After stuffing ourselves with turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pecan and pumpkin pie—a la mode for me—my wife and I took in a couple of movies over the long holiday weekend. As it happened, the experience clearly demonstrated the differences between film and digital projection.
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/casablanca.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>During World War II, Casablanca served as an exit point for many Europeans seeking to leave escape the gripping hand of the Nazi's. American Eexpatriate American Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), owner of Rick's Caf, isn't what you would call a people person. When Still, when Rick's ex-lover, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), arrives in town with European resistance fighter, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), they seek out Rick's help in obtaining papers to escape Casablanca.
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/spacechimps.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Ham III (voiced by Andy Samberg) is the grandson of the first chimpanzee into space who's recruited to join two other NASA chimps on an important mission to retrieve a wayward spacecraft that disappeared into a wormhole. With the help of Lieutenant Luna (Cheryl Hines) and their trusty pilot Titan (Patrick Warburton), the three must work together to save the inhabitants of a distant planet from their evil dictator (Jeff Daniels) and find a way back to Earth.
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/princecaspian.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>The Pevensie children—Peter (William Moseley), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), Susan (Anna Popplewell), and Lucy (Georgie Henley)—face a perilous mission and a greater-than-ever test of their faith and courage. Thirteen hundred years of Narnia time have passed since their last visit, but only one year in their normal reality. Although the White Witch (Tilda Swinton) is gone, making only a brief appearance in the movie, the realm is ruled by a cruel tyrant, King Miraz (Sergio Castellitto), and Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) has been missing for over a thousand years. With the help of Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes), the four children embark on a journey to find Aslan and restore magic and glory to the land.
Price: $100 At A Glance: Instant streaming • Ultra-simple interface • No additional service charge for Netflix subscribers • Limited choice of available titles • Requires very fast Internet connection for good image quality • No multichannel surround or HD content yet
Netflix on Demand
What could be better than waiting for your next Netflix movie to arrive by snail mail? What if you could receive it on demand, via streaming technology?
With the end of the format war fading in the rear-view mirror, manufacturers of Blu-ray players have one last obstacle to overcome to help bring Blu-ray into the mainstream—make a dedicated player that provides the user experience of the Sony PlayStation 3. (Okay, they must also bring the price down to DVD levels in order to <I>really</I> reach the mainstream.) In addition to delivering a first-rate audio/video experience, players must also offer a user experience on par with DVD.
Extras: 1.5/5 A high-intensity thriller about a team of elite FBI agents sent to Saudi Arabia to solve a brutal mass murder and find a killer before he strikes again. Out of their element and under heavy fire, the team must join forces with their Saudi counterparts. As these unlikely allies begin to unlock the secrets of the crime scene, the team is led into a heart-stopping, do-or-die confrontation.
Extras: 1.5/5 "Jarhead" (the self-imposed moniker of the Marines) follows Swoff from a sobering stint in boot camp to active duty, where he sports a sniper rifle through Middle East deserts that provide no cover from the heat or Iraqi soldiers. Swoff and his fellow Marines sustain themselves with sardonic humanity and wicked comedy on blazing desert fields in a country they don't understand against an enemy they can't see for a cause they don't fully grasp.
Extras: 2.5/5 New York City, year 2095. A floating pyramid has emerged in the skies above Manhattan, inhabited by ancient Egyptian Gods. They have cast judgment down upon Horus (a falcon headed god), one of their own. With only seven days to preserve his immortality, he must find a human host body to inhabit, and search for a mate. In the city below, a beautiful young woman, Jill, with blue hair, blue tears and a power even unknown to her, wanders the city in search of her identity aided by a doctor who is fascinated by this mystery of nature. Reality in this world has a whole new meaning as bodies, voices and memories converge with Gods, mutants, mortals and extra terrestrials.
Extras: 3.75/5 This hilarious Christmas film tells the tale of a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts on Christmas Eve and is transported back to the North Pole and raised as an elf. Years later Buddy learns he is not really an elf and goes on a journey to New York City to find his true identity.