New and noteworthy experiences among home video, games, gadgets and the Web.
Batman rises to the occasion
Christopher Nolan has made a completely satisfying movie with "The Dark Knight Rises," one steeped enough in self-contained mythology to reward hard-core fans of his Batman trilogy while giving less invested viewers a rousing, adroitly executed piece of popcorn entertainment.
The film starts off with a nervy piece of midair showmanship in which the movie's villain, a terrorist thug named Bane, hijacks a CIA plane. Bane makes almost immediately for Gotham City, where Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has been living in wounded seclusion for the past eight years, since he took the rap for killing a city hero. Of course, there's a buried truth glancingly referred to in a weary speech delivered by police commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), who is attending a charity event on the grounds of Wayne Manor. Also in attendance: a mysterious brunette named Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway, who proves to be the breakout star).
"The Dark Knight Rises" ends on a self-important note that would be insufferable if Nolan and Bale hadn't so clearly earned it.
The DVD (Warner, $29) includes a background featurette, while the Blu-ray ($36) adds a 14-part behind-the-scenes documentary.
Colin Covert says: Throughout the three-film arc, Bruce Wayne has been courting death. Nolan's finale gives us the inevitable with generous portions of suspense, surprise and delicious shock.
Also out Tuesday:
Movies: "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn," "Hope Springs," "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," "Thunderstruck."
TV: "Eastbound & Down" (Season 3), "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" (Season 1), "Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXV," "The Simpsons" (Season 15).
Blu-ray debuts: "Brazil" (Criterion), "Catch Me If You Can," "Finding Nemo," "Purple Noon," "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (Season 2).
Explore floor plans with Google
You can now access the indoor floor plans for more than 10,000 locations around the world, including retail stores, when you use Google Maps with a Web browser.
The indoor floor plan feature has been available to Android device users for some time now, but Google said it is bringing it to the Web browser so that more people can use it for their holiday shopping.
"Before heading home for the holidays, check out indoor maps of the airport or shopping mall on your desktop to better plan your trip," the company said.
To see a building's layout, simply zoom in and details will begin to appear. When you look at malls, for example, you will see stores, bathrooms, ATMs and more. The types of places that are supported include airports, museums, retail stores, universities and even casinos in Las Vegas.
The feature can also be used on iPhone devices if you open the Safari app and go to www.google.com/maps.
LOS ANGELES TIMES