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The Last Starfighter

With the advent of the latest console generation I’ve made my departure from gaming. My life’s “fun” focus is now mainly movies, but my love for button mashing and all night questing hasn’t completely gone away. This weekend it returned with purpose when me and John went to see back-to-back alien invasion themed films. First, there was Battle L.A., which had me reminiscing over the beauty of first-person-shooters. Next, there was The Last Starfighter, which is not only dear to my heart, but also another great cinematic bridge between films and gaming.

My first experience with console games began at my friend Aaron’s house. He was the only person I knew with an Atari 2600, and when he’d let me, I’d strike that single button to battle Space Invaders. Then in 1989 my father bought me a Nintendo Entertainment System and I finally had a controller of my own. The cartridges that captured my attention were plentiful, but no NES experiences were as beloved as Blaster Master and Crystalis.

Both games were based in science-fiction. Independent interpretations of a questing boy up against a galaxy of enemies. Furthermore, each title had a distinctive artistic feel and appreciation for advancing the art form. The same can be said for the Digital Production, The Last Starfighter.

Starfighter was one of the first films to capitalize off of Computer Generated Imaging, (or CGI). Like it’s predecessor (Tron) it combined other worldly backgrounds with people from planet earth. The film included over 27 minutes of computer built space; and from the Gunstar’s first-flight to it’s “Death Blossom” these interstellar dogfights remain a brilliant artistic undertaking.

Ron Cobb must also be mentioned before blogs end. Just as Yoshitaka Amano is a legend in the video game world, so too is Ron Cobb a celebrated figure if cinema. He was the designer behind three of my all time favorite films: Alien; Total Recall; and Conan the Barbarian, (and of course the film in discussion). Considering it’s a picture about space battles, and the fact Ron also worked on a little project called Star Wars, it’s safe to say that The Last Starfighter is a throwback no one should miss.

Aliens, artists, and the 80′s oh my! It was a radical adventure this weekend. Going to see two video game friendly films was excellent, and writing about it was the same. However, before I close let me tell you why The Last Starfighter is amongst my favs. It all boils down to the relationship between Alex and Maggie. I know the feeling of wanting to challenge an armada of extra-terrestrial invaders in the name of love, so whenever you see me tweet #thelaststarfighter you now know why ;)

For more Interstellar love enjoy the free film below. Thank you as always for reading about my life at the movies.

Comments

  • Chris Elliott

    Cool piece brotha. The last starfighter returns! I love it. You’re such a kid at heart dude. I love it. Never grow up Peter Pan!!

    • Anonymous

      Hahahaha! I definitely am a kid at heart… being born into a video store screws you up for life. C’est la vie, I love my movies, and this one in particular.

  • Anonymous

    Got a good dose of nastalgia watching this. It wasnt as good as I remember but it’s always fun re-watching these, especially in the theatre.

    • Anonymous

      It was bloody epic! I still can’t get over how great the CGI was and remains. To think of how ambitious this project was still baffles me. It’s films like this that paved the way for those we have today. Another creative cog in the cinematic wheel. Can’t wait till we see Krull next!

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  • http://twitter.com/g_gryffyn 그웬

    Started with this one for the simple reason that it’s one of my old-childhood favorites, along with Explorers, D.A.R.Y.L, and Cloak & Dagger. Cloak & Dagger is especially apropos since it also bridges the gap between old video games and movies.

    I’m liking your take on movies and movie reviews, relating them to your own personal memories. I never had my own video game console until relatively recently, but I too remember borrowing the use of my friends’ old NES systems so I could play. Also remember dropping a whole lot of money at arcades, not for aliens or spaceships, but to kill zombies of various kinds. (By the by, you don’t game much anymore? For shame! You’re the whole reason I got into the likes of God of War and Force Unleashed! Got me a PS3 this year, I love those games so much.)

    For me, my favorite part of this flick was always Robert Preston, the entrepreneurial hack who did one last great thing with his life and did his inadvertent part to save his galaxy.

    • Anonymous

      True, and it was his last role before he died. Great film… and one that grew on me more so in the last year than it did during all of my childhood. So happy you liked the blog concept. We talked so much about nerdery throughout University that I knew you would get a lot of this better than some.

      As for gaming… I am playing the new Final Fantasy game here and there. There is something magical about that series that always keeps me coming back.

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