Well, so much for being on vacation. Yes, your intrepid editor here has been attempting to get some time away from the AV rat race, but, in the words of the immortal Michael Corleone (cue the deep, gravelly voice), "they pull me back in."
Leon speakers are all about audio- audio for your video. The company custom builds speakers around video displays of all kinds, there is nothing off the shelf about any Leon system. On display at CEDIA was this whopping 140” wide Stewart CineCurve screen (that’s almost 12 feet wide for those of you keeping score at home!) with accustom built Leon speaker system tracing the screen. I'm cheating calling it a soundbar, but I don't know what else to call it and I'm lazy. I don’t know how much the speakers cost, but if you can afford a CineCurve that size, and a projector to drive it, you don’t care!
What a swift kick in the ass! Co-written and produced by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly on TV, The Avengers), The Cabin in the Woods is the most self-aware and gleefully gory comedy-horror flick since the Scream series devolved into a parody of a parody. As I write this, there are probably forums of fanboys aflame, identifying and exchanging the horror movie references throughout. Its plot practically defies description, but the elevator pitch would be Evil Dead meets The Truman Show.
It’s a big deal whenever one of audio’s legendary speaker designer/manufacturers puts out a new speaker. More significant still is when a company like Thiel drops a speaker on us that will cost something less than $1K/ea.
No, I'm not referring to myself with that title. TI's booth had the funnest demo of the show, to be sure, a 3D demo on a Samsung DLP RPTV with the attractive and active 3D goggles shown above (modeled by yours truly). A little ballyhoo is good for this industry.
For those who found Revolutionary Road too upbeat comes its British postwar counterpart in the soul-crushing slog that is The Deep Blue Sea (for those hoping to read a review of Renny Harlin’s guilty pleasure of a shark movie, the title of that is simply Deep Blue Sea, so sorry to disappoint you!). Set in 1950 post-war London, The Deep Blue Sea gives us Hester (Rachel Weisz), a smart, cultured, and ardent woman at a time when none of those traits was apparently valued in British society. Hester leaves her staid marriage to a wealthy judge old enough to be her father (and who looks old enough to be her grandfather), falling in for a fiery affair with a handsome pilot nearer her age named Freddie (Tom Hiddleston, or Loki to Avengers fans out there). The drag is, Freddie’s rather a creep and has issues with both commitment and finding gainful employment.
What do you say about a Best Picture Winner? For one, I can say I didn't think it was the best movie I saw in 2006, even though I only saw a handful of movies. I can also say unequivocally that I don't agree at all that this is Martin Scorsese's best movie since the seminal Goodfellas in 1990. Kundun and The Aviator were as good or better. But Oscar had some catching up to do, and did so with a vengeance.
Is There a Future for High-End Displays?
I’ve had a running joke for the last couple of years, that the flat panel TV has ruined the entire industry. It never fails to provoke a reaction. But, people say, there are only two kinds of people in the world- those who want to have a flat screen and those who already have them! The flat panel has become a price-driven commodity. Who needs big screen specialty retailers when your HDTV is just another box you throw in the cart next to the 36-roll pack of TP when you’re at Costco? It’s a funny bit. Then I see Pioneer build the best single-piece HDTVs the world has yet seen, and fail. Not a funny bit. Makes me wonder. Is there a future for high-end displays?
When your breakout movie, Seven, ends with Gwyneth Paltrow’s severed head in a box, what do you do for an encore? 1997’s psycho thriller The Game is director David Fincher’s emphatic answer. Nobody plays a cold, callous one-percenter better than Michael Douglas. His Nicholas Van Orton here is clearly intended as a through-the-looking-glass play off of his iconic, late-’80s portrayal of Gordon Gekko in Wall Street.
I admit I’m surprised by the controversy caused by removing the product review ratings. Most who’ve written want the ratings back and accuse HT of running scared from advertisers/manufacturers. I want to set the record straight, elaborate on the reasons we eliminated the ratings, and engage in some meaningful debate about them. I also want to note that while the ratings in their original format will never return, I’m not totally opposed to a revamped system if you readers still think it’s necessary. There are some features coming up that I think will make you miss the ratings less, and I’ll explain those below.