Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 26, 2005  |  0 comments
In the simplest possible terms, Steve McQueen had "It." Truly, women wanted him, and men wanted to be him. Maybe it was the eyes, the sense of intensity he conjured, or the impression that he knew something we didn't. Or perhaps it was his physicality, the grace with which he performed his own stunts, combined with his ease and outright glee with props. Warner has assembled some hard evidence of the actor's elusive mystique in their recent Essential Steve McQueen Collection, a grouping of souped-up reissues and new-to-DVD titles.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Aug 26, 2005  |  0 comments
Imagine the score for a 33-minute film noir with nonstop action. That's Béla Bartók's The Miraculous Mandarin in a nutshell, although it's actually a one-act dance suite. The story concerns three thugs who use a young woman as bait to rob a series of victims, culminating in the Mandarin. They murder him—but not before he consummates his passion for the girl. The plot had enough sex and violence to get it banned immediately upon its 1926 debut in Köln, Germany.
Geoffrey Morrison  |  Aug 26, 2005  |  0 comments
Video: 4
Audio: 4
Extras: 4
I am a big Get Shorty fan. The dialogue, the acting, and the plot all just exude a coolness that is never struggled for, just achieved. The thought of a sequel seemed a little odd, but knowing that it is based on the Elmore Leonard sequel novel, I had high hopes. The end result was admittedly funny but nowhere near the quality of the original. The story takes place a few years after Get Shorty, and Chili Palmer is deciding to get out of the movie business. After a friend gets murdered, he decides to get into the music business instead. Far too many jokes are rehashed, but that in itself isn't the problem. Whereas the original was an effortless cool, this movie tries too hard to be cool—and rarely succeeds. Far too much time is spent on the (admittedly excellent) secondary characters, with Chili himself just kind of showing up to drive the plot along. The effect, though, highlights two of the best aspects of this movie: the Rock and André 3000. These two absolutely steal the movie, and this disc is worth a rental just for them. There are many musician cameos, but, unlike in Get Shorty, where actor cameos are natural (as in, they can act), the musician cameos are often awkward and distracting.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Aug 25, 2005  |  0 comments

On August 4, 2005, Infinity invited a number of journalists to their home at the Harman International corporate campus in Northridge, California, for a tour of the facilities and a sneak peek at their latest speaker line, dubbed Cascade. Why are you only hearing about it now? Because Infinity embargoed the information until August 25.

 |  Aug 22, 2005  |  0 comments

The HDTV Jungle High-def channels are widely available and prices for HDTVs continue to drop. But there's still the problem of too many TV types to choose from. The Solution

Scott Wilkinson  |  Aug 22, 2005  |  0 comments

Silicon Optix, a leading developer of video-processing technology, has now made its <I>HQV Benchmark</I> test DVD available to consumers. <I>HQV Benchmark</I> lets anyone objectively evaluate the picture quality of various video products, including HDTVs, DVD players, and video scalers before the purchase.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 22, 2005  |  0 comments

At a press event in Pittsburgh, PA, last week, Sony announced two new rear-projection SXRD televisions. Previously available only in the company's upscale Qualia line, SXRD now enters a wider market. The 60-inch KDS-R60XBR1 and 50-inch KDS-R50XBR1 Grand Wega designs, at $5000 and $4000 respectively, are still priced toward the high-end, but they are now in direct competition with top-of-the-line sets using other digital display technologies.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Aug 22, 2005  |  0 comments
What do you do after building a million rear projection TVs? Maybe you should introduce two new models.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Aug 21, 2005  |  First Published: Aug 22, 2005  |  0 comments
Multiroom audio is not a new idea. Nor are the concepts of digital amplification, touchscreen controllers, and audio distribution over CAT5 wiring. But not everyone has thought to bring all of those ideas together in one particular audio distribution product - and when a relative newcomer to the audio-in-any-room party shows up with an amplified (that's "amplified" as in "watts per channel") touchpanel in his hand, it's time to cock an eyebrow, act like you're not interested, and then try like heck to figure out exactly what's going on and how much it's going to cost.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 21, 2005  |  0 comments
If you're like me, with a large library of DVDs (I think I'm over 1000, but I haven't counted them lately), just finding the one you want is a chore. Try as I might to keep them in some sort of order, it never works for long. I pull out a few to watch, and before you know it there are little piles scattered all around the house.