April 2015 - Now Showing: Flight of the Navigator
Andrew Ragealotski, Angry Men Reviews
Ah, the Kid’s movie. When we are young we love the hell out of them with their simple stories, bright colors, and catchy music. Our parents used to throw them in the VCR so they knew they could have an hour and a half to go into the bedroom and screw our little brother into existence. Most of the time we remember them with nostalgia and know that if we were to try and watch them today the end result would be a wonderful mural of our brains splattered on the wall behind the couch as we couldn’t believe we were stupid enough to have enjoyed them as a kid.
Then there are a few movies that held up. Most people would put the Disney classics like “Snow White” in here, but then I think most people are fucking idiots. I can understand why those movies are classics and why children keep watching them each generation but our culture needs to move passed the “All a girl needs to do is find a good man and give him a blow job and everythign is okay” myth.
No, I’m talking about movies where even though the effects or time period of the story might make it dated, the story itself holds up even after a few decades.
Don’t get me wrong, there are parts of this movie where any sane adult will screem “AHHHH The cute! It burns us!” The basic story, though, still holds up, and even though the science in it is a little shaky the concepts they use are real enough and can easily spark a child’s imagination to grow their knowledge in science.
The story goes like this, it is 1978 and David and his family are enjoying a summer together. David goes out looking for his brother in the woods and gets abducted by aliens. 8 years later David shows up and freaks everyone out not only because he hasn’t aged a day but he has a bunch of alien knowledge stuck in his head, hijinks then ensue.
The acting is okay with Paul Ruebens (of either “Pee Wee Herman” or “I got caught jerking off in a theater” fame, take your pick) being a stand out as the voice of the alien craft that kidnapped David. The effects of the ship are still cool even after a couple of decades, and while the animatronic puppet aliens are a little hokey they don’t ruin the experience.
The biggest stand out from this movie, to me, is the realistic depiction of what it would be like to be taken out of your time and stuck in another, and that was pretty novel for a kids movie. Up until this point when the hero kid was taken out of his time and put into another it was all fun and games as the kid either got to play with all this cool new tech or wowed the primitives with 20th century knowledge. With this movie they actually point out how David no longer fit with all of his friends, his little brother was now his older brother, and the world had gone on without him. Not to mention that the government would never let him try and lead a normal point from that on anyway. Add into that, this movie used the time dilation effect as a major plot point. They used it incorrectly, but dammit they used it.
Should it be re-made? No, not at all. Look, I could see the attraction, it’s a decent movie that has some outdated effects that was just popular enough to spark nostalgia while not being so classic as to spawn a lot of hate. Still, besides the special effects how could you update it? Could the story work setting it in the 2000s or would they put it in the 80s still? Honestly my biggest reason is that this movie is pretty original, the story hasn’t been done to death, I would like it to stay that way.
In the end this is a rarity, a smart kids movie from the 80s and because of that it shouldn’t be forgotten.