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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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Aisle Seat 3-13: March Madness Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/12/2018 - 9:00 PM
When Jim Henson passed away in 1990, the creator of the Muppets left us with only a few, fleeting glimpses into his potential as a purveyor of fantasy projects beyond the scope of Kermit and Miss Piggy. Henson only directed three theatrical features in his career: the second, and best, Muppet movie (1981’s “The Great Muppet Caper”); the epic fantasy “The Dark Crystal” (1982), which he co-helmed with Frank Oz; and “Labyrinth” (1986), a live-action fantasy, produced with George Lucas, that flopped at the box-office.
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Aisle Seat 3-6: March Mayhem Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/5/2018 - 9:00 PM
It’s hard to imagine there are many major studio films left from 1970 onwards that have yet to receive a home video release, much less one with talents like Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward involved. Twilight Time has unearthed one of them this month, at last giving the oddly-titled THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN-IN-THE-MOON MARIGOLDS (101 mins., 1972, PG) a domestic home video release 46 years after its theatrical debut.
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Aisle Seat 2-27: Tom Jones, Darkest Hour
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/26/2018 - 9:00 PM
A movie that’s often cited as being both boldly influential as well as dated and overpraised, Tony Richardson’s TOM JONES (128 mins., 1963; Criterion) is a picture that’s hard to classify. Is it a legitimate classic that served as a springboard to a renaissance of British cinema during the 1960s – or is it a silly, overlong confection that holds more relevance to its era than it does today? Criterion’s painstakingly restored Blu-Ray conveys that it’s a little bit of both, though its legitimacy is certainly enhanced by a transfer that does this Best Picture Oscar winner justice on home video at last.
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Aisle Seat 2-13: Olympic Edition!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/12/2018 - 9:00 PM
Our pre-schooler loves dinosaurs – brontosauruses in particular – and has worn out every entry in the “Land Before Time” saga (including its short-lived series) over the last year or so. You would imagine he’d be a perfect audience for BABY: SECRET OF THE LOST LEGEND (***, 95 mins., 1985, PG), yet I’m going to hold off on a viewing of this early Touchstone release with him until he’s ready for some oddly placed violence which makes an otherwise entertaining African-set adventure unsuitable for what should’ve been its main demographic.
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Aisle Seat 1-30: Super Bowl Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/29/2018 - 9:00 PM
By equal measure a mix of “Serpico,” “Law & Order” episode and B-grade actioner, the very entertaining SHAKEDOWN (***, 96 mins. 1988, R) makes its Blu-Ray debut this month from Shout! Factory. A well-reviewed Shapiro/Glickenhaus Entertainment production that met with modest box-office after being picked up by Universal for theatrical release, “Shakedown” stars Peter Weller as a burned out NYC defense attorney assigned to represent a drug dealer (future “Law & Order” prosecutor Richard Brooks) who guns down a “Blue Jean” (undercover) cop he claims was in self-defense.
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Aisle Seat 1-16: It, Blade Runner Debut in 4K
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/15/2018 - 9:00 PM
The modern preoccupation with belated film sequels and remakes has trickled down to even “Blade Runner,” Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi classic that drew neither widespread critical kudos or commercial acceptance when it was first released in 1982. A cult favorite that’s obviously been more warmly embraced as the years have passed, Scott is onboard as a producer of BLADE RUNNER 2049 (***, 163 mins., R; Warner), an ambitious follow-up from one of its predecessor’s original writers and director Denis Villeneuve, architect of glacially paced works like “Sicario” and “Arrival.”
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Today in Film Score History:
April 20
Andre Previn begins recording his score for The Sun Comes Up (1948)
Bebe Barron died (2008)
Bruce Broughton begins recording his score for The Monster Squad (1987)
David Raksin begins recording his score for Kind Lady (1951)
Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Die Is Cast” (1995)
Herschel Burke Gilbert born (1918)
Johnny Douglas died (2003)
Miklos Rozsa records his score to Valley of the Kings (1954)
Richard LaSalle records his score for The New Adventures of Wonder Woman episode “The Man Who Could Not Die” (1979)
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