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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jan 20, 2006 0 comments
You've got the iPod. Now find some friends for it.

The Apple iPod was still selling out at stores this past holiday season, with an ever-expanding lineup that now includes the wafer-thin flash-memory-based nano and the fifth generation of the classic iPod, which now offers video playback in addition to music and still photos.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Dec 15, 2004 0 comments
DVD is not only the king of the home theater, the benefits have been trickling down to the portable realm for years now, raising both the standards and the subsequent expectations of mobile power-users. Here are three of the most innovative and enjoyable products to come our way.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Dec 18, 2012 0 comments
What better gift than a Blu-ray box set? We cherry pick the best of the best so you don't have to hunt to find that perfect gift for a family member, special friend or... yourself.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 12, 2016 0 comments
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Author Walter Farley’s sweet, timeless tale of a young boy and his special bond with a spirited horse was brought to cinematic life with irresistible visual and sonic beauty, more appreciable than ever on Criterion’s fantastic new Blu-ray. Our boy, Alec (Kelly Reno, what a find), is washed ashore on a remote island after a shipwreck, and the only other survivor is a magnificent Arabian stallion. Their time alone together is a prolonged marvel of wordless storytelling, while the post-rescue second half is quite a different animal, as a grizzled old trainer (a wonderfully cast Mickey Rooney) agrees to prepare the horse to race. It’s a thrilling adventure for kids, but without the sap that might otherwise send the adults fleeing.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jun 05, 2013 0 comments
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I knew Jason Bourne. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), you’re no Jason Bourne.

The first Bourne movie not based on an actual Robert Ludlum novel, Legacy gets quite a lot wrong, frankly. The story brings us back to the era of 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, when extreme measures were being taken to maintain the secrecy of the covert, overly ambitious super-soldier program that created Jason. A whole new crop of men has become the subject of some risky new behavior/performance-enhancing experiments, and as one of these lethal lab rats, Aaron is desperate for answers—and the necessary meds to keep his edge—despite the nasty opponents pursuing him at every turn.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 05, 2007 Published: Jan 05, 2007 0 comments
Super Hero
Christopher Reeve flies again.
Perhaps never before in the history of home video has a studio crafted months of releases upon a single theme, as Warner has in 2006, “the year Superman returns.” No doubt tying into that new feature film, all manner of Super movies and TV shows have been issued on DVD, some for the first time—new seasons of Smallville, the classic Adventures of Superman, Lois & Clark, Superboy, The Animated Series, and even the cartoon adventures of the Dog of Steel, Krypto. But we can never give enough credit to Christopher Reeve and his dual role as the impossibly awkward Clark Kent and a gentlemanly savior in a red cape. Reeve’s electric screen presence was born of classical acting training, an understanding of how to fly under his own power—from his experience as a glider pilot—and a willingness to bulk up his lean frame under the tutelage of Darth Vader himself, trainer David Prowse. The later of Reeve’s four franchise films were not an ideal stage for his inspired thespian stylings, but his characterization was a high-water mark for the timeless hero, as celebrated in Warner’s new boxed set, The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: May 21, 2013 1 comments
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Eight years have passed since the complicated events of The Dark Knight. The Batman (Christian Bale) has taken the blame for the death of district attorney Harvey Dent in an attempt to inspire the people of Gotham City to stand strong against crime. With the subsequent passage of the Dent Act, Gotham is tougher on criminals than ever, even while The Bat has disappeared, his alter ego Bruce Wayne living in self-imposed exile.
Chris Chiarella Posted: Jan 08, 2008 0 comments
Far from the madding convention center, Dolby provided A-B comparisons of their new Dolby Contrast technology, part of their HDR ("High Dynamic Range") tech family. The interesting part is that it is a video technology, for adjusting the range of dark to light in the LED backlighting of LCD TVs. By precisely dimming the right area of the screen at the right time, contrast can be heightened as never before, for a very film-like effect. (As the exciting screen image suggests, Blu-ray and DVD playback will both benefit.)
Chris Chiarella Posted: Nov 13, 2006 0 comments
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Finally available in their 1977, 1980, and 1983 versions, the new Limited Edition Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi DVD sets contain minimally tweaked re-releases of the laserdisc masters created in 1993. Disc one in each case is essentially the same as the first disc inside the four- and three-disc Trilogy sets that came out two years ago; the second disc for each movie contains the original theatrical version. So, this review pertains to those second discs, the supplemental inclusions of the “unaltered” films.
Chris Chiarella Posted: Sep 05, 2013 0 comments
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Peter Jackson gave the world a beloved, wildly successful film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, culminating in a record-breaking Oscar sweep, so of course, he was the obvious choice to helm the Hobbit prequels. But whereas the Rings trilogy made a newbie like me love it with its epic thrills and fascinating characters, An Unexpected Journey seems to be in love with its own familiar world and everyone in it. We meet a younger Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit happily minding his own business when the wizard Gandalf drafts him for a dangerous quest.

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