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Chris Chiarella Posted: Aug 14, 2013 0 comments
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Four of the 10 Best Picture winners of the ’60s were musicals, but as Hollywood transitioned to a post–Easy Rider era, they had to make even song-and-dance extravaganzas more relevant. And so in 1972, Cabaret redefined what a movie musical could be.
Chris Chiarella Posted: Mar 05, 2003 Published: Mar 06, 2003 0 comments
A home-theater-in-a-box means different things to different people. For some, it's the total DVD experience for dummies (or the slothful), in terms of both purchasing simplicity and ease of use. For others, it's a real bargain, compared with the cost of individual components plus the many necessary odds and ends. For Cambridge SoundWorks, it's about the speakers.
Chris Chiarella Posted: Jul 24, 2006 0 comments
One speaker, a subwoofer, a source component . . . and you.

Virtual surround is nothing new: Some people don't have the space, the know-how, or perhaps the ideal room layout for a pair of surround speakers for true 5.1-channel audio. Wireless surrounds are an option for some. But even those need a place to live, and they still require power cables. All manner of technologies have addressed the virtual-surround challenge, but not until I tried the two-piece Binaura Sound Environment B102A (in our November 2005 issue) did I believe that such simplified gear could produce truly respectable audio. Cambridge SoundWorks of Newton, Massachusetts, is the first third-party manufacturer to license Binaura's patented technology for their own products. They have integrated it into a complete home theater system—three boxes instead of two—with the addition of a progressive-scan DVD player/receiver. Said receiver provides Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Pro Logic II, and DTS decoding, and this signal then goes to the subwoofer, where all of the amplification and Binaura processing take place.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Jan 08, 2008 0 comments
Ah, the splendor of the high-end table radio. SoundWorks i765 is a fab-sounding 2.1-channel system with built-in DVD/CD player plus a radio with improved AM and FM tuners over all previous models. It also now docks, charges, and provides video pass-through for all of the latest iPods, which allegedly is a very complicated affair.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Nov 13, 2014 0 comments
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Thawed in the modern day at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger and revealed to the world to be as brave as ever in The Avengers, World War II hero Cap (Chris Evans) is now working for S.H.I.E.L.D., the super-secret, super-powerful organization of good guys. But his Greatest Generation standards of right and wrong are often a square peg in the round hole of our post-9/11 world. Case in point, the launch of a new ultimate weapon calls into question the meaning of freedom, security, and whether one must be sacrificed to preserve the other.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jun 15, 2012 0 comments
After we've fed our intellectual side with a profound music documentary and a first-class dramatization of the 2008 financial crisis, we can kick back with the R-rated exploits of a gun-toting hooker on the run.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Sep 21, 2012 1 comments
The rhythms may be familiar but you've never seen anything like Chico and Rita, while a crazy nanny goes high-def, and The Caped Crusader's monumental conclusion begins.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Apr 06, 2012 0 comments
Hello, and welcome to my first Blu-ray blog for HomeTheater.com wherein we take a look at a few interesting discs that you might have missed among the weekly cascade of blockbusters and otherwise more heavily advertised releases. In this installment, we check out HBO's Cinema Verite, Anchor Bay's Corman's World, and BBC's Torchwood: Miracle Day.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Oct 31, 2013 2 comments
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Cloud Atlas is something of a cinematic curiosity. It is incredibly ambitious and deftly executed, weaving together six disparate tales with similar themes of oppression and rebellion, each told with the same handful of actors playing the key roles in each scenario. Set in different locations and in eras ranging from 1849 up through 2321, the movie serves up everything from a single slave earning his freedom on a sailing ship to a genetically engineered hostess inspiring a full-on societal revolt. But even when the all-star filmmaking team of the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer has three hours to play with, not one of the half-dozen narratives can be particularly deep or overwhelmingly original. They have, however, fashioned an enormous event movie that pushes technique—dramatic as well as purely technical—into bold new territory.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Mar 12, 2004 Published: Feb 01, 2004 0 comments
We glimpse the shape of things to come.

Last fall, the editors of Home Theater beat a path to our industry's CEDIA Expo to see and be seen, as we do every year. This time around, we were surprised by the opportunity to witness the bona fide evolution of entertainment gear. We learned the names of three manufacturers (and so will you) whose creations—each multizone-friendly and high-end in its own fashion—bring next-generation features to the home theater and beyond. At press time, these products were still too new for a full hands-on review, so we'll share what we do know thus far.

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