New and noteworthy experiences among home video, games, gadgets and the Web.
Video: Denzel takes ‘Flight’
With nerve-racking authenticity, director Robert Zemeckis puts viewers on board the routine 52-minute short hop that will have life-changing repercussions for ace pilot Whip Whitaker in “Flight.”
Portrayed by Denzel Washington with his characteristic somber focus, Whip is introduced in the film’s opening sequences waking up after a night of hard partying. Just another day at the office, until turbulence and a defective plane send Whip, his crew and passengers on a spectacularly terrifying controlled dive from which the pilot will emerge a hero.
Only a few people know that he’s a sullied Sullenberger. The twist is that the arrogance and illusion of invulnerability that could keep him from saving his life are the qualities that help make him an excellent pilot.
The DVD and Blu-ray (Paramount, $30-$40) include making-of featurettes.
Colin Covert says: “Flight” begins as a white-knuckle air-disaster thriller, then evolves into an engrossing character study with strong, well defined performances.
Also out Tuesday
Movies: “Alex Cross,” “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” “Deadfall,” “Here Comes the Boom,” “A Late Quartet,” “A Perfect Ending,” “Somewhere Between.”
TV: “Cougar Town” (Season 3).
Blu-ray debuts: “A Star Is Born” (1976), “Cabaret,” “Laura,” “Peter Pan.”
Gadget: Get affordable sound
Radio Shack’s Auvio expanding Bluetooth speaker ($40; www.radioshack.com) is as simple as a gadget can be, but it’s one of those things you won’t stop using.
Just twist open the speaker, pair it with your device via Bluetooth, and you’ll be amazed at how much better the sound is than the built-in speaker on your smartphone or tablet. It’s not room-filling sound, but it’s great for an office or while stuck in hotel rooms.
A rechargeable battery is built in for up to eight hours of use and can be powered up in two hours with a USB charge using the included cable. It is 2.5 inches in diameter, just over 3 inches tall when expanded and about 2.5 inches when closed.
Another choice, with a bigger size (2.8 by 6.5 by 2.9 inches) but much better sound is the brick-shaped Auvio Portable Speaker ($80). It’s also Bluetooth and works as a hands-free speakerphone and runs on a built-in rechargeable battery.
Both speakers have ports to connect to non-Bluetooth devices.
McClatchy News Service
App: Make more of food
Foodspotting (free for iPhone, Android, Windows, Blackberry and via www.foodspotting.com) totally justifies the bizarre national pastime of taking photos of our food. Now we snap for the greater good.
If you’re feeling hungry, Foodspotting will make suggestions. Give it permission to use your location, and it will find popular food items rated by users near you. You now have access to real-time food reviews, and you see the dish as presented, not some glossy image from the restaurant’s website.
There’s smoke rising from a plate of chicken fajitas at a nearby Mexican restaurant. A sandwich-and-soup option at another looks nice enough but none too filling. A photo of a chicken pot pie at an Irish pub looks a little like heaven on a plate.