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The Last Starfighter [HD DVD] (1984)

Lance Guest , Dan O'Herlihy , Nick Castle  |  PG |  HD DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (438 customer reviews)


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PRODUCT ALERT:
• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a standard-definition DVD player, Blu-ray player, or PS3.


Product Details

  • Actors: Lance Guest, Dan O'Herlihy, Robert Preston, Catherine Mary Stewart, Barbara Bosson
  • Directors: Nick Castle
  • Writers: Jonathan Betuel
  • Producers: Gary Adelson, Edward O. Denault
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1), English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (438 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000SQFC0E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,764 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Last Starfighter [HD DVD]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Crossing the Frontier: Making The Last Starfighter
  • Feature Commentary with Director Nick Castle and Production Designer Ron Cobb
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Teaser Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Amazon.com

    At the time of its original release in 1984, this modestly budgeted sci-fi excursion had the distinction of offering some of the first examples of purely computer-generated animation, an apt (and frugal) special-effects solution for a movie with a plot line rooted in computer games. Both the computer-generated visuals and the arcade game now look quaint, but writer-director Nick Castle's affable, good- hearted adventure holds up nicely, thanks to a clever premise--the title game is actually a test for prospective starship pilots, planted by embattled aliens under siege from an evil invader. When a restless teenager (Lance Guest) racks up an impressive score, he finds himself spirited away to the besieged planet and thrust into the midst of an intergalactic war. Apart from Castle's skill at contrasting his extraterrestrial settings with the mundane details of his hero's earthbound life, the movie gets lift-off from two thorough pros, Robert Preston, who makes the alien recruiter, Centauri, a planet-hopping cousin to The Music Man's Harold Hill, and Dan O'Herlihy, the alien copilot, who suggests a scaly Walter Brennan. Older fans will snicker, but kids and young teens will find this rite of passage absorbing, while their folks will savor Preston's brash charm. --Sam Sutherland

    Product Description

    Millions of light-years away, a great frontier was constructed in the universe to protect the Star League of Planets from its enemy, the evil KO-DAN. But now a defector has given the key to the frontier to the KO-DAN, and Starfighters from throughout the galaxy are needed to defend the peace. One recruiter, the alien scalawag Centauri (Robert Preston), visits Earth to fill his quota of recruits and finds Alex (Lance Guest), an 18-year-old Earthling with extraordinary talent for video game wizardry. Alex is quickly propelled into regions of outer space to join others from planets throughout the Star League to fight a war to save the universe.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    105 of 113 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Blu-ray
    Has it really been 25 years since this movie was released?
    That was my first thought when I heard this movie was being released on Blu-ray. My second thought was that my ever burgeoning Blu-ray collection would be increasing by at least one more movie in August.
    I will discuss the plot later in this review but I am suspecting that most customers checking this Blu-ray catalog item out on Amazon are perhaps more interested in the Picture and Audio and the special features.
    I have never seen the HD-DVD but have read that the HD-DVD transfer was simply horrible and was bracing myself to be disappointed with the quality of the Blu-ray release.
    While the transfer is a far cry from anything that anyone would cite as reference quality with a lot of the scenes suffering a smoky look at times, the colors are OK with some distinct black and white levels, but on other occasions muted too much. Still it is an improvment over the previous DVD release, though it''s questionable if this should be enough to double-dip.
    The audio has some nice surround and great bass but again is also somewhat average, so if you are expecting an audio track to rival more recent movies you will likely be disappointed.
    The highlight of rhe special features is the audio commentary between director Nick Castle and production designer Ron Cobb. This is evidently an old audio track but the two seem to have an enjoyable time. There is also a Making of featurette called "Crossing the Frontier" and, as one would expect with a movie touring itself as a 25th Anniversary Edition, a new featurette that includes cast and crew looking back on the movie and their roles as mentors.
    The movie follows the adventures of Alex Rogan (played by Lance Guest).
    Read more ›
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    66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray even looks better than previous HD-DVD release August 18, 2009
    Format:Blu-ray
    The Last Starfighter is essentially a space opera hinged on the fantasy that video game skills will save the day. Obviously this movie was made for the young teen crowd (essentially 13 yr old boys with Ataris/ Intelivisions/ColecoVisions/etc) and has its share of action and comedy that, like most space operas in the 80's, has more than one similarity to Star Wars (but then again Star Wars was a homage to the classic space operas of the golden age of television). So it's not high caliber sci-fi, but it's not B-movie fodder either.

    The story is pretty simple: Evil leader of evil aliens wants to attack good aliens, so in walks a single hero who is the last hope for freedom. That's about it. The movie doesn't deviate too far from this premise other than to further flesh out the fish-out-of-water scenario of an 80's Earthling thrust into space (as well as a little fun with an alien in 80's Earth) as well as the inner battle of said Earthling to stay and fight for a Star League he doesn't know or stay home and go to community college. A serviceable story, if not deep.

    The acting does make the simple story enjoyable to watch. Lance Guest seems to have fun with the role, which works for the character. Biggest props go to esteemed Robert Preston's Centauri, who plays the role with the style of a magician and the charisma P.T. Barnum. Another esteemed actor, Dan O'Herlihy, does a surprisingly good performance. Especially when you consider he is wearing full prosthetics with less facial mobility than the costumes from the original Planet of the Apes. Yeah there is a bit of theatrical "drama", but that works with the whole space opera motif.

    Special effects are a benchmark here because this is the first film to incorporate live action elements to computer generated animation.
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    107 of 126 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars "You have been recruited by the Star League!" January 10, 2004
    By M. Hart
    Format:DVD
    In 1984, Lorimar Film Entertainment and Universal Pictures joined forces to create a very engaging and entertaining sci-fi film entitled "The Last Starfighter". Directed by Nick Castle, the story begins in the dreary and dusty "Starlite Starbrite" trailer park where the teenager Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) lives with his mother Jane Rogan (Barbara Bosson) and his inquisitive little brother Louis Rogan (Chris Hebert). Alex has very little free time for himself as he has become the de facto trailer park maintenance man, repairing various problems in neighbors' trailers. He would like to go to college and leave the trailer park behind, but his mother's meager wages make that impossible. His girlfriend Maggie Gordon (Catherine Mary Stewart) also lives in the trailer park. When not with Maggie, Alex's favorite enjoys playing a videogame called Starfighter located next to the trailer park's office. Alex becomes very skilled at beating the videogame to the delight of trailer park residents. One night, a mysterious, fast-talking man named Centauri (Robert Preston, 1918-1987) pulls up in a fancy car. After asking about who beat the videogame, he invites Alex to join him in his car for a meeting. To Alex's dismay, Centauri drives them away from the trailer park and then into outer space, where he takes Alex to the planet Rylos so that he can become a real starfighter to fight the evil Xur (Norman Snow) and the Kodan armada. Read more ›
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars the last starfighter
    Good movie the timing it arrived was good and it played great. Please tell everyone thank u for the good time and we really did have a good time
    Published 1 day ago by hiroko
    4.0 out of 5 stars still holds up
    if you consider this was one of the first computer generated special effects movie, it still holds up quite well. the story is good and predictable, as it should be.
    Published 12 days ago by ron malneck
    5.0 out of 5 stars classic scfy.
    classic space adventure. seen it first on tv and enjoyed it very much. took a young mans fantasy and turned it into reality. special effects were pretty good for that time period. Read more
    Published 12 days ago by wayne
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
    For an 80's Film Fan... This One Rocks! It takes me back to the days of Back to the Future, ET and Close Encounters. I highly recommend this film.
    Published 13 days ago by tvpRich
    5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie
    I am now buying it for my grandchildren.
    I believe that they will really love it. Why do I need to add more words - I like to keep it short and sweet.
    Published 17 days ago by Dee
    4.0 out of 5 stars A classic that took the risk of introducing CG
    This is a classic film that was only meant to be like a summer drive-in filler but there are solid performances by actors with solid resumes. Read more
    Published 18 days ago by Raymond Bryan
    3.0 out of 5 stars Cute story of a video game enthusiast turned starfighter
    Alex is great at playing a video game but does not realize that his top score makes him eligible to become a real starfighter and then it's not just a game anymore. Read more
    Published 20 days ago by Viva
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great 80's Sci-Fi
    The Last Starfighter is just one of those 80s movies you cannot hate or try to hate. As a sci-fi fan, I love the story, the characters, the ships and the battles. Read more
    Published 21 days ago by T. Ross
    3.0 out of 5 stars This is a good rainy afternoon spoof to watch
    I watched it because of the cast. It was not impressive, in fact you sit there saying, "Really?" Conversely, esp. if you watch it with a 8 - 10 yr. Read more
    Published 21 days ago by Richard
    5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 80's movie
    I think this movie is great for it's time. I remember it fondly, and I have to giggle a little bit when I see the special affects compared to what directors can do now. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Jaylene Tronstad
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    Topic From this Discussion
    Run Time 60 Minutes??
    Yes it is an error. Amazon does that from time to time, and leaves it to us to fix.
    Mar 26, 2011 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 2 posts
    Hmmm I will wait untill I see reviews on this.
    I too will wait for a review on this one. I skipped the HD DVD version due to it being full screen. I hope they do what is right for this version. If not, I will stick with my DVD version I purchased several years back.
    Aug 2, 2009 by K. Meyers |  See all 6 posts
    Lance Guest? Mary Catherine Stewart? Dan O'Herlihy? Robert Preston?
    Except for mayble Robert Preston. He was great in the original(and best)movie adapation of the Music Man.
    Aug 5, 2009 by E.H. Stevens |  See all 2 posts
    The Last Starfighter 25th Anniversary Edition (F/X shots redone)
    That is a terrible idea. Why in the world would anyone out there want to ruin something that- while maybe not perfect- was pretty dang good already. Honestly!
    George Lucas should be sent to the Spice Mines for what he did to the beloved films of my childhood. Leave it alone man! The effects... Read more
    Jul 17, 2009 by Kyle G. Porter |  See all 6 posts
    movie review versus product review Be the first to reply
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