Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Denon bites Apple’s Airplay Music streaming to the AVR-4311 opens up all sorts of possibilities for getting audio entertainment flowing around the house

Denon’s AVR-4311 is the first serious AV receiver to feature Apple’s AirPlay media streaming technology. The latter was part of Apple’s iOS 4.2 launch last November and is essentially a new version of AirTunes for Apple’s AirPort Express wireless network system. The difference this time is that AirPlay has a much wider remit, with the capability of wireless media streaming to and from any current iOS4.2 device or to any AirPlay-enabled third party electronics. If that sounds a little familiar, this is just what DLNA promised and has thus far only half-heartedly delivered.

Anton van Beek  |  May 23, 2011  |  0 comments

Stanley Kubrick: Visionary Filmmaker Collection is quite a lofty title for a Blu-ray boxset. But then again, it’s one that is wholly justified by the career of this methodical and meticulous filmmaker who only completed 13 feature films in his 46-year career.

Anton van Beek  |  May 23, 2011  |  0 comments

True Blood: The Complete Third Season continues the adventures of telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse as she goes hunting for her missing vampire lover Bill following the shocking finale to the last year’s 12-episode run.

Anton van Beek  |  May 16, 2011  |  0 comments

Black Swan might be about ballet, but that doesn’t make it a chick-flick. Mixing together elements from All About Eve, Dostoevsky’s The Double, early Polanski psycho-drama, Cronenbergian body horror and even a splash of Dario Argento’s Suspiria, Darren Aronofsky’s latest finds Natalie Portman giving an award-winning turn as a ballerina who must battle with rivals and her own repressive nature when she wins the lead role in a production of Swan Lake. But the further she goes in trying to get in touch with her dark side for the role of the Black Swan, the more her life spirals out of control.

Anton van Beek  |  May 16, 2011  |  0 comments

Spartacus: Blood and Sand is the ultimate in ‘guilty pleasure’ TV. Never afraid to push at the boundaries of taste and decency, this 13-episode debut season of the rollicking ‘adults only’ take on the historical story of gladiator-turned-slave-rebellion-leader Spartacus is awash with gore, sex and the most ribald and inventive swearing since Deadwood left our screens. That’s not to say that this Starz production is even half as smart as your average HBO series, but it makes up for its rampant dumbness with 300-style action scenes and plenty of naked romping (featuring everyone from Lucy ‘Xena’ Lawless to, gulp, John Hannah). Tremendous fun for lovers of trash TV.

Anton van Beek  |  May 16, 2011  |  0 comments

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season is a must-see for any fan of the undead. Coming from the same channel that gave us Mad Men and overseen by Frank ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ Darabont, this adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s award-winning comic book is probably the best thing to feature the living dead since Romero’s original zombie trilogy. This is truly adult horror; an intelligent and intense show that focuses as much on the everyday horrors the survivors must endure as it does on flesh-eating corpses. Of course, if you are just here for the zombies, then rest that it also packs more gore and thrills into its six episodes than all of the Resident Evil films put together.

Anton van Beek  |  May 14, 2011  |  0 comments

Family Guy's tenth season provides another 15 episodes of animated chaos featuring the misadventures of the Peter Griffin and his family. Highlights this time around include abortion-themed Partial Terms of Endearment (which was initially banned from broadcast in the US and ended up making its worldwide TV debut on BBC Three last June), the 150th episode special Brian & Stewie (a smart two-hander featuring the popular dog and baby pairing trapped in a bank vault) and the surprisingly dramatic 55min murder-mystery special And Then There Were Fewer (which actually kills off some of the supporting cast). Like always, the show's mix of gross-out gags, gross stupidity, desire to offend and pop culture spoofs make it an acquired taste - but if you've stuck with the show this far then you won't be disappointed.

Anton van Beek  |  May 02, 2011  |  0 comments

The Twilight Zone: Season 1 does a spectacular job of demonstrating why this 50-year old TV series had such a lasting impression on all who watched it. Hosted by creator Rod Serling, this half-hour sci-fi anthology series lived up to its promise of transporting its adult viewers to ‘a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man… This is the dimension of imagination’, one where anything could happen and usually did. What stands out today (about from how well made the show was) is how marvellously subversive it all was, mixing its thrills and chills with liberal doses of social criticism that somehow bypassed the TV censors of the time.

Ed Selley  |  May 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Little PJ with big ideas This budget full HD projector has much to recommend it, says Martin Pipe

The W1000+ can be yours for roughly the same amount as you’d pay for a good 40in TV. And none can offer the same big- screen thrills. The machine is capable of casting a 300in image thanks to the high output of its optical engine.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 19, 2011  |  0 comments

Away from the multiplayer arena, fans of first-person shooters have had a pretty tough time of it recently. The short-lived campaign modes served up by high profile releases like Call of Duty: Black Ops and Homefront have failed to live up to expectations and felt more like developers going through the motions rather than pushing the genre in either exciting or interesting new directions. Thanks heavens then for games developer Crytek, which has delivered the shot-in-the-arm this withering genre so desperately needed with its latest offering Crysis 2.