See, touch, and demo the next generation of personal media players, home networking solutions, HDTV, digital music, and more—all under one roof.
The stage is set and the curtain will rise on April 28 for
a return engagement of the popular Home Entertainment Show—the high-performance
sound and imaging event of the year. HE-2005 will take place April 28–May 1, 2005,
once again at the Hilton New York Hotel, only steps away from Broadway, marking the
seventh time the event has been held in New York City.
High-end home theater owners may already be familiar with Silicon Optix, Inc. The company's Image AnyPlace video scaler provides a great deal of flexibility for installers when choosing where to locate a front-projection monitor in relation to the screen. The scaler's Image Geometry Correction circuitry adjusts the image for off-axis projection in two dimensions (two-dimensional Keystone Correction), so for nightmare-installation rooms the projector may be mounted at the top, bottom, or either side of the projection screen. The scaler also makes it possible to project images onto cylindrical, spherical, or completely irregularly shaped objects. (Imagine the thrill of watching movies on the top of your brother-in-law's shiny bald head.)
It used to be that you had to be an astronaut or a fighter pilot in order to experience first-class motion simulation. D-BOX Technology, Inc., changed that when they introduced the high-end Odyssee Motion Simulator that included a dedicated controller and set of actuators that move your favorite chair or (a platform holding several chairs) in synchronization with a number of Hollywood movies for which D-BOX had slavishly encoded motion commands. (Read about Chris Chiarella's stimulating experience with the Odyssee simulator here
.) Now D-BOX has lowered the price of admission for motion at home with Quest chairs and loveseats.
Despite some unfortunate '70s style curses, Rocky is a simply timeless tale of the American spirit, and the start of something big: The second installment is a little heavier-handed but still wildly satisfying. The rest become more cartoonish—the Cold War–themed IV is almost laughable now—until the franchise flamed out with V.
Originally devised as a Broadway-caliber musical for CBS in 1957, Cinderella is making its very first appearance on home video since it aired live on the network to a record-breaking audience.
Starring a youthful Julie Andrews as the girl who marries a prince, this musical looks and sounds surprisingly good for a television program that was thought to be lost for nearly 60 years. While the 1.33:1 black-and-white picture lacks detail and is marred by dust and dirt, it has a decent amount of contrast throughout. Meanwhile, the single-channel Dolby Digital soundtrack, though lacking a lot of dynamic range, still delivers the classic songs with aplomb.
Sometimes the most memorable thing about a movie is its music. The Bodyguard is a prime example, and Warner Bros. celebrates its 13-year anniversary with a new two-disc Special Edition. Whitney Houston stars as Rachel Marron, a singing superstar whose life is threatened by a mysterious stalker. Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner), a former secret service agent, is hired as Rachel's reluctant bodyguard. The story starts off slow and in some ways is predictable, but the momentum eventually picks up and becomes an interesting whodunit to the very end. The romantic connection between Rachel and Frank isn't always convincing. Essentially, you are left with a moving story about a woman and the man who protects her.
Since I didn't see this in the theater, I'm gonna have to assume that the audio on my disc wasn't screwed up and that the noise that's supposed to be terrifying the characters in the movie (and by association the viewer) as it signals the "Grudge" is approaching really does sound a lot like "creaaaaakkkkkkkkkk." Yep, kind of like a door hinge that needs to be oiled. It's just, not exactly terror inducing, at all—not even in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. Overall, though, this film does compensate for weird plot twists and creaking noises with a decent-sounding DVD. Check out chapter 23 for a good dose of the nice horror movie soundtrack interlaced with the sound of splashing and the cries of that creepy little boy.
Beautiful production, costume design, and cinematography are the standouts in The Stepford Wives, a comedic remake of the 1970s version that's only sparingly comedic. Nicole Kidman stars as Joanna, a stressed-out former TV executive who, along with her husband Walter (Matthew Broderick), moves to the seemingly idyllic Stepford, Connecticut, to chill out and get away from it all. She soon observes that the women are a little too perky, perfect, obliging, and smiley for her comfort and is determined to find out why. The sets are striking, full of colonial, pillared homes that are all immaculately kept and color-coordinated, as are the ladies' outfits, designed by legend Ann Roth. The bright, flowing dresses that adorn the wives are visions of whites, pastels, and florals that perfectly match the ladies' porcelain-skinned complexions and sunny dispositions. The men are also a sight, all pink shirts and lime shorts. Together, they're like Garanimals, which works.
Directing this movie had to be tough. On the one hand, legions of Potter fans don't want a filmmaker to swing too wide of J.K. Rowling's beloved source material. Yet critics and audiences were becoming restless with Chris Columbus' literal interpretations of the first two books. It turns out that director Alfonso Cuaron was an excellent choice to take over the reins. His visual flair gave Hogwarts a much-needed fleshing out; he kept much of the original story intact while stepping up its pacing; and he got some of the best performances yet from Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson as Harry and Hermione. Younger viewers may find this film scarier than the first two, but it's all in keeping with Rowling's move toward darker themes.