Sub thriller is a chiller

Todd Robinson’s intriguing, if uneven, thriller “Phantom” dusts off an obscure chapter in Cold War-era brinkmanship.

The action begins in 1968, when a Soviet submarine captain named Demi (Ed Harris) who’s about to retire receives one last commission — on a clanking rust bucket that still runs on diesel fuel at the dawn of the all-nuclear age. Along with his executive officer, Alex (William Fichtner), Demi welcomes a few new crew members to their cramped quarters and the enigmatic mission.

Filmed in a real Russian submarine, the movie has a cramped, humid sense of verisimilitude. That admirable air of realism dissipates once Robinson takes viewers outside the sub, where torpedo skirmishes are staged with too-perfect CGI bombast.

“Phantom” isn’t a cinematic masterpiece, but it tells a fascinating story that turns America-first patriotism on its head.

The DVD and Blu-ray (Fox, $23-$30) include commentary and featurettes.

Washington Post


Also out Tuesday

Movies: “The Call,” “Help!” (the Beatles), “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” “Into the White,” “A Place at the Table,” “Upside Down.”

TV: “Borgen” (Season 2), “CSI: NY” (final season), “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” (full series), “Inspector Lewis” (Series 6), “New Tricks” (Season 9).

Blu-ray debuts: “Shoah.”



Time for weather

AlarMe (free for Android) is a weather-sensitive alarm clock that keeps an eye on the weather and will wake you accordingly so you’re never late because of weather conditions. If it’s raining or snowing, you can get up a little early to beat the traffic or shovel out the car.

AlarMe lets you set up to six weather profiles for each of your alarms. For example, if you want to wake up at 6:30 a.m. every morning, but you want an extra 15 minutes in case it’s rainy and traffic will be a mess, you can tell AlarMe to wake you if the local weather notes that it’s been raining this morning.

The app is free, but you get only two of those six weather profiles per alarm in the free version. To unlock all six (and to set as many individual alarms as you want), you’ll need to the Pro version, which will set you back $2 via an in-app purchase.

Thankfully, the free version is more than enough to get you started, and you can upgrade after you give the app a try.




Sound in a cupholder

For a 3.6-inch tall, 2.7-inch wide cup, the iLuv MobiCup ($60; is perfect for summer cookouts and road trips.

The cylindrical wireless Bluetooth speaker is designed to sit in your car’s — or even a lounge chair’s — cupholder to blast music or to use for hands-free phone calls.

Along with its crisp sound, it has a built-in microphone and is splash-resistant for your outdoor activities. All the buttons to control incoming calls and the volume are top-mounted for easy access.

An internal Lithium-ion rechargeable battery will go for more than eight hours before a USB charge is needed.

McClatchy News Service