Trouble in the White House

In “Olympus Has Fallen” — an efficient if unimaginative version of “Die Hard” in the White House — Gerard Butler plays Mike Banning, a Secret Service agent whose close relationship with President Benjamin Asher and his son, Connor, is destroyed after a rescue mission goes awry. A visit from the South Korean prime minister ends with Asher, the vice president and the secretary of defense being abducted and held hostage in the White House bunker.

Director Antoine Fuqua stages the takeover of 1600 Pennsylvania Av. and its environs with unsettling, visceral mayhem, as hundreds of civilians are strafed, bombed and shot; nearby, the Washington Monument crumbles in a distasteful reenactment of the destruction of Sept. 11, 2001. Once “Olympus Has Fallen” gets to the Oval Office, the Lincoln Bedroom and the White House’s lesser-known corridors, most of the action consists of subtle neck snaps, knifings and kill shots that Banning executes in a series of quick, lethal encounters. The White House has reverted to a once-and-future citadel of American triumphalism justified by unimpeachable moral outrage.

Washington Post


Also out Tuesday:

Movies: “Bad Parents,” “The Big Wedding,” “Captains Close Up,” “The Company You Keep,” “Emperor,” The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec,” “The Hot Flashes,” “What Maisie Knew.”

TV: “Enlightened” (Season 2), “Family Ties” (Season 7), “Girls” (Season 2), “The Mindy Project” (Season 1), “Once Upon a Time” (Season 2), “Southland” (Season 5), “Ultra Q” (full series).

Blu-ray debuts: “Flashdance,” “The Muppet Movie,” “Seconds.”



Get organized in style

Just because you might have a Type A personality, it doesn’t mean you can’t have pretty things. Grid (free for iOS devices) aims to help you organize your life, whether you’re planning an event or making a grocery list.

The layout of the app, which is simply a blank grid, gives users a lot of flexibility to create their documents. Tap on an empty grid square and you can mark out an area of the document that suits your content — bigger sections for photos of a recipe you’re recording, for example, while the ingredient list can occupy a smaller square.

Its flexible layout also lets you embed contacts, so you can pull a list of party guests together quickly and text or call them from within the app. Editing a grid is not as intuitive as creating one, but it doesn’t take much practice before you’re swapping tiles like a pro.

Washington Post



Nexus 7 is toughest

The new Nexus 7 is thinner, lighter and narrower than its predecessor, and it seems to be more durable, too. The latest Google tablet was put through a durability test against the old Nexus 7 as well as the iPad mini, and it fared the best.

SquareTrade, a company that provides protection plans for mobile devices, conducted the experiment, which included a 5-foot drop test, a slide test and a water dunk test.

The drop test cracked the screens of the old Nexus 7 and the iPad mini, while the new Nexus 7 incurred a few scratches.

On the slide test, which is meant to see how likely a device is to fall off of a table or desk, the iPad mini slid completely off. The new Nexus 7, meanwhile, slid just a little farther than the original Nexus 7, which has a more grip-able back cover.

The new Nexus 7 also shined during the water dunk test, which involved submerging the three devices a few inches underwater while they played videos. The new Nexus 7 surfaced just fine, but the iPad mini lost audio and the old Nexus 7 had to completely reset itself.

On a breakability scale of 1 to 10, with 10 meaning the device is the most likely to break, SquareTrade gave the new Nexus 7 a 5. The old Nexus 7 received a 6 while the iPad mini earned a 7.5.

Los Angeles Times