The Culture Arts

Top Picks: 'Spider-Man: Homecoming,' the iCatcher! Podcast Player app, and more

The latest installment in the series based on the classic science fiction film 'Planet of the Apes,' 'War for the Planet of the Apes,' is available on DVD and Blu-ray, the PBS program 'Making a New American Nutcracker' is about a new twist on a holiday classic, and more top picks.

  • Staff

Engaging ‘Spider-Man’

Actor Tom Holland gets the spotlight in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which finds the teenage web-slinger dealing with high school and what it takes to be a superhero. Michael Keaton, who played the Caped Crusader in “Batman,” is now a villain, starring as the malevolent Vulture. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is available on DVD and Blu-ray and is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language, and brief suggestive comments.

Podcast buddy

Podcast fans can make their listening easier with the app iCatcher! Podcast Player. The app stores the playback speed you set for each podcast and allows you to download more than one episode at a time. It also keeps episodes on your phone even if you’ve unsubscribed to the podcast. It’s $2.99 for iOS.


‘Apes’ war

The latest installment in the series based on the classic science fiction film “Planet of the Apes,” War for the Planet of the Apes, is available on DVD and Blu-ray. Actor Andy Serkis, whom Monitor film critic Peter Rainer calls “incomparable,” reprises his role as Caesar, an ape leading other apes in their revolt against humans. The film is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, thematic elements, and some disturbing images. 

American ‘Nutcracker’

The PBS program Making a New American Nutcracker is about a new twist on a holiday classic, depicting the creation of Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” The team of artists set the story at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, complete with the protagonist becoming a Polish immigrant’s daughter and an appearance by Buffalo Bill. “Making a New American Nutcracker” airs on various dates during December, so check your local listings – or stream the program at beginning Dec. 1.


Wood shop help

Looking for some help on woodworking tasks? The Woodshop Widget app can help you figure out board volume, the amounts you need for mixing shellac, and what kind of wood to use. The app is $3.99 for iOS and $1.99 for Android.

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