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Aisle Seat 2-12: Valentine's Day Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/11/2019 - 9:00 PM
Burt Lancaster co-directed THE MIDNIGHT MAN (***, 119 mins., 1974, R), a Universal murder-mystery adapted from the book “The Midnight Lady and the Mourning Man” by David Anthony. The film’s plot was reconfigured to suit Lancaster’s talents with the veteran star playing an ex-cop from Chicago, out on parole after shooting his wife’s lover, who settles into a job working security at a southern college…only to find himself quickly embroiled in a co-ed’s murder and an eventual (and quite convoluted) conspiracy plot. While this production was much criticized for being little more than an extended, R-rated episode of “Columbo” at the time of its release – these days, you have to ask yourself, what’s wrong with that?
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Aisle Seat 1-29: Super Bowl Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/28/2019 - 9:00 PM
Some classics hold up to the test of time – and a few seem to get better with age. That’s the feeling I had while watching Alfred Hitchcock’s NOTORIOUS (****, 101 mins., 1946) in Criterion’s highly-anticipated new Blu-Ray, which delivers the expected technical benefits from a newly remastered 4K transfer and enhances a suspenseful, romantic, thrilling film that may just be Hitchcock’s finest.
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Aisle Seat 1-15: January Rundown Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/14/2019 - 9:00 PM
Ringing in the new year with one of my favorite unsung movies of the mid ‘90s is Kino Lorber, whose Blu-Ray (eagerly awaited – at least by me) of Roland Joffe’s THE SCARLET LETTER (135 mins., 1995, R) gives viewers another chance to evaluate this handsomely produced, “freely adapted” take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel – one that was derided both for the casting of Demi Moore as heroine Hester Prynne and ample alterations from its source material.
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Aisle Seat Christmas & New Year's Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/23/2018 - 9:00 PM
Chances are many of us have had long relationships with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (149 mins., G) over the years on home video. From bulky, cropped VHS tapes – one of which I recall renting from our local Major Video to show in my 6th grade class – to the first widescreen presentations in Criterion’s laserdiscs, “2001” is a film that’s received endless video releases over the decades. While Warner Home Video’s 2007 Blu-Ray was certainly an upgrade on what we had available to us previously, the studio has one-upped that presentation in both Blu-Ray and now 4K UHD thanks to a stellar new remastering that presents a technical evolution for viewers in savoring the director’s 1968 masterwork.
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Aisle Seat 12-11: Holiday Gift Guide
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/10/2018 - 9:00 PM

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It’s been a phenomenal year for Warner Archive releases, with all kinds of films – and genres — treated to long-awaited high-definition renderings. This week alone perfectly showcases that mix with movie buffs able to wrangle with Dracula, swing along with Tarzan and Errol Flynn, belt out Broadway tunes and fly along with one of Robert Altman’s stranger ‘70s odysseys, all on Blu-Ray for the first time.

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Aisle Seat 12-4: December Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/3/2018 - 9:00 PM
Arguably the most legendary “lost movie” of all-time, Criterion’s new and eagerly anticipated Blu-Ray of Orson Welles’ THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (88 mins., 1942) still presents the compromised RKO released version of the writer-director’s oft-hailed “Citizen Kane” follow-up. Yet, it does so in such a vividly restored 4K transfer – and with a rich assortment of special features – that buffs may feel it easier than ever to gain a sense of Welles’ original vision, even if it’s still heartbreakingly out of reach.
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Aisle Seat 11-21: A Thanksgiving Feast
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/20/2018 - 9:00 PM
Unquestionably one of 2018’s top home video releases, Time Life’s ROBIN WILLIAMS: COMIC GENIUS serves up a treasure trove of material for fans of the late, great comic, encompassing his stand-up work, TV talk-show appearances and other forums where Williams’ improvisations were ideally suited. Housed in an oversized cardboard case, this massive, 22-disc DVD anthology is both lovingly presented and superbly compiled, graced with new interviews and priceless clips
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Aisle Seat 11-13: 4K Superwrap, Dracula in ’72
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/12/2018 - 9:00 PM
It’s a big month for 4K UHD enthusiasts, as multiple studios have launched a series of classics in the fledgling format. Most of these films need little introduction to fans, who are likely to wonder if they’re worth plunking down additional funds for the umpteenth time. Thanks to the restoration of the movie’s 6-track 70mm soundtrack, the answer for SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (****, 143 mins., 1978, PG) fans, at least, is an unqualified “yes!”
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Aisle Seat 10-30: Halloween Edition Part 2!
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/29/2018 - 9:00 PM
After producing the likes of “The Dead Zone,” “Firestarter,” “Cat’s Eye” and “Silver Bullet,” Dino DeLaurentiis lured in Stephen King with the promise of directing with MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE (97 mins., 1986, R) for this fledgling DEG studio. Now, I have to confess I have fond memories of seeing this picture in theaters – it was one of the first R-rated films I was allowed to watch, thanks to my friend’s movie-buff dad, George Coombs, who reviewed movies on WKRI-AM in Warwick, RI. Mr. C received free passes to the local theater chains (General Cinema and Showcase), which allowed us to see loads of films together during my formative years, and “Maximum Overdrive” was – along with “Witness” and “Aliens” – one of my earliest R-rating movie-going experiences.
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Aisle Seat 10-23: Halloween Edition Part 1
Posted By: Andy Dursin 10/22/2018 - 9:00 PM
After too many sequels and imitators to count, the smartest thing the filmmakers behind the much-anticipated HALLOWEEN revival did is forget everything that came after John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic. So sayonara to “Halloween II,” throw out vague memories of the late ‘80s sequels, toss out the “Miramax years” and happily discard Rob Zombie’s putrid reboots – this straight-ahead follow-through to Carpenter’s original is a smart, savvy and suspenseful continuation that’s appealing and fun. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel – but what film in the hack ‘n slash genre possibly could at this point?
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Today in Film Score History:
February 19
Charles Bernstein begins recording his score for Gator (1976)
Claudio Simonetti born (1952)
David Bell records his score for the Enterprise episode “Fusion” (2002)
Donald Rubinstein born (1952)
Marvin Hamlisch begins recording his score for I Ought to Be in Pictures (1982)
Saul Chaplin born (1912)
Shigeru Umebayashi born (1951)
Teo Macero died (2008)
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