The Last Starfighter

Spaceballs Barf and Lone Star

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie where we could go on and on with relevant recommended titles. Its main hero, Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), is a guy who spent his first 10 years on Earth enjoying a lot of movies and music. He’s a good representation of many people his age who are still Earthbound, because he’s focally nostalgic for ’80s pop culture and is always ready to make a reference to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or some other property that existed prior to his abduction in 1988 by the space pirates known as the Ravages. In addition to the direct allusions spoken or spotted on screen (it’s cool that Star-Lord is familiar with a classic like The Maltese Falcon and apparently had an ALF sticker in his backpack when taken), the movie is highly influenced by past movies, with some big antecedents such as Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark being too popular to bother including. And of course Guardians of the Galaxy is also reminiscent of the many followers of those two George Lucas productions. As John Gholson notes in his spot-on comic-strip review, the new Marvel movie “has more in common with Star Wars wannabes,” as he features posters for four examples: Ice Pirates, Battle Beyond the Stars, Serenity and The Last Starfighter. On top of all the movies we could urge the fans go back and watch, this release had me wanting to also do a whole list of TV series to watch after you’ve seen it. […]

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By the time I read Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, I had already read a few Harry Potter books and I couldn’t help but think of the earlier sci-fi work initially as “Harry Potter in space.” It’s a comparison that continues for many now that the movie is out. “Harry Potter meets Star Wars,” claims a blurb used in UK ads credited to Sky Movies host Craig Stevens. And if you search Twitter for “Ender’s Game and Harry Potter” the results of both titles mentioned together is aplenty. All this is natural for the lazy way we relate movies to each other. The sad thing is some kids might think of the new movie as a derivative piece of YA fiction modeled after J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard. I don’t know if Potter was at all influenced by Ender’s Game. It’s not like Card’s book was the first messianic tale. The website TV Tropes even labels the relevant trope as “A Child Shall Lead Them,” a Biblical quote that also appears at the top of the New York Times review of the movie, in which critic Manohla Dargis breaks out the ol’ “Christ figure” descriptor for the main character. Still, I wish that I’d both read and seen the Harry Potters after reading/seeing Ender’s Game. If you’ve somehow avoided all the Hogwarts adventures before going to Battle School with the new Ender’s adaptation, consider yourself lucky. Watch the entire series now to see what I’m talking about. And right there I’ve got […]

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The flames are hot here in development hell, and there’s way too much cocaine. Way, way too much. So why wouldn’t we come back? When we first examined 8 Promised Movies That Still Haven’t Been Made, it was an exploration of the complex world of filmmaking where the smallest issue can derail an entire project potentially worth millions. Nervous executives, scheduling conflicts, hangnails. Getting a movie made is a miracle, and even those that get hailed in the press as moving forward are sometimes abandoned. Considering our national grand obsession with hypotheticals, here are 8 more movies we were told would happen that haven’t (including some that won’t).

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The Last Starfighter

Jeremy’s still hobnobbing around Austin at the South by Southwest Film Festival, so he doesn’t have time to listen to a commentary track. He’s watching too many movies for the first time. So I’m stepping in to travel in time back to 1984 to have another go at The Last Starfighter. If you’re a child of the 80s like me, a lot of your movie-going interests were defined by the Star Wars movies. But once those movies wrapped up in the first third of that decade with the prequels (and alleged sequels) more than a dozen years away, a great void was left. I was about thirteen years old when The Last Starfighter came to theaters in the summer of 1984, and it tapped into the same wonder and excitement that the first three Star Wars were about. I was looking for another story about a very average teenager who comes from nowhere special to fight in an interstellar war against some really bad dudes. The thing that made The Last Starfighter different from every other movie of that decade was its then-groundbreaking and now-rudimentary use of digital effects. Only Tron had been so bold with digital environments before, and The Last Starfighter literally gave us something we hadn’t seen before. The 1999 “Widescreen Collector’s Edition” of The Last Starfighter DVD included a commentary with director Nick Castle and production designer Ron Cobb. Sure, the commentary includes dated 90s references to pagers and the like, and both Castle and Cobb […]

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It is catch-up time once again on This Week in Blu-ray. Watch Neil scramble to catch you up on all the Blu-ray releases of the last few weeks. We’re told that next week, TWiBD will be ready for Tuesday morning. That remains to be seen.

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Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves working as a trailer park handyman and playing the Starfighter arcade game in his spare time. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs. This week we have Sons of Anarchy, The 5 Deadly Venoms, Hardbodies Collection, and more!

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The Last Starfighter

Back in February, GPA Entertainment posted this to their development slate: Starfighter: The sequel to the classic motion picture Last Starfighter. Now isn’t that just enough to get us all worked up.

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