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Aisle Seat 9-28: Autumn Attack Edition 2: The Sequel!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/27/2023 - 10:00 PM
MVD has taken and run with the 4K UHD ball so far this year, showering movie buffs with terrific releases as diverse as the 1988 Best Picture winner “Rain Man” and Wes Craven’s 1982 DC outing “Swamp Thing.” This month MVD is back favoring the cult niche – always a popular crowd on home video – with several delectable releases including THE GIRL FROM RIO (94 mins., 1969; Blue Underground).
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Aisle Seat 9-26: Autumn Attack Edition! (Part 1)
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/25/2023 - 10:00 PM
The recent passing of director William Friedkin makes Warner’s new 4K UHD release of his classic THE EXORCIST (122/132 mins., R; Warner) a bittersweet occurrence, as this double-disc set preserves both the theatrical and “Version You’ve Never Seen” cuts in a generally stunning HDR10 presentation with immersive Dolby Atmos audio – a fitting tribute to the auteur’s arguably finest work.
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Aisle Seat 9-19: Vinegar Syndrome Autumn Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/18/2023 - 10:00 PM
Kicking off a terrific and, of course, highly varied slate of new releases for Vinegar Syndrome this month is a 4K UHD of SHOWGIRLS (131 mins., 1995, NC-17), director Paul Verhoeven’s much-maligned opus which stars Elizabeth Berkley and Gina Gershon in a silly, cliched story of a girl who rises to fame and fortune but finds out, when she gets to the top, that she never should have bothered trying. The formula is nearly as old as cinema itself, but the raunchiness was turned up by Verhoeven and his “Basic Instinct” writer Joe Eszterhas to a degree that quickly relegated this heavily-hyped picture to being a camp experience for a niche audience.
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Aisle Seat 9-12: September Shockers! Season 27 Premiere!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/11/2023 - 10:00 PM
Writer Don Mancini’s psycho-killer doll “Chucky” was first launched on the big-screen in “Fright Night” director Tom Holland’s 1988 box-office hit “Child’s Play” before settling into a series of sequels that were strictly products of their slasher-filled era – “Chucky” himself reeling off one-liners a la Freddy Kruger before dispatching of his victims. While the first three “Child’s Play” movies have already been released on 4K UHD, Shout! Factory this month rolls out new editions of the later Chucky films, starting off with the best of the series: Ronny Yu’s delightfully off-the-wall BRIDE OF CHUCKY (89 mins., 2008, R), which bested Oprah Winfrey and Jonathan Demme’s adaptation of Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” at the box-office in what was one of the more memorable commercial upsets of its day.
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Aisle Seat 8-29: Kino Lorber, Imprint End of Summer Bash
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/28/2023 - 10:00 PM
If you, like me, grew up in the ‘80s, you can be forgiven for thinking that Sidney J. Furie was little more than a journeyman director. His attachment to slick but rather anonymous commercial projects like the “Top Gun” rip-off “Iron Eagle” and “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace” weren’t indicative of the kinds of personal projects that informed his earlier work – movies that made an indelible impression on his devotees and offered evocative widescreen visuals to match their often rich human dimensions. Imprint’s latest retrospective Blu-Ray box-set, DIRECTED BY SIDNEY J. FURIE, offers five of Furie’s superior works from the 1970s including the release of two pictures making their home video debuts in any format.
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Aisle Seat 8-22: 4K Summer Sizzlers
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/21/2023 - 10:00 PM
Bruce Lee fans have a major reason to celebrate this month with the release of Arrow’s UK “Bruce Lee at Golden Harvest” UHD box-set, which preserves all of the legendary star’s big-screen features in new 4K transfers with one exception: the set only includes a Blu-Ray of Lee’s biggest – and certainly best – cinematic vehicle, ENTER THE DRAGON (99/102 mins., 1973, R), which not coincidentally finds its way to 4K UHD worldwide from Warner this week. This is a smashing UHD restoration of one of the biggest box-office phenoms of the 1970s, released just a month after its star’s untimely passing.
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Aisle Seat 8-15: August Catalog Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/14/2023 - 10:00 PM
Action, adventure, and Cinemascope splendor are ingredients that Hollywood studios attempted to inject into the box-office of the mid 1950s, with Warner Bros. offering a pair of often maligned epics now beautifully restored on Blu-Ray. Leading the charge from Warner Archive is LAND OF THE PHARAOHS (104 mins., 1955), a spectacular restoration of director Howard Hawks’ widescreen box-office disappointment. Less interested in adhering to the “Biblical Epic” formula of its time than some of its peers, this Cinemascope affair – co-penned by William Faulkner – is instead a fascinating portrait of Jack Hawkins’ Pharaoh wanting to construct a great pyramid and doing so with the assistance of an architect (James Robertson Justice) now a slave among his people.
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Aisle Seat 8-1: Summer Cavalcade Part 1 - Kino & OCN Wrap!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/31/2023 - 10:00 PM
Movies based on Stephen King novels, so prevalent on the big screen throughout the 1980s, were boosted in terms of critical acclaim and box-office by Castle Rock’s adaptation of “Misery” in 1990. The production company would go back to the well for numerous other King projects over the course of the next decade, starting off with NEEDFUL THINGS (120/188 mins., 1993, R), an uneven picture that nevertheless offers one of the strongest acting ensembles to be found in any film based on one of the author’s works.
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Aisle Seat 7-18: INVADERS, WATERWORLD in 4K
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/17/2023 - 10:00 PM
One of the seminal sci-fi fantasies of the 1950s, INVADERS FROM MARS (73 mins., 1953; Ignite/MVD) has been long due for a thorough remaster, and now, after years of stops and starts – not to mention delays due to the pandemic – Ignite Films has produced a simply outstanding 4K UHD restoration of William Cameron Menzies’ B-movie favorite. Previously available in a limited release through Ignite directly last year, MVD rolls out a “retail” edition of the film this month, making it an essential release for any fan of ‘50s sci-fi fantasy.
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Aisle Seat 7-11: Imprint Editions July Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/10/2023 - 10:00 PM
Originally intended as an epic, two-film collaboration between director David Lean and writer Robert Bolt, THE BOUNTY (131 mins., 1984, PG; Imprint) endured the rough seas of development hell that nearly wiped out the duo’s planned adaptation of “Mutiny on the Bounty.” By the time the film was made, the passage of time had dropped Lean and an ailing Bolt out of the project, but producer Dino DeLaurentiis continued undaunted after star Mel Gibson expressed an interest in the material.
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Today in Film Score History:
October 1
Dave Grusin begins recording his score for Falling in Love (1984)
Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Haven” (1987)
Dennis McCarthy records his scores for the Star Trek: Enterprise episodes “Impulse” and “Twilight” (2003)
Elia Cmiral born (1950)
Ernst Toch died (1964)
George Duning begins recording his score to The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959)
Irwin Kostal born (1911)
Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Dragon’s Teeth” (1999)
Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score to The Prize (1963)
Johannes Kobilke born (1973)
Lalo Schifrin records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “Operation Rogosh” (1966)
Ron Goodwin begins recording his score to Where Eagles Dare (1968)
Stelvio Cipriani died (2018)
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