This article contains several comparisons which contrast Universal’s 2009 Blu-ray transfer with the new Arrow Video restoration. The frames aren’t necessarily exact matches, but should give a solid indication of the visual differences.
Sometimes it takes a lot of intense analysis and nuance to identify and accurately describe the subtle differences between alternate transfers, carefully weighing the various pros and cons and rendering a judgment of which is superior.
This is not one of those times.
Coming out relatively early in the Blu-ray format’s life cycle, Universal’s 2009 Blu-ray of The Last Starfighter has aged very poorly — it’s a smeary, textureless, DNRed mess.
Arrow’s excellent transfer, sourced from a new 4K scan, is an absolute revelation — comparing them hardly even seems fair. Film grain shows naturally as it should, and with it returns the film’s texture. Trees have distinct foliage where before there were only green blobs. Previously waxy faces now more register as more human — or, as the case may be, alien.
Truly, these screens speak for themselves.
Even the dated, early CGI looks noticeably better thanks to the equalizing effect of film grain.
It’s also worth noting that even the Making Of documentary (“Crossing the Frontier”) has received a slight visual upgrade, cleaned of combing effects and upscaled to 720p.
Get it at Amazon:
If you enjoy reading Cinapse, purchasing items through our affiliate links can tip us with a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Except where noted, all 16:9 screen images in this review are direct captures from the disc(s) in question with no editing applied, but may have compression or resizing inherent to file formats and Medium’s image system.