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LAST STARFIGHTER [Blu-ray]
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“Greetings, Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Kodan Armada.” So begins an adventure of galactic proportions in The Last Starfighter. After Earthling Alex (Lance Guest) conquers the Starfighter video game, he is recruited by alien Centauri (Robert Preston) to be part of an elite legion of fighters. Leaving behind his trailer park home for the outer regions of space, Alex becomes the last hope for the beleaguered Star League and hundreds of worlds – including Earth. Loaded with out-of-this-world bonus features and digitally remastered for optimum picture quality, The Last Starfighter 25th Anniversary Edition is the ultimate video game fantasy come true!
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.
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"Greetings, Starfighter! You have been recruited by The Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and The Kodan Armada." So begins an adventure of galactic proportions in ‘THE LAST STARFIGHTER.’ After Earthling Alex Logan [Lance Guest] conquers the Starfighter video game, he is recruited by alien Centauri [Robert Preston] to be part of an elite legion of fighters. Leaving behind his trailer park home for the outer regions of space, Alex becomes the last hope for the beleaguered Star League and hundreds of worlds – including Earth. Loaded with out-of-this-world bonus features and digitally remastered for optimum picture quality, ‘THE LAST STARFIGHTER’ 25th Anniversary Edition is the ultimate video game fantasies come true!
FILM FACT: ‘THE LAST STARFIGHTER’ is one of the earliest films to make extensive use of computer graphics for its special effects. In place of physical models, 3D rendered models were used to depict space ships and many other objects. The Gunstar and other spaceships were the design of artist Ron Cobb, who also worked on ‘Alien,’ ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Conan the Barbarian.’ The computer graphics for the film were rendered by Digital Productions on a Cray X-MP supercomputer. The company created 27 minutes of effects for the film. This was considered an enormous amount of computer generated imagery at the time
Cast: Lance Guest, Robert Preston, Dan O'Herlihy, Catherine Mary Stewart, Norman Snow, Kay E.Read more ›
(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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
had not seen in years. now seems a little cheesy,ok for nostalgiaPublished 4 months ago by ellen chevarie
This movie is pretty horrible, but holds sentimental value for me. I remember this movie from childhood, so was quite excited to get my hands on it.Published 5 months ago by Canadian Consumer
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