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The Last Starfighter: Arrow Video 4K Restoration

Greetings, Starfighter!  Arrow Video invited you to watch this 1984 science fiction classic in a way never before thought possible.  With a newly restored 4k scan of the original negative and the 4.1 sound mix originally created for the 70mm release, The Last Starfighter returns to your living rooms with a certifiable sonic BOOM! 

"cleverly combines into one film what kids of the day were hankering for: spaceships, aliens, kids we recognize, places we knew and places we wanted to go, video games, and a rollicking fun adventure"


The 1980s are now 3 decades behind us, and cinematically speaking, has become the decade that gave us classic after classic going to the movies back then. Not only were Lucas and Spielberg at their height in this decade, but directors like Richard Donner and Joe Dante amazed kids and teens the world over, capturing their hearts and souls with adventures both relatable and exciting. 

Fantasy and suburbia combined in a way that had never seemed more real.

In 1984, a cab driver named Jonathan Betuel fulfilled every budding screenwriter's dream, and saw his idea become a movie. That alone would have been some event. But his story of a teenager desperate to escape his humdrum existence - and getting his wish in the most unexpected way - was destined to become one of a glut of memorable, seminal kid/adventure films that would define the 80s above all the decades that have followed at least so far.

The Last Starfighter tells the story of Alex Rogan, a good-natured teenager on the verge of manhood. Loathing his quiet trailer park existence, being at the whim of a demanding bunch of neighbors, and worrying about money, Alex eagerly awaits a letter to finally release him from the life he hates and go off to college. But it isn't a letter that changes his life: it's a video game - one that Alex manages to defeat one quiet night when he thinks all is hopeless. The Last Starfighter: Arrow Video 4K Restoration

Turns out the game is not a game at all, but a testing machine, a contemporized sword in the stone - for potential pilots needed to combat the intergalactic enemy of an alien race. When things get real bad, Alex has to decide between the path he thought he wanted and the path laid before him.

The story is a very clever combination of every kid's dream to ascend beyond their confines and science fiction adventure. It is honest in its portrayal of the hero and his problems, but never ceases being fun, and does so naturally without slapping kids in the face with some heavy-handed morality play.

All the characters are distinct and believable, even Grig. The pacing is excellent, lulling you into Alex's mediocre existence enough to sympathize with him but not be bored by him. The transition to the more fantastical elements of the story are handled with equal aplomb, feeling organic to the story and serving the hero well.

The Last Starfighter also has a distinction its peers do not; not even Lucas or Spielberg. It is the first film to use computer generated imagery to create special effects. Spearheaded by Ron Cobb (of Alien fame) and a team of dedicated people, the effects compared to today's standards look a little worse for wear, but the film's heart and characters still, to this day, allow you to forgive the effects' vintage.

Director Nick Castle, who will also go down in history as the original Michael Myers, cleverly combines into one film what kids of the day were hankering for: spaceships, aliens, kids we recognize, places we knew and places we wanted to go, video games, and a rollicking fun adventure. The Last Starfighter is a classic for the ages, and, along with its peers, remains a formidable entry into the youth-oriented boom of cinema.

Featuring a brand new commentary from Lance Guest and his son Jackson Guest, new interviews with the cast and crew, this 4K restoration will have you looking up at the night skies dreaming wistfully once again.

5/5 beers

The Last Starfighter: Arrow Video 4K Restoration

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow Films
Available on Blu-ray
- October 27, 2020
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 4.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Greetings Starfighter! You have been recruited by Arrow Video to experience the 1984 sci-fi classic as you’ve never experienced it before! Directed by Nick Castle, the man behind the Michael Myers mask in the original Halloween, The Last Starfighter tells the story Alex Rogan (Lance Guest), an arcade game whizz-kid whose wildest dreams comes true when he finds himself enlisted to fight in an interstellar war.  Now newly restored from a 4K scan of the original negative and featuring a 4.1 mix originally created for the film’s 70mm release – never included on previous home video formats – The Last Starfighter arrives loaded with brand new and archival bonus features. Strap yourself in: the Blu-ray adventure of a lifetime is about to begin!

Video:

You aren’t going to escape the gamey CGI as this film was the first to utilize the effects, but that’s not a problem if you are a fan like me.  This 4K restoration is a thing of beauty showing off the trailer park and the galaxy with previously unseen details.  The details in the clothing and some of the furnishing items in the trailer park are a reason to appreciate the visual “pop” throughout the high definition transfer.  The atmosphere – especially the cinematography – is especially nice as Alex rockets off the planet and goes deep into space to fight a battle he’s more than prepared for.  The crisp image quality is the best you’re going to get with a film like this and, admittedly, this 4K restoration is even better than expected.  Colors are perfect. Blacks are solid. Skin tones are detailed and appropriate.  This transfer - framed in 

Audio:

You have choices to make, Starfighters!  There’s a robust DTS-HD mix in 4.1 and a crisp 5.1 offering with great low-ends to really get the blood pumping.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There are three to choose from: a brand new audio commentary with star Lance Guest and his son Jackson Guest, another brand new audio commentary with Mike White of The Projection Booth podcast, and an archival audio commentary with director Nick Castle and production designer Ron Cobb.

Special Features:

If the brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negative and the new commentaries aren’t enough to get you to cough up some dough for this stellar release, then maybe the new interviews with actress Catherine Mary Stewart, composer Craig Safan, and screenwriter Jonathan Betuel will help with your decision.  There are also new interviews with the special effects team.  Archival featurettes - including making-of looks and beyond - fill up the remainder of the bonus offerings.  A Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Amanda Reyes and sci-fi author Greg Bear’s never-before-published Omni magazine article on Digital Productions, the company responsible for the CGI in The Last Starfighter is also included. 

  • Maggie’s Memories: Revisiting The Last Starfighter 
  • Into the Starscape: Composing The Last Starfighter 
  • Incredible Odds: Writing The Last Starfighter 
  • Interstellar Hit-Beast: Creating the Special Effects 
  • Excalibur Test: Inside Digital Productions 
  • Greetings Starfighter! Inside the Arcade Game
  • Heroes of the Screen 
  • Crossing the Frontier: Making The Last Starfighter archival 4-part documentary
  • Image Galleries
  • Theatrical and Teaser Trailers

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4.5/5 stars

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The Last Starfighter: Arrow Video 4K Restoration

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
101 mins
Director
: Nick Castle
Writer:
Mark Frost, Daniel F. Bacaner
Cast:
Lance Guest, Robert Preston, Kay E. Kuter
Genre
: Adventure | Sci-fi
Tagline:
Before The Last Samurai there was... The Last Starfighter!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I had no idea how small time I was until I met you."
Theatrical Distributor:
MGM
Official Site: https://www.thehustle.movie/
Release Date:
May 10, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 20, 2019.
Synopsis: Alex, I want you to know that it was for the greatest good that I brought you back. Of course... it never hurts to be rich.

The Last Starfighter: Arrow Video 4K Restoration