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1984 Movie Reviews – The Last Starfighter and The Muppets Take Manhattan

by Sean P. Aune | July 13, 2019July 13, 2019 10:30 am EDT

Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1984 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. Imagine a world where This is Spinal Tap and Repo Man hit theaters on the same day. That is the world of 1984.

We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly three dozen.

Yes, we’re insane, but 1984 was that great of a year for film.

The articles will come out on the same day the films hit theaters in 1984 so that it is their true 35th anniversaries. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory.

This time around it’s July 13, 1984, and we’re off to see The Last Starfighter and The Muppets Take Manhattan.

1984 Movie Project - The Last Starfighter - 01

The Last Starfighter

One of the biggest promises of The Last Starfighter in 1984 was it was the first film to heavily rely on computer graphics. However, in this time period, that meant using a Cray X-MP. For those of you not familiar with computers, Crays were the supercomputers of the 1980s. Merely being mentioned meant you were doing something that required what was, at the time, a tremendous amount of processing power.

In the end, we ended up with 27 minutes of computer graphics, and while it is incredibly dated by today’s standards, it gave you an idea where we were headed to be sure.

As to the story, it’s fairly basic, but you can’t help but like it. You couldn’t help by root for Alex (Lance Guest) and the predicament he finds himself in. Not only did he think he was just playing a video game, but then he finds out he is one ship against an armada.

What’s most amazing here is that this film didn’t get a sequel. It was ripe for it without knowing what happened to Zur (Norman Snow), or how he had even come to work with the Kodan. And while Alex has a job on Rylos, what in the world was was Maggie (Catherine Mary Stewart) going to do there? (And where did she sit on the trip? The Gunstar only had two seats…)

There has been talk of sequels and reboots over the years, but nothing has ever come of it except some artwork. Part of that may be because the rights are a bit of a mess due to mergers over the years, but something tells me we’ll see something in this universe again someday.

For now, if you’ve never seen it, don’t go in with high expectations and you should enjoy it.

1984 Movie Project - The Muppets Take Manhattan - 01

The Muppets Take Manhattan

It’s a bit hard to believe, but by 1984 we were already on our third Muppets movie. This seems so out of character for the film business back then, but whatever, it was working.

The Muppets Take Manhattan, to be blunt, has about as basic a plot as you can get. “Small town folks go to the big city to live their dreams… hit hard times… succeed in the end.” It’s clear cut, and easy to roll with, and when you’re working with Muppets, that’s probably a wise idea.

It’s a Muppet movie. There really isn’t too much else you can say about it. They’re cute, they’re fun, and they’re comfortable. Maybe a story with a tiny bit more complexity would have been nice, but it is what it is.

And I will never turn down a chance to watch Animal be Animal.

1984 Movie Reviews will return on July 20 with The NeverEnding Story and Revenge of the Nerds!


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Sean P. Aune

Sean Aune has been a pop culture aficionado since before there was even a term for pop culture. From the time his father brought home Amazing