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Aisle Seat 3-2: Revisiting John Hughes at Paramount
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/1/2021 - 10:00 PM
Offering a pair of Blu-Ray premieres and format reprisals of three ’80s classics, Paramount’s five-disc Blu-Ray anthology JOHN HUGHES: 5-MOVIE COLLECTION gives viewers convenient access to Hughes’ complete cinematic output at the studio, offering some of his finest work both as a director and writer/producer.
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Aisle Seat 2-23: Kino Lorber February Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/22/2021 - 10:00 PM
It’s going to be hard for future generations to understand the dynamics of how movies functioned in the days before streaming – back when films that weren’t “tentpoles” or franchise-driven IP’s could not only find a place at the box-office, but also become bonafide commercial hits in the process. Unlikely sleeper successes were commonplace decades ago, as evidenced by the stunning performance of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN (102 mins., 1975, PG), which fit right into the “Love Story”-established ’70s formula of a romance doomed by a personal tragedy that its lead character has to overcome.
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Aisle Seat Flops of Winters Past: Sly Stallone's D-TOX [EYE SEE YOU]
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/15/2021 - 10:00 PM
Sylvester Stallone’s career has endured through a number of down periods, most especially during the late ’90s. After starring in the well-reviewed James Mangold drama “Cop Land,” Stallone sputtered with his next project: the thriller D-TOX — ultimately known as EYE SEE YOU in the U.S. — in what was supposed to be part of a multi-film deal with Universal.
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Aisle Seat 2-9: Back to the 70s Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 2/8/2021 - 10:00 PM
One of the quintessential “paranoid thrillers” of the 1970s, Alan J. Pakula’s THE PARALLAX VIEW (102 mins., 1974, R; Criterion) is a slick case of atmosphere triumphing over characterization and coherence. Warren Beatty stars as a grizzled reporter who witnessed the assassination of a senator on the top of the Space Needle in Seattle. Years later, his ex (Paula Prentiss) reappears on the scene, claiming there’s a conspiracy and that witnesses who were there are being murdered. Beatty springs into action, telling only his publisher (Hume Cronyn) of a possible cover-up and ultimately going down a rabbit hole that involves the mysterious “Parallax Corporation.”
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Aisle Seat 1-26: Kino Lorber January Releases
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/25/2021 - 10:00 PM
Returning to Blu-Ray from Kino Lorber after a pair of Twilight Time limited edition releases is John Frankenheimer’s terrific THE TRAIN (133 mins., 1964; Kino Lorber). The director – coming off two of his most memorable ‘60s outings (“The Manchurian Candidate” and “Seven Days in May”) – here works from an original Franklin Coen-Frank Davis screenplay that finds Burt Lancaster as Labiche, a French rail worker who becomes involved in a scheme to save priceless artwork from a Nazi train headed for Germany in the final days before the Allies liberated Paris.
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Aisle Seat 1-12: January Chiller Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/11/2021 - 10:00 PM
A disarming and unpredictable “coming of age” story set against the backdrop of a monster apocalypse that’s more Ray Harryhausen than “Walking Dead,” LOVE AND MONSTERS (108 mins., 2020, PG-13; Paramount) had all the ingredients to become a serious sleeper hit in any other year. Regrettably, the pandemic put an end to any hopes of this picture finding a theatrical audience, but the fact we’ve been mostly stuck inside for months on end only makes this warm and winning movie from writers Brian Duffield and Matthew Robinson and second-time feature director Michael Matthews resonate more strongly than it may have otherwise.
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Aisle Seat 1-5: Wonder Woman 1984
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/4/2021 - 10:00 PM
The controversy over Warner Bros.’ decision to premiere their entire slate of 2021 theatrical features on the new HBO Max streaming service day-and-date with whatever theaters are actually open in the U.S. missed one central possibility – that even without a pandemic, duds like Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” and WONDER WOMAN 1984 could’ve helped to ignite a “multiplex mass-extinction” event entirely on their own.
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Aisle Seat 12-22: Christmas & New Years Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/21/2020 - 10:00 PM
The intermittently endearing 1981 rom-com CONTINENTAL DIVIDE Blu-Ray (103 mins., 1981, PG; Kino Lorber) was a first, and sadly a last, happening for several of its participants. For Steven Spielberg, he notched his first Amblin production credit here for shepherding a script by Lawrence Kasdan, who had a hit earlier in ’81 with “Body Heat,” not to mention the screenplay for the director’s own “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” It would also be the first time star John Belushi tried his hand at a straight type of leading man role – reportedly clean and sober on set, it would also, unfortunately, be the last time Belushi would get this opportunity, as he passed away from an overdose in 1982.
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Aisle Seat 12-21: Rambo Steelbook Collection
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/20/2020 - 10:00 PM
The specially-packaged RAMBO: THE COMPLETE STEELBOOK COLLECTION, currently sold exclusively at Best Buy, offers Lionsgate’s 4K UHD/Blu-Ray combo packs of all five of Sylvester Stallone’s action hits – or, really, four, with a dour “Death Wish” knock-off unfortunately sharing space with the rest of the series. It’s an attractive, sturdy set that offers the best presentations of the Rambo series on home video, with ample extras and Digital HD codes to boot.
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Aisle Seat 12-15: Holiday Gift Guide Part II
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/14/2020 - 10:00 PM
Few movies that I was so excited about in high school disappointed me as much as TOTAL RECALL (113 mins., 1990, R; Lionsgate). This expensive, long-gestating adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel – which bounced around for years in pre-production hell – finally found a home at Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna’s Carolco Pictures in the late ‘80s, who tailored the film as a vehicle for Arnold Schwarzenegger. The combination of Arnold, the author of “Blade Runner,” a Jerry Goldsmith score and director Paul Verhoeven coming off “Robocop” had action fans of all ages (at least those with parents willing to bring their teens to the R-rated film) feverishly anticipating the picture – yet the finished product, while entertaining, has never been a heavy favorite of mine.
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March 6
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