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Aisle Seat 8-13: August Assault Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 8/12/2019 - 9:00 PM
Now the biggest global hit of all-time (not counting inflation), AVENGERS: ENDGAME (181 mins., 2019, PG-13; Disney) wraps up Marvel’s two-film behemoth and also puts a lid on over a decade of some 21 prior movies featuring the comic book company-turned-Disney brand’s super-heroes. It’s not particularly witty or artfully executed, but as far as fan-service films go, this overlong but entertaining picture gets the job done, and wisely focuses on the original core of Avengers members for much of its running time instead of the “Marvel All-Star Rally” featured in its exhausting predecessor.
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Aisle Seat 7-30: A Mid-Summer Wrap
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/29/2019 - 9:00 PM
Shout! Factory’s upcoming Autumn slate is their best yet, chock full of long-awaited Blu-Rays from the Paramount vaults (“Prophecy,” “Body Parts,” “The Fan”) and one of the most exciting film restorations for genre buffs in years: the original theatrical color of the Frank Langella “Dracula” (1979), available for viewers to see in its widescreen dimensions for the very first time since its initial theatrical run. While some of us will be saving our pennies for Shout’s forthcoming titles, the label has a number of new releases due this month including the Blu-Ray debut of VICE SQUAD (97 mins., 1982, R), a cable cult-favorite restored here in a 4K scan of original film elements.
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Aisle Seat 7-16: Summertime Disc Delights
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/15/2019 - 9:00 PM
Sci-fi addicts need little introduction to Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s memorable ‘70s series SPACE: 1999 (aprx. 40 hours, 1975-77), which makes its way to Blu-Ray this month in a marvelous package from Shout! Factory – one that also debuts the series’ second season in a U.S. format release for the first time.
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Aisle Seat 7-2: A Fourth Celebration
Posted By: Andy Dursin 7/1/2019 - 9:00 PM
American director Delbert Mann helmed a series of literary adaptations for both film and TV in the early ‘70s, including KIDNAPPED (107 mins., 1971, G). The Scottish location filming and delineation of the Jacobite Rising provide this take on the Robert Louis Stevenson novel (as well as a portion of its sequel) with a different flavor than the earlier Disney screen version, yet there are times this production could’ve used an infusion of its predecessor’s youthful swashbuckling.
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Aisle Seat 6-18: Summer Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/17/2019 - 9:00 PM
Shout! Factory dives deep into the vault for their first of two planned Golden Age compilations with UNIVERSAL HORROR COLLECTION Volume 1, offering four of Boris “KARLOFF” and Bela Lugosi’s collaborations produced between 1934-40. Making their Blu-Ray debuts are two of their most highly-regarded efforts – the Poe-inspired “The Black Cat” (1934) and “The Raven” (1935) – along with the wild “The Invisible Ray” (1936) and so-so 1940 programmer “Black Friday.”
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Aisle Seat 6-4: Godzilla! Earthquake! June Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 6/3/2019 - 9:00 PM
Long before Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan “re-defined” the Dark Knight on the silver screen came Tim Burton’s BATMAN and the Caped Crusader’s ‘90s sequels, all of which hit 4K UHD on June 4th courtesy of Warner Home Video. Despite the varied quality of the pictures themselves, revisiting them in new 4K transfers proved to be a highly enjoyable experience – with the movies all benefiting from the deeper blacks and higher contrast levels that HDR can provide.
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Aisle Seat 5-21: May Mania Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/20/2019 - 9:00 PM
Whatever happened to Richard Franklin? The Australian auteur became a hot commodity for a while in the ’80s thanks to genre films like “Psycho II” and the kid fantasy “Cloak and Dagger,” but he saw his career fizzle out after misfires like the barely released 1986 ape thriller LINK (103 mins., R; Kino Lorber). Produced for Thorn EMI before their film division went belly-up and was sold to Cannon, “Link” stars Terence Stamp as a daffy college professor whose work with intelligent simians results in one of those predictable “don’t mess with nature” plots, forcing grad student Elisabeth Shue to battle a chimp gone wild in Stamp’s isolated British manor.
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Aisle Seat 5-7: Alien 4K, Scream & Twilight Time New Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 5/6/2019 - 9:00 PM
One of the wonderful things about watching classic films in a remastered presentation, and especially at a higher resolution than you’ve seen before, is that you can appreciate them anew, on their own terms. Not as the start of a franchise, not as a genre benchmark that was copied hundreds of times over – but a solitary work of cinema that remains contemporary even though it was released some 40 years ago. That’s the case with ALIEN (****, 116 mins., 1979, R), Ridley Scott’s classic which rode the sci-fi wave that “Star Wars” ignited and became a classic in its own right thanks to Scott’s direction, the film’s evocative production design and striking H.R. Giger creature effects.
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Aisle Seat 4-23: Criterion's Police Story, Kino Lorber April Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/22/2019 - 9:00 PM
Though not strictly classified as a horror movie, Universal’s 1940 production of THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES (89 mins.) fits comfortably alongside some of its strongest monster rallies. In fact, this Nathaniel Hawthorne adaptation falls somewhere between an A-grade studio project and a superior B-effort, sporting George Sanders as the conniving member of a colonial New England family who dreams of lost treasure laying about their ancestral home. Vincent Price, meanwhile, contributes one of his most sympathetic turns as Sanders’ brother, framed for their father’s death and sent to waste away in prison, leaving his beloved fiancée (Margaret Lindsay) behind.
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Aisle Seat 4-16: April Assault '19
Posted By: Andy Dursin 4/15/2019 - 9:00 PM
Kicking off this week’s Aisle Seat are two new, impressive restorations of vintage – and rarely screened – widescreen films from Flicker Alley: the German-produced 70mm travelogue FLYING CLIPPER, known as MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY upon its U.S. theatrical run (158 mins., 1962), and the once long-lost Cinerama feature THE GOLDEN HEAD (115 mins., 1965). The latter was never released in North America and ended its London theatrical run early, where it was replaced by “Flying Clipper” – now both of them have been collected in a pair of terrific new Blu-Ray combo packs, the latter with a 4K UHD presentation as well.
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Today in Film Score History:
August 24
Jean-Michel Jarre born (1948)
John Debney wins his first Emmy, for the Young Riders episode score “Kansas;” Richard Bellis wins for part 1 of It (1991)
Mark Lawrence died (1991)
Peter Kyed born (1963)
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