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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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Aisle Seat 9-13: Vinegar Syndrome September Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/12/2022 - 10:00 PM
Leave it to Vinegar Syndrome to produce a full restoration of THE BIRDS II: LAND’S END (86 mins., 1994, R), the long-forgotten Showtime cable sequel to the Alfred Hitchcock ’60s fave. Technically this film is less a sequel than it is a self-contained survival tale of a family encountering an avian attack on a sleepy North Carolina island. Off-camera, it was a struggle of a different kind – an apparently rocky marriage between a director mostly known for schlock (including the worst “Halloween” sequel of them all) and an Emmy/Peabody-winning producer known for his more aspirational TV work. Despite its pedigree, unfair comparisons to Hitch and “Alan Smithee” listed as director, the big surprise with “Birds II” is how entertaining it is – especially if you’re able to accept it on its own terms.
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Aisle Seat 9-6: Season 26 Premiere Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 9/5/2022 - 10:00 PM
It was just a year ago we kicked off the “25th Season” of The Aisle Seat with a review of Paramount’s 4K UHD release of the first four “Star Trek” movies. Now it’s time for the 26th Season Premiere and Paramount has released a brand new STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE 6-MOVIE COLLECTION, debuting 4K UHDs of William Shatner’s 1989 entry “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” as well as Nicholas Meyer’s 1991 original cast swan song “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.” More over, Paramount has also included – available separately in its own deluxe release as well – the brand-new, remastered edition of STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE – THE DIRECTOR’S EDITION, incorporating many of the changes from the 2001 Robert Wise DVD “re-cut” with freshly reworked, 4K-mastered FX and a few other changes.
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Aisle Seat 8-30: Kino Lorber August Rundown
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/29/2022 - 10:00 PM
After making an early impression opposite Bruce Lee in “Way of the Dragon,” Chuck Norris bounced around for a few years before netting the lead role in the drive-in trucker hit “Breaker, Breaker.” He would head back to his forte – martial arts – by headlining a trio of vehicles for American Cinema Corporation, all three of which show Norris trying to hone his limited acting skills while offering the occasional blast of action. This month, Kino Lorber brings the trio to Blu-Ray in new 2K (1.85) restorations courtesy of MGM, and while they are anything but “Prime Chuck” – being marred by pokey scripts that don’t always showcase Norris at his best, especially early on in his career – fans should still be delighted with these spiffy remasters.
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Aisle Seat 8-23: Vinegar Syndrome August Assault
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/22/2022 - 10:00 PM
Fun City Editions adds another ’80s gem to their Blu-Ray roster this month that’s been scarcely circulated since its theatrical debut: Bobby Roth’s character drama HEARTBREAKERS (99 mins., 1984, R), an Orion release that fits comfortably alongside other uniquely colored projects from the studio’s heyday. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this is one of my favorite releases from FCE yet, as it resurrects a movie many of us have never had the opportunity to see – a worthwhile, finely performed picture about friendship, relationships and romance, themes that are obviously universal beyond its 1984 milieu.
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Aisle Seat 8-16: Imprint New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/15/2022 - 10:00 PM
For barely over a year, Oscar-winning British producer David Puttnam became the head studio chief at Columbia Pictures, promising to open the door to creative voices and bring his own sense of filmmaking individuality to Hollywood. The net result was a disaster across every spectrum, resulting in one of the more dizzying arrays of box-office flops imaginable (check out the full list). Among them was THE BEAST (110 mins., 1988, R), a drama about a Russian tank playing a game of survival in Afghanistan with Mujahideen fighters after they bombard a local village, killing many of its inhabitants.
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Aisle Seat 8-2: Imprint’s Latest, Mill Creek July Titles
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/1/2022 - 10:00 PM
Imprint’s latest releases include two ’60s seafaring adventures along with a Biblical epic more “serious” than Saturday Matinee in its overall tone. Each limited-edition Blu-Ray marks its respective picture’s premiere HD release, though some of the source elements vary in terms of quality. The films themselves, though, each come heartily recommended, offering a diversity of entertainment for movie buffs.
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Aisle Seat 7-19: Summer Sizzler Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/18/2022 - 10:00 PM
Kino Lorber released a dynamite 4K UHD of “In The Heat of the Night” back in April that also included both of the Sidney Poitier “Mister Tibbs” sequels on a Blu-Ray platter. Those sequels – previously available from the label in separate, standalone format releases – have been re-issued this month in a double-feature Blu-Ray reprising that disc from the UHD combo platter.
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Aisle Seat 7-12: Vinegar Syndrome Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/11/2022 - 10:00 PM
The purveyors of the offbeat and eccentric, sometimes gloriously weird and occasionally wild – Vinegar Syndrome – have a full run of eclectic new titles in-store for Blu-Ray and UHD owners this summer. They’re highlighted by a dynamic three-disc UHD/Blu-Ray package of THRILLER “A Cruel Picture” (108 mins., 1973), which (like the other titles covered below) can now be ordered through Vinegar Syndrome’s site and goes “retail” at the end of this month. I previously reviewed Synapse’s BD of this movie a couple of months back, but VS’ release is a far more features-packed presentation with tons of extra content and a superior transfer, making it the more complete package for fans.
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Aisle Seat 6-28: Kino Lorber June Spectacular
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/27/2022 - 10:00 PM
So many films from the 1990s have fallen through the cracks in the transition to high-def, never mind Ultra HD. One of the catalogs that has received especially short shrift is the library of Savoy Pictures, an independent studio that distributed a handful of memorable films including Robert DeNiro’s “A Bronx Tale” and the Ray Liotta sci-fi thriller “No Escape.” My favorite among their few dozen releases was LAST OF THE DOGMEN (118 mins., 1995, PG), a sweeping romantic western that represented one of the last gasps of Mario Kassar’s Carolco Pictures, and a film that remains a wonderful, old-fashioned adventure that’s been long overdue for rediscovery.
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Today in Film Score History:
September 25
Alan Silvestri begins recording his score for The Bodyguard (1992)
Danny Elfman and Steve Bartek's score for the Amazing Stories episode "Mummy Daddy" is recorded (1985)
Dmitri Shostakovich born (1906)
Eric Rogers born (1921)
Jay Chattaway records his score for the Enterprise episode “Fight or Flight” (2001)
Michael Gibbs born (1937)
Randy Kerber born (1958)
Richard Harvey born (1953)
Rod Temperton died (2016)
Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Where No One Has Gone Before" (1987)
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