Adrienne Maxwell

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Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Jan 11, 2006 Published: Jul 11, 2005 0 comments
Video: 3
Audio: 4
Extras: 5
For The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, writer/director Wes Anderson found a new writing partner. Gone is Owen Wilson (as writer, but not as actor), who helped him pen Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums—replaced with Noah Baumbach, writer/director of one of my all-time favorite indie films, Kicking and Screaming. Add Bill Murray as the title character, and I couldn't wait to see what kind of exquisitely wry tale lay ahead.
Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Jan 11, 2006 Published: Jul 11, 2005 0 comments
Video: 4
Audio: 3
Extras: 2
If nothing else, Kinsey shows us just how far we haven't come since Alfred Kinsey first published his books on human sexual behavior in the 1940s and '50s. When we see the sex photos that Professor Kinsey shows his students during his first college course about sex, we're just as shocked as they are that we're actually being allowed to see them-and that the MPAA didn't slap an NC-17 rating on the film as a result. In a manner befitting the subject, writer/director Bill Condon provides a straightforward, almost clinical examination of Kinsey's life, which succeeds primarily because of the wonderful performances by Liam Neeson as Kinsey and Laura Linney as his wife Clara.
Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Jan 11, 2006 Published: Jul 11, 2005 0 comments
I don't know how many banjo players you can name, but I can come up with two: Bela Fleck and Roy Clark (and I had to cheat to get Roy Clark-before a trip to, it was "that guy from Hee-Haw"). Even if you've never heard of Bela Fleck, you've probably heard his music, as he's appeared on a ton of pop and jazz albums. He's won Grammys in the country, jazz, classical, and pop categories, but his roots are pure bluegrass.
Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Jun 26, 2005 0 comments
By mere coincidence (or perhaps not), I sat down to review this new hybrid SACD on the rare rainy day in Los Angeles (although not quite as rare this winter). The two were a perfect fit. The Jazz Kamerata has a comfortable warmth about it, inviting you to wrap yourself in it and settle in for a lazy afternoon.
Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Jun 16, 2005 0 comments
It's all in the name.

Let's see. The CP 35 features a DVD player, receiver, and 7.1-channel speaker system that arrives packaged in one box. Around these parts, we'd call that a home-theater-in-a-box, but Harman/Kardon has wisely chosen the descriptor "home theater system" instead. I say "wisely" because the HTIB moniker brings with it certain expectations (for better and for worse), and Harman/Kardon doesn't want to confuse us reviewer types by forcing us to realign our expectations when evaluating this system. How thoughtful.

Adrienne Maxwell Posted: May 26, 2005 0 comments
Video: 4
Audio: 3
Extras: 2
I don't know if I hearted Huckabees, but I liked it an awful lot. It's an odd film (I expect nothing less from David O. Russell, the writer/director of Three Kings and Flirting with Disaster) about an environmental activist (Jason Schwartzman) who hires a pair of existential detectives to help him find meaning in a coincidence that he's experienced. With an incredibly strong cast at his disposal, Russell manages to explore weighty philosophical, political, and social subjects in a way that's both thoroughly relentless and charmingly playful.
Adrienne Maxwell Posted: May 01, 2005 Published: May 17, 2005 0 comments
Upconversion, and then some.

Ah, it seems like only yesterday that we reviewed the first DVD player that upconverted the video signal to 720p or 1080i. It was the defining feature in last year's first-generation players. Now, as second-generation models are announced, manufacturers are already asking upconversion to share the spotlight with other features like DVD recording, DVD/VHS combo drives, and high-resolution audio playback. Sony's first entry into the upconverting category is the DVP-NS975V, which adds SACD playback without adding much to the bottom line.

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Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Apr 17, 2005 0 comments
A tale of two inputs.

The entrance of computer companies like Dell and Hewlett-Packard into the HT space has raised a few eyebrows. Will the computer giants drive home theater prices down into the realm of computer componentry or, instead, drive themselves out of the HT arena?

Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Apr 17, 2005 0 comments
No more excuses; it's time to go digital.

Since the arrival of the DVD recorder several years ago, reviewer types have speculated about just what would have to take place for the DVD recorder to gain mass acceptance and replace the VCR in people's homes. Obviously, price needed to drop way below the original four-figure mark, but what else? Ease of use? Naturally, but how easy is easy? Features? Maybe. VCRs aren't exactly feature-laden themselves, but that doesn't stop everyone from owning one.

Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Mar 26, 2005 0 comments
Video: 4
Audio: 3
Extras: 3
Fresh off his success in Pulp Fiction, John Travolta cemented his mid-'90s comeback with Get Shorty, a fun, clever adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel about a loan shark who decides to get out of the business and into The Business, aka movie-making. Travolta so thoroughly inhabits the character of Chili Palmer that it's hard to believe he initially turned down the role. It was Quentin Tarantino who ultimately convinced Travolta to take the part. (Where was he when Travolta decided to take Battlefield Earth?)


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