‘Croods’ offers some prehistoric fun

Think of “The Croods” as the back story of “The Flintstones,” before that modern Stone Age family got modern.

Hunter-gatherers Grug Crood and his wife, Ugga, live in a dark, depressing cave. They’re raising their kids — Eep, Thunk and Sandy — as best they can, considering there’s no Internet. Driving the story forward is the character of Eep, a restless teen who chafes at her father’s dictum, “Never not be afraid.” Sneaking out of the cave one night, she encounters a more advanced adolescent who has discovered such conveniences as fire, shoes, pants and belts. He has discovered something else, too: The world as Eep knows it is coming to an end.

“The Croods” is light fare, but it explores a serious theme: the importance of cooperation — and the evolutionary advantage of altruism — in the formation of human society. “The Croods” is also just good, goofy fun.

The DVD and Blu-ray (DreamWorks, $30-$49) include deleted scenes and featurettes.

Washington Post

Colin Covert says: Surprisingly clever, fast-paced but smart enough to pause for a touching family moment or two, “The Croods” is an evolutionary leap beyond the similarly themed “Ice Age” series.


Also out Tuesday

Movies: “Fright Night 2: New Blood,” “Frozen Ground,” “This Is the End.”

TV: “Beauty & the Beast” (Season 1), “Glee” (Season 4), “How I Met Your Mother” (Season 8), “New Girl” (Season 2), “North America.”

Blu-ray: “The Big Parade,” “From Here to Eternity,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Wizard of Oz” (75th anniversary, 3-D).



Clamp makes picture-taking a snap

Keizus’ Quadrapod Clamp ($40; is described by the company as resembling a human body. To the rest of us it’s a versatile tripod (actually a “quadrapod,” because it has four legs) that turns, clamps and holds onto portable electronic gadgets including cameras, smartphones, GPS units and smaller tablets. It uses a rubber clamp to hold a picture-taking device and has double ball-jointed arms and legs to attach to a doorknob, fence post or other object. Once you have it in place, set the timer, run and get in the photo. You also can unscrew the clamp to reveal a standard camera tripod thread to attach devices more securely.

McClatchy News Service



Keep track of your notes in real time

Google Drive (; free for Apple, Android and desktop) is an app you can’t live without or remember what you did before you had it. If you work online and need to share documents with others or share documents with yourself on multiple devices, this is the app for you.

No more long, unwieldy e-mail trails and forgetting which version is more current. The app houses your living, breathing creation. Type in your meeting notes on your phone and then open up the app on your desktop, and it’s there. Make a few changes and close that down, then open it up at home. Remember some random tweak while you’re waiting in line at the bank and you can type that in, too. Imagine sharing a grocery or to-do list with a spouse and being able to add or subtract from it in real-time.

ST. Louis Post-Dispatch



‘Wii Fit’ franchise gets makeover

Perhaps Nintendo’s Wii U console will finally catch on now that the company is releasing Wii U versions of its blockbuster fitness and sports games.

The first version of “Wii Fit” for the original Wii sold more than 20 million units and generated more than $2 billion in sales. It also broadened the appeal of the console beyond gamers and established what’s now a major category of console-based fitness programs.

Nintendo recently announced that “Wii Fit U” will be released Nov. 1 — a year after the Wii U console debuted — with 77 activities, including 19 new exercise routines, such as luge racing and salsa dancing. The game will be offered as a free download, playable for a month, after which people will have to buy the full version and an accessory Fit Meter fitness monitor for $20. A packaged version of the game will go on sale Dec. 13.

Seattle Times