BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

John Carpenter's Starman: Collector's Edition (1984) - Blu-ray Review

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Starman - Blu-ray Review

"You're not from around here, are you?"

For many of us, it is the scene when the alien arrives on earth as a baby that freaked us out the most.  It was for me.  Sure, the explosion in the woods as the alien vehicle “lands” was pretty freaking cool but, truly, that scene where the baby – in what amounts as a few minutes – morphs into Jeff Bridges as THE Starman is what sealed the deal on John Carpenter’s AMAZING science fiction film.

I recall that many critics hailed it as E.T. The Extraterrestrial for adults.  That description of Starman is still pretty damn accurate; however, the film transcends that as it quickly develops into a road movie as Karen Allen as Jenny Hayden and Bridges as an alien clone of her recently deceased husband head for the hills so that he can make his rendezvous and get off of this hostile planet.  Paired alongside a very REAL Allen, the chemistry as they trek across the country in a 1977 Ford Mustang Cobra II. 

"remains a touching look at humanity through the eyes of a stranger."


Co-starring Charles Martin Smith and Richard Jaeckel, Starman is remembered for a number of reasons.  The most important being Bridges’ blisteringly PERFECT performance as an alien learning how to be a human being.  His performance throughout the movie is charming, weird, and simply nails all the humanity needed to bring this film together as something MORE THAN another genre picture.  But the good news here is that it is not just Bridges’ acting that carries this picture across the finish line; it is all of the performances.  There is a naturalness to the characters here that is always appreciated.  Always. 

Starman, under the guiding eye of Carpenter, exists because of his prior successes, sure, but there is a very sophisticated – dare I say “adult” – lens that gives this picture a bit more heft than just a mere genre picture.  Something here just clicks and the movie, like Bridges’s character, transcends through the ages to become something very, very special.

And speaking of special, the scene in this movie where Bridges resurrects a deer might just be one of the most singular scenes of supernatural grace to ever appear in a genre flick; it is unique and haunting in its simple beauty.  As a result, the film continues to be a momentous thanks to its quiet demeanor. 

Scream Factory, providing the film with a new 2K scrub, loads this Collector’s Edition release with BRAND NEW interviews from Bridges, Carpenter, and Sandy King Carpenter.  Obviously, everyone involved with the shooting of the movie is still insanely proud of what they have accomplished and, yes, they should be.  While the film might copy a fair share from Spielberg’s film, the pattern – thanks to the age of the characters involved and the road that stretches on before them – makes this film feel and breathe like something a bit different than the standard alien meets human flick. 

Starman - Blu-ray Review

This film remains a touching look at humanity through the eyes of a stranger.  It is beautiful in its quiet moments of reflection and, when it grows loud thanks to the United States Army, it remains on point, taking us deep into the stratosphere with its longing wistfulness. 

The Collector’s Edition release of Starman delivers the goods.  Stranger in a strange land indeed.

4 beers

Starman - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
155 mins
Director
: John Carpenter
Writer:
Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon
Cast:
Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith
Genre
: Fantasy | Sci-fi
Tagline:
He is 100,000 years ahead of us. He has powers we cannot comprehend.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Love is, um, it's when you care more for someone else than you do yourself."
Theatrical Distributor:
Columbia Pictures Corporation
Official Site:
Release Date:
December 14, 1984
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 18, 2018
Synopsis: When his spacecraft is shot down over Wisconsin, an alien (Jeff Bridges) arrives at the remote cabin of a distraught young widow, Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen), and clones itself into the form of her recently deceased husband. The alien coerces the shell-shocked Jenny to drive him to a pickup point hundreds of miles away, explaining that if he doesn't meet his mothership in three days, he'll die. Hot on their trail are government agents, intent on seizing him, dead or alive. En route, Jenny turns from captive to captivated as the alien re-awakens her humanity.

Starman - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- December 18, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD master audio HD
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

From Scream Factory, the new 2K scan of the original camera negative is damned impressive.  Colors are bold, bright, and shadows are thick with lines and deep blacks.  The night scenes – and there are a lot of them – are detailed and heavy with edges.  The colors are bold enough.  Saturation levels are on point and so too is the restored audio, appearing here in a DTS-HD master audio HD track.  Presented with a widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio, Starman has never looked as good as it does here.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Audio Commentary With Director John Carpenter And Jeff Bridges

Special Features:

This release features a new commentary from Carpenter and Bridges, new interviews from Carpenter, Bridges, and script supervisor Sandy King Carpenter.  A vintage featurette is also included.  The release is slipcovered with new art made especially for the release.

  • They Came from Hollywood: Re-visiting STARMAN
  • Vintage Featurette
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots

Starman - Blu-ray Review

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