A big disappointment
Much like the imaginary floating land called Gantua, situated halfway between heaven and Earth, and populated by a race of CGI giants, the fairy tale-inspired film “Jack the Giant Slayer” is stuck between two extremes: too scary for young children, yet too silly for most older fans of director Bryan Singer.
Loosely based on the English folk tale about a boy who discovers a magic beanstalk that leads to the realm of an evil giant, the film includes scenes of pitched battle that resemble “Lord of the Rings” outtakes, as well as the kind of belching-and-flatulence humor popular with kids. Couple that with man-eating giants, and the question seems obvious: Who, exactly, is this movie for?
The DVD and Blu-ray (New Line, $29-$45) include deleted scenes.
Also out Tuesday
Movies: “American Mary,” “The Last Exorcism, Part II,” “Movie 43,” “Quartet,” “Stoker,” “21 & Over.”
TV: “Body of Proof” (Season 3), “Call the Midwife” (Season 2), “Drop Dead Diva” (Season 4), “The Ghost Army,” “Workaholics” (Season 3).
Blu-ray debuts: “The Howling,” “Lifeforce,” “Marketa Lazarova,” “Safety Last,” “Things to Come.”
Go old-school with audio
The iHome iBT4 boombox ($100; www.ihomeaudio.com) brings you back to high school days.
After connecting with any Bluetooth-enabled device, music is streamed to the hand-held speaker. The old-school look, complete with dial knobs on top, makes you want to carry it on your shoulder with the moveable handle on the 3-pound device.
Inside the rubber-coated box are iHome’s Reson8 speaker chambers along with an internal lithium-ion battery for up to seven hours of sound, depending on volume levels. A universal AC adaptor is included.
If broadcast radio is still your thing, there is a built-in FM radio you control on top, along with a line-in jack for plugging in a media player.
Boomboxes are generally meant to crank up the sound, and the iBT4 lets you do just that.
McClatchy News Service
Get moving on transit
Most of the popular maps apps such as Google Maps and Apple Maps have public-transportation functionality built in, but they’re not always perfect. The Transit App (free) is built specifically for public transportation, and it provides a clean interface to get you to your destination easily.
The Transit App works in 37 U.S. cities, including New York, San Francisco and Minneapolis.
What makes the app interesting is that since it’s created specifically for public transportation, the interface is quick and responsive to help you get where you’re going without messing around much in menus. Just type your destination, and the Transit App gets you a list of options from your location right away.
If your city supports it, the app also can show you real-time locations of buses, trains and subways. The app is packed with options, too, so you can customize your route by cutting out walking, subways or whatever else.
Unlike a traditional maps app, the Transit App keeps itself up to date with changing schedules, and you won’t have to mess around in menus just to find the bus directions. The Transit App used to have a subscription fee to use the maps, but it’s now free for everyone.