Movies

The Last Starfighter (1984)
Flight of the Navigator (1986)
Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Marathon Date: 09/07/2022 @ 6PM (GMT)
So, this marathon does have a personal note because these are three films I've actually watched many times and have fond memories of from my childhood! But what they also represent is a time period where a wave of new film makers created different and interesting science fiction films and developed new story concepts and technologies to create their visions (well this is true maybe for all but Battle Beyond the Stars but I'll get to that). For our line-up we have:

The Last Starfighter (1984): Has the distinction of being one of the earliest films (beside Tron) to use extensive CGI to depict star ships, battles and backgrounds. The director constantly compared his script and work to George Lucas and Spielberg to ensure his film was completely different. The story focuses on Alex, a young man who finds his life and hopes stuck in the trailer park he grew up in. To escape he plays an arcade game called Starfighter and, without realising it, and much like Arthur pulling the sword out the stone he achieves a high score that sends a signal out to an alien organization called Star League. The arcade game being a test to prove if any of the human species could pilot the Starfighter craft. He then finds himself on an adventure that takes him well outside the trailer park, and the planet, defending the galaxy.

Flight of the Navigator (1986): The director of this (later to become) Disney production, Randal Keiser, took on the film because it was a chance to do visual effects, and this film is full of them! To produce the ship, they had to use a series of cutting-edge effects such as digitizing moving images that came from film plates, early motion-controlled cameras and carrying out rendering, lighting and morphing on a super computer! The audio was also created using one of the world's first digital synthesisers. Disney entered the production after the script (which was already in the works) was centred around the US government eventually taking the spaceship down. This was changed to a more family-oriented story starring Joey Cramer as David, a young boy who stumbles in a forest and arrives back home to find out it's been 8 years since he left. He soon learns this is due to an alien craft and, after escaping the government and along with its help, he finds his way back home to the right time.

Battle Beyond the Stars (1982): Roger Corman is a well-known name in the world of B-movie production having produced many films, most of which are on very tight budgets. After the success of Star Wars in 1977, he followed the wave of many other studios and film makers in trying to produce the next big sci-fi fantasy hit. For Corman this would be one of his biggest budget films ($2 million) where he believed success would be in copying the story concept of Star Wars (effectively being a sci-fi version of "The Seven Samurai"). The movie is self-aware that it's knockoff, but where it differed was in the sincerity and charm of its production value. The visual effects and models were put together by a group of young visual artists, one of which was James Cameron (Titanic, Terminator, Avatar). The music was composed by a young James Horner (composer of Aliens, Rocketeer, Titanic and many more) who helped in elevating this film above the weak Star Wars rip offs. The story is centred around Shad, a human(?) or er... person from the peaceful planet Akir. The planet was recently visited by the merciless warlord Sador that demands the planet surrender and be his slaves or face annihilation by his planet-killing 'stellar convertor' weapon (this sound familiar to anyone else?). It is up to Shad in control of his er... very provocative looking ship "Nell" (have you ever seen a spaceship that has breasts before? I sure hadn't!) to find mercenaries and anyone else who may fight in the defence of his home world.

Movies will start at 6 PM (GMT+0) on a Saturday (Date shown on this page when finalised) once enough interest has been shown. There will be 10 minute breaks for you to grab a drink and walk around to re-energise for the next movie!

Reward for Surviving the Full Marathon:

Star Trails

Duration: 311 minutes
Votes Needed To Start Marathon: 3

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Zakko
Chilly Zombie (Level 265)
Farmerbill
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Harry Zontal
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Jimi060
The Room Buff (Level 41)

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