Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Last Starfighter 25th Anniversary Edition

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Kevin EK, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. Xylon

    Xylon Stunt Coordinator

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    The HD DVD transfer is crap.
     
  2. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    I finally picked this up, and I was wondering if anyone else had noticed a missing music cue. Right before the 29-minute mark, when Beta pulls the covers off to reveal that he's still forming, there should be a really loud sting in the score, and it doesn't seem to be there on the primary audio track (it's present in the commentary track). At the moment, I'm just listening through TV speakers; would that have something to do with it?

    It might seem like a small thing, but it really makes that moment less effective.
     
  3. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    Thought I'd bump this again. I can't be the only one who's noticed this missing music. Or do I just have a bad disc?
     
  4. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    I put my BD in and verified that the cue is on the commentary track, but not on the regular track. Can't remember if it was there when I first saw it on pay TV in the 1980s. The robot balloon head was scary enough at the time
     
  5. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    It's been there every time I've watched it (cable, VHS, and DVD). I always remember it because it was such a shock to my 7-year-old senses when I first saw it. I e-mailed Universal to see if they're aware of it and am still waiting to hear back.
     
  6. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    Here is the e-mail I received from Universal (funny how they misspelled my name even though it was displayed right there on the screen in front of them; that seems to happen a lot):

    ----
    Dear Brian,
    Thank you for providing the information that we requested.
    We have confirmed that the complete score is included correctly on the Blu-ray version of "The Last Starfighter." It appears that your BD player might not be designed for English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Please check the player owner's manual for alternate audio settings, or contact the manufacturer for further assistance.
    Sincerely,
    Consumer Relations
    UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT

    ----

    I'll admit I don't have any surround speakers hooked up right now, and I also have an older player, but this is the only thing that I can't hear on the Blu-Ray. It seems odd that one short musical cue would be mixed in such a way as to be the only major sound element not registering.

    Adam - you said it wasn't there on yours, either. How do you have everything set up?
     
  7. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    After several more attempts to contact Universal (in which I tried to politely tell them that they lied to me), I finally heard back from them with this:

    "Thank you for your most recent email. We have nothing to add to our previous response. No plans have been announced for the release of any other version of "The Last Starfighter.'"

    This short missing music cue is not a huge issue, but there seems to have been a lot of "not huge" issues with Universal's releases that add up after a while.
     
  8. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    I just picked this up on sale. Didn't realize I was getting the "plastic" edition of the movie. I don't remember any outcry about excessive DNR on this release. Surely this is what Patton and Predator must have looked like?
     
  9. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    I don't have Patton. But to me Predator looked just fine. However, Last Starfighter was distracting. Like that twilight zone where everybody is a mannequins. plastic! I'd rather have it a little grainy. Watched my copy once. :(
     
  10. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Yeah i just did a Google search for some alternate reviews just to see what others are saying, they all mention heavy use of DNR, is this a Universal release. ? If so that explains the DNR, just when i thought they were getting better with their releases.

    @James

    I think they mean the second release of Predator, the first was okay for an early MPEG2 release.
     
  11. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Interesting that we're now digging up a three year old review to once again attack Universal on the old DNR front. There have been plenty of good releases over the past three years, particularly last year.

    I haven't looked at the Blu-ray since I did the review in 2010, but I'd be happy to revisit it if it will help anyone. My review clearly states that I was reviewing with a 40" HDTV. It may look different on a 65", but I haven't had time to look at it again.

    I should ask Mark and James on what size HDTV were you guys watching the movie? I agree that it's possible that as the screen size gets larger, there may be issues that become more pronounced.

    The biggest issue I recall with the Blu was that the CGI animation was in great contrast to the live action footage - as the HD transfer made the unreality of the effects very clear. I realize there are other sites that put out reviews to pan the video on this title (and on others I have reviewed in the past), but I don't believe I was negligent in our discussion here.

    The one thing we've mentioned in another thread that I wouldn't know about was the missing music issue.

    Malcolm is correct. The Predator discussion was about the "Ultimate Hunter" edition that included all the extras from the earlier 2-disc DVD but had a subpar transfer. (RAH did a very funny review of it at the time.)
     
  12. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Just in case you thought i dug this up i didn't, i came across it on the recent topics so replied to it, funny thing is i did wonder why a 25th anniversary was in recent topics, i guess the poster above me found it and that is why it was there, it seems Universal did some good last year but then again even when they do good they manage to screw up, the Universal monsters boxset had mostly good in it but they messed up bigtime with The Wolf Man and excessive halos which seem to have come from over sharpening and The Phantom Of The Opera also had some over sharpening applied although not as bad as The Wolf Man.

    Anyway Kevin, you know me, i can't pass up an opportunity to have a dig at Universal transfers, i may give them some praise next year, nah really i did give some praise at my own site for the aforementioned Monsters boxset although i will get my venom out and ready for The Wolfman which i will be writing some words on soon.
     
  13. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Yes I dug up this review. I stated in my post that I had just picked up the movie on sale and was surprised when I played the disc, because I hadn't remembered any controversy about this disc. In 2009 I think people were looking at these things differently. And now, in retrospect, I think the disc probably seems a lot worse.
    1080p LCD projector, 9 feet wide.
     
  14. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Reviews say it was not very good even back in 2009 and Universal were re-releasing HD DVD titles on Blu Ray but adding DNR, look at their first titles, The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, upgraded soundtracks but additional DNR, still they got 5 star reviews so what do i know, well like you i view on a projection system and devote myself to this hobby and think i know a lot, their early catalog releases sucked with too much DNR and some additional sharpening and they have only recently started to improve on this.
     
  15. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    I think we'll all agree to disagree on the merits of some of these releases.

    I had issues with a few Universal transfers last year, which I clarified in my reviews. But I also saw some beautiful transfers and I think it would be a shame to present the notion of their release department as being unable to do good without screwing up.

    I have a feeling many of my reviews stand aside from other sites. I'm okay with that. We all have different opinions and I'm glad people can gauge various reviewers' work.

    My review of the Universal Monsters set, which I assessed with Joe Kane last fall, went into pretty thorough detail about the good and the not so good. We didn't have a problem with Wolf Man, although RAH did. We all agreed to disagree on that one. The ones with issues for Joe and myself were Phantom and Creature. Phantom had a registration error that went in and out, so that there were red outlines over many shots. (My recollection is that it was the "B" camera shots - so all coverage from that camera had this error) Creature had an inexplicable image quality problem, and the 3D version was incorrectly mastered so that the foreground elements tended to REALLY poke you in the eye. Bob Furmanek gave a great analysis of this at his own site. On the other hand, the other titles in there were quite good. I would even say it was a pleasure to see Dracula, The Mummy and the Frankenstein films looking this good.

    As I've said, my own home system is a 65" 3D HDTV. For the big releases, Joe Kane has been kind enough to share his large screen projection system as needed. It's funny. When I was using the 40" HDTV, I was criticized for the set being too small to make a proper evaluation. When I got the 65" HDTV, I was then criticized for having a set that was much larger than the typical person has. My solution to this? I just keep writing and call them as I see them. We won't agree all the time, but that's the best part of the forum to me. Better to have the discussion.
     
  16. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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  17. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Malcolm, you're correct that neither Joe nor I had an issue with The Wolf Man. I believe RAH would agree with you, however.
     
  18. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    I have a 42" plasma. And Last Starfighter is truly ruined even on it. I need to give it a second spin sometime. If Predator 2nd release is anything like it then I definitely have the 1st on Predator.
     
  19. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Thank you James.

    I think we'll disagree about whether the movie has been ruined, but I appreciate you providing input into the thread. Just because something is written in a review doesn't mean that I think everyone will agree. I'm glad to know the movie has fans even today advocating for it.
     
  20. Ted Van Duyn

    Ted Van Duyn Stunt Coordinator

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    On a more movie oriented note, has anyone noticed the alterations made to the film when compared to the original DVD release? I remember listening to the commentary track and someone said "I didn't know there was an optical zoom there". Sure enough, there was. It's an odd zoom because it happens at the same time the scene fades into a night shot. It's during the scene where Alex sees Maggie off before it cuts to night. When I looked at the BluRay, the zoom is gone.

    Also some of the music is missing as well. When Beta removes the blanket over his head to reveal his freaky looking transformation, there was this quick rush of music that played over it and ended just as we cut back to the Star league head quarters.
     

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