Short Circuits: 'Prometheus' on video; Google's 'Field Trip'

  • Updated: October 9, 2012 - 9:10 AM

New and noteworthy experiences among home video, games, gadgets and the Web.

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Michael Fassbender in a scene from "Prometheus," now out on DVD.

Photo: 20th Century Fox , Associated Press

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VIDEO

'Alien' encounters

The biggest surprise about "Prometheus" might be just how unoriginal it is, given Ridley Scott's track record as a genre game-changer. Visually impressive and featuring one or two breakout performances, this anticlimactic exercise too often plays as though it has been cobbled together from archetypes, imagery and tropes from countless other movies.

We meet the principal players: Charlie Holloway and Elizabeth Shaw, archaeologists who are leading a group of explorers in 2089, when they happen upon a cave of futuristic dreams. When the action picks up a few years later, Holloway, Shaw and their ragtag team have boarded a spacecraft named Prometheus, which, under the sponsorship of Weyland Industries, is taking them to an undisclosed location and, presumably, to the origin of humans.

Scott can always be relied upon to create bold visual design in his movies, and "Prometheus" is no exception.

The DVD and Blu-ray (Fox, $30-$50) include commentary, deleted scenes and featurettes.

WASHINGTON POST

Colin Covert's take: "Prometheus" saddles the billion-dollar "Alien" franchise with a dollar-store script. Luckily, in space, no one can hear you groan.

Also out Tuesday:

Movies: "A Cat in Paris," "Raven," "Rock of Ages."

TV: "Bones" (Season 7), "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (Season 7), "The League" (Season 3).

Blu-ray debuts: "Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour," "Dial M for Murder," "E.T. the Extraterrestrial," "The Great Mouse Detective," "Ice Station Zebra," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Red Dawn," "Strangers on a Train," "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"

APP

Take a field trip

Google's new "Field Trip" app (free for Android; iOS coming soon) is a virtual local tour guide that's always running in the background. It pops up interesting local information -- from local history and architecture to the best restaurants and shopping -- without you having to ask for it.

After you choose whether you want just occasional notifications or frequent ones, "Field Trip" runs quietly in the background, looking for anything notable around you. The app pulls in information from a ton of sources including Zagat and Eater in the food & drinks category, Architizer for architecture, and the Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations and Atlas Obscura for unique (and possibly bizarre) finds.

When it finds something, "Field Trip" notifies you. The app has a pleasant interface and encourages you to step out and explore.

LIFEHACKER

GADGET

Walkman goes thin

The latest in the line of the Sony Walkman digital players is the Sony E470 Series MP3, the thinnest Walkman ever at just 7 millimeters. The rest of the body is 33/4 inches long by about 11/2 inches wide.

Photos and videos are viewed on a 2-inch LCD. Music and videos are loaded into the player with ease from Windows media player or iTunes. The internal battery is rated to work for 36 hours of music playback or up to 6 hours of video watching.

Great-sounding hybrid silicone soft EX earbuds are included with the digital player, which also has a built-in FM tuner.

Additional features include two preinstalled Sudoku and Tetris-like games, a microphone, a clock and alarm features.

Built into the internal software is a feature called SensMe tone analysis, which will group your music based on beats per minute.

It's available in metallic red or with a black finish and sells for $80 with 8 gigabytes of storage or 16GB for $110.

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