Your weekend starts here
Like cat memes, cheese and the creative output of Motown between 1961 and 1973, weekends are unfailingly brilliant.
While recognising that fact here at Stuff, we're still arrogant enough to think that we can make them even better.
So settle back and devour our latest list of the films to watch, TV shows to stream, albums to listen to, apps to download, games to play and events to go to this weekend. You can add your own choice of cheese.
Film to watch: Jurassic World
Chris Pratt as a sort of dinosaur Dr. Doolittle is entrusted with stopping the Indominus Rex
Many Jurassic Park fans (that's everyone, yeah?) were rightly worried about this fourth installment in the series. Which, after the distinctly patchy Jurassic Park III, was completely understandable.
Well the good news is we needn't have fretted about it - because it's a mostly excellent return to form.
It’s been 22 years since the original park got flattened, but it’s open again. Only no lessons have been learned and the evil money men (is there any other kind?) have made a new dinosaur. It’s not very nice.
Obviously this BadDino then escapes and begins to wreak havoc across the island - and only Chris Pratt, playing a sort of dinosaur Dr. Doolittle, can stop it.
So alright, the plot's not exactly The Sopranos in its complexity, but it hurtles along at a breathtaking pace, the script and acting trump those in the average blockbuster and the effects are superb.
Ultimately Jurassic World is exactly what a sequel should be: more of the original, but bigger and cooler. Bloody (and stompy) good fun.
Game to download: Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be
A choose-your-own romp in and around the Hamlet narrative
It's odd that the choose-your-own adventure genre so beloved of '80s children hasn't seen more of a renaissance in the mobile age: surely smartphones are the ideal platform for the format? Ryan North obviously agrees because his To Be Or Not To Be is indeed a choose-you-own-adventure romp in and around the Hamlet narrative.
North is the writer behind the Dinosaur Comics and Adventure Time comic books, so we'd have been favourably disposed towards it even before starting, but fortunately it plays nicely too, with plenty of humour and a cracking good pace to it.
Book to read: Leaving orbit / Margaret Lazarus Dean
Leaving orbit / Margaret Lazarus Dean
Margaret Lazarus Dean (great name, BTW) is a NASA nerd, but in the most charming way.
Her stories and enthusiasm are what give this ode to the end of the Space Shuttle programme its endearing personality. This is a history lesson with heart and wide-eyed wonder, and any space fan will appreciate its optimism for the future.
Stuff says ★★★★✩
5-Minute hack: Democratise your party playlist
Clearly you have the best musical taste of anyone at your party, but what if your guests don’t agree?
- Clearly you have the best musical taste of anyone at your party, but what if your guests don’t agree? You let them vote for the next song…
- Download Festify (free, Windows and Mac) from festify.com. Enter your Spotify Premium username and click ‘start new party’.
- Now open the browser on your phone and type ‘festify.us’. Enter your six-digit code and join the party. You can now add songs, and your guests can vote for them.
- If it’s all gone a bit Mumford and you want to reassert control of your party, go to settings, click ‘show password’ and enter this in the ‘enter admin mode’ section. You’ll now be able to skip, delete and pause tracks.
App to download: snapseed
The Google-owned image editor returns with a major overhaul
The Google-owned image editor returns with a major overhaul, boasting Material Design that looks smart on Android if a bit weird on iOS.
Snapseed retains its usability, though, and it’s easy to add filters and make basic adjustments to photos. This update greatly increases the app’s power through non-destructive effects — at any point you can delve into your edit ‘stack’ and tweak or delete a step.
Given the absence of a price tag, there’s no reason not to give it a try.
Stuff says ★★★★✩
Album to listen to: Of Monsters and men / Beneath the skin
Scandinavia has been producing some pretty stellar albums and the new Of Monsters and Men record is no different
Iceland's Of Monsters and Men have been billed in some quarters as the new Arcade Fire - so, no pressure then - but Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir's voice ensures they have their own sound.
The likes of Hunger and Organs showcase their ability to slow things down, but it's in the album opener Crystals and the epic Black Water that they really excel, blending pop hooks with dense instrumentation to good effect.
Stuff says ★★★★✩