The Last Starfighter

 (11,563)
6.71 h 41 min1984X-RayPG
When Alex conquers the Starfighter video game, he is recruited to be part of an elite legion of fighters and battle for the beleaguered Star League and hundreds of worlds - including Earth.
Directors
Nick Castle
Starring
Lance GuestDan O'HerlihyRobert Preston
Genres
Science FictionKidsAdventureAction
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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More details

Supporting actors
Catherine Mary StewartBarbara BossonNorman Snow
Producers
Gary AdelsonEdward O. Denault
Studio
Universal Pictures
Rating
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

11563 global ratings

  1. 83% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

SpinmannReviewed in the United States on October 31, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
This is simply a comparison of the two latest Blu-ray release editions of the film.
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I am comparing the bonus features and restoration quality between these two Blu-ray release editions of The Last Starfighter, both listed on this Amazon webpage:
1) Arrow Films release October 2020, restored from a 4k scan of original film negatives per the case cover description.
2) Universal Home Video 2009 release (25th Anniversary Edition), restoration method not noted.
I purchased both editions, the Arrow release particularly for the extra content (described below). I had purchased the Universal 25th Anniversary edition when it was originally released.
Rating Note: Giving the Arrow Films release 4-stars for video quality of the film restoration effort. I give the feature film 5-stars for artistic merit.

Special Features & Content:
1) Arrow Films release: 1080p 1984 theatrical feature film; 2.0, 5.1, & 4.1 (70mm film release) audio soundtracks; various legacy documentaries, interviews, and commentaries, and seven new interviews and commentaries. The case also contains a color pamphlet with two articles (modern perspective on film’s impact, and 1984 article on future of CGI); and a reversible foldout poster, with the 1984 release artwork and newly commissioned (2020) artwork on the reverse side.
2) Universal 25th Anniversary release: 1080p 1984 theatrical feature film; 5.1 audio soundtrack; and various special feature documentaries and interviews. There are no included pamphlets or other paper based content (contains the BD disc only).

The Film Restorations:
1) Arrow release: The descriptor on the cover case states this edition was restored from a 4k scan of the original film negatives. What I noticed as I watched the movie on a 65 inch Samsung 4k UHD TV was a lot of video artifacting, not aliasing but a whitish speckling particularly on lighter background colors. This speckling was most noticeable when the movie is paused on a light background. Although less noticeable when the movie plays at normal speed, one can tell the lighting looks off. Pausing the movie demonstrates why this is happening.
2) Universal release: No mention is made of the restoration methodology employed by Universal. The video quality on the same 65 inch Samsung TV is superb. None of the whitish speckling is noticeable at any point in the movie.

Recommendation Between Releases:
Strictly based on video quality of the feature film, the Universal 25th Anniversary release is the noticeably better looking edition. The Arrow release is acceptable video quality when played at normal speed. But I find the whitish speckling a disappointing fact when so much is made of the restoration method. The Arrow release is worth your acquiring a copy for the plethora of documentaries and interview videos, and the foldout poster art and color pamphlet are cool too. If your intent is the best video quality then consider the Universal 25th Anniversary release. There are plenty of bonus (legacy) documentaries on the Universal BD disc to satisfy any curiosity about the production history of the movie.
105 people found this helpful
Susan ScanlonReviewed in the United States on February 14, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
A fun, feel-good movie
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This is a great story about a teenage boy, Alex, who wanted more in life - something most of us desire - and he got his wish. Although the movie is a bit "cheesy", its storyline and creativity reach the imagination and perhaps tickle the viewer's personal secret inner wish to make a huge difference in the world (or in this movie's case, in the universe) - this is probably the appeal. It's a fun, light story with some corny comedy, but also with some laugh-out-loud humor. There is an underlying serious message, but it's not shoved down our throats. Alex is reluctant to become a starfighter, an incredulous concept to Centauri (played by the infamous Robert Preston). Centauri: "Alex, Alex! You're walking away from history! History! Did Chris Columbus say he wanted to stay home? No! What if the Wright Brothers thought that only birds should fly?" Alex: "Listen, Centauri. I'm not any of those guys, I'm a kid from a trailer park." Centauri: "If that's what you think, then that's all you'll ever be!" Good message to digest.

The PG rating is more about the language used (a few minor cuss words) than about the content (one or two very chaste "love scenes") and graphic images (a little bit of mild "blood-n-guts"). The characters are quite likeable - we want to root for their success, and we want Alex and Maggie to ultimately end up together. This 25th Anniversary Edition is worth watching because of the Special Features, especially the documentary about the making of the movie. The Last Starfighter has many "firsts" in movie-making with its special effects. Today's CGI may be the norm, but in 1984 it was not.
53 people found this helpful
Rainy SmythReviewed in the United States on November 3, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excalibur for the 1980s!
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The Last Starfighter was the biggest sleeper of its time. The story is unusual, fun and a sweet romance.

Alex Rogan is a smart and generous young man, caught in a dull life at a trailer park. His prospects are low. He wants to attend college and make something of his life, but his mom is a waitress and single. He has a little brother, Lewis, who makes life a little more interesting with his Playboy collection and his rude antics. Alex has a girlfriend, Maggie, with whom he is close, and plans to stay with her always, but, as mentioned, his life is rather dull. The residents of the trailer park are good people, but that doesn't help Alex improve his future. One night Alex breaks the record on the local "Starfighter" game. All the residents are very happy for him, and they have a short, impromptu celebration. A while later, a stranger comes by and invites Alex to look into an opportunity. When Alex enters his car, it turns into a spaceship and takes Alex to another planet! There Alex is invited to become a Starfighter. It only gets weirder from there.

This movie is one of the first to use a LOT of CGI effects in it. Because it's from the pioneering days of CGI, many today will be unimpressed, but don't let the effects get you down. The story and characters are more important and still very entertaining. I always have and always will recommend this movie.

The DVD is pretty much what I expected and has a few nice special features. I am just happy to finally have the movie again. I purchased it once years ago, but it was lost in one of my many moves. So glad I could replace it!
35 people found this helpful
D JReviewed in the United States on January 19, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Can't count how many times I watched this as a ...
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Can't count how many times I watched this as a kid
Memories so fond I don't even perceive the graphics as dated
Heart still pounds during the "Death Blossom" scene
39 people found this helpful
THXkidReviewed in the United States on November 3, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Last Starfighter has been an all time classic for Years, Great re-master Job
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I have watched this movie on betamax, VHS, DVD and blu ray, none really impressed me with quality on sound and video.. until now. This re-master takes an older filmed movie and updates the quality of the film for today's releases. yes I like the video quality, the HD DTS Master uncompressed sound is great on my THX sound system. It's a bit step on the price but well worth it and the few extra's are nice also. If you really like this movie "DO NOT PASS" up this release, I realize its only 1080p and not 4k, I don't care cause I don't do 4k anyway so fine by me, double thumbs up.
6 people found this helpful
David SmithReviewed in the United States on April 8, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
not sure what I can add with over 2,000 comments
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However the blu ray version is just beautiful in most respects. the image quality is excellent -- the colors nicely saturation and the images sharp. the sound is superb. The movie holds up with a compelling plot, state of the art (for its time) visual effects and excellent acting. My only complaint is that the "resume play" feature is not activated so every time one stops the blu ray DVD the movie starts from the beginning. We tolerated that for the movie but for the commentary track we gave up and never finished listening to it. If you can watch this film in one sitting the resume play feature becomes a non issue, unfortunately that is not something we can do.
8 people found this helpful
ramirez98Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Was great in the 80s, is great now, and will always be great
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The Last Starfighter was great in the 80s, is great now, and will always be great. I watched this on Blu-ray with my wife a few nights ago - I had not seen it since the DVD release some years ago and my wife had not seen it since her childhood. We both loved it. It has a wonderful balance of action, romance, comedy, and sci-fi. The HD transfer is spectacular except for a few short scenes that are out of focus. The computer graphics effects, which were groundbreaking at the time, look dated but are crystal clear and have a slick "retro sci-fi" look to them. Very much an "evergreen" movie and highly recommended.
26 people found this helpful
Brian LesykReviewed in the United States on October 26, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Such a Classic!
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I'm so thankful that this classic film received a proper blu-ray release! Honestly, it's never looked better. The movie itself has aged somewhat gracefully, but it still retains a nostalgic look and feel. Fans of movies like TRON and WarGames (even Star Wars) will relish this unique and exciting story that blends sci-fi, comedy, and romance in a fun way. And considering the price point, this is an exceptional value!
2 people found this helpful
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