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Aisle Seat 1-15: January Rundown Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/14/2019 - 9:00 PM
Ringing in the new year with one of my favorite unsung movies of the mid ‘90s is Kino Lorber, whose Blu-Ray (eagerly awaited – at least by me) of Roland Joffe’s THE SCARLET LETTER (135 mins., 1995, R) gives viewers another chance to evaluate this handsomely produced, “freely adapted” take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel – one that was derided both for the casting of Demi Moore as heroine Hester Prynne and ample alterations from its source material.
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Aisle Seat Christmas & New Year's Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/23/2018 - 9:00 PM
Chances are many of us have had long relationships with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (149 mins., G) over the years on home video. From bulky, cropped VHS tapes – one of which I recall renting from our local Major Video to show in my 6th grade class – to the first widescreen presentations in Criterion’s laserdiscs, “2001” is a film that’s received endless video releases over the decades. While Warner Home Video’s 2007 Blu-Ray was certainly an upgrade on what we had available to us previously, the studio has one-upped that presentation in both Blu-Ray and now 4K UHD thanks to a stellar new remastering that presents a technical evolution for viewers in savoring the director’s 1968 masterwork.
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Aisle Seat 12-11: Holiday Gift Guide
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/10/2018 - 9:00 PM

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It’s been a phenomenal year for Warner Archive releases, with all kinds of films – and genres — treated to long-awaited high-definition renderings. This week alone perfectly showcases that mix with movie buffs able to wrangle with Dracula, swing along with Tarzan and Errol Flynn, belt out Broadway tunes and fly along with one of Robert Altman’s stranger ‘70s odysseys, all on Blu-Ray for the first time.

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Aisle Seat 12-4: December Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/3/2018 - 9:00 PM
Arguably the most legendary “lost movie” of all-time, Criterion’s new and eagerly anticipated Blu-Ray of Orson Welles’ THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (88 mins., 1942) still presents the compromised RKO released version of the writer-director’s oft-hailed “Citizen Kane” follow-up. Yet, it does so in such a vividly restored 4K transfer – and with a rich assortment of special features – that buffs may feel it easier than ever to gain a sense of Welles’ original vision, even if it’s still heartbreakingly out of reach.
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Aisle Seat 11-21: A Thanksgiving Feast
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/20/2018 - 9:00 PM
Unquestionably one of 2018’s top home video releases, Time Life’s ROBIN WILLIAMS: COMIC GENIUS serves up a treasure trove of material for fans of the late, great comic, encompassing his stand-up work, TV talk-show appearances and other forums where Williams’ improvisations were ideally suited. Housed in an oversized cardboard case, this massive, 22-disc DVD anthology is both lovingly presented and superbly compiled, graced with new interviews and priceless clips
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Aisle Seat 11-13: 4K Superwrap, Dracula in ’72
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/12/2018 - 9:00 PM
It’s a big month for 4K UHD enthusiasts, as multiple studios have launched a series of classics in the fledgling format. Most of these films need little introduction to fans, who are likely to wonder if they’re worth plunking down additional funds for the umpteenth time. Thanks to the restoration of the movie’s 6-track 70mm soundtrack, the answer for SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (****, 143 mins., 1978, PG) fans, at least, is an unqualified “yes!”
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Aisle Seat 10-30: Halloween Edition Part 2!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/29/2018 - 9:00 PM
After producing the likes of “The Dead Zone,” “Firestarter,” “Cat’s Eye” and “Silver Bullet,” Dino DeLaurentiis lured in Stephen King with the promise of directing with MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE (97 mins., 1986, R) for this fledgling DEG studio. Now, I have to confess I have fond memories of seeing this picture in theaters – it was one of the first R-rated films I was allowed to watch, thanks to my friend’s movie-buff dad, George Coombs, who reviewed movies on WKRI-AM in Warwick, RI. Mr. C received free passes to the local theater chains (General Cinema and Showcase), which allowed us to see loads of films together during my formative years, and “Maximum Overdrive” was – along with “Witness” and “Aliens” – one of my earliest R-rating movie-going experiences.
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Aisle Seat 10-23: Halloween Edition Part 1
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/22/2018 - 9:00 PM
After too many sequels and imitators to count, the smartest thing the filmmakers behind the much-anticipated HALLOWEEN revival did is forget everything that came after John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic. So sayonara to “Halloween II,” throw out vague memories of the late ‘80s sequels, toss out the “Miramax years” and happily discard Rob Zombie’s putrid reboots – this straight-ahead follow-through to Carpenter’s original is a smart, savvy and suspenseful continuation that’s appealing and fun. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel – but what film in the hack ‘n slash genre possibly could at this point?
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Aisle Seat 10-9: The Other Side of Halloween
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/8/2018 - 9:00 PM
Fox went into the summer of ‘77 thinking THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT (166 mins., R; Twilight Time) would be its top ticket, relegating a little movie named “Star Wars” to secondary status on the studio’s promotional radar. What they got instead was a picture that has attained a certain level of affection among “Golden Turkey” fans, though truth be told, the movie is neither as campy or fun as its reputation suggests.
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Aisle Seat 10-2: So Bad They're Good
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/1/2018 - 9:00 PM
Ridiculed as one of the all-time “Bad Movies,” EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC (117 mins., R) stormed theaters during the “Star Wars” summer of ’77 and made an unholy amount of money at the box-office in its opening weekend. However, once word got out that the expensive, hotly anticipated sequel was a dud of epic proportions (stories surfaced that audiences threw popcorn at the screen around the country), director John Boorman immediately took scissors out, cut seven minutes and had new prints shipped just days after its release. By then, though, it was much too late to try and save the ship: “The Heretic” set a new standard for major-studio botch jobs, a Golden Turkey that’s lost none of its ability to bewilder and horrify viewers (for all the wrong reasons) on their first viewing.
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Today in Film Score History:
January 17
Charles Bernstein begins recording his score for Love at First Bite (1979)
Harry Robinson died (1996)
John Williams begins recording his score to Return of the Jedi (1983)
Rolf Wilhelm died (2013)
Ryuichi Sakamoto born (1952)
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