New and noteworthy experiences among home video, games, gadgets and the Web.
VIDEO: Spies on the run
Denzel Washington has begun to carve out a niche as the grumpy or morally compromised foil to young, gravitas-seeking white actors (Ethan Hawke in "Training Day," Chris Pine in "Unstoppable"). In "Safe House," Ryan Reynolds plays Matt Weston, a CIA newbie assigned to man a rarely used Cape Town facility. Every day he clocks in, checks the supplies and waits to see if he'll finally get something to do. Then he does: Amid much excitement, a squad of tough agents arrives to interrogate Washington's Tobin Frost, a top spy who went rogue nine years ago and has been selling America's secrets ever since. When the safe house is attacked by baddies bent on killing Frost, Weston escapes with him, trying to keep his prisoner alive on the streets until a presumably safer hideout can be arranged. -WASHINGTON POST
Colin Covert's take: "Safe House" is an overproduced spy thriller that never really seized my imagination, but it kept my knee jiggling nervously for 115 minutes. Read the full review.
Also out on DVD Tuesday
GAMES: Pay as you go
Three years ago, the iOS debut of "MotoHeroz" (free for Apple devices; rated 4+) -- an off-road racing/stunt-driving game from the same studio behind the popular motorcycle racing game "Trials HD" for the Xbox 360 -- would have been good news. "MotoHeroz" operates almost identically to "Trials," providing a large array of short stunt courses and tasking players with completing them under a par time or over a par score. Unfortunately, a fully upgraded vehicle proves more important to your success than your driving skills. You can accomplish this by replaying courses ad nauseam while you gradually accumulate the in-game currency needed to upgrade each vehicle. Or you can watch video ads and earn a handful of coins that way. Or, for the price of $4 a vehicle (that's $32 for all eight), you can fully upgrade. If you want the option just to drop $5 upfront and play "MotoHeroz" as you would a fun, skill-based game instead of something that nickels and dimes your time and money and sabotages its own game-play merits in the process? Sorry. "MotoHeroz," the latest victim of the absolutely joyless "freemium" business model, won't allow it. -MCCLATCHY NEW SERVICE