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Showing posts from January, 2018
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Amazon Last Minute Christmas Sale Save Big On Tech After Black Friday

It's not too late to pick up tech gifts from Amazon. It's Last Minute Christmas Deals sale has discounts across smart home, laptops, monitors, speakers and other gadgets.

Top 10 of 2017: Grief, Guilt and Ghosts

Top 10 season has always been one of my favorite aspects of film writing. After seeing 100-plus movies a year, it's always the fun challenge to pick out the 10 that were the best. While most films sadly run the gamut of bad-to-passable, there are plenty of treasures within a given year, if you take the time to look for them.
This year was no different. There was plenty of bad - I'm looking directly at you "Baywatch" and "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" - but there were great big films, which transcended their genres into something truly entertaining. There were movies that held a mirror to our times, made us think, and left us wondering about what conversations we should be having. Then there were the movies that packed such an emotional wallop; they were unshakable after the credits rolled.
As it is with most years, it was difficult to arrive at the definitive 10, so before we get into it, here are some honorable mentions, listed in alphabetic…

19th Annual Animation Show of Shows Review

Animation SaturationI confess that I have not seen any of the first 18 "Annual Animation Show of Shows", so I can't compare the 19th version to anything, but I have seen all of the Oscars short animation nominees for the last 10 or so years. The previous 18 compilations have featured films that later received 36 Oscar nominations and 10 wins. Some of the films in this collection are not eligible for an Oscar because they are more than a year old.
This year, there are 16 animated short films:

• Can You Do It-Quentin Baillieux, France • Tiny Big-Lia Bertels, Belgium • Next Door-Pete Docter, U.S.   • The Alan Dimension-Jac Clinch, UK
• Beautiful Like Elsewhere-Elise Simard, Canada
• Hangman-Paul Julian and Les Goldman, U.S.
• The Battle of San Romano-Georges Schwizgebel, Switzerland
• Gokurosama-Clémentine Frère, Aurore Gal, Yukiko Meignien, Anna Mertz, Robin Migliorelli, Romain Salvini, France
• Dear Basketball-Glen Keane, U.S.
• Island-Max Mörtl and Robert Löbel, Germany
• Unsat…

Molly's Game Review

Word GamesAaron Sorkin's directorial debut feels like most of his projects where he served solely as the writer: it has an air of intellect presented in a very wordy fashion. Sometimes this technique works beautifully, like it did in his "A Few Good Men." At other times it still works, but is a bit too wordy for my taste.

"Molly's Game" is verbose, incredibly professional looking, and hits all the right notes at the appropriate times. This makes it a bit formulaic in addition to accomplishing its goal of telling the story effectively. It also benefits from being a fascinating look at a woman's exotic life that is based in truth. As always, there is no way of knowing how close it is to the truth, though.
Jessica Chastain plays the title character, Molly Bloom, and she also narrates a good deal, to flesh out Molly and because Sorkin loves lots of words. Molly has always been driven, with her father (Kevin Costner) pushing her every step of the…

Phantom Thread Review

Threadbare

In "Phantom Thread," which Daniel Day-Lewis is calling his final performance, he does not disappoint. Director Paul Thomas Anderson also does not disappoint. The film is absolutely gorgeous to look at. I can't find a single thing wrong with it except that I didn't like it. I was bored. I didn't care about any of it. I also realize that I am in the smallest of minorities. It will be a darling of fawning critics and attract lots of attention on the awards circuit. So what?

It's 1950 something in England and everyone we see is somehow involved in the fashion industry. Reynolds Woodcock (Day-Lewis) is an obsessed designer and that is the only thing that "Phantom Thread" is about. Obsession is a great character trait to build any story around, yet as obsessed as Woodcock is, the whole thing feels like watching a great craftsman demonstrating what obsession is, while leaving me not caring in the least about his obsession, his love i…

Samsung HW-K950 Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 Channel Soundbar with Wireless Rear Speakers Review

Listen Up!In 2012, with the movie "Brave," Dolby brought the next generation of cinematic sound to life with Dolby Atmos. Using advanced object-based encoding and a new speaker array that included speakers on the ceiling, Dolby Atmos gave movie-makers the ability to create a more immersive and compelling soundtrack by placing sound all around and above the viewer. The following year, Dolby Atmos made its entrance into the living room in high-end A/V receivers, preamps and speakers. Dolby Atmos soundtracks started coming out on Blu-ray and on streaming services such as VUDU. Yes, Dolby Atmos was available for home, but only for those willing to make a significant investment in gear, in wiring and in space in their living room.
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