The Last Starfighter (Blu-ray) (1984)
PG Dir: Nick Castle | Universal | 101 min.

Review By: Fusion3600 | January 28th, 2012

Plot: What’s it about?

Alex (Lance Guest), a teen trapped in his trailer park environment, dreams of escaping to a better place. A video game console appears, and Alex is a natural to demolish the high score. With the rest of the town watching, he does just that. Afterwards, a mysterious car appears, driven by Centauri (Robert Preston), who offers Alex the chance to help save the universe, and the opportunity to leave the trailer park behind, in favor of bright star-scapes and the unknown. Aligned with “people” from all planets and backgrounds, Alex races into space to make a difference, but does a young man from the Starlight, Starbright mobile home community have what it takes?

While it may seem too campy or corny at first glance, this movie really delivers on high flying scenes and even humorous moments. Alex’s co-pilot, Grig, is a sight to behold, as he looks like he just stepped off the set of Star Wars. Speaking of Star Wars, this movie draws a lot of heat for being similar, but don’t let the talk turn you off, they are really far from similar. The comparisons end with space travel scenes. A back story brews between Alex and his girlfriend (Catherine Mary Stewart), which reaches highly amusing status when Alex is replaced during his space trip by an android replicant, who is not as smooth as Alex himself, to say the least. If you want brain-busting sci/fi, look elsewhere. But if you’re after a exciting night with a feel-good, kind of romantic movie, this is one you should check out. Universal’s Blu-ray looks terrific and has most of the supplements, so an upgrade is recommended.

Video: How does it look?

“The Last Starfighter” is presented in 2.35:1 VC-1 HD transfer. This is a nice upgrade, with a clearer overall image and a step up in detail depth. Of course, the added clarity and detail do make some of the less impressive special effects stand out, but even so, the crisper, more refined image is terrific. This isn’t a massive improvement, but the image is sharper and I think fans will be pleased. As far as colors, the hues look bold and show no errors, while contrast performs well too. So while not a revelation, this new transfer is a welcome improvement.

Audio: How does it sound?

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option found on the HD-DVD has been replaced by a DTS HD Master Audio track, but don’t expect the world here. I do think there is more presence here than on the previous formats, but the difference isn’t sizable. The action driven scenes have more punch and surround presence, which is great, but the rest of the movie sounds about the same. The music gets a slight boost also, so that is good news. The lower key scenes sound good, but not memorable, while dialogue is clear and crisp throughout. There are subtitles in English and French as well.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This is the 25th Anniversary Edition and Universal has ported over all of the supplements from the HD-DVD and standard DVD collector’s editions.We’ll start with a very revealing documentary “Crossing The Frontier: The Making of The Last Starfighter”. This featurette shows a lot of behind the scenes goings-on, and tells the scoop on casting, why they got cast, who else was considered, good stuff. Also included is a fantastic full length running commentary by director Nick Castle and production designer Ron Cobb. This audio track also tells alot about the making of the film, unlike many commentaries, and gives an insight into production. So only two extras, but at least both are rather substantial. Lastly, a new retrospective featurette has been added as a “Hi-Def Bonus” with interviews with the cast and crew. It’s really quite engaging and a welcome addition to this Blu-ray disc.

Disc Features
  • (2.35:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Video Codec: VC-1
  • Audio: DTS HD Master
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy
  • 1 Disc Set
The Last Starfighter (Blu-ray)

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