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Aisle Seat 9-10: 22nd Anniversary Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/9/2019 - 9:00 PM
Boasting an all-new “Final Cut” as well as director Francis Ford Coppola’s prior theatrical and “Redux” versions, Lionsgate’s truly spectacular 4K UHD/Blu-Ray edition of APOCALYPSE NOW (***½, 147/183/202 mins., 1979, R) is unquestionably the year’s most impressive home video catalog release to date. Coppola’s troubled yet intermittently brilliant, surreal film has never looked or sounded as dazzling as it does here, thanks to a UHD format release that marks another technological upgrade for Coppola and cinematographer Vittorio Storaro’s sumptuous widescreen images.
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Aisle Seat 8-27: Labor Day Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/26/2019 - 9:00 PM
There are fewer cinematic eras more fascinating than the late ‘60s. Iconoclast filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick unleashed classics like “2001” while previously reliable genres like the movie musical nearly drowned several major studios. 20th Century Fox’s “Star!”, Paramount’s “Darling Lili” and Universal’s SWEET CHARITY (145/151 mins., 1968, G) proved to be big-budget disappointments from a genre that once reliably drew audiences – a sign of shifting times and attitudes, and also, perhaps, the respective source material involved in each instance. In the case of the latter, Bob Fosse’s adaptation of his Broadway hit proves to be a weird, highly watchable and yet ultimately unsatisfying fusion of a “mod” downer with old-fashioned musical-comedy sensibilities, as strange as the teaming of Fosse with writer Neil Simon sounds on paper.
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Aisle Seat 8-13: August Assault Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/12/2019 - 9:00 PM
Now the biggest global hit of all-time (not counting inflation), AVENGERS: ENDGAME (181 mins., 2019, PG-13; Disney) wraps up Marvel’s two-film behemoth and also puts a lid on over a decade of some 21 prior movies featuring the comic book company-turned-Disney brand’s super-heroes. It’s not particularly witty or artfully executed, but as far as fan-service films go, this overlong but entertaining picture gets the job done, and wisely focuses on the original core of Avengers members for much of its running time instead of the “Marvel All-Star Rally” featured in its exhausting predecessor.
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Aisle Seat 7-30: A Mid-Summer Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/29/2019 - 9:00 PM
Shout! Factory’s upcoming Autumn slate is their best yet, chock full of long-awaited Blu-Rays from the Paramount vaults (“Prophecy,” “Body Parts,” “The Fan”) and one of the most exciting film restorations for genre buffs in years: the original theatrical color of the Frank Langella “Dracula” (1979), available for viewers to see in its widescreen dimensions for the very first time since its initial theatrical run. While some of us will be saving our pennies for Shout’s forthcoming titles, the label has a number of new releases due this month including the Blu-Ray debut of VICE SQUAD (97 mins., 1982, R), a cable cult-favorite restored here in a 4K scan of original film elements.
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Aisle Seat 7-16: Summertime Disc Delights
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/15/2019 - 9:00 PM
Sci-fi addicts need little introduction to Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s memorable ‘70s series SPACE: 1999 (aprx. 40 hours, 1975-77), which makes its way to Blu-Ray this month in a marvelous package from Shout! Factory – one that also debuts the series’ second season in a U.S. format release for the first time.
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Aisle Seat 7-2: A Fourth Celebration
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/1/2019 - 9:00 PM
American director Delbert Mann helmed a series of literary adaptations for both film and TV in the early ‘70s, including KIDNAPPED (107 mins., 1971, G). The Scottish location filming and delineation of the Jacobite Rising provide this take on the Robert Louis Stevenson novel (as well as a portion of its sequel) with a different flavor than the earlier Disney screen version, yet there are times this production could’ve used an infusion of its predecessor’s youthful swashbuckling.
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Aisle Seat 6-18: Summer Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/17/2019 - 9:00 PM
Shout! Factory dives deep into the vault for their first of two planned Golden Age compilations with UNIVERSAL HORROR COLLECTION Volume 1, offering four of Boris “KARLOFF” and Bela Lugosi’s collaborations produced between 1934-40. Making their Blu-Ray debuts are two of their most highly-regarded efforts – the Poe-inspired “The Black Cat” (1934) and “The Raven” (1935) – along with the wild “The Invisible Ray” (1936) and so-so 1940 programmer “Black Friday.”
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Aisle Seat 6-4: Godzilla! Earthquake! June Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/3/2019 - 9:00 PM
Long before Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan “re-defined” the Dark Knight on the silver screen came Tim Burton’s BATMAN and the Caped Crusader’s ‘90s sequels, all of which hit 4K UHD on June 4th courtesy of Warner Home Video. Despite the varied quality of the pictures themselves, revisiting them in new 4K transfers proved to be a highly enjoyable experience – with the movies all benefiting from the deeper blacks and higher contrast levels that HDR can provide.
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Aisle Seat 5-21: May Mania Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/20/2019 - 9:00 PM
Whatever happened to Richard Franklin? The Australian auteur became a hot commodity for a while in the ’80s thanks to genre films like “Psycho II” and the kid fantasy “Cloak and Dagger,” but he saw his career fizzle out after misfires like the barely released 1986 ape thriller LINK (103 mins., R; Kino Lorber). Produced for Thorn EMI before their film division went belly-up and was sold to Cannon, “Link” stars Terence Stamp as a daffy college professor whose work with intelligent simians results in one of those predictable “don’t mess with nature” plots, forcing grad student Elisabeth Shue to battle a chimp gone wild in Stamp’s isolated British manor.
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Aisle Seat 5-7: Alien 4K, Scream & Twilight Time New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/6/2019 - 9:00 PM
One of the wonderful things about watching classic films in a remastered presentation, and especially at a higher resolution than you’ve seen before, is that you can appreciate them anew, on their own terms. Not as the start of a franchise, not as a genre benchmark that was copied hundreds of times over – but a solitary work of cinema that remains contemporary even though it was released some 40 years ago. That’s the case with ALIEN (****, 116 mins., 1979, R), Ridley Scott’s classic which rode the sci-fi wave that “Star Wars” ignited and became a classic in its own right thanks to Scott’s direction, the film’s evocative production design and striking H.R. Giger creature effects.
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Today in Film Score History:
September 18
A Streetcar Named Desire is released (1951)
Alva Noto born (1969)
Arthur B. Rubinstein begins recording his score for Nick of Time (1995)
Dee Barton born (1937)
Dimitri Tiomkin begins recording his score for Wild Is the Wind (1957)
Fred Steiner records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "Life on Death Row" (1986)
Henry Mancini begins recording his score to Bachelor in Paradise (1961)
Herbert Spencer died (1992)
Jack Pleis records his score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Samurai” (1967)
John Powell born (1963)
Leonard Rosenman begins recording his score for Hide in Plain Sight (1979)
Robert Drasnin records his first Mission: Impossible score, for the episode “The Slave” (1967)
The Day the Earth Stood Still opens in New York (1951)
Thomas Newman records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "Santa '85" (1985)
Vince Tempera born (1946)
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