Short Circuits: 'Transylvania'; on video; better gadget bag; tax app

  • Updated: January 29, 2013 - 8:57 AM
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Dracula, voiced by Adam Sandler, left, and Johnnystein, voiced by Andy Samberg in a scene from "Hotel Transylvania."

Photo: Sony Pictures Animation

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short circuits

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

 

Video

Looking for more bite

As Count Dracula, Adam Sandler turns in a blandly unobjectionable — if toothless — voice performance in “Hotel Transylvania.”

As Jonathan, a young American backpacker who accidentally wanders into Dracula’s castle — set up as a hotel for monsters seeking refuge from human persecution — Andy Samberg does his best to animate his innocuous persona. Selena Gomez brings more personality to the role of Dracula’s daughter, Mavis, a “teenager” celebrating her 118th birthday while chafing at her father’s overprotectiveness.

Of course, she and Jonathan fall in love, leading to — well, not terribly much. It’s something of a shame. “Hotel Transylvania” is entertaining enough for the trick-or-treat crowd, but more bite wouldn’t kill it.

The DVD and Blu-ray (Sony, $31-$56) include the mini-movie “Goodnight Mr. Foot” and commentary.

Washington Post

Also out Tuesday

Movies: “The Awakening,” “Cold Light of Day,” “Madly Madagascar,” “Paranormal Activity 4,” “Seven Psychopaths.”

TV: “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” (Part 2), “The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley,” “Downton Abbey” (Season 3), “Misfits” (Season 2), “Pan Am” (Season 1), “Young Riders” (Season 3).

Blu-ray debuts: “Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection,” “The Duelists,” “That Obscure Object of Desire,” “White Zombie.”

 

Gadget

Everything in its place

The iHome Smart Brief shoulder bag (www.ihomecases.com, $100) is as gadget- and organization-friendly as any ever made. Like everything else the company makes, the bag is Apple-compatible and designed with what seems like an endless number of pockets for chargers, cables and accessories along with a laptop and iPad. Your laptop is kept in a separate compartment, which zippers open, enabling it to be airport-security-friendly. A shoulder strap is included, or use the handles for carrying the stylish two-tone nylon, slim-profile bag.

  • related content

  • This year, filers with simple returns can fill out and file their taxes by using their iPhones or Android phones. The program, SnapTax by TurboTax, is available for 1040EZ filers. It’s free to download, but costs $14.99, including e-filing for a federal and state tax return. Photo credit: David Denney/Star Tribune • ddenney@startribune.com

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