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Aisle Seat 1-25: New Year's Releases From Kino Lorber
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/24/2022 - 10:00 PM
We’re just a few weeks into the new year and already numerous catalog titles have been announced for 4K UHD. The lack of compelling new theatrical content has clearly opened the door for classics to debut in the UHD format, which is great news for movie buffs hungering for fresh remasters of some of their favorites. Kino Lorber starts off 2022 with one such title: a 4K UHD presentation of the John Sturges smash THE GREAT ESCAPE (172 mins., 1963), which may have preferred fiction over fact but nevertheless rode its success all the way to becoming an all-time WWII movie staple.
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Aisle Seat 1-18: January Chill Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/17/2022 - 10:00 PM
Kicking off 2022 with the singular Best Blu-Ray of 2021, Arrow Video’s SHAWSCOPE: VOLUME 1 offers a treasure trove of widescreen shenanigans across a variety of genres, though with a special focus on (of course) kung fu thrillers. The Shaw Brothers Studio – with its very WB-like shield of its own – became synonymous with martial arts extravaganzas during the 1970s, and Arrow’s eight-disc, 12-movie set pays tribute to them all in the form of a spectacular Blu-Ray anthology enriched by insightful supplements and numerous newly-restored transfers – plus two CD’s worth of library music culled from several of the films.
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Aisle Seat Video Vault: Fresh Horses (1988)
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/10/2022 - 10:00 PM
Reuniting the “Pretty In Pink” tandem of Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy might’ve sounded like a good idea on paper, but FRESH HORSES (103 mins., 1988, PG-13) was quickly dismissed as a misfire and died a fast death at the autumn ’88 box-office. That being said, this is an atmospheric and extremely well-crafted drama that reunites several key personnel behind “Hoosiers,” including director David Anspaugh and cinematographer Fred Murphy, who make this a curiously memorable view.
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Aisle Seat Christmas & New Years Edition: A Catalog Christmas
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/20/2021 - 10:00 PM
One of my earliest movie-going memories was sailing up and down the coast of Maine with my parents during the summers of 1980 and '81. A few of the towns we'd anchor in had movie theaters and occasionally we'd end up rowing into shore and walking into an old-time neighborhood movie theater, like the one that happened to be playing THE FOUR SEASONS (108 mins., 1981, PG), the feature directorial debut of M*A*S*H's Alan Alda and by far his biggest box-office hit.
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Aisle Seat 12-14: December Chill Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/13/2021 - 10:00 PM
Droning on for a 2½-hour plus run time that’s never justified, the 25th Eon James Bond film NO TIME TO DIE (163 mins., 2021, PG-13; Universal) – the long-delayed conclusion in the Daniel Craig 007 “cycle” – is marked by routine, forgettable action, a lack of wit, and finally, an ending that’s intentionally “controversial” and seems to confirm what director Danny Boyle hinted years ago when he walked off the picture: that this was less a James Bond movie than a Craig therapy session.
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Aisle Seat 11-30: Kino Lorber November Rundown
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/29/2021 - 10:00 PM
Making its eagerly anticipated 4K UHD debut from Kino Lorber this month, Philip Kaufman’s acclaimed remake of the ‘50s Don Siegel sci-fi classic INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (115 mins., 1978, PG) hasn’t aged quite as well as its predecessor, in part because of its bleak ‘70s ending – a “gotcha” moment that works best the first time around as opposed to repeat viewing. Still, while I feel there’s a tendency to over-rate Kaufman’s film, it’s nevertheless a compelling, intelligently presented version of the Jack Finney tale, with Donald Sutherland starring as a Bay Area health inspector who begins to wonder what’s going on with the body-switching paranoia overcoming the region.
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Aisle Seat 11-23: Mad Max & Middle Earth in 4K; Paramount Remasters
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/22/2021 - 10:00 PM
Director Milos Forman’s RAGTIME (154 mins., 1981, PG; Paramount) may have been a film that didn’t entirely live up to its lofty aspirations, yet seen afresh in Paramount’s 4K-mastered new Blu-Ray transfer, it’s a beautifully mounted, sumptuously designed adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s celebrated novel, spectacularly shot by the great Miroslav Ondricek and memorably scored by Randy Newman.
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Aisle Seat 11-9: An Autumn Catalog Harvest
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/8/2021 - 10:00 PM
Halloween may be over but Fall is still the season for creepy cinematic happenings, with Warner Archive jumping into the fray with a number of genre titles debuting on Blu-Ray. Among them is the weird MGM/Filmways production EYE OF THE DEVIL (96 mins., 1967), a troubled shoot that saw star Kim Novak reportedly squabble with producer Martin Ransohoff en route to her departing the movie deep into filming. Novak was replaced with Deborah Kerr, who mostly goes through the motions in a moody yet tension-free piece that would be one of the studio’s last to be shot in black-and-white.
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Aisle Seat 10-26: Kino Lorber October Cornucopia Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/25/2021 - 10:00 PM
Three directors, two cinematographers, several writers and all kinds of production trouble made THE PURSUIT OF D.B. COOPER (104 mins., 1981, PG) a problematic movie that somehow made its way into theaters to meet Universal’s promised November 1981 release date. One of those films that’s more interesting for what happened off the screen than on it, this Polygram Pictures product kicks off Kino Lorber’s October release slate, one that’s filled with a varied array of titles from the pre-Code era through the late stages of Michael J. Fox’s box-office appeal.
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Aisle Seat 10-20: A Second Smashing Round of Sony 4K Classics
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/19/2021 - 10:00 PM
For 4K UHD owners, one of the most lavish and collectible releases in the format to date was last year’s “Columbia Classics Collection,” which compiled a handful of award-winning films from the studio, remastered in new 4K transfers, for the first time. Some 18 months after the set was first issued, that package commands a high price on the secondary market as the bulk of the included films have yet to be released separately, meaning it’s still the only place one can find the UHD of “Lawrence of Arabia” among others. This year Sony is back with COLUMBIA CLASSICS 4K ULTRA HD COLLECTION: VOLUME 2, housing another half-dozen classics, and if its predecessor is used as a guide, fans of any of these films should snag a set before they inevitably sell out.
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Today in Film Score History:
January 25
Albert Glasser born (1916)
Antonio Carlos Jobim born (1927)
Benny Golson born (1929)
Gregory Smith records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Field of Fire” (1999)
Hans-Erik Philip born (1943)
James Horner begins recording his score for A Far Off Place (1993)
Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Poltergeist (1982)
John Morris died (2018)
Normand Corbeil died (2013)
Paul J. Smith died (1985)
Simeon Pironkov died (2000)
Tobe Hooper born (1943)
Venedikt Pushkov died (1971)
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