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Aisle Seat 5-24: Memorial Day Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/23/2016 - 9:00 PM
Exploitation buffs, ‘70s action fans and those with a taste for bombastic film scoring ought to eat up KILLER FORCE (101 mins., 1975, R), also known as “The Diamond Mercenaries.” This Val Guest-directed action thriller is set in the diamond mines of the South African desert, where security expert Telly Savalas is charged with stopping a heist led by a team of experts – Hugh O’Brian, Christopher Lee and O.J. Simpson – while fellow company man Peter Fonda gets a covert invitation from his boss to join the villains by smuggling a single diamond out of the heavily guarded compound. If he succeeds, he’ll be able to infiltrate the group before they can steal millions in diamonds out of the company vaults…but there are surprises to be found in the script, credited to Guest, Michael Winder and Gerald Sanford, where the bad guys and good guys seem to switch places by the film’s end.
Comments: 1  (read on)
Aisle Seat 5-17: May Horrors!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/16/2016 - 9:00 PM
There are a handful of different trailer compilations available on Blu-Ray, with Garagehouse’s first volume of vintage “Coming Attractions,” “Trailer Trauma,” one of the best. Now the label is back with TRAILER TRAUMA 2: DRIVE-IN MONSTERAMA, which includes a whopping 3½ hours of horror, shlock, and vintage exploitation trailers that should warm the hearts of genre buffs everywhere.
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Aisle Seat 5-10: Shout May Wrap, Flicker Alley Noir
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/9/2016 - 9:00 PM
A minor but memorable early ‘70s chiller has been unearthed by Shout Factory this month on Blu-Ray. YOU’LL LIKE MY MOTHER (**½, 93 mins., 1972, PG) stars Patty Duke as an expectant single mother who takes a bus, in the middle of winter, to the Minnesota home of her mother-in-law (Rosemary Murphy) following the death of her military husband.
Comments: 2  (read on)
Aisle Seat 5-3: May Day Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/2/2016 - 9:00 PM
Aaah, the summer of ’86. I still have Fox’s ad touting their slate of big sci-fi/fantasy films that were all released within a period of three short months: “Aliens,” “Big Trouble in Little China,” “Spacecamp,” “The Fly,” and THE MANHATTAN PROJECT (***, 117 mins., 1986, PG-13). Director Marshall Brickman’s entertaining “WarGames” clone manages to promote a no-nukes message at the same time that it wants us to sympathize with its brilliant yet misguided teen protagonist who builds an atomic bomb with materials stolen from quasi-befuddled scientist John Lithgow’s secret Ithaca, N.Y. lab.
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Aisle Seat 4-26: April New Release Rundown
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/25/2016 - 9:00 PM
Alejandro G. Inarritu’s THE REVENANT (***½, 158 mins., 2015, R; Fox), the deservedly praised follow-up to his overrated Oscar winner “Birdman” is, if nothing else, a triumph of visual design and cinematography. Less successful is the movie’s basic, straightforward plot, wherein trapper Leonardo DiCaprio is left for dead by a fellow hunter (Tom Hardy), only to improbably resurrect himself and take revenge for the killing of his half-breed son.
Comments: 2  (read on)
Aisle Seat 4-12: Twilight Time Spring Fever
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/11/2016 - 9:00 PM
Exploitation fans have long coveted the weird 1977 Canadian/Italian production SHADOWS IN AN EMPTY ROOM (98 mins., R), a wacky blend of action-thriller and murder-mystery that’s not nearly as “arty” as its title would lead one to believe. In fact, this strange melding of seemingly disparate elements delivers trashy B-level thrills from start to finish.
Comments: 1  (read on)
Aisle Seat 4-5: April Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/4/2016 - 9:00 PM
As any horror fan knows, John Carpenter’s career tailed off, fast, in the 1990s. After taking a four-year sabbatical following the conclusion of his Alive Films/Universal deal (that saw the mixed returns of “Prince of Darkness” and “They Live”), Carpenter returned to helm a major-studio project with one of the biggest budgets of his career. The result, alas, was “Memoirs of an Invisible Man,” the ill-fated – though watchable – Chevy Chase fantasy with a William Goldman script that was beset by problems and released to disappointing box-office in the winter of 1992.
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Aisle Seat 3-31: FORCE AWAKENS Blu-Ray, BATMAN V SUPERMAN
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/30/2016 - 9:00 PM
Fueled by fan interest and the resurgence of sequels/prequels/remakes/reboots, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (***, 138 mins., 2015, PG-13; Lucasfilm/Disney) smashed records in theaters around the world, making Disney’s $4 billion purchase of George Lucas’ company and all of its properties look like a bargain – especially when you factor in the millions its sequels and spin-offs (apparently coming at us on an annual basis now) are sure to generate.
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Aisle Seat 3-29: Westerns, Sequels & Lambert's Sicilian
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/28/2016 - 9:00 PM
Making their first on-screen appearance together, Kiefer and Donald Sutherland provide a major boost to the low-key, entertaining western FORSAKEN (***, 89 mins., 2015, R; Momentum), a sturdy, if familiar, tale of a gunfighter trying to move away from his violent past, only to run into trouble once again.
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Aisle Seat 3-22: Spring Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/22/2016 - 9:00 PM
Olive’s March releases on Blu-Ray are highlighted by a pair of cult comedies and one of the earliest Chuck Norris action vehicles: the drive-in affair BREAKER! BREAKER! (85 mins., 1977, PG), which was notable for offering Norris his first starring role.
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Today in Film Score History:
June 1
Barry Adamson born (1958)
Frank Cordell born (1918)
John Debney begins recording his score for Hocus Pocus (1993)
Konstantin Wecker born (1947)
Nelson Riddle born (1921)
Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Emissary" (1989)
Tom Bahler born (1943)
Werner Janssen born (1900)
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