Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Battle Beyond the Stars|
Actors: George Peppard, Robert Vaughn, Richard Thomas, John Saxon, Darlanne Fluegel
Directors: Jimmy T. Murakami, Roger Corman
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Seven mercenaries are recruited from throughout the galaxy to save a peaceful planet from the threat of an evil tyrant bent on dominating and enslaving the entire universe.
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Star Wars on a budget!
Bill W. Dalton | Santa Ana, CA USA | 02/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Would you believe a spaceship with breasts? There's one in this 1980 Roger Corman space opera! The spaceship has a female computer personality named Nell and a decidedly feminine shape, which includes two enormous breast-like mounds on its underside. Since there is no nudity in this movie, which is unusual in a Corman film, he had to get the breasts in somewhere, so model designer/builder/art director James Cameron put them on the space craft! Very amusing indeed! Cameron went on to design bigger and better things, like the Titanic.Battle Beyond the Stars was the biggest-budgeted movie Corman had ever made up to that time, about 2 million dollars, and his money is up there on the screen, with good sets, good props, good special effects, and a good cast. In typical Corman fashion everything except the cast was used over and over again in other space sagas he made. Waste not, want not! is his credo, and he boasts that he's never lost a dime on any of his movies. I believe it.The plot of this movie was stolen shamelessly from Akira Kurosawa's classic Seven Samurai, so if you liked that Japanese epic and its American remake, The Magnificent Seven, you should like Battle Beyond the Stars, too. It just goes to show that if you have to steal a story, you might as well steal a great one!The cast includes Richard Thomas, just out of his John-Boy of The Waltons role, as a poor man's Luke Skywalker recruiting mercenaries George Peppard, Robert Vaughn, Marta Kristen, and Sybil Danning, among others, to fight the evil conqueror Sador, played by John Saxon, always a good villain.Never one to miss a trend, or start one, Corman cashed in on the phenomenal success of Star Wars with Battle Beyond the Stars. It's a fun film and I recommend this DVD widescreen edition. There's interesting commentaries by Gale Anne Hurd, John Sayles and Roger Corman, movie trailers, biographies, trivia game, scene index -- but the usual Corman filmography booklet is absent here."
Zowie, the fun of Star Wars on a small budget
Darren Harrison | Washington D.C. | 02/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Great memories accompany this movie for me, thankfully the producers of this DVD have honored this production with a jam-packed feature full of special features. I was not even a teenager when this movie was released back in 1980 yet a group of friends and I made the pilgrimage to a local cinema to see it. With an interesting set of diverse characters the movie plays as a science fiction version of the Seven Samurai. A "Magnificent Seven in Space" as it were, it even features Robert Vaughn of that 60s gem. The real pleasure of the DVD however is the wealth of special features. We not only have one optional audio commentary, but two very informative pieces. There are preview trailers for other Corman productions such as "Piranha". We even get a trivia game. I certainly recommend this movie."
Don't laugh: This is a grass-roots classic.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 04/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What allows Battle Beyond the Stars to transcend its low budget, simple special effects and infinitely recycled plot? The most important aspect of filmmaking: Ideas.This was one [heck] of a smart script. No surprise, since the writer is John Sayles, a screenwriter of impeccable literary sense. The dialogue of this film crackles better than most big-budget films I've seen, and as a result Darlanne Fluegel (as innocent maiden Nanelia), Robert Vaughn (ice-cool mercenary Gelt), Sybil Danning (who steals the show as dashing, comically busty Valkyr warrior Saint-Exmin), Earl Boen (as lead drone Nestor) and George Peppard (as Space Cowboy) all shine, having a field day with the incredibly brisk pace and economical character interactions. And there's great comic material here, which is like an amplification of the gently sardonic tone of Seven Samurai, the obvious ancestor of this film.The richness of Sayles' conception of this world just draws you in -- even more so, I would argue, than Star Wars, because the depth of the philosophical implications behind the details is phenomenal. The "Facets" of Nestor, the on-the-run nihilism of Gelt the mercenary, and the communicative dilemma of the Kelvin -- it all points to very real human needs and psychological desires, hidden behind the comic-book action and tongue-in-cheek tone. Revel, as well, in the amount of attention paid to the design: Talking spaceship "Nell" is in the shape of a giant woman's body; the stingray menace of Gelt's ship; the different kinds of "hum" that each character's vehicle produces. Shows what you can do even with little money if you put some thought into it.Though it doesn't have the mystique of Star Wars -- whose amalgamation of chivalric romance and science fiction created a new sub-culture -- Battle Beyond the Stars deserves applause for overcoming its humble origins. And for all of the rich background, it's one of the fastest-moving science-fiction films I've ever seen. Dig in if you've never seen it; celebrate it again if you have."
I hate to disagree, but...
email@example.com | Boston, MA. USA | 05/12/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Actually, I don't disagree with most of the comments. The extras are great (especially the commentary, although Gale Anne Hurd has a tendency, at least in the beginning, to drop little nuggets of information without any context), and it's great to have this film in widescreen HOWEVER, whomever was raving about the transfer need to wipe the dust off of their TV! It's not that it's bad, it's too good. So good that you can see every scratch and fleck of dust on whatever lousy 21-year-old print they used to master this puppy. If they were going to put in the time to make this disc, at least they could have struck a new print for the transfer."