New and noteworthy experiences among DVDs, video games, gadgets and the Web.
Few movies have been greeted with as much anticipation as "The Princess and the Frog," Disney's first animated movie to feature an African-American princess. The film is a triumph. Anika Noni Rose gives mellifluous spoken and musical voice to Tiana, who works as a waitress in 1920s New Orleans and dreams of opening a restaurant. When the handsome Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos) arrives in town, at first it looks like he'll be married off to Charlotte (Jennifer Cody), a spoiled Southern belle whose family employed Tiana's seamstress mother. But when villainous voodoo doctor Facilier (Keith David) intervenes, Tiana and Prince Naveen wind up as frogs lost in the bayou. The film manages to be groundbreaking and utterly familiar at the same time. The DVD and Blu-ray (Disney, $30-$45) include commentary, deleted scenes, a music video, a game and featurettes.
Also out Tuesday: "Armored," "Astro Boy," "Breaking Bad" (Season 2), "Broken Embraces," "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" "The Fourth Kind," "Hawaii Five-O" (Season 8), "Monk" (Season 8), "Mystery Science Theater 3000: XVII ," "Ninja Assassin," "Paris," "South Park" (Season 13), "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."
The immersion you feel launching "Battlefield: Bad Company 2" lasts through the moment you shut down your console, giving you one of the best war experiences in gaming. A hearty upgrade from the original, "Bad Company 2" ($60 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3; rated Mature for blood, strong language and violence) offers not just intense combat and environments but rocks you with a full sensory experience. Sarge and the rest of the Bad Company crew return in this sequel and they have your back, whether you're fighting on snow-capped mountains or in mosquito-infested jungles. Once you finish the exhilarating campaign mode, your enjoyment is only heightened in multiplayer games. The visuals and sounds are terrific. Don't hesitate to add this to your library.
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As a kid, did you ever wonder what they put in those school lunches to make them so, well, unique? One anonymous blogger attempts to find out on Fed Up: School Lunch Project (fedupwithschoollunch.blogspot. com). Flagging herself as "a teacher who is eating school lunch every day in 2010," this brave woman tries to get to the bottom of why school lunches are so inadequate. She documents what she is served at her school for lunch every day, with pictures. The good? Day 29's French bread pizza. The bad? Day 27's stale cheese croissant. And the ugly? Day 16's processed and prepackaged peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which actually made her sick. It's hard to have an appetite after reading how she has to use ketchup and milk to get the food down.
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