I don't think I've seen STARMAN in at least two decades. What a pleasure to go back and revisit this smart, witty sci-fi classic.
Jeff Bridges is excellent as the human form of an alien observer from a far away planet. Arriving on Earth in explosive fashion, he finds his way to the isolated home where Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen) has spent the evening watching old movies of her late husband.
Starman finds a lock of her husband's hair in a photo album and transforms himself into an exact physical replica of her late spouse.
The transformation sequence is a blend of cool 80's model work and horrible special effects by today's standard, but like the rest of the film, it charms it's way through the rough spots.
The brilliance of Bridges performance is that every word, every physical movement is an off kilter version of humanity. Bridges was nominated for best actor for the role and it was deserved.
The visitor asks Jenny to drive him from her Wisconsin home to Arizona, where he will be reunited with a craft in three days.
What follows is an exciting, funny and dramatic road trip between two strangers from VERY opposite worlds.
Watching Starman discover Dutch Apple Pie, hit Las Vegas like an electrically charged Rainman and take a boxcar ride with Jenny through the Southwest is enjoyable as hell.
I had completely forgot that this was directed by John Carpenter (Halloween, Escape from New York) and its undoubtedly one of his best.
Charles Martin Smith (American Graffiti, The Untouchables) is very good as a SETI scientist with heart.
The themes of the film as refreshingly positive, highlighting the best traits of Americana during our odd couple's adventure.
I loved the on location photography, the quieter moments on the train and Jenny's first scenes. Several of the aerial shots that Carpenter pulls off during the conclusion at Meteor Crater are some of his best.
Carpenter said that he made Starman immediately after the box office failure of his fantastic film "The Thing" (one of my all time favorites) to prove he had bank-ability with the studios.
It's his only film to receive an Oscar nomination.
Bridges and Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark) are both terrific and her character arc is perfectly executed. The ending left me wanting to know a whole lot more, or at least see a flash forward to 5 or 10 years later.
STARMAN holds up very well 35 years after its release, it gets an A. Bridges rocks.