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Aisle Seat 8-21: Kino Lorber Rundown & Scream Madness
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/20/2018 - 9:00 PM
The fall of 1984 brought movie-goers three different pictures all related to the struggle of American farmers – one a period picture (Robert Benton’s “Places in the Heart”), the others contemporary pieces (Mark Rydell’s “The River” and the Jessica Lange/Sam Shepard drama “Country”) that even share identical sequences of farmers, unable to pay back their loans, having to suffer the indignity of seeing their equipment sold off at auction. Their politics aside, however, it’s interesting to note that the film that received more mixed reviews – namely, Rydell’s Sissy Spacek/Mel Gibson vehicle – is actually a notably superior film, offering a grander cinematic scale than COUNTRY (108 mins., PG), which mostly plays out in a slow-going malaise before its grandstanding climax.
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Aisle Seat 8-14: August Assault Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/13/2018 - 9:00 PM
There’s a certain irony involved with Warner Archive’s long-awaited Blu-Ray release of SUPERGIRL (**½, 125 mins., 1984, PG) this month. Warner Bros. was supposed to release the film in the U.S. during the summer of 1984, but decided after seeing the final product that they’d be better off not to. Tri-Star – then a fledgling studio funded by the triumvirate of Columbia Pictures, CBS and HBO — then rescued the movie, but cut some 20 minutes out of the completed print and released it during a busy Thanksgiving season during which it was all but lost in theaters.
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Aisle Seat 7-31: Twilight Time, Arrow Round-Up
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/30/2018 - 9:00 PM
Leading off Twilight Time’s summer roster of limited-edition Blu-Rays is Mark Rydell’s CINDERELLA LIBERTY (***, 1973, 116 mins., R), a flavorful character study of a sailor (James Caan) who falls for a troubled call girl (Marsha Mason) while on an extended “Liberty” pass.
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Aisle Seat 7-24: Shout Summer Showdown Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/23/2018 - 9:00 PM
James Cameron likely wishes that his inaugural directorial outing was somewhat more distinguished than PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING (**, 94 mins., R), the in-name-only 1981 sequel to Joe Dante’s 1978 cult classic. While nothing to write home about, there are far worse cheapjack horror movies from the early ’80s available on video, and Shout! Factory has delivered a superb Blu-Ray of the film with one of its most satisfying catalog transfers in recent memory.
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Aisle Seat 7-10: July Sizzler Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/9/2018 - 9:00 PM
It seems as if cinemas are filled with two kinds of studio films these days: bloated franchises based on pre-fab brands, and modestly budgeted horror outings like last year’s hit “Get Out” where directors seemingly have more freedom to tell their stories. This year has brought another unexpected commercial success, John Krasinski’s A QUIET PLACE (***½, 95 mins., PG-13; Paramount), and this one is even better than Jordan Peele’s intriguing if overrated film, dabbling in some familiar genre elements but doing so in such a unique and effective manner that it’s one of the most exciting film-going experiences I’ve had in years.
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Aisle Seat 6-26: Summer Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/25/2018 - 9:00 PM
On 4K UHD for the first time – a month ahead of the theatrical debut of its latest sequel — Paramount’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE series has at last generated a worthy home video release. Available in five separate 4K UHD combo packs, the Tom Cruise franchise finally hits its small-screen stride thanks to transfers that are markedly better than their prior Blu-Ray releases, which – while sufficient for the early days of high-def – were quickly outdated via their poor encoding and wildly inconsistent visual attributes.
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Aisle Seat 6-12: June Rundown Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/11/2018 - 9:00 PM
A reunion of “7th Voyage of Sinbad”’s star (Kerwin Mathews), villain (Torin Thatcher) and director (Nathan Juran), the 1962 fantasy JACK THE GIANT KILLER (94 mins., G) doesn’t offer the same kind of bravura stop-motion effects work as the earlier Ray Harryhausen favorite. However, this independent production from Edward Small that United Artists picked up for distribution still provides Saturday Matinee fun for movie buffs and fans of the era alike.
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Aisle Seat 6-5: Jurassic June Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/4/2018 - 9:00 PM
It’s not a stretch to say that movies changed forever when JURASSIC PARK opened on June 11th, 1993. I remember attending the opening of Steven Spielberg’s much anticipated adaptation of the Michael Crichton best-seller, stoked by having already purchased John Williams’ soundtrack album a couple of weeks before and played it to death by the time I finally saw the picture. While certain aspects of the movie were a bit of a letdown (both then and now), there was no denying the “game changer” that the film’s historical use of CGI special effects signified.
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Aisle Seat 5-28: Memorial Day Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/27/2018 - 9:00 PM
It’s a good week for catalog releases in 4K UHD. Roland Emmerich’s Revolutionary War adventure THE PATRIOT (***½, 164 mins., 2000, R; Sony) is newly available from Sony on 4K UHD, along with David Ayer’s WWII tank adventure FURY with Brad Pitt and action classics starring Bruce Willis and Keanu Reeves, respectively.
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Aisle Seat 5-15: 4K Epics, Bronson & Black Panther
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/14/2018 - 9:00 PM
Two Oscar winners join the 4K UHD fray this month from Paramount – Mel Gibson’s triumphant BRAVEHEART and Ridley Scott’s GLADIATOR – each offering HDR enhancements that trump their prior “Sapphire Series” Blu-Ray releases along with immersive Dolby Atmos audio.
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Today in Film Score History:
August 21
Alex Wurman wins the Emmy for his Temple Grandin score; Sean Callery wins his third Emmy, for the 24 episode score “Day 8: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman win for Nurse Jackie’s main title theme (2010),
Angelo Francesco Lavagnino died (1987)
Basil Poledouris born (1945)
Constant Lambert died (1951)
Gerald Fried records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “The Widow” (1967)
Joe Strummer born (1952)
Recording sessions begin for Hugo Friedhofer’s score for Two Flags West (1950)
Richard Band begins recording his score for Robo Warriors (1996)
Walter Schumann died (1958)
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