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Aisle Seat 3-24: Massacre Mafia Style, Warner Archive, Exodus
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/23/2015 - 9:00 PM
It’s tough to rag too much on a sci-fi film that does, at least, attempt to tell a genuine story augmented with “real science” in today’s age of mindless comic book fantasies. On the other hand, is it too much to ask for a film like Christopher Nolan’sINTERSTELLAR (**½, 169 mins., PG-13; Paramount) to be less convoluted and more emotional – and by that I mean, actually move the viewer and not just throw up a group of characters crying hysterically on-screen?
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Aisle Seat 3-17: Lady From Shanghai, Olive New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/16/2015 - 9:00 PM
While we finally dig out from the snow, ice, and multiple layers of winter grime that’s accumulated over New England since the middle of January, this month’s TV on DVD offerings include a variety of exciting new releases, highlighted by one of my favorite series of 2014: HBO’s SILICON VALLEY (228 mins.).
Comments: 2  (read on)
Aisle Seat 3-10: March Madness Edition!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/9/2015 - 9:00 PM
The charming, engaging teen comedy THE SURE THING (***½, 95 mins., 1985, PG-13) from the winter of ’85 is still one of director Rob Reiner’s finest hours, and comes to Blu-Ray next week in another terrific Blu-Ray package from the fine folks at Shout! Factory.
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Aisle Seat 3-3: Twilight Time, Shout, Warner Archive
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/2/2015 - 9:00 PM
One of the most beautifully shot films of its era, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (***½, 171 mins., 1967) is a leisurely, yet richly told, adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel that follows Bathsheba Everdene, a feisty young woman (Julie Christie) who inherits her uncle’s farm and subsequently navigates between a trio of suitors in rural, southwest England.
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Aisle Seat 2-24: Olive, Big Hero 6, Watership Down
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/23/2015 - 9:00 PM
Lifted by one of Bill Murray’s more memorable and believable performances, Theodore Melfi’s ST. VINCENT (***½, 103 mins., 2014, PG-13; Anchor Bay) might be formulaic, but its earnest and warmhearted story makes it a refreshing change of pace for viewers disappointed with the likes of Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” and other, recent assaults on the senses coming out of Hollywood.
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Aisle Seat 2-17: February Blizzard Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/16/2015 - 9:00 PM
Just before Roger Ebert passed away, I was emailed by one of his assistants, who had watched a video I uploaded on Youtube of one of Siskel & Ebert’s “Holiday Gift Guides.” These annual shows – wherein the critics stepped outside the balcony to review home theater equipment, tech gadgets and the occasional video games – were among the tapes I had saved recording Gene and Roger’s show growing up, and her email enabled me to get in contact with the ailing Pulitzer Prize-winning author before his death.
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Aisle Seat 2-3: Twilight Time, Olive Winter Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/2/2015 - 9:00 PM
Tom Holland’s FRIGHT NIGHT (***½, 106 mins., R, 1985) was released at the tail end of summer 1985 and became an instant sleeper hit. Not just a silly “teen vampire flick,” “Fright Night” captivated many critics who appreciated the film’s characters and sense of humor, along with its salute to old-fashioned horror, particularly at a time when slasher films had become all the rage. With Richard Edlund’s special effects giving the film a modern sensibility, the film bridged the gap between the old and the new, and remains a viewer favorite in the genre nearly 30 years after its original release.
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Aisle Seat 1-27: Jean De Florette, Manon of the Spring, The Judge
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/26/2015 - 9:00 PM
Not just one of the great French imports of the 1980s but a glistening cinematic accomplishment that possesses a timeless quality, Claude Berri’s adaptations of Marcel Pagnol’s JEAN DE FLORETTE and MANON OF THE SPRING (****, 123 mins./113 mins., 1986, PG) have at last arrived in a beautiful Blu-Ray double feature this week from Shout Factory.
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Aisle Seat 1-20: Winter Chill Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/19/2015 - 9:00 PM
Last year’s passing of Mike Nichols adds a bittersweet component to Fox’s Blu-Ray release of one of his most satisfying films, WORKING GIRL (***½, 113 mins., 1988, R). This splendidly performed late ‘80s comedy launched Melanie Griffith’s career thanks to her Oscar-nominated turn as Tess McGill, a Staten Island secretary trying to work her way up Wall Street.
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Aisle Seat 1-13: A New Year's Celebration
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/12/2015 - 9:00 PM
Mark Rydell’s 1981 filming of the Ernest Thompson play ON GOLDEN POND (***, 109 mins., PG) kicks off Shout Factory’s 2015 slate of releases, with its New England summer setting functioning as a perfect antidote to the cold, icy winter that’s settled in across the nation.
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Today in Film Score History:
March 30
Alan Menken wins his third and fourth Oscars, for Beauty and the Beast's score and title song (1992)
Dimitri Tiomkin wins Oscar for High and the Mighty score (1955)
Ennio Morricone, inexplicably, doesn't win the Best Score Oscar for The Mission, which was pretty much the only score album anyone in Hollywood listened to during the late '80s; Herbie Hancock wins Oscar for Round Midnight score instead (1987)
Eric Clapton born (1945)
Luis Bacalov born (1933)
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