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12/31/07

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This was one of my favorite films as a kid, but I haven't seen it or even thought about it in a long time. My wife and son picked it out as a Christmas gift and we all watched it together. As an 80's kid's flick, I figured it wouldn't hold up that well, but it actually does. The effects are a little lame in places, but I've seen worse from modern films. And the story is good enough to drag you in no matter what your age.

As I was watching Navigator, it started coming back to me. I remembered being fascinated by young David falling into a ravine and waking up nine-years later. When he finds his parents they look much older and his younger brother is now older than him; it's a sweet reunion, as they've long thought him dead. A very intriguing way to bring you into this fantasy.

Soon NASA is after him because he can do new amazing things with his brain, which they think is connected to this UFO they recently found. Which of course it is. David sneaks aboard and is told he is the navigator of this other-worldly vessel. At first he's rightly scared, but before long he's cruising around the world at tremendous speed. This section is the highlight of the film, I think that any kid would love to imagine themselves at the control of this ship. There are some cool looking, muppety aliens, and David befriends one of the cute little ones.

With the help of his younger-older brother, Jeff; played by 80's kid film staple
Matt Adler, who I was desperately trying to place what other films I'd seen him in the whole time (White Water Summer, Teen Wolf, North Shore, among others);
David is trying to get home to his family, but realizes that he'll never be left alone by the poke-its-nose-into-everything government. The movie ends in a satisfying Disney type way, where you're a little skeptical about the plausibility, but ultimately happy how everything turned out.

I think that kids of today can still enjoy the Flight of the Navigator and it's well enough made that parents will like it too. Joey Cramer is cute in the lead role of David, he's not asked to emote too much, but the scenes he has too, he's fine in. Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Ruebens plays the voice of the ship, he uses a lot of his trademark laugh and basically sounds like Pee-wee for most of the film. I can see it annoying a lot of folks and it did keep pulling me out of the film. In the trailer below, you can hear another voice used, it makes the film sound more serious. I'm guessing they changed it, so kids wouldn't be scared by the ship.

Most likely you've probably already seen this film, but if you haven't do yourself a favor and check it out, whether you have kids or not.


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