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Aisle Seat 12-6: December Rundown Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/5/2016 - 9:00 PM
A film that unexpectedly frightened the daylights out of me, Richard Fleischer’s THE BOSTON STRANGLER (***½, 116 mins., 1968, R) is that rare thing: a Hollywood-produced film made at an odd time when the business of moviemaking was beginning a radical change, shifting away from the mostly sanitized studio product of the ‘50s and towards the more explicit “realism” of the 1970s. In fact, “The Boston Strangler” can be looked upon as a turning point in Hollywood, a crackerjack and disturbing thriller that clearly influenced director William Friedkin in his later works.
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Aisle Seat 11-22: Thanksgiving Feast Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/21/2016 - 9:00 PM
Finally restored after falling into the public domain, Marlon Brando’s troubled western ONE-EYED JACKS (***, 141 mins., 1961) has at last been rescued and given new life by Universal and the Criterion Collection. The most revelatory component to the film’s resurrection is that, unlike, say, Michael Cimino’s gorgeous but flaccid “Heaven’s Gate,” “One-Eyed Jacks” is a compulsively watchable film, gorgeously shot and intriguing from start to finish.
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Aisle Seat 11-8: Election Day Special
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/7/2016 - 9:00 PM
Fans of James Horner still reeling from his shocking, untimely passing last year have bittersweet reason to rejoice as one of the composer’s final scores, written for the National Geographic IMAX production LIVING IN THE AGE OF AIRPLANES (47 mins.), is now available on Blu-Ray. The disc will give many viewers their first chance at not just seeing this entertaining effort but also hearing Horner’s lovely music, one of the final completed works by the maestro prior to his passing in a single-engine plane crash at age 61.
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Aisle Seat 11-1: November Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/31/2016 - 9:00 PM
It’s hard to find a more divisive film from the 1980s than RUNAWAY TRAIN (111 mins., 1985, R), the Cannon Group’s closet shot at Oscar glory that can be best described as a “quasi-existential” action film from Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky. A movie that generated Oscar nominations for both of its stars, Jon Voight and Eric Roberts, it’s also a film that made appearances on both “Best of the Year” and “Worst of the Year” critic lists in 1985, with critics falling on either side of a movie that polarized viewers with its “method” performances and outlandish story.
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Aisle Seat 10-25: 4K, Twilight Time & Waxwork
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/24/2016 - 9:00 PM
Kicking off this month’s Twilight Time releases is a splendid Blu-Ray of REMO WILLIAMS: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS (121 mins., 1985, PG-13).Regrettably, the “Adventure” for Remo began and promptly ended with this big-budget Orion adaptation of the popular “Destroyer” novels by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy, here adapted by veteran James Bond series writer Christopher Wood (“The Spy Who Loved Me”) and director Guy Hamilton (“Goldfinger”).
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Aisle Seat 10-18: A Harvest of Discs!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/17/2016 - 9:00 PM
The magic’s gone in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE (**, 144 mins., 2016, PG-13; Fox), the ninth (is that even possible?) X-Men film that’s easily the weakest from director Bryan Singer, who seemingly remained too long at the franchise party this time around.
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Aisle Seat 10-11: Of Exorcists, Slugs & Vamps
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/10/2016 - 9:00 PM
Late in August of 1990, William Peter Blatty’s anticipated THE EXORCIST III (***, 110 mins., R) arrived in theaters. The Morgan Creek production, released by Fox, drew strong initial interest from audiences – and even a few positive reviews – before crashing quickly in the dumping grounds of late summer. Now a cult favorite, Blatty’s own adaptation of his novel “Legion” has been resurrected as a Scream Factory Collector’s Edition, complete with a reconstruction – from the best surviving sources – of Blatty’s initial cut of the film, completed before anxious studio executives mandated a punchier, effects-laden conclusion be shot.
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Aisle Seat 10-4: THE THING Strikes Again
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/3/2016 - 9:00 PM
One of the fondest memories I have, growing up during the Summer of 1982, was going to see “E.T.” eight times in theaters – and being utterly freaked out by the trailer for John Carpenter’s THE THING (****, 109 mins., R), Universal’s other big movie that summer, which was attached to prints of Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi classic. While Carpenter’s film would eventually become the classic in its own right that it deserved to be, “The Thing” was initially pegged as a major disappointment that threw the director’s career off-track to such an extent that it never entirely recovered.
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Aisle Seat 9-27: Stephen King, Vestron Video & Other Horrors!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/25/2016 - 9:00 PM
For a kid growing up in the ‘80s, Stephen King movies – which were flooding multiplexes every few months – were just a little bit out of reach. Their R-rated horror made them the kind of thing most of us elementary school kids didn’t get to see back in the day, though every now and then, you might be able to attend a birthday party where someone’s lenient Dad would rent a VHS of, say, “Christine” or “Children of the Corn,” damaging our sleep patterns for days to come.
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Aisle Seat 9-20: Kino Lorber, VALLEY OF THE DOLLS & More
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/19/2016 - 9:00 PM
A product of the ‘80s in every way, GRANDVIEW, U.S.A. (**½, 97 mins., 1984, R) was “Grease”/”Blue Lagoon” director Randal Kleiser’s “contemporary” drama about a teenager’s coming of age, as well as the lives and loves of other residents of a small midwestern town. The movie can’t ever figure out specifically what it wants to be – either a typical ‘80s teen picture or a more adult soap opera – so it roughly splits itself in half, one portion dealing with star student C. Thomas Howell aspiring for more than the life his real estate mogul dad has in store for him, the other revolving around tough girl Jamie Lee Curtis’ frustration at running a demolition derby in town.
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Today in Film Score History:
December 6
Dave Brubeck born (1920)
Hans Zimmer begins recording his score for Broken Arrow (1995)
Lalo Schifrin begins recording the original soundtrack LP to Bullitt (1968)
Lyn Murray born (1909)
Maury Laws born (1923)
Mort Glickman born (1898)
Piero Piccioni born (1921)
Recording sessions begin for Sol Kaplan’s score for Destination Gobi (1952)
Richard Markowitz died (1994)
Roberto Pregadio born (1928)
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