Hiccup, our hero in the briskly paced animated film "How to Train Your Dragon," is a young Viking who has his hurdles cut out for him. His giant father (voice of Gerard Butler) sports a belt-length red beard and looks as if he begins each day by downing a dozen mead shooters on his way out to slay scaly adversaries. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) develops his own approach to dealing with the dragon threat; he prefers communication. With a school assignment hanging over him to slay a dragon, Hiccup instead befriends a potential victim, Toothless. Filmmakers Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders are best known for 2002's "Lilo & Stitch"; this one is better and funnier. The DVD and Blu-ray (DreamWorks, $30-$40), which are due in stores Friday, include deleted scenes and an interview with author Cressida Cowell.
Out Tuesday: "Arn: The Knight Templar," "CSI: Miami" (Season 8), "Dexter's Laboratory" (Season 1), "Dollhouse" (Season 2), "Ghost Whisperer" (Season 5), "In Treatment" (Season 2), "Inspector Lewis" (Series 3), "Jonah Hex," "Leaves of Grass," "Lost Boys: The Thirst," "Marcus Welby, M.D." (Season 2), "Three Kings" (Blu-ray), "The Tudors" (final season).
GAMECall the gang for 'Party'
"Mario Party 8" came out more than three years ago. Now, the Mario theme has been stripped out and the series' concept retooled for "Wii Party" ($50 for Wii; rated Everyone), which uses customized Miis as player representatives. Without Mario and the gang around, the party feels flat. There are several game modes for one to four players. Board Game Island is the one that's closest to the old "Mario Party" template. Players roll dice to progress along a pathway, with some spaces having special effects. Mini-games between rounds determine the order of play. That play-order mechanic also is used for Globe Trot, in which players choose randomly from a hand of cards to move between cities of the world. The goal is to collect souvenir photos from specific locations. Other games range from bingo to two-player contests involving memory or balancing. There also are House Party Games, which use the Wii Remote in novel ways, such as for a game of hide-and-seek or hot potato.
WEBFacebook is for flirting
In the spirit of the "The Social Network," the new flick about Facebook, MensHealth.com recently announced the results of a survey showing how the world's most popular social portal helps people show some love. And not just in that just-want-to-be-friends kind of way. The juicy tidbits include the not-so-surprising revelation that 69 percent of people use Facebook to flirt (one in four with someone other than a partner) and that 25 percent use it to snoop on partners who might be flirting. The survey of nearly 3,000 people -- 1,329 men and 1,523 women -- also found that one in four Facebook folks do not list their true relationship status. The survey also found that 59 percent said they've become jealous over their partner's interactions with someone else on Facebook; 23 percent said they have sent a friend request to an attractive stranger; and 85 percent looked up an ex on Facebook.
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