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GRACE NOTES

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Nov 11, 2013 0 comments
IK Multimedia has just released its latest product, aimed at musicians and music lovers alike: the iLoud portable speaker. The company claims it is “studio quality” and equips it with a guitar/microphone input. Hmm, “studio quality”—I’ve heard that one before, but I decided to check it out. Is it actually something I would have used in my own recording studio?

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 28, 2013 2 comments
Iconic indie-rocker Lou Reed passed away at the age of 71 on Sunday, October 27th from complications after a recent liver transplant. Reed was married to experimental performance artist Laurie Anderson. Although Reed had only a single top-ten hit, he will be remembered for so much more.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 14, 2013 0 comments
We love our devices. Love ‘em! When we first get them, we baby them. But the reality is, sooner or later, life happens. Phones slip through our fingers, fall out of pockets, and drop into water or worse. And heaven help them from the atrocities inflicted by active folks—rain-soaked armbands, sweaty bike jersey pockets, damp backpacks, and the occasional boogie board ride in the Atlantic. One solution is to encase them. Thus “protective covers” abound. Unfortunately, those cases often muffle or kill the features we use the most. What to do?

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 30, 2013 0 comments
Every morning, my inbox is filled with press release after press release announcing some new Bluetooth wireless speaker. Everybody seems to be making them, and every company is trying to find an edge—some way to elevate themselves above the fray. Different shapes, multiple colors, small or large, they all do the same thing. But the Lyrix Duo caught my eye as something different, something unique. I needed to find out if different is also good.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
The year is 1976, when sex was safe and racing was dangerous. The Formula One World Championship is up for grabs, and it’s a grudge match. British race driver James Hunt goes mano a mano with Austrian race driver Niki Lauda, both driving pedal to the metal, with absolutely no margin for error and loving every minute of it. As Hunt explains, “The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel.” Director Ron Howard accelerates out of his comfort zone, and you’re sitting beside him, on the ride of your life.

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SV Staff Posted: Sep 06, 2013 0 comments
Riddick is an intergalactic murderous badass. When things start to go south, he’s your best and only hope.
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SV Staff Posted: Aug 14, 2013 0 comments
Can a high-end headphone manufacturer appeal to mainstream listeners? Oh yeah!
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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jul 03, 2012 0 comments

By any measure, Disney’s enjoyable Mars epic John Carter was a fiscal fiasco, netting only $72 million in the US and $282.4 million total worldwide, barely clearing its $250 million price tag. Ouch.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Aug 09, 2013 0 comments

As with most futuristic films, the earth portrayed in Elysium is overpopulated, crime-ridden, diseased, and has all the bucolic charm of a garbage dump. Awfully bleak. Unless you are a member of the elite, in which case you live in an orbiting, utopian, titular space station. You have access to miraculous health care and views to die for. When an oppressed Matt Damon is poisoned by radiation, he decides to crash the upper-crust party.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Nov 16, 2011 0 comments

Big screen not quite big enough? Don't like company while you watch TV? You can finally place your order for Sony's widely anticipated 3D headset, the HMZ-T1 ($799.) But before we get to the specs, consider the cool factor: The headset looks like something straight out of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jun 21, 2013 0 comments

Suddenly, just when you thought the world was safe, it's full of zombies. They are everywhere – on your game console, your phone, cable TV, and now even on the big screen. Metaphor for the fragility of modern civilization, and just plain fun to shoot at, zombies are cool. So it takes someone even cooler than zombies, namely Brad Pitt, to kick some zombie butt.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Feb 13, 2012 0 comments

The 2012 Grammy Awards — "music’s biggest night" — was certainly a unique evening of entertainment. As Reba (when did she lose her last name?) pointed out, it brought together so many different aspects of the music industry. Where else would you find hip-hop newbies rubbing elbows with old-school crooners?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: May 24, 2013 0 comments

 

The Fast and Furious filmography began in 2001 as a low-budget film based on a magazine article. It now incompasses six feature films and two short films, video games, and it even has its own Guess clothing line. Never aspiring to the same league as franchises such as 007 or Star Trek, FFs are scrappy, popcorn-munching, tremendously profitable testosterone trips. Does the latest installment fire on all cylinders, or run out of gas?

 

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 10, 2011 0 comments

A few weeks ago, the blogosphere was abuzz with commentary on Netflix's impetuous decision to split into two companies: Netflix for streaming TV shows and movies, and Qwikster for home delivery of DVD and Blu-ray movies. Seems that Netflix thought better of it too.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Nov 13, 2012 0 comments

Bond is back, and better than ever, in Skyfall (MGM/Eon Productions). The film marks the 50th anniversary of the series that's seen us through the Cold War, with a variety of actors capturing the iconic 007 through 23 films. As with every good anniversary celebration, this one reflects on a glorious past - and imagines an equally glorious future.

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