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Aisle Seat 4-15: Spring Fever Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/14/2014 - 9:00 PM
Twilight Time’s March releases offer an eclectic array of titles from the ‘40s, ‘70s and ‘90s. Chief among them – particularly considering it inexplicably never generated a DVD release – is CONRACK (106 mins., 1974, PG), a somewhat underwritten but flavorful Martin Ritt film that follows the autobiographical tale of bestselling novelist Pat Conroy.
Comments: 6  (read on)
Aisle Seat 4-1: Early April Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/31/2014 - 9:00 PM
Peter Jackson’s second film derived from J.R.R. Tolkien’s THE HOBBIT, THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (**½, 161 mins., 2013, PG-13; Warner),leaves no doubt that the filmmaker has extended the author’s original work into the bloated category — adding characters (including Evangeline Lilly‘s female elf, Tauriel), secondary subplots, and action sequences that never existed in the original text.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 3-25: The Swimmer, Wolf of Wall Street
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/24/2014 - 9:00 PM
I was forced to read John Cheever’s short story THE SWIMMER not once or twice, but several times between 7th grade and high school graduation. While that may be somewhat of a damning indictment of growing up in the ‘80s and early ‘90s (between that and the handful of Toni Morrison novels I was forced to endure, you can understand why kids today have no familiarity with classic literature), Cheever’s story was an interesting read, and one that made for an equally fascinating 1968 film (***½, 94 mins., PG) starring Burt Lancaster. The movie – a commercial failure that eventually gained a cult following – is now available on Blu-Ray from Grindhouse Releasing in a sensational package that’s an early candidate for the year’s best.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 3-18: Book Thief, Frozen, Warner Archives
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/17/2014 - 9:00 PM
While director Steven Soderbergh’s films often feel cool and clinical instead of emotionally involving, his third picture – KING OF THE HILL (***½, 103 mins., 1993, PG-13) – remains one of his most satisfying on a number of levels, particularly for its wide spectrum of human emotion.
Comments: 1  (read on)
Aisle Seat 3-11: Homefront, Inside Llewyn Davis
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/10/2014 - 9:00 PM
If a Sylvester Stallone-written backwoods thriller that pits Jason Statham’s former DEA agent against a rural drug dealer named Gator Bodine – played by James Franco! – sounds like fun B-movie fodder to you, then you’re likely to enjoy HOMEFRONT (**½, 101 mins., 2013, R; Universal). This minor but competently performed thriller didn’t generate much of an audience last November, but should find more takers with its home video release March 11th.
Comments: 2  (read on)
Aisle Seat 3-4: Twilight Time, Warner Archives
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/3/2014 - 9:00 PM
With Woody Allen in the news lately – for all the wrong seasons – it might be hard for some to entirely divorce their personal feelings about the filmmaker’s off-screen life from his cinematic output. Yet, distanced from the tabloid stories, two of the writer/director’s pictures have arrived on Blu-Ray for the first time from Twilight Time: one showcasing his talents solely as an actor, the other a feature from the peak of his prolific cinematic output in the late ‘70s and ‘80s.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 2-25: Tess, Nebraska, Gravity
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/24/2014 - 9:00 PM
One of director Roman Polanski’s most satisfying and lyrical films, TESS (***½, 171 mins., 1979, PG) has been brilliantly restored in a gorgeous Criterion Collection Blu-Ray/DVD edition available February 25th.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 2-18: Shout! Factory, Rocky, Warner Archives
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/17/2014 - 9:00 PM
Highlighting Shout! Factory’s slate of winter releases is Sam Raimi’s first studio film, DARKMAN (***, 96 mins., 1990, R) – an entertaining comic-book hybrid of “Batman” and “Phantom of the Opera,” as light as a feather but bursting with cinematic energy.
Comments: 2  (read on)
Aisle Seat 2-11: Winter Olympics Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/10/2014 - 9:00 PM
Robert Redford’s performance as a sailor on a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean anchors – no pun intended – ALL IS LOST (**½, 106 mins., 2013, PG-13; Lionsgate), writer-director J.C. Chandor’s epic tale of survival.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 2-4: Death Wish, About Time, Last Vegas
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/3/2014 - 9:00 PM
Celebrating its 40th anniversary with its first Blu-Ray release, the original DEATH WISH (***, 93 mins., 1974, R; Warner) became a box-office smash back in the summer of ‘74 and generated one of the most popular roles for its 50-year-old star Charles Bronson.
Comments: 1  (read on)
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Today in Film Score History:
April 19
Alan Price born (1941)
Dudley Moore born (1935)
Harry Sukman begins recording his score for A Thunder of Drums (1961)
Jonathan Tunick born (1938)
Lord Berners died (1950)
Michael Small begins recording his score to Klute (1971)
Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "We'll Always Have Paris" (1988)
Sol Kaplan born (1919)
William Axt born (1888)
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