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July 20, 1984 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1984-07-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 16 -T he Michigan Daily - Friday, July 20, 1984
'Last Starfighter' bits a tailspin

By Byron L. Bull
T HE LAST Starfighter is a modestly
budgeted, rather tacky looking,
heavily derivative space opera with a
distinctly homemade flavor to it. It
doesn't steal elements from films like
Star Wars, Close Encounters, and
Wargames as much as it innocently
copies them. If the format had been
8mm and the sets cardboard, this would
be the quintessential 14-year-old fan's
movie.
The premise is the now formulaic test
of heroism, concerning a gifted young
warrior and his aged mentor. Lance
Guest (about six years too old for the
part) plays Alex Rogan, the high school
dreamer faced with the prospect of
spending the rest of his life in his lower-
middle class trailer park surrounding
because his college loan just fell
through. Little does he realize that the
park video game on which he distracts
himself is actually a high-tech Ex-
calibur-in-a-stone set on Earth by an
alien race. When Alex sets the record
score, he unknowningly sends a signal
back across space to the machines
owners.
In a short time an emisarry in human
form named Centurri (Robert Preston
looking more portly since The Music
Man) arrives in his sportscar/space
shuttle, and whisks Alex away, leaving
an android double of the boy, behind.
Centauri takes him to the edge of the
galaxy, where a race of baldheaded
imps is desperately trying to forestall
an invasion by a fleet of melted-face
villains.
At first Alex balks. Later, though, af-
ANN ARBOR
J 2 IDIVIUALTHEATRES
1:00 P.M. SHOWS $2.00
SENIORS EVERY EVEN $3.00
FRI. " SAT. " TUES. 11:45 PM SHOW
M ZMOVi?Ovo
SECt11E -
FR. 1:00, 7:10, 9:20, 11:45 P.M.
SAT. 110, 310, 525, 710,920, 1145PM
JAMES STEWART
DORIS DAY
IN
ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S
THE MAN WHO
KNEW TOO
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Centauri (Alex Preston) recruits young Alex (Lance Guest) to serve in the fight to defend the universe from the bad guys
-in "The Last Starfighter,' the unexciting new space epic.
all of the other pilots are killed in a or intimidated to mortification by it, heavily imitating Steven Spielberl
prise raid, and when he considers because the actors are continually style. The trailer park scenes in fa
only other future is guzzling beer in swallowed by the scenery. He doesn't are shot with camera set ups a
back of a pick up truck, he takes up even make a feeble attempt at letting lighting effects that amount to a visa
challenge. He's out-fitted, stuffed the actors flesh out their roles, to him tracing of Vilmos Zsigmound's work
the sole remaining fighter (an un- they're just part of the trappings. Lan- Close Encounters. There are ev
ed prototype) and teamed with a ce Guest is too blandly handsome and repeated shots of the country landsca
icularly gung-ho lizard co-pilot, athletic for his role. Alex Rogan, the under starry skies with a meteor
's fond of wisecracking. day dreaming video-whiz needs a ching across, which is becoming t
he George Lucas influences are so slightly nerdy portrayal like the one equivalent of a Spielberg cameo. Cas
k here one could catalogue them in with which Matthew Broderick has the mechanics down to a tee, but
Lmes. Every aspect of the produc- enlivened Wargames. doesn't have the sensitivity to breatl
from the set and prop design For an adventure, there is no sense of life into the scenery, and make it
ugh the multifarious animated pacing and no feeling of suspense here. magical. The movie lacks the tone it
phics to the choreography of the Despite the onslaught of pyrotechnics badly imitates.
ce battles reads like a forged and thunderous sound effects, all of the
ature - only everything is so cheap action is low key. The story takes too To it's credit, The Last Starfight
unfinished looking that they look long to get going, and is continually does try to have fun with itself. Ba
leftovers from an old Irwin Allen diverted by the disposable subplot of oneliners and high camp abound, b
vision series. Even the computer Alex's earthside double fending off his with the exception of one fine, tw
erated effects, although they are promiscuous girlfriend and a horde of second reference to Dr. Strangelov
arkable to those who are aware of alien assassins. When the climatic bat- they all produce loud groans. I give
t they are, end up with a grimy air- tle comes, Alex disposes of his foes with credit for steering clear of the sortc
hed look like bad miniature work. such perfunctory casualness we might portentousness that ruined The Sear
rector Nick Castle's lack of vision as well be watching some kid.playing a for Spock and being an amateur fill
ie film's weakest link. Either he's real video game. It was certainly not it's free of the kind of wunderkid se
lIed to death with all the hardware. something one would want to pay $4 indulgence that polluted Gremlins an
to see. Temple of Doom. But I can't help wor
As a stylist, Castle had an innocuos dering who gave that bunch of 14-yea
ONE NIGHT ONLY generic touch. Either he's framing his olds millions of dollars, to make th:
E cast against all of the blinking lights, or movie.

gs
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Presents
"TAMBOURINES
TO GLORY"
A Musical Comedy by Lanston Hughes
Featuring a Cast of 25 Singers
and Dancers in a
LIVE ON-STAGE EXTRAVAGANZA
SATURDAY, JULY 21
8:00 P.M.
Michigan Box Office
Theatre 668-8480
Reserved Seating: $7, 8.
Students & Seniors: $5, 6.

Villella waltzes ballet

(Continuedfrom Page 12)
dancers. Germer and Manso de Sousa
in their Ann Arbor debut gave the up-
beat piece the excitement it deserves.
Germer was her partner's com-
plement, appealing with her own in-
triguing and vivacious solo inter-
pretations.
Legs of Lamb, with choreography by
Villella, was another dramatic and
high-spirited performance. In this, the
last number, Ric Abel and Sheri Little
deserve the applause.
Suprisingly, Abel said that none of the
evening's productions was incredihlo
taxing for him, that they were not "vir-
tuoso steps." After watching him spin
his partner around in his arms and acr-

oss the stage, however, his assessment
is arguable. If this is the amateur stuff,
it would be nice to see the company
when they are challenged.
Saving the first for last, six dancers
darting in and out of nowhere in
Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs to an allegro
tempo was both a pleasure and a
disappointment.
The pleasure was on Tuesday night,
when the dancers took the care to add
technique and excitement to their in-
dividual roles. Wednesday was the
disappointment. It seemed as though
this time the dancers were merely
going through the motions. Still a fine
performance of a difficult piece.

a

0

FRI. 2:00, 7:30. 940. 11:45 PM
SAT. 12:50, 3, 5:15,7:30, 9:40, 11:45 PM

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