Al Griffin

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 14, 2006 0 comments

An edgy update, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Warner; Movie •••½, Picture/Sound ••••, Extras ••••) takes several liberties with Roald Dahl's classic book, but it also manages to convey the story's dark humor.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 07, 2006 0 comments

Sony Bravia KDL-46S200 46-inch, 1080p LCD HDTV

As usual, there's no shortage of cool HDTVs to check out here at CES. But a few new developments have caught my attention - all of them good, and all worth considering as you make plans to invest in a new high-def set.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 07, 2006 0 comments

The Pioneer Elite BDP-HD1 Blu-ray player is due in May at a price of $1,800

Al Griffin Posted: Dec 03, 2005 0 comments

When people think about flat, big-screen TVs, they usually think plasma rather than LCD. There's good reason for that - plasma sets were large and widescreen from the get-go, while LCD technology spent most of the past half-decade driving desktop computer monitors. But that situation is changing.

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 06, 2005 0 comments

Badly dubbed dialogue and exaggerated acting make martial-arts movies unintentionally funny (to Westerners, at least). But in Kung Fu Hustle (Sony; Movie ••••, Picture/Sound ••••½, Extras •••• ), director Stephen Chow sets out to grab laughs by mining the genre's clichés.

Al Griffin Posted: Nov 04, 2005 0 comments

When Sony debuted its $27,000 SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display) front projector a couple of years back, my first thought after drooling over its fine, filmlike picture was: They'll really have something if they can get this technology into a TV that sells for a few thousand dollars.

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 03, 2005 0 comments

"Home theater in a box" - to me, that phrase conjures up cheap, all-in-one packages with a combo DVD player/receiver, tiny speakers, and an underpowered amp crammed into a "bass module." But it can also be stretched to mean a high-quality system whose components are designed to work together in a turn-key fashion, which saves you from racking your brains about which receiver goes best with what

Al Griffin Posted: Oct 03, 2005 0 comments

Audiophiles and musicians alike will recognize the name Tannoy from the pro-sound world - the company's speakers are used in recording studios around the globe. So I was surprised to see speakers from such a serious outfit show up in a funky, fun package like the Arena system. The Arena's podlike satellites owe a debt to 1970s sci-fi style: think rounded, organic, and amoeboid.

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 02, 2005 0 comments

The original xXx achieved almost lyrical heights of excess through its digitally enhanced, over-the-top action sequences.

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