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Aisle Seat 8-29: Twilight Time, 4K, Phenomena
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/22/2017 - 9:00 PM
Two very different films with “Summer” in their respective titles are part of Twilight Time’s latest batch of limited edition Blu-Rays, timed to coincide with these dwindling (say it isn’t so!) days of Summer 2017.

Paul Newman teamed up with director Martin Ritt and brilliant writers Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr. for the duo’s first (of three) William Faulkner adaptations, THE LONG, HOT SUMMER (117 mins., 1958). 

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Aisle Seat 8-22: August Sizzler Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/21/2017 - 9:00 PM
A strange sequel that’s half “Alien” rehash and half “Prometheus” follow-up – albeit with none of the latter’s “bigger questions” actually being addressed – Ridley Scott’s ALIEN: COVENANT (**, 123 mins., 2017, R; Fox) serves up a serviceable but ultimately unsatisfying ride over narrative terrain we’ve covered many times over by now.
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Aisle Seat 8-15: THE GOOD, THE BAD and MR.MOM
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/14/2017 - 9:00 PM
One of three John Hughes-written vehicles from the summer of ’83, MR. MOM (***, 91 mins., 1983, PG) was a box-office hit that kicked off a run of domestic comedies making Hughes one of Hollywood’s major players throughout the rest of the decade. Now on Blu-Ray – and in widescreen for the first time ever on home video – Shout Factory’s upcoming Collector’s Edition pays tribute to this admittedly-antiquated audience favorite that was released at a time when such comedies could actually become commercial hits in the marketplace (not so much today, obviously).
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Aisle Seat 7-25: Summer Sizzler Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/24/2017 - 9:00 PM
Christopher Nolan’s new film DUNKIRK (**½, 107 mins., PG-13) is likely to divide viewers into two camps: those who feel the picture is a brilliant piece of cinema, and everybody else. Despite the mostly positive reviews, I regrettably found myself in the latter camp as this clinical “immersive viewing experience” played itself out.
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Aisle Seat 7-18: 4K Summer Rundown
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/17/2017 - 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 7-11: Species, Warner Archive Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/10/2017 - 9:00 PM
Like a lot of successful screenwriters who get their first crack at directing their own Hollywood movie, Oscar-winner John Patrick Shanley’s romantic-comedy JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO (***, 102 mins., 1990, PG; Warner Archive) turned out to be overly self-indulgent and too “out there” for many viewers. However, those who were able to buy into the film’s light, fairy tale atmosphere were rewarded with a unique and engaging comic fantasy that has attracted a cult following since its original release.
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Aisle Seat 7-4: A Fourth of July Special
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/3/2017 - 9:00 PM
When it premiered as a one-shot NBC special on September 9th, 1967, ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN broke new ground on television. Viewers had scarcely seen such a rapid-fire comic anthology on TV before, and the hour-long program was the right show at the right time in the turbulent late ‘60s. “Laugh-In” was timely, motivated by generation-gap/culture-clash jokes, the hippie movement, and provided the right tonic for audiences looking to laugh while the country was embroiled in numerous struggles socially, politically and militarily. Ratings for the initial special were strong, leading to a weekly series that aired on Mondays at 8pm starting in January of ‘68 – a time slot the series would occupy until it signed off, finally, in May of 1973.
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Aisle Seat 6-27: A Pink Panther Celebration
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/26/2017 - 9:00 PM
Despite being one of its more lucrative commercial properties, MGM seemingly held on to the Blu-Ray rights of “The Pink Panther” series for many years, resulting in everything except the original “Panther” bypassing the high-definition format. After years of speculation and rumored releases, the series – all of it – is finally out on Blu-Ray for the first time this week, via separate efforts from Shout! Factory and Kino Lorber.
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Aisle Seat 6-20: 1492, June Horrors
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/19/2017 - 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. The two competing pictures – Ridley Scott’s expensive 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE and Alexander Salkind’s “Christopher Columbus: The Discovery” – were heralded at Cannes as far back as 1989, when the Salkind picture was first announced.
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Aisle Seat 6-13: Lawnmower Man, Shout June Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/12/2017 - 9:00 PM
For reasons I still don’t understand, THE LAWNMOWER MAN (108/141 mins., 1992, R) opened in Rhode Island during February 1992, several weeks ahead of the rest of the nation. Even the Boston Globe’s review, from a critic who was sent south to cover the film, mentioned this oddball fact, enabling those of us in the Ocean State to brag about seeing the Pierce Brosnan/Jeff Fahey virtual reality thriller before everyone else. If only social media was prevalent back in the early ‘90s, we could’ve also warned the movie-going public to avoid this goofy turkey, which nevertheless managed to gross a potent $30 million on a budget that threw nearly all of its funding behind then-cutting edge CGI animation.
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