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Men in Black 3: Movie Touch brings pop-up everything to your iPad

If you like to share clips, read trivia, check out actors' bios, and more while watching the Men do their thing, this is the app for you.

Men in Black: Movie Touch adds a timeline of interactive elements to the movie-viewing experience.
Men in Black: Movie Touch adds a timeline of interactive elements to the movie-viewing experience.
Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

You know how most movies appear letterboxed on your iPad? Those black bars are kind of a waste of space.

So what if you slid the movie upward and filled the empty bottom area with, you know, stuff? Things like actors' filmographies, still images and art from the movie, little bits of trivia, sharing and social-media options, and so on?

That's the idea behind Men in Black 3: Movie Touch, a free iPad app designed to enhance the experience of watching -- wait for it -- "Men in Black 3."

Although the app is free, it limits you to just 10 minutes of the actual movie. If you want the full thing, you'll need to sign into your UltraViolet account -- and own a copy of the film in that account. In other words, you can't use Movie Touch to actually buy the movie, nor will it work with the version you bought or rented from, say, iTunes.

That's an annoying limitation, to be sure, but if you did happen to buy an UltraViolet-compatible edition of the movie, it's a neat way to watch an enhanced, interactive version. Once you sign into your UltraViolet account, you can stream or download the movie.

Movie Touch offers a lot of the same kinds of goodies you might find in a DVD's extras library, but instead of viewing them separately, after the fact, you see a kind of extras timeline that scrolls across the bottom as you watch. At any given moment you might see a thumbnail for still images, fun facts, music, a short video about special effects, a 360-degree 3D view of various gadgets from the movie, and so on -- all of it timed to the scenes you're seeing.

It's pretty cool, though I found the "fun facts" lame beyond belief. Take this gem: "Nothing perplexes Agent J more than his current partner, Agent K." I was hoping for some interesting trivia of the "Pop-Up Video" variety. (Note to Sony: next time, call those guys.)

Ultimately, Movie Touch is kind of a curiosity -- a fun diversion for "Men in Black" fans who like extras, but kind of an insult for those who want the goodies without having to jump through (or pay for) UltraViolet hoops. Your thoughts?

By the way, if you're a fan of all things "Men in Black," be sure to check out the "Men in Black 3" game for Android and iOS. It's free(mium), and it's far better than most movie tie-in games.