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Aisle Seat 4-11: April Horrors
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/10/2017 - 9:00 PM
One of the ’80s better horror-comedy hybrids was HOUSE (**½, 93 mins., 1986, R; Arrow), producer-director Sean S. Cunningham’s goofy haunted house thriller that met with solid box-office returns and even a few critical kudos when it was released in February 1986. Arrow Video has produced a lavish Blu-Ray set housing the high-def debut of “House” in the format, along with a massive 148-page accompanying book and the strange but fun sequel “House II: The Second Story.”
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Aisle Seat 4-4: Wanderers, Twilight Time, April New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/3/2017 - 9:00 PM
There were a handful of gang-related pictures made in the late ‘70s, from Walter Hill’s “The Warriors” to George Romero’s “Knightriders,” but the film that’s proven to be the most durable – even though it received the least exposure at the time – was Philip Kaufman’s superb, atmospheric THE WANDERERS (****, 117/123 mins., R). This 1979 effort from director Kaufman (“The Right Stuff”) isn’t just head and shoulders above its similarly-themed cinematic counterparts, but multiple viewings confirm it’s one of the finest films of its decade altogether.
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Aisle Seat 3-28: Spring Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/27/2017 - 9:00 PM
The New World Pictures vaults have opened up and B-movie fans have not one but two choice offerings thanks to Kino Lorber’s Studio Classics line this month, including the memorable Tatum O’Neal/Irene Cara team-up CERTAIN FURY (87 mins., 1985, R) and Sybil Danning’s oddball exploitation pic THEY’RE PLAYING WITH FIRE (96 mins., 1984, R). I remember seeing “Certain Fury” listed on a handful of “Worst of 1985″ lists, but was too young to actually sit through it. Decades later, all of us have that opportunity thanks to Kino Lorber’s Blu-Ray and this insane exploitation picture – directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal (dad to Jake and Maggie) – does not disappoint.
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Aisle Seat 3-21: A KONG-Sized March Rundown
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/20/2017 - 9:00 PM
When you get right down it, for a pop-culture icon like King Kong, it’s surprising that the Big Ape hasn’t had a whole lot of cinematic success. Sure, the 1933 RKO original is an all-time masterwork, but you can’t say the same about its hastily produced sequel “Son of Kong,” its decent – if not somewhat overlooked – 1976 Dino DeLaurentiis remake, or that version’s own, terrible follow-up “King Kong Lives.” A pair of ‘60s Toho productions brought Kong to Japan – including a silly skirmish with Godzilla – and the best you can say about them is that they’re at least more fun than Peter Jackson’s self-indulgent 2005 remake of the original, which was both miscast and painfully overlong.
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Aisle Seat 3-14: Shout's Pre-Spring Blu-Ray Fling
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/13/2017 - 9:00 PM
In the annals of misguided, terrible sequels, ROBOCOP 2 (*½, 117 mins., 1990, R) stands out in a crowded pack. Hastily produced to lessen the financial burdens of fading Orion Pictures, haphazardly constructed with a script that was overhauled daily by a comic book scribe who had never written a film before, and directed by a Hollywood veteran who apparently recognized its problems (but wasn’t the film’s first choice), “Robocop 2″ made modest cash in the Summer of 1990 but still failed completely to fulfill its two goals – keeping Orion afloat and maintaining Robocop as a viable box-office presence of his own.
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Aisle Seat 3-7: March Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/6/2017 - 9:00 PM
Twilight Time’s quartet of February releases offer a fantastic Fox film noir, a return trip to Woody Allen territory, a Columbia Cinemascope vehicle starring Cornel Wilde, and a moody 1979 “anti rom-com” that’s the kind of film major studios wouldn’t touch these days.
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Aisle Seat 2-28: Late Winter Rundown
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/27/2017 - 9:00 PM
Bad-movie buffs have cause for celebration this month thanks to a pair of infamous star vehicles making their Blu-Ray debuts this month from Olive. Certainly THE KLANSMAN (112 mins., 1974, R) has all the ingredients one could possibly anticipate for a so-bad-it’s-good view: Lee Marvin and Richard Burton – the latter apparently so sloshed during filming that he’s mostly seen sitting down, in bed, or driving a car – starring opposite O.J. Simpson in the story of a small Alabama town teetering on the edge after a local woman (Linda Evans) is raped, with the KKK-populated town’s denizens targeting a black man for the crime.
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Aisle Seat 2-21: Kino Lorber February, Manchester By The Sea
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/20/2017 - 9:00 PM
A cult favorite for many who grew up in the ‘80s, the “Karate Kid” knockoff NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER (84/95 mins., 1986, PG) has been dusted off, remastered and resurrected on Blu-Ray by Kino Lorber. Viewers resistant to the charms of adrenaline-pumping training montages, martial arts action and terrible acting might want to avoid it, but fans will find this US-shot Hong Kong production to be a blast of nostalgia, presented here in both its international release version and New World Pictures’ shorter US theatrical cut.
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Aisle Seat 2-14: It's Valentine's Day!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/13/2017 - 9:00 PM
In terms of where the intergalactic drama ARRIVAL lies in the sci-fi/fantasy realm, “Sicario” helmer Denis Villenuve’s much praised picture falls somewhere between solid and not quite out of this world. Certainly the film provides Amy Adams with one of her strongest roles to date: a linguistics professor, suffering from the loss of her daughter, who’s tapped by the military to translate the sounds of extraterrestrial visitors, currently camped in over a dozen ships around the globe.
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Aisle Seat 2-7: February Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/6/2017 - 9:00 PM
A slick French production starring three big draws at their domestic box-office at the time – Jean Gabin, Alain Delon and Lino Ventura – THE SICILIAN CLAN (***, 118/125 mins., 1969) is an interesting, if sometimes too leisurely, crime drama that was co-produced by 20th Century Fox a few years before “The Godfather” would re-define the “mob movie.”
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Today in Film Score History:
April 24
Barbra Streisand born (1942)
Dana Kaproff born (1954)
Double Indemnity is released in theaters (1944)
Georges Delerue records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "The Doll" (1986)
Hubert Bath died (1945)
Lennie Hayton died (1971)
Tristam Cary died (2008)
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