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Aisle Seat 6-12: June Rundown Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/11/2018 - 9:00 PM
A reunion of “7th Voyage of Sinbad”’s star (Kerwin Mathews), villain (Torin Thatcher) and director (Nathan Juran), the 1962 fantasy JACK THE GIANT KILLER (94 mins., G) doesn’t offer the same kind of bravura stop-motion effects work as the earlier Ray Harryhausen favorite. However, this independent production from Edward Small that United Artists picked up for distribution still provides Saturday Matinee fun for movie buffs and fans of the era alike.
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Aisle Seat 6-5: Jurassic June Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/4/2018 - 9:00 PM
It’s not a stretch to say that movies changed forever when JURASSIC PARK opened on June 11th, 1993. I remember attending the opening of Steven Spielberg’s much anticipated adaptation of the Michael Crichton best-seller, stoked by having already purchased John Williams’ soundtrack album a couple of weeks before and played it to death by the time I finally saw the picture. While certain aspects of the movie were a bit of a letdown (both then and now), there was no denying the “game changer” that the film’s historical use of CGI special effects signified.
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Aisle Seat 5-28: Memorial Day Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/27/2018 - 9:00 PM
It’s a good week for catalog releases in 4K UHD. Roland Emmerich’s Revolutionary War adventure THE PATRIOT (***½, 164 mins., 2000, R; Sony) is newly available from Sony on 4K UHD, along with David Ayer’s WWII tank adventure FURY with Brad Pitt and action classics starring Bruce Willis and Keanu Reeves, respectively.
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Aisle Seat 5-15: 4K Epics, Bronson & Black Panther
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/14/2018 - 9:00 PM
Two Oscar winners join the 4K UHD fray this month from Paramount – Mel Gibson’s triumphant BRAVEHEART and Ridley Scott’s GLADIATOR – each offering HDR enhancements that trump their prior “Sapphire Series” Blu-Ray releases along with immersive Dolby Atmos audio.
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Aisle Seat 5-8: Twilight Time, Kino Lorber, New Release Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/7/2018 - 9:00 PM
Of all the countries outside the U.S. invested in the Blu-Ray format, Germany has been the biggest goldmine for movie buffs over the years, with labels like Turbine Media, Koch and others releasing a steady stream of U.S. catalog titles that continue to this day. In fact, another terrific import arrives this month from Turbine: a 4K restoration of John Landis’ debut film, SCHLOCK (79 mins., PG), which offers not only a terrific transfer but ample extras that should make it a banana-munching must-have for Landis aficionados.
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Aisle Seat 4-24: Quiet Place, 4K & New Release Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/23/2018 - 9:00 PM
It seems as if cinemas are being filled with two kinds of studio films these days: bloated franchises based on pre-fab brands, and modestly budgeted horror outings like last year’s hit “Get Out” where directors seemingly have more freedom to tell their stories. This year has brought another unexpected commercial success, John Krasinski’s A QUIET PLACE (***½, 95 mins., PG-13), and this one is even better than Jordan Peele’s intriguing if overrated film, dabbling in some familiar genre elements but doing so in such a unique and effective manner that it’s one of the most exciting film-going experiences I’ve had in years.
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Aisle Seat 4-10: Shout, Kino Lorber, New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/9/2018 - 9:00 PM
A bevy of Disney-licensed titles debut on Blu-Ray this week from Kino Lorber, with several titles new to the format included in the mix. Among the latter is the 1991 Goldie Hawn vehicle DECEIVED (**½, 108 mins., 1991, PG-13), a Touchstone thriller that aims for Hitchcokian heights. While the movie doesn’t quite get there, it’s nevertheless a modestly entertaining film with one of Thomas Newman’s best (and still unreleased) scores.
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Aisle Seat 4-3: April Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/2/2018 - 9:00 PM
Kicking off this month’s Twilight Time limited editions is THE SEVEN-UPS (103 mins., 1973, PG), a follow-up of sorts to “The French Connection” that reunites most of the production personnel from that Oscar-winning smash — producer Philip D’Antoni (who also served as director here), composer Don Ellis, and stars Roy Scheider and Tony LoBianco — and sports a story authored by detective Sonny Grosso, the inspiration for “Popeye Doyle,” himself.
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Aisle Seat 3-27: Spring Fling Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/26/2018 - 9:00 PM
A surprise box-office smash, the belated follow-up JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (***, 119 mins., 2017, PG-13; Sony) offers high adventure for kids, comedy and a bit of teen angst for high schoolers, and the entertainment value of seeing some of the only bankable stars left in Hollywood – including Dwayne Johnson – engagingly playing against type. The mixture wasn’t just a runaway hit, grossing over $400 million in the U.S. alone, but easily ranks as one of the most satisfying entries from Hollywood’s “remake machine” over the last decade.
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Aisle Seat 3-20: Lion in Winter, The Burbs Revisited
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/19/2018 - 9:00 PM
One of director Joe Dante's weaker films, the Tom Hanks “comic thriller” THE ‘BURBS (**½, 102 mins., 1989, PG) has managed to net something of a cult following over the years. Between Hanks’ involvement and the movie’s engaging premise, it’s easy to understand, though the finished product – sabotaged by a writer’s strike that prevented a much-needed polish to Dana Olsen’s script – is markedly uneven and seldom more than mildly amusing.
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Today in Film Score History:
June 22
Darius Milhaud died (1974)
Elmer Bernstein begins recording his score for It’s a Dog’s Life (1955)
Harry Rabinowitz died (2016)
James Horner died (2015)
Rene Garriguenc died (1998)
The Guns of Navarone opens in New York (1961)
Todd Rundgren born (1948)
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