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11-21: Holiday Gift Guide Part 1! Police Academy, Martial Arts Mayhem & More
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/20/2023 - 10:00 PM
It was one of the biggest comedy hits of the 1980s, returning close to $200 million when adjusted for inflation. Spawning six sequels, an animated TV series and recurrent talk of a big-screen resurrection, POLICE ACADEMY may not have received widespread critical acclaim – or in the case of its follow-ups, even a small amount of positive critical response – but it remains a viewer favorite, both for its wacky gags as well as its appealing assortment of rag-tag underdogs who triumph against all odds. If you're a fan, "Academy" addicts will be excited to learn that Shout! Factory has at last brought the series to Blu-Ray this month in a five-disc POLICE ACADEMY COLLECTION “Shout Select” box-set.
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Aisle Seat 11-14: 4K Thrills (And One Misfire!)
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/13/2023 - 10:00 PM
One of the great sports movies ever made, RUDY (114/127 mins., 1993, PG; Sony) reunited the production team from another genre classic – “Hoosiers” – in telling the real-life story of a young man who wants desperately to play football for Notre Dame, and makes up in heart and determination what he lacks in talent and academic prowess. Debuting this month on 4K, Sony’s “Rudy” not only looks spectacular, easily surpassing its previous Blu-Ray, but premieres on UHD a never-before-seen Director’s Cut restoring some 13 minutes of excised scenes the filmmakers had to remove in order to fulfill Tri-Star’s two-hour running time mandate.
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Aisle Seat 10-31: Halloween Edition! Kino Lorber, Warner Archive Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/30/2023 - 10:00 PM
Kino Lorber’s October bag of treats extends from catalog revisits to 4K UHD premieres, including the 4K debut of CUJO (93 mins., 1983, R), one of the many Stephen King adaptations that filled theaters in the 1980s. Helmed by journeyman director Lewis Teague, “Cujo” is a tight, gritty little film that – atypical for the author – eschews the supernatural but still boasts a suitably unpleasant but not unsatisfying adaptation that ranks, especially in hindsight, as one of the better King flicks from an era when it seemed a new movie based on one of his works was coming to theaters every few months.
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Aisle Seat 10-24: Halloween Frights, A BRONX TALE Remastered
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/23/2023 - 10:00 PM
If you’re looking for something a little offbeat this Halloween season, chances are you’ve never seen ARNOLD (95 mins., 1973, PG), which is out this month from Vinegar Syndrome on Blu-Ray. Making its high-def debut (its last home video appearance came via a “Lightning Video” VHS release in the ‘80s), “Arnold” is a weird time capsule – a black comedy a la “The Old Dark House” with Stella Stevens essaying the mistress of a wealthy, recently deceased old man who stands to inherit his estate…so long, after marrying “Lord Dwellyn” at his funeral, she lives in the mansion alongside his corpse. One that seems to be very much alive at that!
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Aisle Seat 10-10: Walkabout, Jessica Lange Film Focus
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/9/2023 - 10:00 PM
Imprint’s FILM FOCUS: JESSICA LANGE Blu-Ray box-set features four of the actresses’ efforts made over a 14 year span (1982-96), pictures which earned Lange a pair of Oscar nominations and debut in the format all for the first time, including the well-reviewed adaptation of Beth Henley’s play CRIMES OF THE HEART (105 mins., 1986, PG-13).
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Aisle Seat 10-3: Kino Lorber, Warner Archive Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/2/2023 - 10:00 PM
For barely over a year, Oscar-winning British producer David Puttnam became the head studio chief at Columbia Pictures, promising to open the door to creative voices and bring his own sense of filmmaking individuality to Hollywood. The net result was a disaster across every spectrum, resulting in one of the more dizzying arrays of box-office flops imaginable. Among them was THE BEAST (110 mins., 1988, R; Kino Lorber), a drama about a Russian tank playing a game of survival in Afghanistan with Mujahideen fighters after they bombard a local village, killing many of its inhabitants.
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Aisle Seat 9-28: Autumn Attack Edition 2: The Sequel!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/27/2023 - 10:00 PM
MVD has taken and run with the 4K UHD ball so far this year, showering movie buffs with terrific releases as diverse as the 1988 Best Picture winner “Rain Man” and Wes Craven’s 1982 DC outing “Swamp Thing.” This month MVD is back favoring the cult niche – always a popular crowd on home video – with several delectable releases including THE GIRL FROM RIO (94 mins., 1969; Blue Underground).
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Aisle Seat 9-26: Autumn Attack Edition! (Part 1)
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/25/2023 - 10:00 PM
The recent passing of director William Friedkin makes Warner’s new 4K UHD release of his classic THE EXORCIST (122/132 mins., R; Warner) a bittersweet occurrence, as this double-disc set preserves both the theatrical and “Version You’ve Never Seen” cuts in a generally stunning HDR10 presentation with immersive Dolby Atmos audio – a fitting tribute to the auteur’s arguably finest work.
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Aisle Seat 9-19: Vinegar Syndrome Autumn Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/18/2023 - 10:00 PM
Kicking off a terrific and, of course, highly varied slate of new releases for Vinegar Syndrome this month is a 4K UHD of SHOWGIRLS (131 mins., 1995, NC-17), director Paul Verhoeven’s much-maligned opus which stars Elizabeth Berkley and Gina Gershon in a silly, cliched story of a girl who rises to fame and fortune but finds out, when she gets to the top, that she never should have bothered trying. The formula is nearly as old as cinema itself, but the raunchiness was turned up by Verhoeven and his “Basic Instinct” writer Joe Eszterhas to a degree that quickly relegated this heavily-hyped picture to being a camp experience for a niche audience.
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Aisle Seat 9-12: September Shockers! Season 27 Premiere!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/11/2023 - 10:00 PM
Writer Don Mancini’s psycho-killer doll “Chucky” was first launched on the big-screen in “Fright Night” director Tom Holland’s 1988 box-office hit “Child’s Play” before settling into a series of sequels that were strictly products of their slasher-filled era – “Chucky” himself reeling off one-liners a la Freddy Kruger before dispatching of his victims. While the first three “Child’s Play” movies have already been released on 4K UHD, Shout! Factory this month rolls out new editions of the later Chucky films, starting off with the best of the series: Ronny Yu’s delightfully off-the-wall BRIDE OF CHUCKY (89 mins., 2008, R), which bested Oprah Winfrey and Jonathan Demme’s adaptation of Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” at the box-office in what was one of the more memorable commercial upsets of its day.
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Today in Film Score History:
December 2
Aaron Copland died (1990)
Artie Butler born (1942)
Cyril Ornadel born (1924)
Eddie Sauter born (1914)
Francois-Eudes Chanfrault born (1974)
Gerald Fried's score to the Star Trek episode "Shore Leave" is recorded (1966)
Harry Sukman born (1912)
John Williams begins recording his score for Midway (1975)
Lennie Hayton records his score for the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode “The Monster from Outer Space” (1965)
Michael Whalen born (1965)
Milton Delugg born (1918)
Richard Markowitz begins recording his music for the three-part Mission: Impossible episode “The Falcon,” his final scores for the series (1969)
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