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The Last Starfighter (Collector's Edition) (Widescreen) [Import]

4.3 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 46.15
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  • The Last Starfighter (Collector's Edition) (Widescreen) [Import]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Lance Guest, Robert Preston, Kay E. Kuter, Dan Mason, Dan O'Herlihy
  • Directors: Nick Castle
  • Writers: Jonathan R. Betuel
  • Producers: Edward O. Denault, Gary Adelson, John Whitney Jr., Robert E. Swanson
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Universal Music Group
  • Release Date: Aug. 12 2003
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00000IQW3
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Product Description

At the time of its original release in 1984, this modestly budgeted sci-fi excursion had the distinction of offering some of the first examples of purely computer-generated animation, an apt (and frugal) special-effects solution for a movie with a plot line rooted in computer games. Both the computer-generated visuals and the arcade game now look quaint, but writer-director Nick Castle's affable, good- hearted adventure holds up nicely, thanks to a clever premise--the title game is actually a test for prospective starship pilots, planted by embattled aliens under siege from an evil invader. When a restless teenager (Lance Guest) racks up an impressive score, he finds himself spirited away to the besieged planet and thrust into the midst of an intergalactic war. Apart from Castle's skill at contrasting his extraterrestrial settings with the mundane details of his hero's earthbound life, the movie gets lift-off from two thorough pros, Robert Preston, who makes the alien recruiter, Centauri, a planet-hopping cousin to The Music Man's Harold Hill, and Dan O'Herlihy, the alien copilot, who suggests a scaly Walter Brennan. Older fans will snicker, but kids and young teens will find this rite of passage absorbing, while their folks will savor Preston's brash charm. --Sam Sutherland --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I remember seeing this film when it came out in 1984 and enjoying it. I liked it then, and I liked it again when I saw it recently on DVD. There are two reasons why you might enjoy The Last Starfighter:
(1) You are looking for a movie to watch with kids aged 8 to 14. This movie has a simple, straightforward storyline that holds attention and enjoyment for its 101 minutes. My daughters (10 and 12) loved it, though they noted that the special effects were a bit obvious (see also reason (2)). It was a nice family treat.
(2) You want to see a bit of film history; this one has two attractions. It was the first full-length motion picture to rely entirely on computer-generated graphics for its special effects, arguably blazing the way for the CGI industry of a decade later. From the perspective of 18 years later, these effects are pretty obvious, but they are not primitive. They work well. And they were done on computers that were less powerful than the laptop I'm typing this review on.
The second bit of film history in this movie is that it was one of the last films to co-star Robert Preston, in a role that is deliberately modeled on one his most famous (and enjoyable roles), that of the outrageous flim-flam man of The Music Man. "Centuri" (Preston) is the reincarnation of Professor Harold Hill in outer space. If you are a fan of Robert Preston, you'll enjoy his performance in this movie. It is obvious that he enjoyed doing it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is populated by stock characters. The hero, a senior teen, wants to get away from the trailer park where he lives with his mother and is the de facto handyman. His girlfriend is a sweet person whose chief concern besides the the hero is her "granny". The hero's little brother about age eleven has a collection of Playboy magazines and is kept in line by the threat of disclosure. The chief nasty, who chews the scenery, has joined forces with a powerful alien race which wants to conquer the chief nasty's confederation of planets where the scenery-chewer wishes to rule.
What brings the two sides together is an arcade starfighter game which the hero learns to use so well he breaks the record. On the heels of that success comes an alien, a galactic headhunter, drawn there by the hero's success. Eventually , the hero trained by the arcade game as a gunner is teamed with a reptilian mercinary pilot, to whom the hero refer as a "gung ho iguana". Through circumstances, the pair become all that is left of the defence force.
What separates this plot and its characters from a rejected Star Trek episode is Centauri, the headhunter, played with great gusto by Robert Preston in his best Prof. Harold Hill voice and manner from The Music Man. He lights up the sky and the film.
The special effects are primitive but adequate; the aliens interesting enough. For all its limitations, the film is a pleasant enough evening's entertainment.
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Format: VHS Tape
One of the first science fiction films I saw and still one of the best (defintly the most underatted). Lance Guest stars as Alex Grogan a teenager who dreams of one day leaving his trailer park home with his girlfriend Maggy (Caterine Mary Stewart) and becoming someone successful, despite the insults from his so-called friends. His chance comes when he breaks the record on a Starfighter video game. He is then whisked away to a far off planet, thanks to help of Centauri (an alien talent scout), played brilliantly by Robert Preston. He discovers the Starfighter game is more like a training simulation and that the story the 'game' centers on is real and brought to life in a distant galaxy.
Okay the special effects look seriously dated compared to todays standards but Lance Guest is wonderful as the young teenager who must switch between being a regular guy and Han Solo type gunfighter. Robert Preston stands out as the supporting act, totally convincing as a wise-cracking money grabber. The bad guys take the form of monstrous creatures led by the annoying, somewhat hammy Zur. But there is a good distinction between them and the good guys, Star League. Somewhat like Star Wars, the enemies aren't too evil just bad enough to boo and hiss at.
The film moves at a steady pace and there are some great moments featuring Alex's clone while the real Alex saves the universe.
The Last Starfighter is a science fiction classic waiting to be rediscovered and remastered.
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Format: DVD
One of the fondest memories of my childhood was watching this movie while eating a Chef-Boy-Ardee sausage pizza. (remember those?) Many hot summer days were spent enjoying the adventure of Alex Rogan travelling to Rylos and realizing his dreams and his destiny as a Starfighter with his navigator, Grigg. This is one of those inexplicably optimistic films that popped up in the 80's. Despite the fact that the special effects may look dated now, the story is timeless and well written for this genre. The video presentation on this DVD is rather crisp and clear but the audio could be a "little" better. Still, this is a wonderful film for kids and nostalgic adults alike. Oh, the extras are nice as well. I hadn't seen the "Making of" documentary since it appeared on HBO when I was a kid. This is a wonderful film.
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