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GRACE NOTES

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Dec 13, 2011 0 comments

Consider this fact. Over 80% of people watching TV or movies at home do so while also surfing the Internet or using their smartphones. No one just sits and watches movies anymore. If I was a film-maker, I would be pissed.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Mar 12, 2012 0 comments

A Princess of Mars was the first serial novel published by adventure writer Edgar Rice Burroughs (the Tarzan guy) almost exactly 100 years ago. It’s a classic tale: Civil War veteran is mysteriously transported into the midst of two warring cultures, of course, with a beautiful woman to be saved. Hmm, countless sci-fi films and more than a few Western flicks have borrowed that theme. Most recently and notably, James Cameron has said that A Princess of Mars (which he read as a child) was his inspiration for Avatar. Here’s the problem: Once so many others have copied it, the original feels — oddly enough — derivative. Despite all that, Disney gambled that Princess had enough life left to kickstart a new franchise.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jul 31, 2013 0 comments

Last week, Google released Chromecast, an HDMI dongle that promises to turn your “dumb” TV into a slightly smarter one. With a price tag of just $35, the device is sold out everywhere, and its bundled 3-month Netflix subscription has been halted, due to overwhelming demand. So what’s this little device causing all this ruckus?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Nov 01, 2011 0 comments

It's really hard to feel sorry for any of the major cable providers. Shout out if you absolutely love your cable company. Anyone? So, when Time Warner Cable announced a significant drop in subscribers and a corresponding decline in their earnings last quarter, you didn't see a lot of crocodile tears. In fact, anyone who's spent an hour or five dealing with cable customer service will likely feel at least a bit of glee to hear about TWC's corporate woes. But what does this say about how we're all watching TV?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 30, 2013 0 comments

The first Iron Man was an unqualified hit, featuring a terrifically witty and sly Robert Downey, Jr. The second Iron Man was merely tolerated because the first was so good. Good or not, the movies banked an impressive $1.2 billion in box office receipts. With that much money in play, a lot is riding on this latest release. Is the suit still strong, or has it become a rusty relic?

Filed under
Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 03, 2012 0 comments

Last month we explored ways to break up with your cable provider.  But what if you’re in a long-term, loving relationship with your cable box? Or your satellite dish? So in love, in fact, that you can’t stand to be apart from it? The Vulkano Flow ($99) lets you view the output of your cable set-top box or satellite receiver over the internet, on your laptop PC, Mac, or smartphone, from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Never be away from the one you love!

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: May 16, 2013 0 comments

 

In addition to innumerable television episodes, Paramount has produced no fewer than 12 Star Trek feature films. The canon is vast, and the core characters and their relationships are familiar to many moviegoers. The dilemma is this: How to make a film that satisfies both hardcore Trekkies as well as more casually invested international movie audiences. Does this latest installment boldly reinvigorate the franchise, or merely recycle it?

Filed under
Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 29, 2011 0 comments

You know the story: an unscrupulous robe maker tells the king how wonderful his new, expensive, invisible robe is, king believes it, and king shows his butt to the world. A timeless tale that gets repeated over and over. And maybe a new version has just surfaced.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 09, 2012 0 comments

For fans of good adult alternative rock in the Atlanta market, September 29th was a very sad day. Somewhat ironically for 9/29, 92.9 DaveFM ceased live broadcasts. For the next few weeks, it will be on autopilot as CBS gets ready to transition it to all-sports-talk radio.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 21, 2013 0 comments

Right off the bat, let’s get something out of the way. Oblivion isn’t a particularly original film. WALL•E, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind,  Planet of the Apes, 2001, Blade Runner, the overlooked Moon, and most blatantly, Total Recall - you’ll see, ah - homages - to all of them as the 2-hour Oblivion, co-written, produced and directed by Joseph Kosinski, unfolds. 

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Aug 23, 2011 0 comments

Sometimes you go into a movie not knowing how it's going to end. Sometimes, you know exactly how it's going to end. Conan the Barbarian definitely falls into the latter category, but getting there is still worth the ride.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 04, 2012 0 comments

How often has this happened to you? You walk into a friend's house and notice - yikes! - their loudspeakers are poorly aligned. Maybe they're pointing straight ahead, maybe they're toed way in, or maybe they're just pointing off in random directions. Whatever the problem, you'll note the missing sweet spot. But what can you do about it, without your gear? Well, there's an app for that.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Dec 20, 2012 0 comments

The Google Play Music Manager has been around for quite a while. Upload and store up to 20,000 songs in the cloud, so you can play them from any connected  Android device or computer, anywhere. The problem was that you had to go through and upload each and every file. However, Google has just launched a new scan and match feature in the U.S.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Aug 02, 2011 0 comments

It's been well over a year since Walmart purchased movie streaming giant VUDU, and until now, the corporate take-over was hardly noticeable. Nothing on VUDU's site mentioned Walmart, and nothing on Walmart's mentioned VUDU.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 05, 2012 0 comments

The iFrogz Boost is a small, very portable speaker that claims to magically boost the sound from an iPhone, or any smartphone or other device with an external speaker. I have to be skeptical of any product that uses the word "magical" on their packaging - unless it's a "As Seen on TV" product, which everyone knows are all magical.

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