It seems like nearly every high-end audio company is trying to get out of the house and into the car these days. While at first this appears strange, it makes a lot of sense. The home audio market has been stagnant for years, and every bit of exposure can only help. The car also has several aspects that make it somewhat easier to design for than the home. For one, you know where your listeners are going to be, and you know with a lot of certainty what and where the reflective and absorptive surfaces are. The downsides, of course, are road noise, and less than perfect speaker placement. There are many ways a company can approach these problems, and done well, they can sound vastly better than the stock system, and often better than any aftermarket system as well.
This touching movie from Tim Burton is very un–Tim Burton. It’s the story of a son trying to get to know his father, whose stories of his life have been nothing but tall tales. It’s an almost surreal journey and worth it for anyone who has ever had a father. It stars Ewan McGregor, but there are small parts from a host of great actors like Danny DeVito, Steve Buscemi, Robert Guillaume, Jessica Lange, and more. I saw this movie on an airplane the first time. Even on a 4-inch LCD screen, I loved it, so that should say something.
I admit it; I am an unreserved fan of projectors. I've had one as my sole display since my 38-inch RCA CRT blew up four years ago. There is nothing like watching life-size (or larger than life-size) characters on a 110-inch screen. Now, that is engaging. I don't understand why everyone doesn't have a projector. Guests to my gloomy, cavelike abode could probably offer logical rationales. But come on: Look at the size of Adama's head!
Rarely before this movie had such bad people been seen getting away with bad things. You love Steve McQueen’s Carter despite the fact that he’s a bank robber and he kills people. Add in Ali MacGraw, explosions, and the fact that this is one of the only movies made almost entirely in sequence (as in the first scene was shot first, the last one last), and you have a classic of American cinema.
For 50-some years, 3D has been promised as the next big thing in entertainment. In reality, it has been around a lot longer than that. Everyone remembers (or at least has seen references to) the red-and-blue or polarized glasses of yore that let you experience the likes of Captain EO and Jaws 3D in all their "glory." Some heavyweights in the movie industry are really pushing for 3D again, and its success in theaters may or may not have any effect on whether you bring 3D into your home. Personally, I feel my life is 3D enough and would prefer more 2-D, but that's just me.
As much as I love projectors, most people feel they can’t live with one. Apparently, some people don’t like living in a completely light-controlled environment. Come on, caves are fun. Not convinced? Neither are most people. So enter a subcategory of the screen market—one that caters to those folks who want a big-screen image, without the cost of a flat panel and without the light requirements of a regular front-projection system. I wrote an article a few months ago on several screens that fit this niche. You can read that one here. Planar’s Xscreen takes a similar approach but adds a few different features.
There is a lot of confusion for most people as to what they should look for when buying a TV. With the plethora of acronyms, abbreviations, nomenclatures, technologies, and other multisyllabic synonyms for "huh?" this is hardly surprising. While we feel, as you would expect, that prodigious study of Home Theater magazine would educate you to make an informed decision, we also appreciate the need for a boiled-down version for those new to the home theater world—the Cliffs Notes version, if you will. Well, let us oblige.
What’s amazing about watching this movie now is how trite it seems. From the car chase through San Francisco to Steve McQueen’s effortlessly cool lead as an insubordinate cop, it has all been done countless times. But what many people have forgotten is that this was the first time any of that had been done in any real way. The plot is almost inconsequential. This movie is about watching McQueen be the badass that he was—and one of the greatest car chases ever put on film.