheerleaders to showing interest in things they care about, the opportunities for empowerment are endless. That is, if you somehow managed to have a kid who highly values your opinion (what are you, some kind of wizard?). Most often, encouraging kids is a practice that requires superhuman levels of patience and impeccable timing.

A dad named Peter Blandford crushed the art of encouragement two years ago in the crowded Geneva Airport, and he’s been riding that high ever since. Ok, so he’s almost definitely had countless peak-dad moments since, but two years after that fateful success, he decided to share his son’s touching win with the world.

In a TikTok that’s been viewed nearly three million times in under a month, Peter gently encourages his 15-year-old son to show off his piano skills. Anyone who’s sat through even one piano recital is likely less than enthusiastic to hear someone else’s kid play – the choppy, barely-recognizable rendition of “Hot Cross Buns” still haunts our darkest nightmares.

But 15-year-old Christian clearly hasn’t been skimping on his piano practice, and nobody knows that better than his proud dad. After spotting a piano at the bustling airport, Peter seizes the opportunity to push Christian out of his comfort zone. After floating the idea of playing the neglected piano for passersby, Christian is initially reluctant.

“They’re bored, it’s some free entertainment, okay, trust me. Go and do it,” Peter says.

@shawwellpete2 years ago in Geneva airport I persuaded my 15 year old to play the public piano. Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone reaps rewards ##piano♬ original sound – Peter Blandford

Christian nervously plays with his water bottle, considering the possibility. He glances around, takes a swig of water, and just freaking goes for it. The wildly talented teen starts with Beethoven, completely stunning the previously silent airport.

The server at an airport restaurant is an instant fan, staring in amazement as Christian moves on to Rachmaninoff. Christian barely notices his audience, his face buried in the familiar keys. Fortunately, his dad got the whole thing on camera so Christian can fully appreciate his impact when the nerves aren’t so overwhelming. The server soon returns with a (non-alcoholic) cocktail for the talented young pianist, a drink Christian won’t soon forget.

“2 years ago in Geneva airport I persuaded my 15 year old to play the public piano,” Peter captioned the touching video. “Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone reaps rewards.”

Dad’s Creative Way To Get Balloon From Ceiling