Starring: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Jaeckel
Written by: Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon
Directed by: John Carpenter
Original Year of Release: 1984
Distributor: Scream Factory
Run Time: 115 Minutes
When one thinks of John Carpenter films, the likes of Halloween, The Thing, and Escape from New York come to mind. In 1984, Carpenter took a departure from himself and tackled a science fiction love story. That was the first of his conventions that he broke. He cast Jeff Bridges in the lead, his "usual suspects" are surprisingly absent, and he did not compose the film's score. The result was Starman.
Remember the Voyager probe? In the late 1970s, NASA sent probes into space to explore further than any man-made object had before. Included with all the scientific instruments and cameras was a message welcoming intelligent life to visit the planet of Earth. Starman explores the possibility that one member of an advanced intelligence species receiving that message and coming to Earth. The only issue is, the US government shoots down the observation ship. Marooned on Earth, the alien replicates the body of a dead house painter named Scott Hayden (Jeff Bridges). He has just days to get to the rendezvous point or he will die. He, unwilling, enlists the aid of Scott's distraught widow, Jenny (Karen Allen) and thus the adventure begins.
This is a road trip movie, a sci-fi film, an examination of what it means to be human, and a love story. Through Bridges' Oscar-nominated performance (his first), we learn so much about ourselves and how we perceive what is right and wrong with our world. In short, this alien is more human than we are. There is a learning curve, of course, but it is there that Jenny learns that "Scott" just wants to go home. It is through this understanding that Jenny learns to love again and move on with her life. Karen Allen, who genre fans will remember as Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark, is both our window and reflection of how we would act in this situation. Her performance is nothing short of spectacular and has basically been forgotten by moviegoers. Their story blossoms into one of love and understanding. Their final moments will tear your heart out if you have one. By the film's end, you will be changed by "Scott's" perceptions and observations of our world. If only every movie could do that.
John Carpenter's next three films have aged better with time (Big Trouble in Little China, Prince of Darkness, and They Live). However, their recurrence in pop culture has superseded that of Starman. Thankfully, Shout! Factory's Scream Factory label has released this stellar Collector's Edition Blu-ray for more people to discover. The is a new special feature, and the others are held over from a previous DVD release, "They Came from Hollywood" is a great look at the film, today. Sadly, Karen Allen is not present, but, Bridges gushes over her performance crediting that his performance was nothing without her's. #AFJ4LIFE
STARMAN Collector’s Edition
- NEW They Came from Hollywood: Re-visiting STARMAN – featuring director John Carpenter, actors Jeff Bridges, Charles Martin Smith and script supervisor Sandy King-Carpenter
- Audio Commentary with director John Carpenter and Jeff Bridges
- Vintage Featurette
- Teaser Trailer
- Theatrical Trailer
- TV Spots
- Still Gallery