Star Struck

Star Struck (1986)
Blue Underground
Cast: Jo Kennedy, Ross O'donavan, Geoffrey Rush
Extras: Commentary Track, Trailers, Gallery, Documentary, Featurette, Deleted Scenes and more

Gillian Armstrong's 1986 musical comedy was s mash hit in its native Australia but also managed to gather a serious cult following here in the United States and Europe. Filled with 80s pop-rock tunes and a whole lot of upbeat charisma, "Star Struck" is one of those films you watch once and remember for the rest of your life. It is the story of a young girl, Jackie (Jo Kennedy), following her dream of stardom with the help of her cousin Angus (Ross O'Donovan), who takes on the supporting part of manager, songwriter and cousin all in one. From there the film takes off telling its story in a delightful way, with great characters and atmosphere, all complemented by a remarkable sound track with songs by Split Enz's Phil Judd.

Blue Underground has prepared a marvelous transfer for this DVD release, featuring an image that is free of blemishes and rich in detail. Colors are vibrant and rich throughout but never over-saturated or bleeding. Shadow delineation is also very good, rendering a sharp image with deep blacks and solid shadows that never lose detail or break up. Skin tones are natural and the presentation is free of edge-enhancement. It is clearly one of those cases where you've seen a film countless times before and suddenly someone seems to have pulled a veil from your eyes. That's how incredible this DVD version of "Star Struck" looks. It just got everything right, literally revitalizing the film as a result.

The audio comes as a cool 5.1 channel Dolby Digital ES remix as well as a 6.1 DTS ES audio track. Who would have thought this film would ever get such a treatment? The sound field is dynamic and makes good use of the surround channels. It is not extremely aggressive but active enough that you notice things going on in the surrounds at all times. The frequency response is very good with deep basses and crystal clear high ends, once again breathing new life into the material the way you would never have imagined. The pumping bass lines, the guitar riffs, the vocals, it's all there with a transparence and presence that previous incarnations of this film were utterly lacking. Hats off to whoever did the remix here.

But Blue Underground did not stop here. The studio shows its commitment to this title by adding a good number of bonus materials to the release. So much in fact that they needed a second disc, turning this DVD release of a fairly obscure Australian cult film into a full blown 2-disc Special Edition.

First up is a commentary track by producer Richard Brennan. It is an informative commentary that offers a lot of insight. It is not your typical promo commentary, but a much more critical analysis of the production and events surrounding it. The movie's theatrical trailer and a poster and still gallery can also be found on the set's first disc.

The second disc contains another set of really cool material, such as "Puttin' On The Show," a 43-minute documentary filled with interviews by producer David Elfick, director Gillian Armstrong and cinematographer Russell Boyd. Spiced up with clips from the film the documentary gives a very good overview about how the film came together, what the concept was, how it evolved and finally turned into a cult hit.

"Screenwriter Reflects" is a 19-minute interview featurette with writer Stephen MacLean as he discusses the film, from his vacation in Thailand it seems.

Two deleted scenes and alternate versions of two songs from the film are also included. As an additional bonus, an extended version of "Gimme Love" rounds out this DVD.

"Star Struck" is a film fans have been searching in stores up and down without having much luck finding a decent copy. All this is now over. Blue Underground has given this Australian cult flick the royal treatment. Despite its age and relative obscurity, this release looks and sounds like a million bucks. Blue Underground once again comes through all the way, making sure fans of their films get the best treatment possible. So, what a' you waitin' for, mate? Go, grab a copy and rock on. This is film is pure fun and every bit as good as American music films of the era… if not better.