Chris Chiarella

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Mar 24, 2006 0 comments
Game Boy Micro + Game Boy Video = The world's smallest movie player?

I've been intending for some time to write about at least one of the many developments on the Nintendo handheld gaming front, but what would be my Home Theater hook? The Game Boy Advance generation eventually offered Game Boy Advance Video, which provides playback of third-party content on little Nintendo flash memory cartridges, but these were typically just episodes of recent, kid-only fare from Nicktoons and Disney. And then DreamWorks surprised many folks, myself included, by licensing three of their animated feature films to Majesco Entertainment, the major player in GBA Video. So, I finally had my software, but what about hardware?

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Mar 10, 2006 0 comments
Frankie Goes to Hollywood: How Frank Miller conquered Tinseltown . . . by way of Austin, Texas.

Frank Miller: Renaissance man. He's had legendary runs as writer and artist on the comic book Daredevil (including the creation of Elektra) and the historic miniseries Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (about a geriatric Caped Crusader, a pubescent female Robin, and a sexually ambiguous Joker). Miller also scripted the two RoboCop movie sequels. Around this same time, he also thought up his predominately black-and-white crime anthology, Sin City, which he would ultimately direct, with Robert Rodriguez, for the big screen. The movie is now available in a stunning special edition from Dimension Home Video. Remarkably serious yet surprisingly soft-spoken, Miller recently honored us with an invitation to his New York City studio.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 28, 2006 0 comments
Spent almost everything on your HDTV? You can still afford a friend for it.

The war between competing next-generation, high-definition-quality DVD formats is still unfolding, a saga with more twists than an entire season of Lost. As I write this, manufacturers are still not offering specific product announcements or firm release dates. The problem is, HDTV is a reality right now. While the current over-the-air, cable, and satellite content is compelling and continuing to grow, I for one put the enjoyment of packaged media above all others, and I hate the thought that my HDTV's capabilities are often going to waste. What then to feed it?

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 28, 2006 0 comments
Dual-core and other Intel technologies are a boon to heavy users of multimedia PCs.

One wife, two kids, and one cat later, it hit me: There are just not enough hours in the day. My leisure hours, like work, have become a matter of multitasking—watching a DVD in one window as I write a review in the other, downloading photos, and sending e-mails. I can no longer use the "I'm already busy" excuse since, frankly, I'm expected to walk and chew gum at the same time around here. And what of my poor PC, which is charged with performing all of the above and more? At least I know I'm not alone, here at wit's end, as the fundamental usage model has evolved and one-thing-at-a-timers have gone the way of the Timex Sinclair.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 15, 2006 0 comments
You know you need some accessories.

The vast capabilities of the Sony PlayStation Portable are realized not only with the latest games and movies, but with the targeted devices and software that pop in, snap on, and lord over the content and hardware. The following items are HT Gamer tested and approved.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jan 31, 2006 Published: Jan 01, 2006 0 comments
Three quick glimpses into what's hot in the convergence world.

I don't talk much about my one and only year at NYU Business School (short version: not a good fit), but I did learn this: Making a successful product is only the beginning. To survive and thrive, manufacturers need to enhance, improve, and give consumers the added value and new features that will keep them coming back. Here then are three essential pieces of audio gear from Logitech, Creative, and Apple; refreshed, redesigned, and rethought for an ever-changing market of technophiles.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Jan 20, 2006 0 comments
Video: 5
Audio: 5
Extras: 4
Completely unpretentious in its musings on the innocence of youth, Toy Story remains as captivating today as it was a decade ago. For all of its technical innovation, which was a true watershed, the movie put the characters and story first, resonating with emotion and humanity, despite the trappings of virtual plastic and wood.
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.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Jan 11, 2006 Published: Jul 11, 2005 0 comments
Video: 3
Audio: 4
Extras: 4
Samuel Fuller's quasi-autobiographical World War II drama, named for the symbol of the 1st Infantry, was brutally trimmed for its 1980 theatrical release. Now painstakingly pieced back together and enhanced for modern audiences, The Big Red One is almost 50 minutes longer and hereby revealed as a genuine epic. It's better than ever on every level. We can finally witness one of star Lee Marvin's most richly crafted roles as it was meant to be seen.
Chris Chiarella Posted: Dec 28, 2005 0 comments
Have my buns finally met their match?

Back in the days when I was a Quentin Tarantino wannabe, when I manned the counter at my local video store, I made frequent use of a rickety old metal stool as I pounded the computer keys. This prompted my boss to observe, "You like to sit more than anyone I know." Whether he ran with an especially prone crowd—or perhaps the rigors of retail work simply made my knees weak—I did set a precedent, and I appreciate finer seating to this very day. But, now that my fondness for home theater consumes my every waking moment—and some of my dreams—I welcomed the chance to test-drive something different, something bold: 5Binc.'s RX2 5.1 Media Chair.

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