Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (1980) Blu-ray Review

I've just posted my review of the Battle Beyond The Stars Blu-ray from Shout! Factory over on my DVD Late Show website. In short, it's gorgeous, although I would have liked to see them scrape up more bonus materials. The new interview with Richard Thomas is nice, and the effects retrospective is very good, too, but I'm greedy and would have liked to seen more.
An unabashed mash-up of George Lucas' STAR WARS and Akira Kurosawa's THE SEVEN SAMURAI/Robert Sturges' THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, this satisfying and exciting space opera is graced with a witty, intelligent screenplay by John Sayles (PIRANHA, LONE STAR), a game cast comprised of veteran character actors and TV stars (Jeff Corey, Sam Jaffe, Robert Vaughn, George Peppard, Morgan Woodward, Marta Kristen, Sybil Danning, et al), and remarkably accomplished miniature spaceship effects by a talented crew of enthusiastic young technicians, including James Cameron and the Skotak brothers. Wrapped up in a sweeping, Jerry Goldsmith-inspired musical score by James Horner, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS is probably the best of the STAR WARS imitators - and in some ways, it's maybe a little better.
I didn't mention this in my main review, but I found it amusing that the still gallery was just ported over from the New Concorde disc, apparently, and still contains those two photos of Thom Christopher's alien character from Space Raiders (as well as another of some alien from some other movie altogether)! And Shout! actually used both of the Space Raiders stills on the Battle disc packaging!

I'm not set-up to snag screenshots off of Blu-ray discs, but has a nice selection of screenshots (as well as a snobbish review) at their site.

Read my full review HERE.


  1. Nice review. Been a while since I saw the film and forgot what a great cast it has in it. The cover art is interesting: while Robert Vaughn resembles himself, Cowboy looks like a cross between Lorne Greene and Dennis Cole!

    I didn't know James Horner did the music. I probably saw it in the credits when I saw the film on tv back in the 80s, but I didn't pay as much attention to movie music credits as much back then as I do now, except for John Williams.

    Thanks for the great review!

    Gordon Long

  2. I thought's review was pretty fair but they did seem to miss the point with John Sayle's script, which always had a knowing edge to it