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Shane Buettner

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Shane Buettner Posted: Aug 10, 2007 15 comments

Week in and week out the CE press is inundated with propaganda and counter-propaganda from both sides in the format war. Most of this stuff falls under the category of all being fair in love, war and marketing. But sometimes these things go a little too far.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Aug 10, 2007 0 comments

This is a plausible, compelling look at the artistic process and inspirations behind J.M. Barrie's writing of Peter Pan. It features complex and convincing acting from Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet and the still luminous Julie Christie. Not to mention the wild boys, led by Freddie Highmore. Worth mentioning too that director Marc Forster also did 2001's <I>Monster's Ball</I> and last year's sadly underrated <I>Stranger Than Fiction</I>. A filmmaker worth watching.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Aug 10, 2007 0 comments

I don't think there's a damned thing I can tell you that you don't already know about these two movies. The first is everything a summer movie should be: big, loud, both fun and funnny, and an all around good time at the movies. And yes, the superb filmmaking and acting elevate this material beyond expectations for a moivie based on a beloved theme ride at Disneyland! And yes, the second installment is bigger in every way and not necessarily better (or maybe even as good), but it too works in keeping a smile on the audience's face. And if you think the plots get a bit lost and that these movies are short on character development, well, guess what? You're in the wrong movie! Go see something that's <I>not</I> based on a Disneyland ride!

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Shane Buettner Posted: Aug 03, 2007 0 comments
Two (And A Half) Basic Flavors
I'd love to regale you all with stories of the CRT front projectors of yesteryear. These beasts were bigger than a VW, but cost a lot more. But that's not why I'm here. Thanks to the digital revolution, high quality front projection is now as affordable as premium rear projection TV in many cases, and less expensive than many premium flat screens.
Shane Buettner Posted: Aug 03, 2007 0 comments
Since front projection has become a much more affordable proposition, its popularity has swelled in recent years and continues to be a growth category in the industry.
Shane Buettner Posted: Jul 27, 2007 14 comments

In the last week or two the huge announcements on HD releases for this fall just haven't stopped coming. Sam Peckinpah's classic Western, <I>The Wild Bunch</I> hitting Blu-ray and HD DVD in September was just the beginning.

Shane Buettner Posted: Jul 21, 2007 0 comments

Bandai's <I>Freedom Vol. 1</I> offers up to cast/crew info by hitting the A button, storyboards using the B button, and up to seven bookmarks using the C button (all of which is explained by a handy tutorial readily accessible in the main menu). The storyboard feature here is awesome. I've got to admit that I'm not an anime guy, so this material didn't grab me as much as it might some of you. But, think of looking at storyboards and art in band with the movie with something like <I>Lord of the Rings</I>, or even Martin Scorsese's crude storyboards for <I>Taxi Driver</I> (oh wait, that's a Sony movie). Still, you get my drift.

Shane Buettner Posted: Jul 21, 2007 0 comments

<I>Blood Diamond's</I> IME feature goes farther than Warner's previous efforts in two respects. First, rather than having to wait for the PIP video material to come up, the user can hit the left or right cursors to skip to fro the chapters with IME material. Second, a gold disc icon appears during the film indicating "Focus Points," and hitting enter when this icon is on-screen removes the viewer to a more substantial, out of band feature rather than in band PIP. Not quite U-Control, but pretty cool. Previous IMEs haven't been icon-driven- you simply had to find them and couldn't exercise this much control over the experience.

Shane Buettner Posted: Jul 21, 2007 9 comments

I don't know the degree to which interactivity will drive next-gen HD sales, but HD DVD is leading in this category, big-time. Already ahead with picture-in-picture driven features such as Warner's In Movie Experience and Universal's U-Control, Toshiba's latest firmware updates for all its players, including the first-gen players, have enabled web-based interactivity for broadband users that is now available on a few titles, with more to follow.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Jul 11, 2007 Published: Jul 12, 2007 0 comments

Talk about a win-win. Not only is the BBC's <I>Planet Earth</I> series spectacular hi-def eye candy, it's so well-made and narratively compelling that it holds up to an insane number of repeated viewings. And I should know- my two-year old son has us watching several of these episodes (especially <I>Shallow Seas</I> and <I> Ocean Deep</I>) several times a week.

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