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Aisle Seat 8-25: Twilight Time, New Release Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/24/2015 - 9:00 PM
Even if its charms might be better suited to viewing on a cold winter’s night, Randal Kleiser’s guilty pleasure SUMMER LOVERS (***, 98 mins., 1982, R) is an appealing early ‘80s youth picture that Gene Siskel – reviewing the film on a “Guilty Pleasures” episode of “Siskel & Ebert” – once said “turned him on.”
Comments: 2  (read on)
Aisle Seat 8-11: Revisiting August's Dog Days of Yore
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/10/2015 - 9:00 PM
Before the fall season cranks up and studios traditionally bring us some of the bigger hits of the year on home video, we usually see a handful of curious catalog releases trickle out during the dog days of August. That’s the case this year with Warner Archive’s Blu-Ray release of SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO (**, 78 mins., 1991, R), as well as Shout’s double-feature pairing of the Rodney Dangerfield farce EASY MONEY (**½, 93 mins., 1983) with the bizarre(ly bad) Emilio Estevez-Charlie Sheen laffer MEN AT WORK (*½, 98 mins., 1990, PG-13) – films that all debuted in theaters during the waning days of their respective summers.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 8-4: August Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/3/2015 - 9:00 PM
It took nearly a trio of “Mission: Impossible” films before star/producer Tom Cruise finally figured out exactly what he wanted to do with his big-screen spin-off of the classic ‘60s TV series. After a pair of solo-powered, humorless outings from directors Brian DePalma and John Woo, Cruise and producer/director J.J. Abrams had the right idea bringing an actual “team” concept into the series’ third installment. That lead to the hugely entertaining Brad Bird outing “Ghost Protocol,” and now Cruise has reteamed with his “Jack Reacher” director, Christopher McQuarrie, for the stylish, classy MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION (***, 131 mins., PG-13).
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 7-28: Arrow, Twilight Time
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/27/2015 - 9:00 PM
Leading off Twilight Time’s July releases is PLACES IN THE HEART (***½, 114 mins, 1984, PG), the first of three “rural” dramas that hit theaters in 1984. Robert Benton’s film was released a week ahead of the overrated Jessica Lange effort “Country” and months before Mark Rydell’s under-rated “The River.” With multiple Oscar nominations and wins for Best Original Screenplay and Sally Field’s memorable turn as a widow who has to work hard to support her children – while keeping The Bank at bay from claiming her home in the Great Depression – the movie was, by far, the most popular of the trio as well.
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Aisle Seat 7-21: Olive Films, X-Men Rogue Cut
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/20/2015 - 9:00 PM
Skating its way onto Blu-Ray this month as part of Olive Films’ July Blu-Ray slate is none other than ROLLER BOOGIE (**½, 1979, 104 mins., PG).A pre-exploitation Linda Blair stars as a good girl who rebukes Juilliard so she can skate-skate-skate her way with roller boogie veteran Jim Bray into certain disco stardom. Unfortunately, some bad guys decide that their local skate park is a good spot for a real estate deal, and promptly threaten the future of all young skating maniacs by wanting to trash their hangout.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 7-14: The Black Stallion, It Follows
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/13/2015 - 9:00 PM
It’s hard to believe that two of the best films of the 1970s – Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” and the Francis Coppola/Carroll Ballard production of THE BLACK STALLION (****, 117 mins., 1979, G) – both became classics through filmmaker improvisation and sheer luck. In fact, hearing the horror stories of how “The Black Stallion” was shelved by United Artists – who believed the film was basically un-releasable – makes you wonder how a film like it would ever be produced today in the same way – or at all.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 7-7: Summer Movies, Shout Rundown
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/6/2015 - 9:00 PM
Nobody expected “Thor 2″ director Alan Taylor to suddenly morph into James Cameron, right? All the negative critic reviews for TERMINATOR: GENISYS (***, 126 mins., PG-13) are curious in this summer of lightweight, superficial remakes and reboots. Yes, this fifth entry in the series essentially remakes the first picture in the guise of a typically glossy, straight-ahead summer action movie, but it’s certainly no worse than most of what we’ve seen this season, and in fact comes out ahead of the dinosaurs and super-heroes since it, at least, has some star power – and just enough story – backing it up.
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Aisle Seat 6-30: A Catalog Spectacular
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/29/2015 - 9:00 PM
When I first heard the tragic news of James Horner’s death last week, I immediately thought about his music and its influence on my life and interest in the arts. His career essentially started when I was a kid, watching “Star Trek II” back in the early ‘80s, and was one of the major discussion points when I first met Lukas Kendall, through a Starlog letter to the editor, when both of us were in high school. In fact, it’s not hyperbole to say that Horner’s music was one of the cornerstones of Film Score Monthly’s development – something that came at a time when Horner, Williams, Goldsmith, Barry, Jarre, Bernstein, Poledouris, and so many others were still working in their prime.
Comments: 1  (read on)
Aisle Seat 6-23: Summer Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/22/2015 - 9:00 PM
The most cartoonish live-action film that producer Steven Spielberg has been involved with since “The Flintstones,” JURASSIC WORLD (**, 127 mins., PG-13) broke every record last weekend at the domestic and international box-office. That doesn’t excuse the fact that the picture is an insult to both Michael Crichton’s original "Jurassic Park" novel and the type of cinematic sci-fi that Spielberg himself captured in his 1993 screen version. While that groundbreaking blockbuster was flawed, it was at least an honest attempt at incorporating enough real-world science that one’s suspension of disbelief was minimal for a story about bringing dinosaurs back to life.
Comments: 5  (read on)
Aisle Seat 6-2: Early June Rundown
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/1/2015 - 9:00 PM
Saddling up in time for Father’s Day later this month is Warner’s five-disc Blu-Ray anthology JOHN WAYNE WESTERNS FILM COLLECTION, which isn’t exactly comprehensive even by studio output (“The Cowboys” isn’t included) but nevertheless offers a decent overview of The Duke’s sagebrush sagas, with two late-era, generally underrated Wayne titles premiering in this set.
Comments: 3  (read on)
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Today in Film Score History:
August 29
Anthony Adverse released in theaters (1936)
Fred Steiner's score for the Star Trek episode "Charlie X" is recorded (1966)
Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score for The Miniver Story (1950)
Recording sessions begin for Richard Rodney Bennett's score for Sherlock Holmes in New York (1976)
Victor Young begins recording his score to The Tall Men (1955)
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