A match made in the heavens
I talked a bit about this film in the previous post, and I sort of mentioned it once before that as well, so this will probably sound like a rehash. I’m sorry about that. Although, it’s true that some movies just can’t be recommended enough.
If you’ve seen it, or you’re sick of hearing me harp on about it, or both, then by all means skip this one. But for those of you out there who don’t even know what I’m talking about, just give me five minutes of your time.
Starman is a science-fiction drama. How often do you see those anymore? They were all the rage in the 80’s, but they are few and far between these days. The premise is a good one:
“An alien takes the form of a young widow’s husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them.”
You can tell exactly where the plot’s going just from the tagline alone. There’s no pretending that this film has a lot of surprises, but it does have a lot of well played emotional moments. In short, the film works.
It’s important to take note of the title. Starman? Yeah, so what?
Well it’s not just Starman, it’s John Carpenter’s Starman. Just like John Carpenter’s The Fog, John Carpenter’s Halloween, John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, and John Carpenter’s The Thing. That’s right, after directing a series of horror movies and B-grade action adventure films, Carpenter decided he would try his hand at drama. You wouldn’t expect much from such a typecast director, but he really pulled it off.
I’m shocked too Jeff, we all are.
I talked a bit before about how good Karen Allen’s performance is in this. So, I’ll only re-mention that it’s understated and everyone should pay attention to it.
Jeff Bridges is also undeniably charismatic. His bizarre concept of an alien immitating a human being may at first be awkward to watch, but you soon ease into it. In fact, the alien has a very charming way of speaking which softens as the movie progresses, becoming more and more human.
The special effects are very 80’s, there’s no getting around that, but if you can ignore the cheesy composite shots you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with the entire thing. Starman is one of those great movies that men and women will both like. It mixes two genres in a seamless effort. John Carpenter, aside from The Thing and Halloween, this is surely the best thing you’ve ever made. You, sir, deserve a hug if nothing else.
Starman (1984) trailer
Everyone should see this film. Hell, everyone should own it.