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The Restoration of 1941 Plus: A Talk with Mike Matessino
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/22/2014 - 9:00 PM
Even if he lacked the courage of his convictions to produce a full-blown musical, Steven Spielberg’s 1941 isn’t entirely deserving of its rep as one of the weak links in the director’s filmography. In fact, with its dazzling Jitterbug dance sequence – which ranks with the finest standalone set-pieces in Spielberg’s oeuvre – “1941″ is a beautifully designed blast of kinetic energy, capped with a classic John Williams score that’s been newly restored on Blu-Ray to its original, intended 146-minute length.
Comments: 4  (read on)
Aisle Seat TV on DVD: WONDER YEARS & WKRP
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/21/2014 - 9:00 PM
When THE WONDER YEARS debuted following the Super Bowl in January, 1988, the American TV sitcom would be changed forever. The ABC comedy-drama from creators Neal Marlens and Carol Black made an immediate impact on viewers – with its perceptive nostalgia and lack of a laugh track, the series helped to innovate the stagnant genre and has remained a fan favorite ever since.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat Video Vault: 1492 & CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS THE DISCOVERY
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/19/2014 - 9:00 PM
In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. In 1992, two big-budget movies sank like a stone at the global box-office, failing completely to find an audience as the world celebrated – more or less – the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the New World.
Comments: 3  (read on)
Aisle Seat 10-14: Halloween Horrors!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/13/2014 - 9:00 PM
An extended Director’s Cut long coveted by fans, Shout! Factory has made the restored version of Clive Barker’s NIGHTBREED (**½, 120 mins., 1990, R) a reality at last. The label’s meticulous reconstruction of the horror auteur’s original version – recklessly cut down and reshot at the insistence of Morgan Creek executives – is cause for celebration for the movie’s admirers, who have long believed that a better, more consistent cinematic vision existed on the cutting room floor.
Comments: 1  (read on)
Aisle Seat 10-7: Warner-Palooza
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/6/2014 - 9:00 PM
Sergio Leone’s weird, acclaimed gangster epic ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA (***, 251 mins., 1984, R) returns to Blu-Ray this month in an extended Director’s Cut release, restoring an additional 22 minutes of footage found after an exhaustive search.
Comments: 2  (read on)
Aisle Seat 9-30: Autumn Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/29/2014 - 9:00 PM
Revolution is one of the shared narrative components in the bulk of Twilight Time’s September releases, which are highlighted by one of James Woods’ finest performances.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 9-23: Ghostbusters, The Innocents, Chef
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/22/2014 - 9:00 PM
Not a horror film per se but a striking, bold and unforgettable rendition of Shakespeare’s play with many chilling moments, Roman Polanski’s MACBETH (***½, 141 mins., 1971, R) has, at last, received a Criterion Collection release that ranks among the year’s finest.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 9-16: Krull, Godzilla & TV on Disc Spins
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/15/2014 - 9:00 PM
An expensive attempt by Columbia to cash-in on the then red-hot sword-and-sorcery and sci-fi/fantasy genres, the 1983 Saturday matinee adventure KRULL (***, 120 mins., PG) plays more like a semi-futuristic Errol Flynn swashbuckler than a rip-off of “Star Wars.”
Comments: 3  (read on)
Aisle Seat 17th Anniversary Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/8/2014 - 9:00 PM
I wasn’t up watching THE EQUALIZER when it aired back in the ’80s, so I didn’t really know what to think of the series when I popped in VEI’s limited edition DVD box-set that’s newly available this week. After just a few minutes, though, I could tell why fans have long raved about the CBS series, which set the standard – alongside “Wiseguy” and “Miami Vice” – for television crime dramas in the mid-late ‘80s.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 9-2: Back to School Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/1/2014 - 9:00 PM
A few months ago I was watching TCM when they ran one of those archival, fluffy promotional “Making Of” featurettes inbetween movies. I was captivated by it because I had never heard of the film – an early ‘70s MGM “hayseed drama” named LOLLY-MADONNA XXX – despite the film offering an amazing array of talent, including Rod Steiger, Robert Ryan and a dynamite young cast comprised of Jeff Bridges, Scott Wilson, Gary Busey, Randy Quaid, Ed Lauter and Season Hubley. This rarely-screened picture – which has never been released on video in any format – has finally made its way back into circulation courtesy of the Warner Archives, restoring the scope dimensions of cinematographer Philip Lathrop and director Richard C. Sarafian.
Comments: 0  (read on)
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Today in Film Score History:
October 26
Bob Cobert born (1924)
Curt Sobel born (1953)
Howard Shore begins recording his score for She-Devil (1989)
Jacques Loussier born (1934)
Recording sessions begin for Roy Webb’s score to Fixed Bayonets (1951)
Victor Schertzinger died (1941)
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