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Aisle Seat 10-6: Early October Fright Fest
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/5/2015 - 9:00 PM
October’s arrival usually carries with it a handful of new genre releases. One of the major new catalog titles this month is a 4K remastered presentation of BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (***, 1992, 127 mins., R; Sony), a film could’ve easily been titled “Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula” for as much as this 1992 adaptation utilizes elements from the Stoker book that other cinematic versions omitted, it also takes numerous liberties with the original text – including turning the beloved vampire tale into a love story, a conscious artistic decision the filmmaker made partially to capitalize on a younger audience (which he, in turn, accomplished by casting more youthful leads than your traditional Dracula rendition).e
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Aisle Seat 9-29: Late September Rundown
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/28/2015 - 9:00 PM
Director Wes Anderson’s films are an acquired taste and only a few of them have connected beyond his core group of fans. His 2012 effortMOONRISE KINGDOM (***½, 94 mins., PG-13), though, brought Anderson one of his most successful commercial films that’s also one of his sweetest and more accessible pictures: a visually captivating tale of two young teens (Kara Hayward and Jared Gillman, both making impressive feature debuts here) from a fictional coastal New England community in the ’60s who run away from their environmental confines (the girl from a pair of bickering parents played by Frances McDormand and Bill Murray; the boy from a foster home that’s already said they won’t be taking him back).
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Aisle Seat 9-22: Autumn Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/21/2015 - 9:00 PM
The 1970s were marked by great films and the corresponding rise of fresh filmmaking voices, as profiled in countless books and documentaries on the landmark pictures the decade produced. It was also a time for veteran filmmakers to augment their already legendary careers, with Robert Aldrich’s EMPEROR OF THE NORTH and John Huston’s FAT CITY – both newly available on Blu-Ray this month from Twilight Time – providing evidence that neither director was past their prime.
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Aisle Seat 9-8: 18th Anniversary Edition!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/7/2015 - 9:00 PM
Bombastic, blaring and bursting with action, George Miller’s long-gestating MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (***, 120 mins., 2015, R; Warner) is the very definition of a “hardware movie”: a spectacularly assembled collection of set-pieces that, ultimately, comprise one long, sensational chase through a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
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Aisle Seat 9-1: Back to School Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/31/2015 - 9:00 PM
We all know that the Cannon Group was never known for making intelligent, thought-provoking movies; Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus would have rather turned out “American Ninja 5″ than “Rashomon.” Still, every once in a while some quality shined through the exploitation — or sometimes along with it — and that happy combination occurred in 1982 with the release of “Lemon Popsicle” auteur Boaz Davidson’s THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN (***, 93 mins., R), making its U.S. Blu-Ray debut this month from Olive.
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Aisle Seat 8-25: Twilight Time, New Release Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/24/2015 - 9:00 PM
Even if its charms might be better suited to viewing on a cold winter’s night, Randal Kleiser’s guilty pleasure SUMMER LOVERS (***, 98 mins., 1982, R) is an appealing early ‘80s youth picture that Gene Siskel – reviewing the film on a “Guilty Pleasures” episode of “Siskel & Ebert” – once said “turned him on.”
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Aisle Seat 8-11: Revisiting August's Dog Days of Yore
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/10/2015 - 9:00 PM
Before the fall season cranks up and studios traditionally bring us some of the bigger hits of the year on home video, we usually see a handful of curious catalog releases trickle out during the dog days of August. That’s the case this year with Warner Archive’s Blu-Ray release of SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO (**, 78 mins., 1991, R), as well as Shout’s double-feature pairing of the Rodney Dangerfield farce EASY MONEY (**½, 93 mins., 1983) with the bizarre(ly bad) Emilio Estevez-Charlie Sheen laffer MEN AT WORK (*½, 98 mins., 1990, PG-13) – films that all debuted in theaters during the waning days of their respective summers.
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Aisle Seat 8-4: August Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/3/2015 - 9:00 PM
It took nearly a trio of “Mission: Impossible” films before star/producer Tom Cruise finally figured out exactly what he wanted to do with his big-screen spin-off of the classic ‘60s TV series. After a pair of solo-powered, humorless outings from directors Brian DePalma and John Woo, Cruise and producer/director J.J. Abrams had the right idea bringing an actual “team” concept into the series’ third installment. That lead to the hugely entertaining Brad Bird outing “Ghost Protocol,” and now Cruise has reteamed with his “Jack Reacher” director, Christopher McQuarrie, for the stylish, classy MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION (***, 131 mins., PG-13).
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Aisle Seat 7-28: Arrow, Twilight Time
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/27/2015 - 9:00 PM
Leading off Twilight Time’s July releases is PLACES IN THE HEART (***½, 114 mins, 1984, PG), the first of three “rural” dramas that hit theaters in 1984. Robert Benton’s film was released a week ahead of the overrated Jessica Lange effort “Country” and months before Mark Rydell’s under-rated “The River.” With multiple Oscar nominations and wins for Best Original Screenplay and Sally Field’s memorable turn as a widow who has to work hard to support her children – while keeping The Bank at bay from claiming her home in the Great Depression – the movie was, by far, the most popular of the trio as well.
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Aisle Seat 7-21: Olive Films, X-Men Rogue Cut
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/20/2015 - 9:00 PM
Skating its way onto Blu-Ray this month as part of Olive Films’ July Blu-Ray slate is none other than ROLLER BOOGIE (**½, 1979, 104 mins., PG).A pre-exploitation Linda Blair stars as a good girl who rebukes Juilliard so she can skate-skate-skate her way with roller boogie veteran Jim Bray into certain disco stardom. Unfortunately, some bad guys decide that their local skate park is a good spot for a real estate deal, and promptly threaten the future of all young skating maniacs by wanting to trash their hangout.
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Today in Film Score History:
October 9
Bebo Valdes born (1918)
Bill Conti begins recording his score for The Fourth War (1989)
Camille Saint-Saens born (1835)
Cliff Eidelman begins recording his score for Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
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