Adrienne Maxwell

Adrienne Maxwell  |  Sep 30, 2005  |  0 comments
Out with the old, in with the Nu.

This is an interesting time for display manufacturers. On the one hand, the HD and flat-panel revolutions have energized the market. People are truly excited to buy TVs again. On the other hand, competition is fierce. It seems like a new TV manufacturer pops up every day to capitalize on the flat-panel frenzy.

Adrienne Maxwell  |  Jul 26, 2005  |  0 comments
Video: 3
Audio: 3
Extras: 4
Usually, shows that take place in a hospital fall into the hour-long drama category, with a few comedic moments thrown in to dilute the sad stuff. Scrubs has achieved something we haven't seen since M.A.S.H.—it's a hospital-based sitcom that is truly funny, with a few sad moments thrown in to dilute the happy stuff. OK, M.A.S.H. also dealt with war and managed to be funny, so it wins. But Scrubs' excellent melding of bizarre slapstick, wonderfully flawed but lovable characters, and genuine sentiment has made it one of the best sitcoms on TV right now.
Adrienne Maxwell  |  Jul 20, 2005  |  0 comments
Thinking outside the box.

Who says you have to sacrifice performance to create a small, affordable speaker system? Not Atlantic Technology. With the new $899–$999 System 920, they set out to prove that we can and should expect more than we're currently getting from most tiny sub/sat and HTIB speakers. I put their claim to the test for this Spotlight review by mating the speakers with Onkyo's brand-new $300 TX-SR503 A/V receiver. Add an inexpensive universal disc player to this combo, and you've got a complete home theater system for about $1,400.

Adrienne Maxwell  |  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  |  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  |  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  |  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.

Adrienne Maxwell  |  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  |  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  |  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?)