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The Last Starfighter – 4K Remaster Blu-Ray Review

Made in 1984 The Last Starfighter is a very entertaining Sci-Fi adventure about a young man living in a trailer park but wanting to leave for a better life, and is an expert on an arcade game called The Last Starfighter.

When he breaks the record score he is visited by the game’s creator, Centauri (Robert Preston), who reveals himself to be an alien of the race mentioned in Starfighter, and tries to recruit him to help fight to save the aliens from attack and destruction.

At first not believing anything he is soon whisked off into space but at first turns down the offer to become a fighter pilot. He returns to Earth but then a frightening event makes him decide that his future lies in outer space.

The similarities to Star Wars cannot be ignored, but this different take on the theme of a young man lost and trying to find his purpose is done in a fun and different way.

The film has a lot of charm thanks to the excellent central performances of Lance Guest as Alex, Catherine Mary Stewart as his girlfriend and the quirky alien Grig (Dan O’Herlihy). The music score by Craig Safan is excellent and bombastic just what is needed for a film of this nature.

There is also fun to be had with the goofy subplot involving Centauri covering Alex’s time in space with a robot replica of the teenager and the robot not knowing much about how humans interact.

Fans who love the film are those of a certain age who grew up watching it and it does stand the test of time well, the special effects are a bit dated of course but this does not detract from the story or adventure seen on screen.

This is a new Blu-ray ray a 4K UHD release from Arrow and has a fabulous new remastered image, the picture is solid and stable, the colours pop and it does look the best it ever has.

Audio has the original stereo track and a 4.1 track adapted from the sound mix of the film’s special 70mm presentations. The 5.1 remix also on the disc gives the film more power and enhances the movie very well.

A good bunch of extras are also on this set –

  • Audio commentary with star Lance Guest and his son Jackson Guest
  • Audio commentary with Mike White of The Projection Booth podcast
  • Archival audio commentary with director Nick Castle and production designer Ron Cobb
  • Maggie’s Memories: Revisiting The Last Starfighter – interview with actor Catherine Mary Stewart
  • Into the Starscape: Composing The Last Starfighter – interview with composer Craig Safan
  • Incredible Odds: Writing The Last Starfighter – interview with screenwriter Jonathan Betuel
  • Interstellar Hit-Beast: Creating the Special Effects – interview with special effects supervisor Kevin Pike
  • Excalibur Test: Inside Digital Productions – interview with sci-fi author Greg Bear on Digital Productions, the company responsible for the CGI in The Last Starfighter
  • Greetings Starfighter! Inside the Arcade Game – an interview with arcade game collector Estil Vance on reconstructing the Starfighter game
  • Heroes of the Screen – archival featurette
  • Crossing the Frontier: The Making of The Last Starfighter – archival 4-part documentary
  • Image galleries
  • Theatrical and teaser trailers
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Ferguson
  • Collector’s booklet featuring writing by Amanda Reyes and sci-fi author Greg Bear’s Omni magazine article on Digital Productions, the company responsible for the CGI in The Last Starfighter

FILM – 7.5 / PICTURE – 9 / AUDIO 9 / EXTRAS – 8


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