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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 toThe 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
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CastDan O'Herlihy, Lance Guest, Robert Preston, Barbara Bosson, Catherine Mary Stewart
DirectorNick Castle
Release Date:  January 1, 1984
MPAA Rating:  PG
Screen WriterJonathan R. Betuel
DVD Release Date:  June 8, 1999
Runtime:  101 minutes
Studio:  Universal Studios
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review by . April 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
How the universe was saved, with a great lizard performed by Dan O'Herlihy
"Greetings, Starfighter," says the mechanical voice of the video game. "You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-dan armada."       In The Last Starfighter Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) is a teenager who lives in a desert trailer park "in the middle of tumbleweeds and tarantulas." He's reasonably smart, has a nice girlfriend and is a little shy. One evening he manages to set a world record on the …
review by . October 31, 2008
The Last Starfighter
'The Last Starfighter' is a 1980's cheesy Sci-Fi movie that manages to overcome the cheap special effects with its charming and enjoyable storyline. Alex (Lance Guest) lives in a community oriented trailer park with his mother. Girlfriend Maggie (Catherine Mary Stewart) lives in another trailer with her grandmother. Life is a dead end here at the Starlight/Starbright trailer park, and Alex wants out. But Alex is thinking college, not space.     When Alex achieves a perfect score …
review by . November 24, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
THE LAST STARFIGHTER is definitely a product of the 1980s. The hair, some of the clothes, the video arcades, the cars, etc. Despite the time period in which it is set, it does a wonderful job of tying in to everything that's great about youth and the optimism of coming of age.    The movie tells the story of Alex Rogan (Lance Guest). Alex is a young kid living in a trailer park who dreams of bigger things and unlike many of those at home, is trying to pursue those dreams. He …
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