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Aisle Seat 1-24: Twilight Time, New Peanuts & More
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/23/2017 - 9:00 PM
A pair of interesting, if commercially unsuccessful, Jane Fonda vehicles grace Twilight Time’s roster of limited-edition Blu-Ray releases this month, along with Stanley Donen’s memorable ‘60s road trip romance TWO FOR THE ROAD with Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn, plus a spectacular release for 3D enthusiasts.
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Aisle Seat 1-17: THE LOVE BOAT's Winter Cruise
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/16/2017 - 9:00 PM
The best way for me to explain my fondness for THE LOVE BOAT is to flashback to my review of Season 1 of the series on DVD. My freshman – and, as it turns out, only – year at Ithaca College in central New York was packed with memories. Road trips to Syracuse to meet “Recordman” (FSM’s resident LP expert Mike Murray), snow-filled weekends watching laserdiscs in the dorm, and many weekends hanging out with friends – including Paul MacLean, who basically saved me from a life of boredom single-handedly – were the good times.
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Aisle Seat 1-10: January Chiller Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/9/2017 - 9:00 PM
Ben Affleck’s tenure as Batman may have already hit something of a snag – with the star/director apparently unenthusiastic over helming the next standalone film starring the Dark Knight – but in 2016, he starred in a superior, comic-booky thriller that legitimately warrants its own sequel: THE ACCOUNTANT (***, 128 mins., 2016, R), which bows on Blu-Ray this week from Warner.
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Aisle Seat 12-27: Christmas & New Year's Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/26/2016 - 9:00 PM
Another year has come and gone, incredibly, so as we bid adieu to 2016, I’d like to thank all of my regular readers for their comments and message board contributions! This final column is a Christmas/New Years special, so I will be updating it periodically with additional reviews as the few year-end releases trickle in. From the bottom of my heart, have a merry yuletide season and we’ll catch you back here in the New Year!
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Aisle Seat 12-20: A Return Trip to the Twilight Zone
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/19/2016 - 9:00 PM
STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE is certainly something different in the “Star Wars” series. The first film in the franchise to break from the Skywalkers and tell the story of rebel spies who infiltrate the Empire in order to steal the coveted plans for the Death Star, this standalone prequel made headlines over the summer for its reportedly troubled production history. Ultimately, no matter who was – or wasn’t – responsible for “Rogue One,” the end result is a joyless, depressing affair that’s designed strictly for aging fans of the series and not the broader family audience that’s long been its focal point.
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Aisle Seat 12-13: 4K, Suicide Squad & Shout New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/12/2016 - 9:00 PM
Remember the summer of 1984, when “Temple of Doom,” “Gremlins,” “Conan the Destroyer,” “Cloak & Dagger” (what an unsung classic!), “Buckaroo Banzai” and “The Last Starfighter” were released? Alas, we don’t see too many seasons of quality popcorn-munching fare like those films these days. One of the many genre movies released that summer was the engaging fantasy-thriller DREAMSCAPE (***, 99 mins., 1984, PG-13), now on Blu-Ray in a superior Special Edition from Shout! Factory.
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Aisle Seat 12-6: December Rundown Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/5/2016 - 9:00 PM
A film that unexpectedly frightened the daylights out of me, Richard Fleischer’s THE BOSTON STRANGLER (***½, 116 mins., 1968, R) is that rare thing: a Hollywood-produced film made at an odd time when the business of moviemaking was beginning a radical change, shifting away from the mostly sanitized studio product of the ‘50s and towards the more explicit “realism” of the 1970s. In fact, “The Boston Strangler” can be looked upon as a turning point in Hollywood, a crackerjack and disturbing thriller that clearly influenced director William Friedkin in his later works.
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Aisle Seat 11-22: Thanksgiving Feast Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/21/2016 - 9:00 PM
Finally restored after falling into the public domain, Marlon Brando’s troubled western ONE-EYED JACKS (***, 141 mins., 1961) has at last been rescued and given new life by Universal and the Criterion Collection. The most revelatory component to the film’s resurrection is that, unlike, say, Michael Cimino’s gorgeous but flaccid “Heaven’s Gate,” “One-Eyed Jacks” is a compulsively watchable film, gorgeously shot and intriguing from start to finish.
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Aisle Seat 11-8: Election Day Special
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/7/2016 - 9:00 PM
Fans of James Horner still reeling from his shocking, untimely passing last year have bittersweet reason to rejoice as one of the composer’s final scores, written for the National Geographic IMAX production LIVING IN THE AGE OF AIRPLANES (47 mins.), is now available on Blu-Ray. The disc will give many viewers their first chance at not just seeing this entertaining effort but also hearing Horner’s lovely music, one of the final completed works by the maestro prior to his passing in a single-engine plane crash at age 61.
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Aisle Seat 11-1: November Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/31/2016 - 9:00 PM
It’s hard to find a more divisive film from the 1980s than RUNAWAY TRAIN (111 mins., 1985, R), the Cannon Group’s closet shot at Oscar glory that can be best described as a “quasi-existential” action film from Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky. A movie that generated Oscar nominations for both of its stars, Jon Voight and Eric Roberts, it’s also a film that made appearances on both “Best of the Year” and “Worst of the Year” critic lists in 1985, with critics falling on either side of a movie that polarized viewers with its “method” performances and outlandish story.
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Today in Film Score History:
January 24
Bernard Herrmann records his score for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode “The Jar” (1964)
Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Conundrum” (1992)
Joseph Carl Breil died (1926)
Leonard Rosenman begins recording his score for The Phantom of Hollywood (1974)
Muir Mathieson born (1911)
Neil Diamond born (1941)
Nico Fidenco born (1933)
Norman Dello Joio born (1913)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre opens in theaters (1948)
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