And for an ’80s movie, it’s somehow set in 1978, at the South Florida Frisbee Dog Championship, on Independence Day. Yes, all the soldiers died in wars over the years so that your mutt can catch a disc in its trap.
But after 12-year-old David (Joey Kramer, above) takes a fall down a ravine, which knocks him out for a bit, he wakes up and runs home, only to find that his house has new owners. We quickly gather that he’s been out for the count for a few years, despite not aging, but anyone he encounters really delays actually TELLING him what the year is! However, it’s clear that it’s all the fault of alien intelligence.
As you might expect, eight years have passed, as the film came out in 1986.
Soon after, the authorities chance across a spaceship which just floats in the air and which is so light, it can be pushed around with the tip of your finger, and as David is taken in for tests, on saying that he might’ve been in outer space for the past eight years, facility assistant Carolyn (Sarah Jessica Parker) tells him: “You know something? You’re a weird kid”, to which David replies: “Me? I’m not the one with purple hair(!)”.
I never saw Flight Of The Navigator when it first came out, nor any time since, so this is another ’80s movie I’ve seen for the first tilme when a Blu-ray Special Edition has been released, and I love checking these out. I would’ve been 14 at the time and it really taps into the mindset of a young boy who wants to escape a humdrum lifestyle, as life can be boring, and even more so when you’ve got to go to school!
I knew that at some point in the proceedings, David would get to go inside the spaceship, but not the reason, nor where it would take him. What follows is certainly entertaining, but the last third isn’t quite as good as it could be (like most films), but it’s certainly worth checking out, especially if, like me, you missed it before now. It’s got a groovy theme, too.
For a film that’s 30+ years old and shot on film, for the most part, it looks bloody fantastic. As is typical of film, the start of the first reel always seems to suffer as it’s a little bit iffy during the opening credits, but that clears up before too long.
In addition it’s worth noting that as you’re hearing a bit of the Grease theme at the start of the film, an earlier movie directed by Randal Kleiser, was that very same musical.
The voice of the spaceship, Max (Paul Reubens, aka Pee Wee Herman), gets comical rather like Eddie the toaster in Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. The cast also includes Alien‘s Veronica Cartwright, plus Howard Hesseman, who I remember back in the ’80s from WKRP in Cincinnati and Head Of The Class. Also, Cliff De Young was apparently in 1994’s Robocop 4. Wait… what?! There’s a ROBOCOP *4*?!
What’s even MORE bizarre, is that in the extras, Joey Kramer is interviewed and is STILL 12 years old! Nah, just kidding…
When it comes to the extras, apart from an Audio Commentary with director Randal Kleiser and Executive Producer Jonathan Sanger, they’re mostly interviews.
These are with Director Randal Kleiser (6:38) – including a brief part of a screen test with Chris O’Donnell; Joey Cramer, himself (22:11) – and it’s great to see how he looks after all this time, although he never really did much acting after this movie. As he states, although he was offered a number of roles afterwards, he wanted to finish high school and then would consider going back into the business later, but now we know that he didn’t.
Then there’s producer Dimitri Villard (13:34), David’s mother, Veronica Cartwright (11:30), and his brother in 1986, Matt Adler (9:24).
The last extra is From Concept to Creation: The Special Effects of Flight of the Navigator (17:31), which gives us new interviews with Jeff Kleiser, Randal Kleiser and Edward Eyth.
I just received the review disc to check out the film and extras – and so that’s all I can include in my Extras score, but when you buy the boxset, it includes a reversible sleeve with new and original artwork, and a rigid slipcase with new artwork by Rich Davies, and a 100-page soft cover book with Randal Kleiser’s complete original storyboard, new essay by Kevin Lyons, original production notes, and behind the scenes photos.
Running time: 90 minutes
Distributor: Second Sight
Released: August 26th 2019
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS 2.0 HD-MA (Stereo)
Subtitles: English SDH
Widescreen: 1.85:1 (35mm)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Randal Kleiser
Producers: Dimitri Villard, Robert Wald
Screenplay: Michael Burton, Matt MacManus
Story: Mark H Baker
Music: Alan Silvestri
David Freeman: Joey Cramer
Max (voice): Paul Reubens (as Paul Mall)
Bill Freeman: Cliff De Young
Helen Freeman: Veronica Cartwright
Carolyn McAdams: Sarah Jessica Parker
Jeff (8 years): Albie Whitaker
Jeff (16 years): Matt Adler
Dr. Louis Faraday: Howard Hesseman
Troy: Robert Small
Dr. Carr: Jonathan Sanger
Mrs. Howard: Iris Acker
Mr. Howard: Richard Liberty
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.