LATEST ADDITIONS

Anton van Beek  |  Jul 25, 2011  |  0 comments

There’s a world of difference between an ‘adult cartoon’ and a ‘cartoon for adults’. Director/co-writer Gore Verbinski’s Rango is a superb example of the latter – a cartoon aimed at an adult audience who will understand its in-jokes and satirical approach to the Western genre, but one that can still be enjoyed by folk of all ages. Playing out for large parts like a reworking of Once Upon a Time in the West enacted by anthropomorphised animals, the film stars Johnny Depp as the titular would-be gunslinger, a pampered pet chameleon lost in the wild, whose lies lead to him becoming sheriff of a town called Dirt. 

Anton van Beek  |  Jul 18, 2011  |  0 comments

Unknown may look like another Taken-style action-fest for Liam Neeson (and it was definitely advertised at such), but apart from a quick car chase and a final punch up, it’s actually the kind of conspiracy thriller that both Alfred Hitchcock and Roman Polanski have dabbled with over the years. That’s not to say that Unknown is in any way on a par with The Lady Vanishes or Frantic, but while it lasts it’s an entertaining ride that offers up some solid performances from its leads, stylish direction from Jaume Collet-Serra and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing right up to the final revelations.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Lofty high-risers Danny Phillips has his cockles warmed by this affordable set of floorstanding speakers and unusually capable subwoofer

Compact bookshelf speakers are all well and good if you don’t have much space, but for bigger, bolder home cinema thrills you’ve no choice but to make room for a decent set of floorstanders.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
What's the Stor.e? Cliff Joseph goes on a file frenzy with Toshiba’s 1TB media player

There’s no shortage of ‘multimedia hard disks’ available these days, and they’re handy for people who want to store photos, music and video files and play them on a TV or music system. However, most of these devices are produced by specialist hard disk manufacturers and they aren’t always as user-friendly as they could be – so I was curious to see what additional expertise mass market brand Toshiba would bring to its Stor.E TV+.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Future-proof hero Danny Phillips auditions the musically-endowed, super-featured AVR from the brand with a big reputation for value

very year, Onkyo’s home cinema hubs top the bestseller lists, appealing to punters looking for an amp that delivers maximum bang for their buck.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Armchair theatre Looking for an old-school disc spinner built for high-end AV? Steve May thinks Onkyo has it nailed with this offering

This THX-certified player has purpose. Designed from the rivets up to be nothing less than a bad-ass home theatre disc spinner, it’s the designated driver for the brand’s current line up of THX AV receivers and pre/power PR-SC5508/PA-MC5500 combo.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Simplicity itself If 3D is a complete turn-off and you just want a competent Blu-ray player that delivers great pictures, Danny Phillips has the perfect solution

Unsurprisingly, 3D will continue to dominate the home cinema agenda in 2011, with a flood of 3D-capable TVs and Blu-ray products hitting the market as the year unfolds. Indeed, Panasonic’s new range of Blu-ray decks includes no fewer than four 3D-ready models.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Hybrid theory works A 3D Blu-ray player/ Freeview HD mashup that’s got Steve May’s vote

Blu-ray players are evolving. No longer is a straight HD upgrade to DVD enough to tempt cash-strapped buyers. We demand more from our kit; we want 3D, networking, rainbows and kittens.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Mini the Minx Adrian Justins experienced the bite of this tiny terrier 5.1 sub/sat system

At first glance, the Minx looks no more remarkable than the speakers you get with an all-in-one home cinema system made by various Korean or Japanese mass market brands. But we need to look West rather than East in seeking a comparison: think Bose rather than Sony or LG and you get the idea.

Anton van Beek  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments

Conan the Barbarian may not be particularly faithful to Robert E Howard’s original pulp writing, but this 1982 flick is a rollicking piece of fantasy filmmaking that almost single-handedly made Arnold Schwarzenegger a Hollywood superstar and heralded a renaissance in the swords n sorcery genre. Written by Oliver Stone and directed by John Milius, it’s a suitably bleak and macho piece of filmmaking where men are muscular, women are barely dressed and camels exist only to be punched in the face. In other words, it’s bloody brilliant.

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