Articles

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - May, 2010

ARTICLE INDEX

"The Last Starfighter" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-may-2010-last-starfighter

Synopsis

Alex (Lance Guest) is a high school student growing up in a trailer park that his mom manages.  Somewhat of an outcast from the popular kids in school, he spends a lot of his time playing the Starfigher arcade game.  One night, he manages to break the record score for the game as the whole community cheers him on.  Unfortunately, he comes home to learn that he didn't get his college scholarship and will not be able to leave his hometown.  Later, a car drops by looking for the person who broke the high score on Starfighter.

When Alex reveals that he is the one that broke it, he hops in the car only to be taken away to a distant planet.  The game was actually developed by an alien race and placed on different planets to find who can pilot their starship to defend their race against attackers.  Will Alex take the responsibility to step up and defend the race, or will he shrink away from this responsibility?

 

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 1984, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 41 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: VC-1
  • English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Lance Guest, Catherine Mary Stewart
  • Directed by Nick Castle
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: None
  • Language: None

Commentary

I saw this last when I was a kid and, unfortunately, I probably think I should have kept it that way.  It's a film that is very rooted in the 1980's when it was shot, and seems a bit outdated and ridiculous now. Perhaps if you are less cynical than I am, you will still enjoy it as you did when you first saw it, but now I wish I had just kept the memories of it from when I was a kid.

Technical

This is certainly the best this has ever looked at home, but it also has had a ton of DNR applied to it.  People and object look sharp, but there is no fine detail to faces or textures, and the larger your screen, the more you will notice how much detail is missing.  Unfortunately, the visual effects have not really stood the test of time either.  The soundtrack is acceptable, but the surround mix seems half hearted which is a little surprising since the original 70mm prints had a 6 channel soundtrack.  I guess things have just improved a good deal in the past 25 years.

Extras

The Last Starfighter features a Directors Commentary, Trailers, Image Galleries, and Featurettes.