IN celebration of its 15th anniversary, German publisher Goliath has released Super Sexplosion—a colossal 816-page, 2.5kg art-nude photography book.
|THE practicality of in-ear headphones is that they isolate more ambient noise than over-ear or bud-type headphones; however, the Sennheiser CXC 700 quietens the outside world even more with noise-cancelling technology. Better yet, there are three noise-cancelling presets that are optimised for different soundscapes: daily commuting on public transport or in cars, long-haul flights and crowded environments. The clever ‘TalkThrough’ feature allows users to mute audio input to communicate with others without having to remove the headphones. A single AAA battery boasts up to 16 hours of noise cancellation.
The CXC 700s ship with an inflight adaptor and its three sizes of ear adapters plus a cleaning tool round out the solid package.
|NOISE-cancelling headphones certainly aren’t cheap and really need to be experienced for users to understand their usefulness (particularly for frequent travellers). But cheaper-model headphones don’t necessarily equate with shoddy, as Sony’s MDR-NC40 on-ear (supra-aural) noise-cancelling headphones prove. This model is lightweight, durable and collapsible, which makes it perfect for plane trips. With up to 90 percent ambient noise cancellation, the MDR-NC40s keep the outside world at bay while providing the kind of impressive sound quality, such as balanced treble and solid bass, that Sony is famous for.
The urethane-cushioned earpieces ensure a comfortable fit and simultaneously relieve pressure on the ears.
|COMPATIBLE with all current-model smartphones and tablets, the Parrot Zik uses Bluetooth 2.1 technology for wireless connectivity. The intuitive over-ear (circumaural) headset boasts up to 98 percent ambient noise elimination. An internal head-detection sensor pauses playback when the headphones are removed, while simplistic earpiece controls let you tap or swipe to pause, play, skip tracks or answer calls. A double-microphone system cleverly separates user conversation from background noise, ignoring the former during calls while removing the latter. Most impressive, though, is Parrot’s decision to challenge sound-output norms, as the headphones can be configured for audio playback to come from the front—in true concert fashion—instead of the usual horizontal stereo plane.|
|THE high ticket price ensures that audiophiles only need apply for Denon’s on-ear noise-cancelling headphones, which are targeted at the frequent flyer, with good reason. The attractive, foldable design is just the beginning, with a choice of wired 40mm audio cable connection or high-quality wireless Bluetooth 3.0. Unlike some other brands, the Globe Cruiser boasts an internal rechargeable battery that holds 10 hours’ worth of charge. The real shining star, however, is the playback controls on the outside of each earpiece. The right-earpiece controls take care of volume, play, pause and track skipping, while the left-earpiece controls allow you to answer and end calls via a microphone integrated at the bottom of the headset.|
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Jon Bernthal, Barry Pepper, Michael K. Williams, Benjamin Bratt, Susan Sarandon
WHEN his son makes a momentary error in judgment and finds himself looking at ten years behind bars John Matthews (Johnson) takes desperate measures to ensure his son’s safety and early release. He strikes a deal with a U.S. Attorney and agrees to go undercover to infiltrate a drug smuggling ring. Enlisting unlikely ally Daniel James (Bernthal), an ex-con trying to go straight, he convinces Daniel to make the introduction on his behalf to his former partners in crime and starts running drugs across the US/Mexico border.
When an exchange goes bad Matthews’ cool head prevails and puts him on the radar of Juan Carlos ‘El Topo’ Pintera (Bratt), a criminal far higher up the Cartel’s ranks than he or the DEA expected. Chasing the collar of a lifetime, the kind that political careers are made of, U.S. Attorney Keegan (Sarandon) alters the deal offering Matthews his son’s freedom in exchange for El Topo. As events start to spiral out of control both Matthews and James show the extreme risks each man is willing to take to protect his family.
Director Ric Roman Waugh’s steady pacing and slow tension building work to great effect in Snitch. By taking the time to establish the main characters, their motivations and the nature of their family relationships it gives the audience time to connect with each father, identify with their situation and feel great empathy to their plight.
The action sequences are used sparingly and feel completely within the realms of possibility. This isn’t Dwayne Johnston playing the ultimate bad-arse or super-soldier. This is a regular guy, a loving father taking desperate measures to protect his son. There’s a sense of frailty to Johnson’s portrayal of John Matthews, so much so that you forget about his towering size and impressive physique.
Jon Bernthal brings an equally layered performance as the ex-con trying to do right Daniel James. Struggling to support his family, avoiding lapsing back into a life of crime and desperate to keep his son from heading down the same path, Bernthal’s conflict is apparent. His previous violent tendencies are bubbling just beneath the surface, but he holds them in check to make a better life for his family. The difficulty he has wrestling with what his conscience tells him is the right thing to do and genuine fear for his family’s safety comes across brilliantly and he provides a rock solid counterpart to Dwayne Johnson.
The supporting cast ably backs up the leads with another short but sweet turn by Barry Pepper as a veteran DEA agent Billy Cooper, the typecast but who cares Michael K. Williams as ruthless drug dealer Malik and the power hungry ‘soon to be running for office’ U.S. Attorney Keegan played by Susan Sarandon. Even Benjamin Bratt’s brutal and uncompromising Cartel kingpin Juan Carlos ‘El Topo’ Pintera isn’t a mere caricature reinforcing the realistic characterisation and grounding both the plot and tone.
Far more of a thriller than a balls-to-the-wall action extravaganza, Snitch offers significantly more depth than you’d expect with Dwayne Johnson proving there’s a lot more to him than just muscle. The measured pacing and character development is a welcome change from the more explosions, less exposition formulaic Michael Bay styled fare all too familiar these days.
Snitch is in cinemas May 16.
Review: Dave Kozicki
| Tucked into an unprepossessing grey Victorian era terrace house in Woolloomooloo is one of Sydney’s best kept secrets: Twin Peeks.
The intimate and stylish venue is a hot favourite with Sydney’s business clientele, and here’s why: the restaurant gives diners a choice of one of six entrees and six main courses, three cabaret shows, plus a four-item sexy dessert menu: Single Topless Tease; Interactive Topless Tease; Single Nude Tasty Temptation; Interactive Nude Tasty Temptation—where your dessert is fed to you lovingly by one of Twin Peeks’ specialist waitresses, followed by a full strip.
Lunch or dinner cost $110 per person, which includes a sumptuous, two-course a la carte meal and three full-nude cabaret strip shows, performed by Sydney’s best and hottest showgirls. Alcohol and specialist dessert menu options are separate to the set-menu fee.
The performers include some of Sydney’s most renowned silk and stage artists—plus quite a few Australian Penthouse Pets! In fact, the restaurant is famous for its classic fireman’s pole entrance, where the girls descend from the ceiling to the tables and then perform their sensual acts in between each course—with every diner receiving VIP access to the ladies. The action doesn’t get any closer or more exciting than this!
To add to the excitement, and to celebrate the restaurant’s 13th birthday this August, owners Sharon Bentley and Anthony Zaiter had hoop rings attached to the ceiling above the venue’s long tables to allow specialist hoop performers to put on sensational aerial shows.
While December is the restaurant’s busiest month, Twin Peeks always launches a luncheon menu to cope with the busier Summer months. And Sharon and Anthony keep up with demand with their sexy (and new!) summer Harbour cruises. In typical Twin Peeks fashion, this is no regular day on the water—with 20-40 girls employed for each event, this is more than double offered by competitor cruises. Now that’s knowing your market!
THE Schick Hydro 5 Power Select is the kind of razor you’d expect to see in a James Bond film, or any movie prefaced with the text ‘In the not so distant future’. I’ve been using this razor for the last week and it stands up well next to my regular razor: the Gillette M3 Power (which will be the basis of my comparisons for this review).
To be honest, out of the box, I was sceptical of the Schick Hydro razor simply because of the blade count. My M3 Power is already packing three blades, while the Hydro boasts five. I’ve always been of the belief that any more than three blades is laughable overkill. But if the Schick Hydro is anything to go by, my assumption was wrong.
The three vibration settings—low, medium and high—allowed me to alter the intensity of the vibrating razor to dictate how close a shave I wanted. This was particularly useful for switching from shaving the thinner hair on my cheeks to shaping my beard on my jaw line. The LED screen is a nice addition for indicating battery life, but the power indicator is a negligible addition because it really doesn’t take long to learn the feel of the three vibration settings.
In combination with the provided Schick Skin Protect Shave Gel, I enjoyed many smooth and irritation-free shaving experiences. There was an absence of the shaving rash that I sometimes get when shaving with the M3 Power, and the clever skin guards on top of each blade ensured that I didn’t cut myself on those days when I was rushing to finish my shave and get out the door.
There’s a sneaky flip trimmer stored beneath the gel reservoir that enables an even closer shave for grooming purposes. Perhaps best of all, though, the head is incredibly easy to keep clean, and remains free of smaller hairs that tend to get stuck between multi-blade razors.
If you’re in the market for a new razor or are looking to upgrade to a satisfyingly close shave, the Schick Hydro 5 Power Select is an excellent choice.