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Aisle Seat 4-21: Resurrecting THE FANTASTICKS
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/20/2015 - 9:00 PM
After nearly six years on the shelf, director Michael Ritchie’s big-screen version of the classic musical THE FANTASTICKS (***, 109/87 mins., 1995/2000, PG) hit theaters and home video in early 2001, albeit sadly in a recut version that drastically edited Ritchie’s original film. Twilight Time’s new Blu-Ray edition gives viewers, for the first time, the opportunity to see the picture in Ritchie’s 109-minute presentation courtesy of a standard-definition transfer, along with a new HD edition of Francis Ford Coppola’s now even-more disposable 87-minute “recut.”
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Aisle Seat 4-14: Shout's April Delights
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/13/2015 - 9:00 PM
“Cult” is definitely the most appropriate word to describe Mark L. Lester’s 1982 exploitation fave CLASS OF 1984 (***, 98 mins., R), a film that I’ve come to believe is one of the most purely entertaining films of its kind ever made: a delirious blend of “To Sir With Love” and “Death Wish,” capped by its unique place in the cinematic spectrum. Where else can you see a film that crosses the paths of Roddy McDowall and Michael J. Fox, or has an Alice Cooper theme song – written by Lalo Schifrin?!
Comments: 2  (read on)
Aisle Seat 4-7: Twilight Time, April New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/6/2015 - 9:00 PM
Highlighted by a dynamite score from Bernard Herrmann, 20th Century Fox’s old-fashioned Jules Verne adventure JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (***, 129 mins., 1959) returns to Blu-Ray this month from Twilight Time in a limited edition release that offers an appreciable enhancement on label’s prior effort.
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Aisle Seat 3-31: Into the Woods; Olive, Arrow New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/30/2015 - 9:00 PM
Arrow Video has long been one of the Blu-Ray format’s champions when it comes to catalog content, having released an eclectic array of titles in the UK that included spectacular restorations of both independent fare as well as American studio films. From the likes of Tobe Hooper’s “The Funhouse” to Joe Dante’s “The ‘Burbs,” Arrow’s output has been prolific and appreciated by audiences on both sides of the pond – at least those with multi-region capability. For buffs with domestic-only players, Arrow’s first set of US releases are now available and offer the exact same, sterling presentation as their British counterparts.
Comments: 3  (read on)
Aisle Seat 3-24: Massacre Mafia Style, Warner Archive, Exodus
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/23/2015 - 9:00 PM
It’s tough to rag too much on a sci-fi film that does, at least, attempt to tell a genuine story augmented with “real science” in today’s age of mindless comic book fantasies. On the other hand, is it too much to ask for a film like Christopher Nolan’sINTERSTELLAR (**½, 169 mins., PG-13; Paramount) to be less convoluted and more emotional – and by that I mean, actually move the viewer and not just throw up a group of characters crying hysterically on-screen?
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Aisle Seat 3-17: Lady From Shanghai, Olive New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/16/2015 - 9:00 PM
While we finally dig out from the snow, ice, and multiple layers of winter grime that’s accumulated over New England since the middle of January, this month’s TV on DVD offerings include a variety of exciting new releases, highlighted by one of my favorite series of 2014: HBO’s SILICON VALLEY (228 mins.).
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Aisle Seat 3-10: March Madness Edition!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/9/2015 - 9:00 PM
The charming, engaging teen comedy THE SURE THING (***½, 95 mins., 1985, PG-13) from the winter of ’85 is still one of director Rob Reiner’s finest hours, and comes to Blu-Ray next week in another terrific Blu-Ray package from the fine folks at Shout! Factory.
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Aisle Seat 3-3: Twilight Time, Shout, Warner Archive
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/2/2015 - 9:00 PM
One of the most beautifully shot films of its era, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (***½, 171 mins., 1967) is a leisurely, yet richly told, adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel that follows Bathsheba Everdene, a feisty young woman (Julie Christie) who inherits her uncle’s farm and subsequently navigates between a trio of suitors in rural, southwest England.
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Aisle Seat 2-24: Olive, Big Hero 6, Watership Down
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/23/2015 - 9:00 PM
Lifted by one of Bill Murray’s more memorable and believable performances, Theodore Melfi’s ST. VINCENT (***½, 103 mins., 2014, PG-13; Anchor Bay) might be formulaic, but its earnest and warmhearted story makes it a refreshing change of pace for viewers disappointed with the likes of Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” and other, recent assaults on the senses coming out of Hollywood.
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Aisle Seat 2-17: February Blizzard Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/16/2015 - 9:00 PM
Just before Roger Ebert passed away, I was emailed by one of his assistants, who had watched a video I uploaded on Youtube of one of Siskel & Ebert’s “Holiday Gift Guides.” These annual shows – wherein the critics stepped outside the balcony to review home theater equipment, tech gadgets and the occasional video games – were among the tapes I had saved recording Gene and Roger’s show growing up, and her email enabled me to get in contact with the ailing Pulitzer Prize-winning author before his death.
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Today in Film Score History:
April 21
Eddie Sauter died (1981)
Franz Waxman begins recording his score to The Story of Ruth (1960)
Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score to Wild Rovers (1971)
Mundell Lowe born (1922)
Steve Dorff born (1949)
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