This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
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Sunday, 01 July 2007 |
It’s a visually spectacular film, and includes an awesome ferryboat
explosion in the Mississippi River, just offshore from New Orleans.
There’s also a car chase conducted simultaneously during a rainy night
AND a bright, sunshiny day (this is cleverly set up and involves a
machine capable of peering into the past). One feature, new to me, is
labeled “Movie Showcase”—which, we’re told, provides “Instant Access To
The Filmmakers’ Most Cinematic Moments That Showcase The Ultimate In
High Definition Picture And Sound.” All those grandiose capital letters
set up a mere three scenes, including the ferry explosion (which,
surprisingly, left the ferry unharmed; in two weeks it was back on the
Mississippi, and is apparently still there).
This is indeed a terrific scene for high-definition: the explosion used
liquid fuel, resulting in enormous orange fireballs laced with
angry-looking black clouds, flinging cars and people in all directions.
There are also some impressive shots from ...
Sunday, 01 July 2007 |
“Chain Reaction” came out in 1996, but the subject matter of the
movie—a source of free energy—is as timely now as it was then. However,
when first released, it didn’t make much of a splash. Despite having
A-list talent, Keanu Reeves, Morgan Freeman, Brian Cox, Fred Ward, and
Rachel Weisz, the movie never performed any better than a B-grade
thriller. One has to assume that only that assembly of starpower has
brought the movie to a Blu-ray release.
Keanu Reeves stars as Eddie Kasalivich, a blue collar worker turned
physics prodigy. As always Reeves plays his role with wide-eyed
intensity. He wears the boots, jeans, and plaid shirt over T-shirt of
the working class and rides a motorcycle, but you never forget that
it’s Reeves playing a role. We learn that he dropped out of university
the first time after blowing up a lab, but we never learn how that
happened, why he ...
Friday, 01 June 2007 |
William Bloom (Billy Crudup) has always been overshadowed by his
larger-than-life father, Edward (Albert Finney), who has regaled family
and friends with tall tales of his fanciful adventures for decades.
When Edward finds out that he’s dying, William returns home with his
wife, to care for his father and to try to find some resolution to
their strained relationship. His father, finding a new audience in
William’s young wife, relates the fanciful tales of his life to her.
William, angry at his father for not telling him the honest truth about
himself and his life, pushes him to come clean and to cease spinning
“Big Fish” is a sweet, charming film which finds director Tim Burton
working with a much more personal story (his own father died prior to
filming) and stretching his style a little further. As the elderly
Edward Bloom relates his story, we see those sequences with Ewan
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 |
Decades ago, the idea of apes evolving and supplanting the human race
was a radical idea filled with all kinds of social implications. When
Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel “Planet of the Apes” was published in
English, 20th Century-Fox won the movie rights, and a film appeared in
1968. It was phenomenally successful and generated a series of sequels
and a TV series. It was embraced by many groups, from race relations
representatives to animal activists. It seemed everyone could find a
correlation to whatever they wanted to push in their own interests. A
lot of viewers just liked the science fictional alternate-earth
scenario that was so cool.
French writer Pierre Boulle, who occasionally dabbled in science
fiction, included a twist at the end that still hasn’t been shown in
films or television.
In the original movie, the stark image of the Statue of Liberty stands
out. That image, or many like it, has shown ...
Sunday, 01 April 2007 |
Director Paul Verhoeven, coming off of the surprise success of
“Robocop,” turned his attention to another science-fiction script,
based on Philip K. Dick’s “We Can Remember It for You, Wholesale,”
which had been in development hell for over a decade.
Set in the future, “Total Recall” relates the story of Douglas Quaid
(Arnold Schwarzenegger) a happily married construction worker, plagued
by nightmares about perishing on Mars, which has been colonized. When
his wife Lori (Sharon Stone) shoots down his idea of a vacation on the
cold red planet, he finds an alternate way to experience Mars-- by
having a faux vacation memory implanted by a company named “Rekall.”
When the procedure causes Quaid to have a paranoid psychotic episode,
the memory implant is halted, the “Rekall” visit wiped from his memory
and he’s sent home in a cab. Quaid is almost immediately besieged by
attackers sent from Mars Administrator Cohaagen (Cox) who ...