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Dark Star (Director's Cut) [1974]


Price: £25.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Dark Star (Director's Cut) [1974] + Silent Running [DVD] [1972] + 2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Brian Narelle, Cal Kuniholm, Dre Pahich, Dan O'Bannon, Adam Beckenbaugh
  • Directors: John Carpenter
  • Producers: Dark Star (1974) ( John Carpenter's Dark Star ), Dark Star (1974), John Carpenter's Dark Star
  • Format: Import, PAL, Director's Cut, Widescreen
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Umbrella Entertainment
  • Run Time: 83.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0061HF132
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 285,332 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Australia released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Biographies, Interactive Menu, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, Trailer(s), Uncut, SYNOPSIS: What would you be like after 20 years aboard DARK STAR the spaced-out spaceship. The ultimate cosmic comedy! In the mid twenty-first century, mankind has reached a point in its technological advances to enable colonization of the far reaches of the universe. Dark Star is a futuristic scout ship traveling far in advance of colony ships. Armed with Exponential Thermostellar Bombs, it prowls the unstable planets. But there is one obstacle that its crew members did not count on - one of the ship's thinking and talking bombs is lodged in the bay, threatening to destroy the entire ship and crew! Director John Carpenter and writer Dan O'Bannon combine their writing, creative, and technical talents to bring you this thrilling and extraordinary science fiction parody. ...Dark Star (1974) ( John Carpenter's Dark Star )

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 19 Nov 2009
Format: DVD
There's a lot to like about DARK STAR. If you're up on 70s science-fiction films, you'll know this is where JOHN CARPENTER and DAN O' BANNON cut their teeth. Subsequently falling out, one went on to direct THE THING, the other to write the original screenplay for ALIEN. But without the experience gained on this, effectively an upgraded 'college project', neither would have been associated in later years quite so vividly with the genre.

THE PLOT
Spaced-out hippes travel the cosmos blowing up unstable stars on a pre-colonization mission plagued by continual mishaps, including an intelligent bomb with an existential death wish.

Dark Star is a black comedy which pokes fun at the underlying issues facing a group of hacked-off astronauts who have succumbed to the deep psychological problems associated with being trapped in a confined space - within the realms of infinite space. A perfect handle upon which to hang their subsequent disintegration. And, boy, do these guys fall apart at the seams (even the cryogenically maintained head of their former commander has stopped dispensing good advice and begun a steady decline into gibberish). Only when presented with imminent destruction by a short-tempered and fractious Thermostellar bomb do they actually pull themselves together for a brief but hilarious ethical debate, man and machine in imperfect harmony. Futile, of course, and it's clear by now that things have gone beyond pear-shaped. But moments before what appears to be the bleakest of endings, earlier foreshadowings are thrown into sharp relief (then cleverly realised) and the result - thanks to the sheer AUDACITY of universal order and chaos - is an unexpected pleasure.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By M. E. Gosano on 31 Dec 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are some interesting extras included with this Hyperdrive Edition. They include ;

A new text introduction to the film written by Dan O'Bannon who died just before this release.

The original version of the film (68 minutes).

A full-length audio commentary of the final version (83 minutes) by Andrew Gilchrist who tells you everything that is known about the film.

Let There Be Light (115 minutes) is a new, excellent 2010 documentary and includes interviews with many of the surviving cast and crew and archival interviews with John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon. You will find out how the students made the film over three years, exactly where the props and sets came from and how Carpenter and O'Bannon worked with each other.

An interview with Alan Dean Foster (34 minutes) who talks about his novelisation of Dark Star, his meetings with John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon and his other novelisations which included Star Trek and Star Wars, and how he met George Lucas.

An interview with Brian Narelle (40 minutes) who plays Lt Doolittle. He talks about his work on Dark Star, working with John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon, and other work in acting and animation.

A 3D Guide to the Dark Star ship which is a short animation showing you around a few areas of the ship.

The original trailer which gives away a few of the surprises in the film.

A trivia section which details 22 text items.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By zargb5 on 19 April 2009
Format: DVD
Dark Star is a great cult classic. It has been influential in comedy SF, there are similarities with what was to become "Red Dwarf" and "Alien" The plot has even shown up in a tired episode of star trek:Voyager.

Dark Star is the antithesis of the promethean 2001:A Space Odyssey. Here instead you get a demoralised, unstable, ill disciplined, grotty, gritty space ship. And an intelligent planet busting bomb which has to be taught phenomenology to try to persuade it not to explode prematurely.

It's not laugh a minute but its definitely worth a watch. This probably wouldn't get made in todays movie climate where brainless fodder is the norm.

Recommended.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. S. Mckinnon on 14 Jun 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having been waiting for a decent edition of this movie on DVD since the format was launched, I was pleased to see this package with "anamorphic widescreen' plastered across the front, so I picked it up straight off.

Unfortunately, it's a port of the original US edition. Pretty good in and of itself - 2 versions of the film, a handful of extras - but NOT anamorphic/enhanced for 16x9 format.

The film itself is terrific. Funny, touching, tense, imaginative, beautifully designed, raw, bleak. And surprisingly sad coming from Howard Hawks-worshipping man's man John Carpenter. Dan O'Bannon's so funny, you wonder why he didn't really act again.

So... best available edition, but not what it claims.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. S. Mckinnon on 25 Jan 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I realise there's going to be people who were involved in the production of this Blu-ray reading this, so I'll try to be as polite as possible... I know it was a labour of love, with a smaller production budget than many other releases out there. So I know you did what you could. Not everyone can be Criterion. I'm a big fan of the film, and I've even seen it theatrically a couple of times, so I want to like this...

...it's OK. It's not great, but it is an improvement on the DVD. The sound quality is definitely as good as it could ever be, and even then it just is what it is: it sounds like a pretty shaky 70s student effort.

The picture is improved, particularly in terms of dirt and damage removal. There's clearly been some extensive frame-by-frame clean-up here, and it shows. Aside from that, however, it looks soft, hazy, but I guess as good as non-professional 16mm blown up to 35mm can look.

What worries me is a smeary softness to the picture that suggests DNR, and I can't see much in the way of film grain. An earlier comment [now removed, but quoted by a later reviewer] suggests that DNR was used and then fake grain added back in. If this is the case - and the grain that is there looks suspiciously even for such a raggedy film - then that's a very stupid thing to do. No-one who's ever seen this film expects it to look pristine, and you must be aware that it's going to be more film-literate viewers who are the target audience for this. Grain removal is widely regarded as an unwise practice, and if you did that here you've disappointed a lot of people, including me.
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