Jan H. (GearMaven) from SAN FRANCISCO, CA Reviewed on 12/9/2009...
Love this older movie with just enough sci-fi effects, humor, innocence of little kids to make it a very poignant but fun film. This must have been one of Sarah Jessica Parker's first films, too. An enjoyable family movie!
5 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Damian M. (ratchet) Reviewed on 3/11/2009...
Pretty crappy. A cool idea, but the plot-holes are too obvious when watching this again as an adult. A pre-nose job Sarah Jessica Parker (she still has a horse-face) helps the boy escape from a top-secret government facility. Best part was a Twisted Sister mention! Not sure why the alien became PeeWee Herman all of the sudden.
2 of 10 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reminiscent of the best of the Heinlein young adult novels..
J Neil Schulman | Pahrump, NV USA | 05/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Flight of the Navigator is a far better movie than we'd have a right to suspect. Plot spoiler if you read further: A few minutes into this film, 12-year-old David Freeman (Joey Cramer) is on an
errand to retrieve his 8-year-old brother, Jeff, when he falls into a gulley and is
knocked out. Regaining consciousness, David returns to his house, thinking only a
few minutes have passed, and instead of his parents and brother finds a locked
door and an elderly couple living there. Taken to the police station, David is identified by computer records as a boy
reported missing eight years before. Despite the fact that he hasn't aged, he's taken
to the Freeman's at a different house nearby, and when he sees his parents
obviously older, he faints. He returns to consciousness again on a gurney on his
way to a hospital bed. A few minutes later, while his parents are called out of the
room by a somber-faced doctor, David is left alone with his brother Jeff -- who is
now 16. This is ostensibly a Disney movie for kids -- and later on there is a lot of comedic
Disney hijinks -- but the first half hour of the movie, as David and his family deal
with the trauma of his time relocation, are some of the most heart-rending and
chilling sequences I've seen in any film. Spoiler over. This movie reminded me of some of the time-relativity sequences in Robert A.
Heinlein's novel, Time for the Stars. The characters are well written and the actors
do an excellent job, particularly in the scenes between Joey Cramer and Matt
Adler, as 16-year-old Jeff. The distraught parents, Cliff de Young and Veronica
Cartwright, are also excellent -- and Howard Hesseman and Sarah Jessica Parker
round out a great supporting cast. Special kudos are due to Paul Reubens (best known for his character Pee Wee
Herman) who was originally credited under his own name for lending his voice to a
major character in this film, but had his name removed from the credits, replaced
by the pseudonym "Pall Mall," after Reubens was arrested for alleged indecent
exposure committed in a movie theater seat. (I've never understood how Reubens
was convinced to plead "no contest" to the charge, after theater security cameras
showed him in the lobby buying popcorn at the time of the alleged offense.)
Considering that Disney's Hollywood Pictures division released Powder, directed
by a convicted and confessed child molester, Disney should show some backbone
and restore Reubens real name to the credits. If you can get ahold of this movie, see it -- and maybe Disney will see fit to release
it again -- on DVD, I hope."
Nostalgic Eighties Flick
patrick_mcknight | Vancouver, BC Canada | 09/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have nostalgic memories from watching this film as a kid in the eightees. Along with "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "ET: the Extra-Terrestrial", this was one of my favorite sci-fi films. The concept of aliens and UFOs fascinated me. Unfortunately, it seems to have fallen out of circulation. Luckily I was able to get a copy of the VHS some time back. I hope Disney will re-release this film on DVD so we can see it in its original widescreen aspect ratio.Joey Cramer is David Freeman, a boy living in a picture perfect Florida town in 1978 with his parents and bratty kid brother. However, he finds his life changed when he is knocked out in the forest for a few minutes, or so he thinks. When he returns home, he finds that it is 1986. David has been missing for 8 years, yet David himself has not aged. David's parents are now eight years older, and his bratty kid brother has grown up into a quite decent 16-year-old. David's quest to find out what happened to him will take him to an alien spacecraft run by a computer named Max.The first half of the film is structured like an eerie mystery as David and the police try to piece together what happened to David. This is perfectly complemented by Alan Silvestri's eerie score. The film loses some of its mystery later on, but it's still highly enjoyable. The spacecraft looks incredible, and the scenes where David gets to fly the spacecraft are really neat. I think though I liked Max better before he assumed his Pee-Wee Herman voice (voiced by Pee-Wee himself).The ending nicely tied things up. Too bad we don't get to see what becomes of David's crush on the local girl."
See You Later, Navigator
Mark Baker | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 08/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While meeting his brother in the woods in 1978, David Freeman falls down a ravine. He gets up to discover that it's suddenly 1986. Where has he been for the last 8 years? Meanwhile, NASA has found a space ship. Is there a connection? Can they find a way into the ship? And who keeps calling David inside his mind?
I loved this movie as a kid. While the first part seems slow and rather obvious if you've heard of the premise, the second part is a fun ride. Once David meets up with Max, things pick up and the movie switch from mystery to comedy. Watching it today, I was impressed by the special effects. This movie is almost 20 years old and they still hold up very well.
This is basically a movie only DVD release. The film is presented in wide screen and surround sound. But for the price, you're getting a great deal.
While not great cinema, this is a movie that the entire family will have fun watching together. Get it today and enjoy."
Flight of the Navigator DVD Review
John C. Bowers | Glendora, California USA | 11/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The flight of the Navigator; we begin our journey on the Fourth of July, 1978 with a Frisbee Dog Contest. Our hero is your run-of-the-mill 12-year-old boy named David Freeman (Joey Cramer). He is there with his family. He's got a mother, a father, a pesky younger brother, and an unspectacular dog named Bruiser.
That evening, our older brother hero, goes into the woods to find his younger brother so that the family can begin their Independence Day celebrations. Wandering in the woods, he looses his balance and falls into a ravine. He gets up, brushes himself off after what appears to be just minutes. But it hasn't been just minutes; it is actually eight years later. David hasn't changed in any way, but the rest of the world has.
Now it's 1986. An older couple now lives in his house, his younger brother is now his older brother, and his favorite TV show, "Starsky and Hutch" is off the air! David doesn't know what's happened or where he's been. It's a mystery that fascinated specialists are more than willing to try to unravel.
One of these fascinated specialists is Dr. Faraday (Howard Hesseman), who makes it clear to David and his family that NASA and it's top-of-the-line resources are their only shot at figuring out what has happened. David agrees to spend 48 hours at a NASA base, so that he can be tested by NASA's best people in a search for answers.
At the same time Dr. Faraday and the NASA specialists are troubled by an apparently unrelated discovery of what appears to be a spaceship. This additional discovery causes Dr. Faraday to decide that David will need to stay longer than promised to finish his tests.
David, unhappy with the delays decides to escape, and with the help of Carolyn McAdams (Sarah Jessica Parker), a friendly young intern at the base, he is successful. His getaway quickly takes him to Dr. Faraday's problem spaceship, and on his own he begins to make sense of the some of the strange things, dreams and voices, he has been experiencing.
The spaceship is commanded by a robotic intelligence (voiced by Paul Reubens), who David names Max. Max needs help from David, specifically the contents of his brain. David wants answers from Max and to escape from the curious scientists. Their needs come together and they take off together on a unique and thrilling journey through space and time.
Flight of the Navigator is brilliant. All of its elements seem to work like a well oiled machine. The extremely clever premise is played to perfection, thanks to skillful crafting and flawless casting.. The film has an intriguing premise, and sets a fast and flawless pace that it never departs from.
In the lead role, Joey Cramer has just the right amount of curiosity and charisma to make the protagonist fully likable. Supporting performances from the family members all seem to hit the right notes. The robotic character, Max, is a lot of fun. Once he acquires some personality from a mind-mining procedure, he begins to sound quite a bit like the very best of Pee Wee Herman.
The films script and direction deserve highest possible praise. These and a great sense of humor helps to distinguish Flight of the Navigator from other strong science fiction films of the late '70s and early '80s. While its time-travel tale is a serious one, it deftly uses comedy to enhance the adventure and to crank up the entertainment value. In many of the best ways, the film calls to mind the perfect blend of Back to the Future, without feeling the least bit derivative. "
Part of the Movie Legacy of my Generation
Christopher C. Babbage | Jamestown, NY USA | 07/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fantastic movie. Brilliantly imaginative, well-written, performed, directed. "Flight of the Navigator" is one of those movies that represents my generation's childhood (with the likes of E.T.), and the fantasy, imagination, and wonder that was so prevalent in the 1980's and seems somehow lost today.This movie is a teasure from a recent but gone era. It's a kid's movie, and an adult's movie. It's a movie for everyone - now and forever.And the soundtrack is stunning as well. This movie needs to be released again on VHS and DVD. Perhaps someone will read our reviews who can help."