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Aisle Seat 3-21: A KONG-Sized March Rundown
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/20/2017 - 9:00 PM
When you get right down it, for a pop-culture icon like King Kong, it’s surprising that the Big Ape hasn’t had a whole lot of cinematic success. Sure, the 1933 RKO original is an all-time masterwork, but you can’t say the same about its hastily produced sequel “Son of Kong,” its decent – if not somewhat overlooked – 1976 Dino DeLaurentiis remake, or that version’s own, terrible follow-up “King Kong Lives.” A pair of ‘60s Toho productions brought Kong to Japan – including a silly skirmish with Godzilla – and the best you can say about them is that they’re at least more fun than Peter Jackson’s self-indulgent 2005 remake of the original, which was both miscast and painfully overlong.
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Aisle Seat 3-14: Shout's Pre-Spring Blu-Ray Fling
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/13/2017 - 9:00 PM
In the annals of misguided, terrible sequels, ROBOCOP 2 (*½, 117 mins., 1990, R) stands out in a crowded pack. Hastily produced to lessen the financial burdens of fading Orion Pictures, haphazardly constructed with a script that was overhauled daily by a comic book scribe who had never written a film before, and directed by a Hollywood veteran who apparently recognized its problems (but wasn’t the film’s first choice), “Robocop 2″ made modest cash in the Summer of 1990 but still failed completely to fulfill its two goals – keeping Orion afloat and maintaining Robocop as a viable box-office presence of his own.
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Aisle Seat 3-7: March Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/6/2017 - 9:00 PM
Twilight Time’s quartet of February releases offer a fantastic Fox film noir, a return trip to Woody Allen territory, a Columbia Cinemascope vehicle starring Cornel Wilde, and a moody 1979 “anti rom-com” that’s the kind of film major studios wouldn’t touch these days.
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Aisle Seat 2-28: Late Winter Rundown
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/27/2017 - 9:00 PM
Bad-movie buffs have cause for celebration this month thanks to a pair of infamous star vehicles making their Blu-Ray debuts this month from Olive. Certainly THE KLANSMAN (112 mins., 1974, R) has all the ingredients one could possibly anticipate for a so-bad-it’s-good view: Lee Marvin and Richard Burton – the latter apparently so sloshed during filming that he’s mostly seen sitting down, in bed, or driving a car – starring opposite O.J. Simpson in the story of a small Alabama town teetering on the edge after a local woman (Linda Evans) is raped, with the KKK-populated town’s denizens targeting a black man for the crime.
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Aisle Seat 2-21: Kino Lorber February, Manchester By The Sea
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/20/2017 - 9:00 PM
A cult favorite for many who grew up in the ‘80s, the “Karate Kid” knockoff NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER (84/95 mins., 1986, PG) has been dusted off, remastered and resurrected on Blu-Ray by Kino Lorber. Viewers resistant to the charms of adrenaline-pumping training montages, martial arts action and terrible acting might want to avoid it, but fans will find this US-shot Hong Kong production to be a blast of nostalgia, presented here in both its international release version and New World Pictures’ shorter US theatrical cut.
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Aisle Seat 2-14: It's Valentine's Day!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/13/2017 - 9:00 PM
In terms of where the intergalactic drama ARRIVAL lies in the sci-fi/fantasy realm, “Sicario” helmer Denis Villenuve’s much praised picture falls somewhere between solid and not quite out of this world. Certainly the film provides Amy Adams with one of her strongest roles to date: a linguistics professor, suffering from the loss of her daughter, who’s tapped by the military to translate the sounds of extraterrestrial visitors, currently camped in over a dozen ships around the globe.
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Aisle Seat 2-7: February Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/6/2017 - 9:00 PM
A slick French production starring three big draws at their domestic box-office at the time – Jean Gabin, Alain Delon and Lino Ventura – THE SICILIAN CLAN (***, 118/125 mins., 1969) is an interesting, if sometimes too leisurely, crime drama that was co-produced by 20th Century Fox a few years before “The Godfather” would re-define the “mob movie.”
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Aisle Seat 1-31: Trailers, Poltergeists & Other Horrors
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/30/2017 - 9:00 PM
Do you like trailers? Are you a fan of ‘80s horror? Can you occasionally hear the dulcet tones of Percy Rodriguez dancing about in the air? It’s early, sure, but I believe I’ve already seen my favorite Blu-Ray of 2017. It’s Garagehouse’s latest endeavor: TRAILER TRAUMA 3: ‘80s HORRORTHON, an outstanding anthology of over 250 trailers on two Blu-Ray platters, housing 4K-mastered original trailers for virtually every single genre exercise produced between 1980-89. Everything one could possibly imagine is contained in this spectacular release, both major studio exercises and low-budget affairs from a decade chock full of classics – cult and otherwise.
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Aisle Seat 1-24: Twilight Time, New Peanuts & More
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/23/2017 - 9:00 PM
A pair of interesting, if commercially unsuccessful, Jane Fonda vehicles grace Twilight Time’s roster of limited-edition Blu-Ray releases this month, along with Stanley Donen’s memorable ‘60s road trip romance TWO FOR THE ROAD with Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn, plus a spectacular release for 3D enthusiasts.
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Aisle Seat 1-17: THE LOVE BOAT's Winter Cruise
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/16/2017 - 9:00 PM
The best way for me to explain my fondness for THE LOVE BOAT is to flashback to my review of Season 1 of the series on DVD. My freshman – and, as it turns out, only – year at Ithaca College in central New York was packed with memories. Road trips to Syracuse to meet “Recordman” (FSM’s resident LP expert Mike Murray), snow-filled weekends watching laserdiscs in the dorm, and many weekends hanging out with friends – including Paul MacLean, who basically saved me from a life of boredom single-handedly – were the good times.
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Today in Film Score History:
March 25
Bronislau Kaper wins his only Oscar, for the Lili score (1954)
Elton John born (1947)
Henry Mancini begins recording his score for 99 & 44/100 % Dead (1974)
John Massari born (1957)
Ken Thorne begins recording his score for Superman II (1980)
Luis Bacalov wins his first Oscar, for Il Postino; Alan Menken wins the first Comedy or Musical Score Oscar, for Pocahontas
Maurice Jarre wins his third and final Oscar, for the A Passage to India score (1985)
Recording sessions begin for Frederick Hollander’s score for The Great McGinty (1940)
Riz Ortolani born (1926)
Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Royale" (1989)
Tan Dun wins his first score Oscar, for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2001)
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