Entertainment Reviews

13

You don't have to shell out thousands of dollars to build a system that'll make your music — whether it's on PC, whether it's on your phone, whether it's on a record collection — sound amazing. We got hold of a simple, three-piece stereo audio kit with two bookshelf speakers, an amp and a turntable that will handle just about anything you throw at it, and all at a price that didn't break the bank.

0

Fans don't like to let their favourites go, but now they don't have to. We live in a world desperate to remake, reboot, and flat-out return to beloved franchises, hunting the closest thing to a sure audience there is. But the more beloved these continuations are, they harder they are to get right. Fans want them to somehow be exactly the same while still being fresh and new, an impossible request — except, it turns out, for the return of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

3

There was a brief period of time — think 2011 to 2015, where the pedestal-like soundbar was convenient for TV owners. TVs had gotten skinnier and sound had gotten crummier as a consequence. Functioning as both speaker and stand, the pedestal was an appealing soundbar-style ideal for TV owners who had no plans to mount a set on their wall, but didn't have space for a giant sound log resting precariously in front of their set. Sonos' new Playbase is one of the best pedestal-style sound bars you will be able to buy right now, but, uhh, it's also way late.

6

Major Mira Killian doesn't remember who she was before. Now the character played by Scarlett Johansson is living inside a different kind of body about to start a different kind of life. She effortlessly leaps and shoots across a deliriously oversaturated cityscape with power and purpose. There's something wrong at the heart of it all, with her sense of her (own) self. It's a problem that Ghost in the Shell never really explores in any satisfying way.

4

Next week, Timothy Zahn's Thrawn, a book about the rise to power of everyone's favourite Grand Admiral, will be released. I've never anticipated a Star Wars book more, and now seems like the right time to look back at the books that introduced him and evaluate if they really were as great as popular wisdom says they were.

0

King Kong started his reign in 1933, but it didn't last long. He was eventually overshadowed by Godzilla and a crowd of B-movie pretenders for decades, to the point where even Peter Jackson's attempt to revive him in 2005 couldn't help. But with Kong: Skull Island, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has created an action-packed spectacle truly worthy of its giant, majestic star.

0

The final act of Power Rangers is everything you could want from a Power Rangers movie. It's fun, funny, action-packed, and filled with so many Zords and monsters that you'll actually feel like you're watching a big-budget update of the popular kids' franchise. The problem is that the 90 minutes preceding it wants as little to do with the Power Rangers as possible.

2

Most of the people interested in seeing Life, the astronaut thriller out now, probably have certain expectations based on the movie's familiar premise: human beings encounter extraterrestrial organism, terrifying things ensue, just as in Alien, Predator and other classics. But while that most basic plotline does describe what happens — Life is the smartest, sharpest version of man vs. ET to come along in a long while.

1

You know how when you get a new pair of headphones, taking them out of the box is always a task? You always end up ripping the box to bits because the headphone cable is tangled throughout and hidden away behind plastic and cardboard.

But not Beats' new BeatsX wireless headphones. I cracked open the gorgeous box you see here, pulled a little tab, and saw the headphones presented in their full, tangle-free glory. That's when I thought yeah, that's what's up.

6

The biggest achievement attained by Disney's 1991 film Beauty and the Beast is being the first animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Sure, Disney movies from that era like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Lion King. remain classics decades later, but Beauty and the Beast stands alone. But years later and with a live-action remake days away, does it still deserve that spot at the top? Yes. Always.

30

QLED is Samsung's name for its latest quantum dot LED-backlit TVs, and QLED means business. Samsung is promising black levels that you'd only otherwise expect to see on a top-of-the-line OLED TV, and colours that are not only incredibly vibrant and bright, but also accurate. The Q8 is a $4500-plus screen that'll make your Netflix sessions look amazing.

1

I'm sitting on a busy subway train in Manhattan, listening to some tunes. This is a normal situation, something I do a dozen times a week. What isn't normal is that I only hear my music, and I don't hear any of the train or crowd noise around me. Instead, my music is backed by white noise. No panhandlers or chatty kids or the screech of subway wheels on rails. Doppler Labs's Here One wireless earbuds are blocking out all that nonesense so I can focus on my tunes.