In the world of magic, nothing is as it seems. It’s only fitting that the same would be true of The Prestige, a film about two rival Victorian-era magicians determined to learn each other’s secrets, regardless of the cost to those around them. Based on a novel by Christopher Priest, the film has been carefully crafted by screenwriters Jonathan and Christopher Nolan to be its own magic trick. Even if you believe (as I did) that you’ve figured out the trick halfway through the film, Chris Nolan’s artful direction—or, more appropriately, misdirection—cleverly toys with you, pulling your attention elsewhere without ever losing its grip on the story.
We look at three 1080p LCDs that offer a little something for everyone.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret: The performance gap between LCD TVs is shrinking. Of course, there are enough differences to keep us reviewer types employed (at least for now); we see variations in color temperature, black level, light output, and processing. Still, it's been a while since I encountered an LCD that simply performed poorly, at least from a reputable manufacturer. Let's face it—you really have to screw up to make HDTV and high-definition DVD look bad. As you try to decide which LCD deserves your money, it has become less a question of good versus bad performance and more a question of fit and price: Which model offers the performance and features set to suit your needs at a price you can afford?
What distinguishes a good universal remote from a great one? A good remote controls all of your components the way you need it to; a great one controls those components the way you want it to. Customization and advanced functionality are the keys, and UEI's NevoSL universal controller has both. The NevoSL's software-based programming and UEI's extensive code database combine to produce an excellent home theater controller, but this product's real strength lies in its ability not just to control but to create a converged home.
It seems like, every week, a new company appears on the LCD scene. Try as we might to keep up with them all, some will admittedly never make it into the pages of the magazine; we just don't have the space. Every once in a while, though, a new company releases a product that demands our attention. WinBook's 40D1 is such a product.
The biblical Babel is the place where God, frustrated yet again by man’s hubris and sin, chooses to scatter a united people and confuse their tongues so that they can no longer understand one another. It marks our division. Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu’s Babel serves to remind us of our commonality; despite those differences of language, culture, and geography, we are inherently united in our humanity—in the love, fear, jealousy, loneliness, and hope that drive us. The story begins when two Moroccans accidentally shoot an American tourist and set off a series of events that will reach as far as Mexico and Japan.
I may have arrived a bit too late to the party to fully embrace Madea’s Family Reunion. Tyler Perry’s Madea character was born on stage and brought to life through a series of successful plays written, directed, and performed by Perry. Two of those plays have now become full-length feature films: 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman and the film in question here, which recounts with humor and drama the personal struggles within one multigenerational family.
Is it frightening or reassuring that the themes explored in V for Vendetta are as relevant now as they were when the graphic novel was first penned in the 1980s? Alan Moore and David Lloyd created the story about an antihero’s attempts to bring down a fascist government. In their film adaptation, the Wachowski Brothers didn’t have to veer too far from the original to strike a modern chord. It manages to address all the hot-button topics residing on our cultural and political plates—terrorism, immigration, gay rights, censorship, biological weapons, and how a government should best balance freedom and security—while remaining an engaging piece of fiction.
“Syriana is one of the most relevant stories in the world today,” says the film’s executive producer, Jeff Skoll, in the “Make a Change, Make a Difference” featurette on Warner Brothers’ new DVD release. He’s absolutely right, as even a cursory glance at world and domestic news will confirm. The film paints an unflinching portrait of the world’s dependence on oil and the lengths to which politicians and businessmen will go to maintain the status quo in the global oil fields, even as that status quo contributes to the rise of Islamic extremism in countries where people are afforded few other options.
It is not too surprising that ViewSonic has decided to make a push into the home theater projection market. The company has a healthy lineup of business projectors and has watched other projector manufacturers successfully transition over to the HT side. But is anyone else surprised that a company known primarily for LCD TVs and monitors would go with DLP for their new line of home theater projectors? Maybe it's just me.