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Aisle Seat 5-14: THE CROW Flies in 4K
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/13/2024 - 10:00 PM
A film that’s long had difficulty rendering its dense, dark visuals in the home video medium, THE CROW (101 mins., 1994, R; Paramount) has, at last, generated a spectacular release for fans on 4K UHD courtesy of Paramount. This new Dolby Vision HDR enhanced presentation finally gives director Alex Proyas’ cult classic the richly detailed image it deserves, besting Lionsgate’s decent (but now inferior) Blu-Ray from over a decade ago.
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Aisle Seat 5-9: Cinematographe, OCN New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/8/2024 - 10:00 PM
Elmore Leonard adaptations became all the rage in the late ‘90s following the success of Barry Sonnenfeld’s “Get Shorty” in 1995. Everyone from Quentin Tarantino (“Jackie Brown”) to Steven Soderbergh (“Out of Sight”) tried their hand at a Leonard movie, sometimes to great success…and occasionally to non-existent box-office, in the case of Paul Schrader’s TOUCH (96 mins., 1997, R), a picture that basically ceased to exist after its low-profile original theatrical release. Cinematographe has restored this seldom-screened curio in a new Blu-Ray limited-edition that, for all the movie’s faults, should be of major interest for fans of Leonard, Schrader, and stars Christopher Walken, Bridget Fonda and Skeet Ulrich.
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Aisle Seat 5-7: 4K Spins & Arrow, Imprint, MVD Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/6/2024 - 10:00 PM
Ernie Fosselius blasted onto the comedy scene when his parody HARDWARE WARS (13 mins., 1977; MVD) became a cult phenomenon in the late ‘70s. An amusing compendium of gags in extended, faux-trailer form, narrated by the great Paul Frees, “Hardware Wars” is funnier in its sub-15 minute run time than Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs” is in its totality, from its googily-eyed Sesame Street-esque Chewbacca knock-off to its non-cutting edge technical effects with household appliances zooming around a galaxy very, very close to home.
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Aisle Seat 4-30: FLETCH, HIGH NOON & More New Discs From Kino Lorber
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/29/2024 - 10:00 PM
Filmmaker Nancy Savoca’s works received widespread critical acclaim in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Bursting onto the scene with her Cannes Grand Jury winner TRUE LOVE (89 mins., 1989, R; Kino Lorber), Savoca followed her feature debut triumph with the Warner Bros. funded DOGFIGHT (93 mins., 1991, R; Criterion), which never made it outside a limited theatrical run. Heading back to her independent roots, Savoca turned out the generally well-received HOUSEHOLD SAINTS (126 mins., 1993, R; Kino Lorber), yet the film’s rep has long been hampered by a lack of visibility. Fearing the latter may be a “lost” movie, Savoca was able to at last obtain original elements and restore the movie in 4K, leading to this month’s trilogy of restorations: all three of her features are at last back in circulation, all on Blu-Ray, for audiences to revisit or, in many cases, discover for the first time.
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Aisle Seat 4-23: Severin Chillers on 4K UHD
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/22/2024 - 10:00 PM
The annals of “Jaws” rip-offs run the gamut from giant alligators and piranhas to mutated grizzly bears, crocodiles and…well, we’re back to alligators again with THE GREAT ALLIGATOR (89 mins., 1979; Severin Films), one of the many films in this genre that features unsuspecting victims running afoul of something in the wild that wants to take a bite out of them. Not to be confused with either John Sayles’ superior “Alligator” or the gross-out Thai import “Crocodile,” this Sergio Martino-helmed Italian production goes down nice and easy – a movie that comfortably debuted in the U.S. on the CBS Late Movie, and one that makes you feel like having a frozen slushy and throwing on George Benson’s “Living Inside Your Love” double LP for good measure.
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Aisle Seat 4-16: Spring Rundown Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/15/2024 - 10:00 PM
With a pair of tremendous debut titles already under its belt (the 1980 Paramount hit “Little Darlings” and Nicolas Cage noir fave “Red Rock West”), Cinematographe returns this month with another 4K restoration for a film with a big star whose very infrequent directorial sojourns ran into difficulty: Jack Nicholson’s GOIN’ SOUTH (105 mins., 1978, PG), a “comic western” looked upon as a missed opportunity when it was first released in 1978. Sure enough, the years have been equally unkind to this oddball Paramount release – written by John Herman Shaner, Al Ramrus, Charles Shyer and Alan Mandel – that pairs Nicholson’s maniacal outlaw with virginal Mary Steenburgen (her first major role), who opts to marry Nicholson’s Henry Moon just as sheriff Christopher Lloyd and deputy John Belushi are about to hang him in the town square.
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Aisle Seat 4-2: Kino Lorber Discs, GHOSTBUSTERS New & Revisited
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/1/2024 - 10:00 PM
While long regarded as one of those extravagantly budgeted musicals that doomed the genre in the late ‘60s, there’s always been something appealing about the widescreen grandeur of PAINT YOUR WAGON (171 mins., 1969, PG-13), the Joshua Logan-Paddy Chayefsky “re-thinking” of the classic Lerner-Lowe musical which added a whole new book to augment its masterful songs. Now on 4K UHD from Kino Lorber, this uneven yet watchable, infamous box-office failure receives a beautiful Dolby Vision HDR master from the original camera negative, restoring the visual impact of Logan’s admittedly-bloated production.
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Aisle Seat 3-26: Spring Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/25/2024 - 10:00 PM
The 1941 New England folk fantasy THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER, also known (among other titles) as has long held a special place in the Criterion Collection. Initially released at 106 minutes then shorn of over 20 minutes for subsequent re-issues, Criterion first restored director William Dieterle’s independent production for laserdisc in the 1990s from the best elements they could find at the time. A subsequent DVD edition improved upon that release, but neither can compare to the movie’s spectacular new 4K restoration, courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Scott MacQueen, The Film Foundation and Criterion, which is now available for viewers on Blu-Ray.
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Aisle Seat 3-19: March Madness Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/18/2024 - 10:00 PM
The era of big-budget Stephen King TV mini-series reached its peak in the mid/late ‘90s with the author’s frequent collaborator Mick Garris helming a terrific, sprawling take of King’s mammoth “The Stand.” For an encore, Garris and King reunited for THE SHINING (270 mins., 1997; Shout! Factory), following the popular 1980 Stanley Kubrick film adaptation which fans of the book – and King himself – were left disappointed by.
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Aisle Seat 3-12: Shatner’s Hysterical IMPULSE Restored
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/11/2024 - 10:00 PM
The early ‘70s were a lean time for William Shatner. While “Star Trek” was still omnipresent in pop culture via syndicated reruns, Shatner found lead roles sometimes hard to come by as he appeared in a bevy of TV movies and some sketchy independent features that were sometimes funnier than they were frightening. One of the “best” – or is the worst? — of the lot was IMPULSE (87 mins., 1974, PG; Grindhouse), a wacky, Florida-lensed thriller that finds Shatner in “Evil Captain Kirk” mode right from the opening credits as a suave con man/psycho who preys upon wealthy women. Fully embracing the maniacal tendencies of his character, Shatner goes full “Shat” in this at-times uproarious William Grefe-directed feature, supported by none other than former 007 nemesis Harold Sakata (“Oddjob” from “Goldfinger”) for good measure.
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Today in Film Score History:
May 26
Alfred Newman begins recording his score for Man Hunt (1941)
Bruno Nicolai born (1926)
David Torn born (1953)
Earle Hagen died (2008)
George Greeley died (2007)
Howard Goodall born (1958)
Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for The Satan Bug (1964)
Miles Davis born (1926)
Nicola Piovani born (1946)
Sonny Sharrock died (1994)
William Bolcom born (1938)
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