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Aisle Seat 11-29: New Kino Lorber 4K & Blu-Ray Reviews
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/28/2022 - 10:00 PM
The 1999 comic book spoof MYSTERY MEN (122 mins., PG-13; Kino Lorber) seemed to arrive, in many ways, just before its time. Before super-heroes became the cinema’s preeminent movie genre, a short time prior to star Ben Stiller having a breakout hit with “Meet the Parents,” and just ahead of co-star Geoffrey Rush suiting up as the villain in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise there was this late summer ’99 Universal box-office disappointment – one worthy of some reappraisal in light of the veritable hundreds of comic book projects we’ve seen over the many years since.
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Aisle Seat 11-22: A Thanksgiving 4K Feast
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/21/2022 - 10:00 PM
Movie buffs hoping for a few remastered 4K transfers of holiday favorites have much to celebrate this month, with brand-new HDR presentations of “A Christmas Story” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (two of my favorites) leading the way from Warner and Paramount jumping into the fray with a new UHD of PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES (93 mins., 1987, R; Paramount), writer-director John Hughes’ perennial favorite that’s highlighted by over an hour of previously unreleased deleted scenes.
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Aisle Seat 11-15: MAVERICK Flies in 4K
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/14/2022 - 10:00 PM
It might be an overstatement to call Tom Cruise “The Last Movie Star,” but it’s hard to argue in 2022 there’s an actor still working today who commands a project, and the screen itself, the way Cruise still can. It’s a commendable feat that’s no small accomplishment when you analyze the constrained marketplace that is the U.S. box-office in these post-pandemic times – an era in which movies where teenagers aren’t the central demographic have become a nearly extinct species, dominated instead by super-heroes and recycled “Intellectual Properties” owned by massive corporations. TOP GUN: MAVERICK (131 mins., 2022, PG-13; Paramount) is still, obviously, a revisit of one of the all-time ’80s blockbusters, but it’s been produced with so much skill and soul that it scarcely resembles the generic sequels and comic book films taking up residency in our nation’s multiplexes in the 21st century.
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Aisle Seat 11-8: Imprint’s Latest Limited Editions
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/7/2022 - 10:00 PM
The great Akira Kurosawa virtually never ventured outside Japan for his cinematic sojourns, making his 1975 epic DERSU UZALA (142 mins.) a picture to treasure. This rugged, Serbian-shot outdoor adventure offers a straightforward story of a Russian military officer (Yuri Solomon) who’s charged with surveying the Mongolian frontier shortly after the turn of the 20th century. To his aid comes a resourceful local guide (Maksim Munzuk), who not only saves his life, but represents an old, nature-based world slowly being eradicated by the rise of civilization.
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Aisle Seat 11-1: Vinegar Syndrome Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/1/2022 - 1:00 AM
Even though it displays evidence of its original origins as a CBS TV movie – played up with an R rating and a few big stars thanks to American-International – the original THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (119 mins., 1979, R; Vinegar Syndrome) nevertheless became one of the biggest independent hits of all-time. Produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff’s American-International Pictures, the pulpy adaptation of Jay Anson’s supposedly “true story” of the infamous haunted house provides plenty of cheap thrills and a few unintentional yucks to go along with it.
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Aisle Seat 10-25: Halloween Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/24/2022 - 10:00 PM
“Trapped in Time. Surrounded by Evil. Low on Gas.” So reads the tag line for ARMY OF DARKNESS (80 mins., 1993, R; Shout! Factory), the third film in Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell’s “Evil Dead” series, which brought a wild, Ray Harryhausen-like fantasy flair to the continuing adventures of Deadite-slayer Ash (Campbell), here trapped in a medieval setting. This fan-favorite sequel has been tapped for a myriad of releases on home video over the years, but adds a 4K UHD Collector’s Edition from Shout! Factory into the mix this month, highlighting a dynamite new Dolby Vision HDR grading of the movie’s theatrical cut.
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Aisle Seat 10-18: Kino Lorber October Crop
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/17/2022 - 10:00 PM
After stumbling at the box-office with the supernatural thriller “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Flashdance” and “Fatal Attraction” director Adrian Lyne struck box-office gold again with 1993’s INDECENT PROPOSAL (116 mins., R; Kino Lorber). At one point, this slick romantic drama was supposed to star Warren Beatty, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. After the movie stalled in pre-production, “Indecent Proposal” ended up with Robert Redford (okay), Demi Moore (fine), and Woody Harrelson (huh?) as its leads. Even if the original casting might have made “Indecent Proposal” more durable over the years (people seem to have forgotten about it completely), it didn’t hurt the movie too much at the time, since despite unfavorable reviews, Lyne’s film rode the crest of over-hyped controversy to a $100-million domestic gross.
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Aisle Seat 10-11: War of the Worlds 4K, TV on DVD Harvest
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/10/2022 - 10:00 PM
George Pal’s awesome 1953 production of H.G. Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS (85 mins., 1953; Paramount) represents ‘50s sci-fi at its best. From the majestic opening with Sir Cedric Hardwicke’s narration and Leith Stevens’ score, to the first appearance of Pal’s saucers and the scenes of stars Gene Barry and Ann Robinson hiding in a farmhouse from the invading Martians, few other films captured the imaginations of sci-fi fans like director Byron Haskin’s movie. The original “War of the Worlds” set the standard for dozens upon dozens of fantasy films that followed in its wake and still ranks today as one of the greatest genre pictures ever made.
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Aisle Seat 9-27: Autumn Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/26/2022 - 10:00 PM
The kind of picture built for Blu-Ray rediscovery, DREAMCHILD (94 mins., 1985, PG) is a film that received some critical acclaim back upon its original release but has been nearly forgotten entirely since. Acclaimed author Dennis Potter’s original drama examines an elderly Alice Hargreaves (Coral Browne) – the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” – as she arrives in America to commemorate the marking of what would’ve been Carroll’s 100th birthday. Flashing back upon her life while dealing with issues that remain in her present, Alice’s thoughts are filled with contrasts – the dark and dreary, the poignant and inspirational – as she comes to terms with them all.
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Aisle Seat 9-20: 4K Frights, Imprint New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/19/2022 - 10:00 PM
Brilliantly scored by Jerry Goldsmith and backed by a script – credited to Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais and Mark Victor – that features an identifiable, likable family at its core, POLTERGEIST (114 mins., 1982, PG; Warner) has lost little of its appeal since its original 1982 release. This first of producer Spielberg’s consecutive Summer of ’82 box-office smashes (“E.T.” naturally being the other) has also, finally, been thoroughly remastered for both 4K UHD and Blu-Ray, debuting a fresh new transfer that comes highly recommended for owners of either format.
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Today in Film Score History:
December 7
Basil Poledouris begins recording his score for White Fang (1990)
Ernst Toch born (1887)
Georges Delerue begins recording his score for Les Visiteurs (1979)
Jerry Goldsmith records his score for The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971)
John Addison died (1998)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service opens in Los Angeles (1969)
Paul Baillargeon records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Latent Image” (1998)
Star Trek -- The Motion Picture is released in theaters (1979)
Tom Waits born (1949)
Victor Young begins recording his score for Appointment with Danger (1949)
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