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Aisle Seat 5-26: Tom Cruise in 4K UHD, Kino Lorber May Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/25/2020 - 10:00 PM
Because we’ve been stuck in the midst of a COVID-driven lockdown, I’ve found it comforting to revisit apocalyptic, end-of-the-world fare on home video over these last few weeks. If you think it’s been bad being locked up over the last two months – well, wait, an extraterrestrial invasion and being trapped in Tim Robbins’ basement could well be worse.
Comments: 1  (read on)
Aisle Seat 5-12: "Paramount Presents" Blu-Ray Remasters
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/11/2020 - 10:00 PM
The quintessential ’80s thriller that set the standard for a stream of imitators to follow, FATAL ATTRACTION (119 mins., 1987, R; Paramount) kicks off a trio of “Paramount Presents” Blu-Ray remasters, offering new 4K film transfers, collectible slipcovers boasting fold-out reproductions of each film’s respective one-sheet poster, and a few new extras.
Comments: 1  (read on)
Aisle Seat 4-28: Police Squad, V - The Final Battle
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/27/2020 - 10:00 PM
The time and effort that went into the hit 1983 NBC mini-series “V” did not extend into the following season’s six-hour follow-up, V: THE FINAL BATTLE (267 mins., 1984; Warner Archive), which shows every sign of having been rushed into and out of production. Original writer-director Kenneth Johnson was replaced by director Richard T.Heffron and producers Daniel Blatt and Robert Singer, and a collection of nameless screenwriters (try seven of them!) to continue the story. While most of the cast returns, some of the minor supporting players have been re-cast and there are several scenes – particularly in the first part – that contain plenty of unintended laughs, looped dialogue, and signs that money was low and time was short during production. Despite this, somehow or other this 267-minute follow-up remains entertaining, especially once you reach its climactic installment.
Comments: 1  (read on)
Aisle Seat Video Vault: The Other ROBIN HOOD
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/13/2020 - 10:00 PM
Seeing as the influx of new releases has slowed to a crawl – manufacturing and distribution systems are locked down like everything else – we’re going to primarily pivot here at the Aisle Seat towards older films I’ve recently revisited either on disc or streaming platforms. New releases that are, in fact, still being released will follow these “Video Vault” reviews for the time being. Enjoy!
Comments: 2  (read on)
Aisle Seat 3-31: Quarantine Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/30/2020 - 10:00 PM
Anything going on in the world over the last two weeks? With our now 6-year-old being home schooled a few inches away from me — by me — the Aisle Seat has gone into full quarantine mode, all the while my wife is dealing with assorted daily issues at our local hospital. Undaunted, this column will continue — as will our daily discussions on the Aisle Seat Message Board — particularly because home entertainment isn’t taking a break…in fact, it’s the only mode of entertainment left at this point! So, here’s my latest rundown of new & upcoming releases, which should be available to purchase now….especially if you bundle an Amazon order with a coveted box of toilet paper, which as we’re all too aware, is a “hot” commodity at this point in time.
Comments: 4  (read on)
Aisle Seat 3-17: March Madness Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/16/2020 - 10:00 PM
One of those titles – along with “Time Bandits” and “Jaws” – that my parents rented for me on VHS frequently when I was growing up, VICTORY (117 mins., 1981, PG) stars Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, and Pele in a hugely entertaining, if highly improbable, melding of “The Great Escape” with the sports thrills of international soccer. Despite being one of the earliest Warner releases in the DVD format, it’s taken years for the film to finally receive a high-definition remaster, which Warner Archive has at last brought to us in the form of a splendid, impressive new Blu-Ray.
Comments: 1  (read on)
Aisle Seat 3-3: March Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/2/2020 - 10:00 PM
The sequel to the highest-grossing ‘toon feature of all-time – FROZEN II 4K Ultra HD/Blu-Ray (103 mins., 2019, PG; Disney) – quickly became the, well, highest-grossing ‘toon feature of all-time. Despite some clunky and disposable songs, “Frozen II” is a visual feast and a commendable effort in that the picture doesn’t at all recycle the plot of its predecessor. Here, Arendelle royalty Princess Elsa and Anna head out into the Enchanted Forest on a journey that continues Elsa’s spiritual awakening while answering a mysterious “call” that leads them into uncovering truths about their parents. There, they counter both Arendelle soldiers and native people – plus plenty of magic – as they attempt to save their kingdom and right previous “ancestral wrongs.”
Comments: 0  (read on)
Aisle Seat 2-18: 4K February Thrills, New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/17/2020 - 10:00 PM
Roland Emmerich’s passion project MIDWAY (138 mins., 2019, PG-13; Lionsgate) fared moderately well at the U.S. box-office despite getting mixed reviews, yet (once again) the Rotten Tomatoes critical crew missed the boat. While lavishing praise on the likes of “Birds of Prey” and “The Last Jedi,” they mostly brushed aside this sturdy war film with a commendable attention to the historical record – bringing to the screen more actual history than was contained in Universal’s at-times melodramatic 1976 Sensurround extravaganza chronicling the same battle.
Comments: 2  (read on)
Aisle Seat 2-11: Kino Lorber, Doctor Sleep, Shout February Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/10/2020 - 10:00 PM
The novels of Jules Verne had been adapted into a myriad of memorable cinematic adventures during the 1950s and ‘60s, from the Ray Harryhausen-laced thrills of “Mysterious Island” to the Oscar-winning “Around the World in 80 Days” and Disney’s classic “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” At the end of the cycle, the latter’s star, Kirk Douglas, looked to Verne’s final novelTHE LIGHT AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (128 mins., 1971, PG; Kino Lorber), for inspiration, but nothing could prepare viewers – especially the family audience the film was seemingly marketed towards – for the brutal violence this underappreciated – yet purely adult – adventure contains.
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Aisle Seat 1-28: January Chiller Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/27/2020 - 10:00 PM
Kino Lorber’s terrific, varied slate of January releases offers high Technicolor adventure from the 1940s, a moody British character piece, a ‘70s revisionist western, Michael Ritchie’s follow-up to “The Bad News Bears” and, for B-movie buffs, a truckin’ adventure from the AIP vaults. These “Studio Classics” Blu-Rays come alongside the exciting news that Kino Lorber has made a new deal with Universal for a reported 200 releases coming this year and beyond, with a few 4K UHD titles hopefully a part of that equation.
Comments: 3  (read on)
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