Starman (1984) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Adventure / Drama / Romance / Science Fiction
Sony || PG - 115 minutes - $28.95 || August 11, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-07-30


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: John Carpenter
Writer(s): Bruce A. Evans & Raynold Gideon (written by)
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen


Theatrical Release Date: December 14, 1984


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • BD-Live


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Plot - Having accepted an invitation to visit Earth (sent in the one of the Voyager space probes in the 1970s) an alien (Jeff Bridged) receives a rude reception when his ship is fired upon and disabled. He has only three days to get to the giant crater near Winslow, AZ where he will be rescued or else he will die. Taking human form, he seeks the assistance of the recently widowed Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen). Initially terrified, she comes to care for the alien visitor. All the while, government agents seek to track them down.

Considering Carpenters other flicks include Christine, The Fog and his biggest - Halloween - this particular title is an odd-choice for him that turned out to be a delightful film. The plot is incredibly simple; an alien has 3 days to travel to Arizona and he does so by stealing the looks and DNA from Jenny's dead husband (she just so happens to have hair locks in a photo album that the alien finds).

What makes the film work is the fact that Jeff Bridges plays the role perfectly - he's acts just like I would expect someone from another world with limited knowledge of us and how they would try and copy us as much as possible. Right from the start you can see his movements are not human like - they are dramatic turns, twists and quick movements that don't flow like it would on others. He quickly evolves into a more human-like character, but his voice remains fairly mono throughout the film giving off very little emotion. Jeff Bridges was actually nominated for an Oscar in this role and he deserves it.

Some things don't really gel well though - Karen Allen to me is just plain annoying in this film. While itís understandable that Starman would act a certain way given his new form, Karen just wanders from scene to scene going back and forth whether she should help this alien in her dead-husbandís body or run away. Really, why not just help him? He is not threatening you - why do you have to try and ditch him every chance possible? The ending is also a bit of a letdown considering a sequel was never made (though there was a short-lived TV series and a sequel is in the works for a 2010/11 release). They set up the perfect plot that they could technically still do today, 25 years later.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Just the ever useless BD-Live. To me, that's not even a feature but something along the line of 'trailers' - something most people won't even bother with due to the lack of anything on the service for this particular title.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Starman is presented in 2.40:1 (MPEG4) on a GB Disc. Given that the film is now enjoying its 25th Anniversary I'm glad to report Sony has done a fine job on this release even with the very soft look given to films of the 80's. Colors are a bit subdued but the picture is sharp.

Sony has included an English (and French) 5.1 TrueHD track. Something sounds spectacular... it's the films score! Right from the get-go my rear speakers are literally attacked with noises of the meteor crashing to earth as well as the ambiance of the film. Some of these become so piercing loud that I was forced to turn down my subwoofer which was working overtime. Such a wonderful track for an older film!



.::OVERALL::.

It's an odd Sci-fi/Romance movie that runs a bit too long but still holds one of Jeff Bridges best performances. While Sony has skipped (yet again) on special features, it still holds some really great Picture and Sound that fans will want to upgrade for.