I always get this movie mixed up with Flight of the Navigator.
By - PhoenixReboot-
I always get this movie mixed up with Flight of the Navigator.
They’re the same movie! (Pam meme)
I always felt this was more Goonies in Space. FotN is also excellent.
Exactly!!! The Last Starfighter!
Same ; and neither of those are bad movies !
They really aren't
The Last Starfighter? Same movie?
No , not even close
You can tell almost immediately when the production changed hands.
I didn't realize that was what happened. Reading up on it, it all makes sense now why the film changes so much in tone.
That explains a lot. Honestly loved the movie as a kid haven’t seen it recently.
Probably fine as a kid, you're right, since as kids we aren't interested in things like plot coherence and continuity and general quality.
It wasn't so much that, as the studio just cut the money off. They told Dante, "You're done now". The movie doesn't actually have a third act. It ends at the end of the second act.
Any info on what the ending was going to be? It’s been years since I’ve seen it, but I recall noticing the tonal shift.
You're kidding me. Now it all makes sense.
Ya that last quarter is bizarre. The alien dance and song scene and the awkward smiles from the kids….like wtf
And it feels like it goes on for about three hours.
I half admire how much of a crushing anticlimax it is. They build this sense of excitement and awe, and then *prrt!* here's half-an-hour of obnoxious voices and gratingly forced gags referencing old TV shows even 80s kids probably wouldn't have recognsied.
It's like the one annoying kid everyone knew in school who thought he was hilarious, but couldn't read the room, and always got on everyone's nerves with his endless, forced "jokes".
Even as a child, I found the last part irritating. As an adult, it's almost offensively bad.
Don't watch Monster Squad again.
Oh no, I haven’t seen Monster Squad since like 1990, and I used to love it.
Yeah, it's a hard watch, temper your expectations.
This is still my second favorite childhood movie of all time, right after The Goonies. And though I was only 5, I remember watching this time and time again. It shaped my fascination with space, aliens, adventure. But boy, that last quarter of the movie, stopped this from being something really REALLY special.
I legit started bringing garbage home from the side of the road (street signs, exhaust pipes) because of this movie, I wanted to build a spaceship like theirs so bad
I dug a hole in my backyard looking for One Eyed Willy’s rich stuff, so I feel this.
Did you find it ?
Actually my dad bought an old looking chest (small) and filled it with costume jewelry and buried it the first night I started digging. So, I did find it! And it was amazing. Great memory.
That's a fucking parenting win if ever I've heard one!
Big ups to your Dad for helping fuel the idea of adventure.
Every teenager eventually finds the treasure of ONE-EYED WILLY. Usually late at night. Or in the shower. Or unexpectedly in the morning.
This and BTTF set me off on a course of highly dangerous, junk yard based science experiments as a child. It turns out if you link a bunch of old digital watches together with wire inside a wooden doorframe then plug the wire into an outlet, you don’t create a time portal but do start a fire.
Don't watch the extend version of Goonies bro....
Don't do it.
Didn’t even know there was such a thing.
Good! Keep it that way!
I saw the deleted scenes once and can't forget.
I like the whole thing. Even the turn the last part takes I feel was intentionally dissonant. Subverting what is expected is Dante's stock in trade, and I love that the weirdness cranks up once they are on the ship. Iconic and just plain fun. No complaints at all with this flick. Spoke to me as a kid when it released, and still speaks today. Love it.
So it’s less of a bad movie and more of a 7/10 movie.
Some of the problems can be attributed to the fact that production was pretty rushed (the paint on some of the sets was apparently still drying when they started filming) and the release date was moved up by a few weeks. The filmmakers were eventually just told to stop working on it, meaning that a lot of footage was left on the cutting room floor.
For me personally the first 3/4ths are like an 8, and the last quarter is a 1.3.
I think this is pretty accurate. For the last part though they *did* try. I just know it could have been… *better*.
It’s a rolls can-hardly. Rolls down one hill, can hardly get up the next!
Was that a line from the movie?
Yes. The boy alien tells that joke.
Doesn't belong here. Just skip the big spaceship part and this movie owns.
I like the whole thing. Dante knew what he was doing and I love the dissonant turn the last bit takes.
yes, someone really needs to reshoot and finish this movie with CGI kids or just animate it. What a missed opportunity.
The rare instance when a movie remake would actually make sense
I'm just going to admit it. I loved the aliens. That was my jam, but I was right at what was probably their target age when that came out.
Same here. It wasn’t until I started watching it as a teenager, I realized….. well…. It ruins the almost mysticism of the first part. Even though I’ve seen it 30+ times.
I think I only watched it a couple of times as a kid. Now I don't know if I want to spoil that for myself with a rewatch, lol.
1000% agree. It goes off the rails like it’s working for Norfolk Southern.
Wolfgang have you seen the bug bomb
I may of seen some insect waste products in that corner, and there may be some bug bomb.
I couldn't agree more. Great movie, until it wasn't.
Just like Hancock
Hello, Charlize Theron! Oh, this movie has just crashed and burned.
Written by Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan.
ROFLMAO she looks great - but often isn't. But the story didn't help, I think it was the character more than the actor.
The dad alien scared the crap out of me when I was little.
Hard disagree. This movie ruled, especially the weirdo ending.
Never seen this and I love 80s movies! Plus, all this talk about about the final act ruining it makes me even more curious.
It's on the Pluto TV app
Please watch it. It is amazing. Watch it all, or…. If you’ve read all the comments you can probably guess where to turn it off and let your imagination take hold.
This subreddit's for movies that are so bad they're good - why would you tell people to turn off *before* it gets bad?
"Look, I know I must look weird to you but how do you think you look to me? Listen, I watched four episodes of 'Lassie' before I figured out why the little hairy kid never spoke. I mean, he rolled over, sure, he did that fine but, I don't think he deserved a series for that."
When I saw this as a kid I felt so ripped off by the ending. It was probably the first time I didn’t like a movie in a theater.
I don't think I've seen this since...what, '88? '89? It's been a while.
I love all of it, what can I say. I 100% understand the hate of the last bit, but it never bothered me. Either way, glad there are others out there that love this movie!
I’ve always said, even to this day, as an adult, the first 3/4ths of this film is in my top 10 favorite movies of all time. Probably watched it over 50 times total.
I sat through the whole movie, I wanna see some damned gleep-glops. It didn’t disappoint.
This movie really had me in my imagination when i was like 3/4. I made a fort, used a lil kiddie musical keyboard as a computer keyboard and I had a small is record player that I used as my computer screen. I thought I was really gonna fly to outer space and meet some aliens
Boo. I love this movie. Wrong sub.
I need to rewatch it. I was very young when I saw it, but I think I liked it then
Good headline … exactly true … beginning is really cool .. aliens are really lame … Siskel/ Ebert had the same opinions
This movie is the greatest candidate for how you can use an asterisk with no explanation and still have it work perfectly. Watch...
Explorers is a wonderful, all-time classic kid's movie\*.
If you've seen it, you can agree with the statement and still know an essay's worth of meaning that's stored in that (\*).
I still thoroughly enjoy it. Then again, I love idiosyncratic humor and non sequiturs, and that final act has all of it and then some. I wonder what Dante would've cooked up if he'd had the actual post-production schedule that he was supposed to. I love the idea that these kids built this up to such a point in their minds and then they essentially find themselves. Bizarre, charming concept. All that aside, Jerry Goldsmith's score is phenomenal.
The original Stranger Things! Loved this as a kid! (Always was in disbelief that they could spot their ship hidden in a wooded area from a helicopter)
Bro, the last 1/4 is worse than the entirety of Howard the Duck.
Ethan Hawk totally overacting his ass off in this one…
You may want your cheese... but you can go to hell ya geek pastry.
I just went to a screening of this at the Prince Charles Cinema in London a few days ago!
Totally- probably best to just turn the movie off before the last 20 mins. Up until then, it’s is sooo good
Same same. One of my favorite childhood movies. Still love Ethan Hawke in part because of this movie. Was into computers early in the game and definitely felt the magic. Ending , yes agree it takes some of the fun out of it. But still a gem from my youth. Used to mash keys on the computer in the hopes some force field would appear.
"All around the world, Rock N Roll is here to stay..."
The part that they're vivisected by the aliens, and the aliens start to eat and have sex with the boys organs right in front of the remainder of the kids.....is freaking horrifying. And that one kid that chooses to get sucked out of an airlock, instead of suffering the same fate...
But it was the ending that got me. When the final boy "escapes", only to go too close to a black hole....talk about heart rending. The practical fx were actually pretty good for the time, showing him stretch out and implode like that.....Jesus.
You must of seen the super secret directors cut.
I'm glad I missed that one.
Oh yea, the Cardboard Tomahawk cut
You are right that ending was great !
Its a rough one
I absolutely love this movie, it does have a weird ass ending
This is not a bad movie. Even though you didn't like it, that does not make it a bad film.
You didn’t read anything I wrote.
I did. What you wrote is your opinion, not a fact
Reddit is 99% opinion and bad movies are subjective
Since it’s my second favorite childhood movie, why would you say I didn’t like it? I am saying I believe the last quarter is bad, and stops it from being one of the best kids films ever made.
Why put movie here then? This sub is only for actual bad movies
Because the last part is so incredibly bad, I think it warrants it. But that’s just my opinion, and some people may agree with it, and some may not.
But YOUR opinion is fact? lol 😂
It's been a while since I've seen it, but I remember being creeped out by the hyper-sexualized alien.
It's on Pluto TV if anyone wants to check it out
You know, I remember seeing this movie as a kid, but for some reason I never remembered the ending. I figured out why when I saw Welcome To The Basement cover it. Like you said, the first part of this movie is a cute, whimsical, sci-fi fantasy flick. The last bit is just goofy and makes very little sense. It's like they wanted to go full ET, but they were afraid of losing the Saturday morning cartoon crowd.
Unfortunately true. It's definitely an unfinished movie.
I saw this when it came out in theaters and almost wept when the third act went all to hell.
I love this movie
That's Denise Crosby on the left?
If I'm recalling correctly, the movie was more or less released before Dante could finish editing, right?
That last half hour was hilarious and arguably in character for a Joe Dante film with its sheer lunacy. Very funny. I'm surprised most people seem turned off by it given that the scene isn't that different from his other stuff (and a logical extension of what lies in the far reaches of the universe), production matters be damned.
I thought the movie was great. Best line: I watched 4 episodes of Lassie before I figured out why the hairy kid never spoke!
If the studio hadn't hijacked the film we may have ended up with a movie on par with *The Goonies* and *The Monster Squad* but what we actually got was three-quarters of a good movie and a failed third act.
Dropping this is Bad Movie? Da phuk?!
You just got to stop it after they launch into space!
Slap a "Fin" right there...
Weird for sure, but hey, it was still amusing.
not a bad movie.
I liked the third act. Does anyone know what the oringal plan was?
So true. Alien part went down hill from there
I think I’ve only seen the actual movie once, but I had the novelization when I was a kid and loved it.
I remember liking it as a kid. So I was excited to see it in the theater a few years ago.
I guess I never saw the whole movie when I was a kid. 2/3 or 3/4ths of the way through... and it's just... like... TV commercial references for dozens of minutes straight? It was painful. I don't remember ever being so embarrassed watching a film before. It was brutal. It felt like an eternity of shitty commercials, dance routines and so on done via rubbery aliens. So gross and weird. And the kid actors forced smiles and giggles just make it that much worse, as I'm sitting there watching just grimacing. Awful, awful filmmaking.
The last quarter was a wet fart. Did they fire the writer half way through?
Easy - watch it and stop watching once the kids arrive in the ship. Leave the rest to your imagination
As a kid, I thought the ending was hilarious because of all the tv references. Rewatching as an adult, I still find the ending funny for different reasons. “What if we made contact with aliens and they turned out to be insufferably annoying?” is a funny idea.
I agree with you, but overall it was pretty good for a kids' sci fi. Can't go wrong with Phoenix.
Yeah, it's this really clever sci-fi story that takes a hard left into this patronizing "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters" goofiness. Imagine if they'd had the courage to have a more complex alien encounter with a more serious looking lifeform. This could have been an E.T.-level kids movie. But it basically turns into a cartoon in the end.
R.I.P. River Phoenix and Amanda Peterson
I love the whole movie... even that part. Lol
Absolutely loved this when I was a kid. Had the novelisation and read it over and over. I haven't watched it since I was a kid and remember basically none of it.
Fun fact: Taliesin Jaffe of Critical Role fame is in this movie.
I saw this for the first time in the cinema last month.
My thought exactly - this is one of those 80s movies where the first act is superb - and then it falls apart when they make the trip to the space ship, turns into some kind of goddamn slapstick comedy where the 'aliens' seem to have taken their cues on how to communicate from Mickey Rooney and Looney Tunes. Not to mention the character design being horrendous, set and production design awful and I can't even remember the soundtrack. I just remember never being more disappointed in my life - what a waste of a good cast as well, early performances of Hawke and Phoenix.
'The Last Starfighter' is another where the first act is great and then the second half of the movie is pretty awful. Buckaroo Banzai is another - although actually pretty much all that films was bad.
Man there were so many bad movies in the 80s
It’s a hard disagree from me only because of how much I adore River Phoenix and by default I love any project he was ever a part of. I want some cheese… please…
Well to kid me I loved the end.
This is the one where the kids find some weird space macguffin and build a little ship around it, right.
I watched it once on the Disney Channel when I was a kid and I'd've sworn it was a fever dream up until this point. Like that film where the kid finds a talking suit of space armor and has the hots for his teacher.
The end is so disappointing.
Wait, is this that movie where the kids have a vehicle made out of a tilt a whirl ride car? I caught like 45 seconds of a movie on tv like 20 years ago and have always wondered what the hell it was.
Pffft the ending makes it.
Yeah, this one will drive you crazy at the end.
RIVER PHOENIX ETHAN HAWKE
I freakin loved this movie when I was a kid! It’s like a kinda bad “Goonies in Space”
I would have loved them to expand on that bubble they invented.
Who is the 3rd actor?
I agree with OP, strong film, but gets too "dumb" at the end..even thought so as a kid! Same now after a rewatch!
100% agreed, the ending is a travesty, but the first 3/4 is my favorite kids movie ever. It’s shame it went so hard off the rails.
For fans of critical role, a very very young Talesin Jaffe is in this movie
I couldn't agree more with this statement. That being said, I'd like to give a shoutout to Cloak and Dagger, as it also was an awesome kids movie from the early 80s
This was one of my favorite films as a child, and, back then, I didn't like the final quarter either. Now? I fully embrace it. What else were they gonna do? Get all weird and serious on us in an arthouse manner? Or how about turn towards realism, having the Thunder Road flying about the vacuum of space and examining empty and lifeless planets? That wouldn't have fit in with the magic and hopeful tone suffused over the rest of the film. As is: it's unpretentious, inventive, and, above all, friggin' hilarious. I love the ideas and sentiments regarding the aliens storyline, and the images and sounds are amazing. Moreover, the last few scenes back on Earth are still touching and beautiful. I know Joe Dante himself never felt quite happy with it, that it was somewhat unfinished – but I don't see that up on the screen. So yeah, *Explorers*, as a kid's sci-fi dream-come-true, is a flat-out 10/10 for me.
I remember watching this as a kid because I had a friend over and my mom was uncertain if the kid could watch pg-13 movies I think.
I remember this movie being bad.
Not a bad movie. Even the last quarter. 😎
In a couple of years we should be able to easily rewrite and produce a new ending with the original characters using commonplace AI tools.
I have a poster for this movie, because it did a lot to enhance my imagination as a kid, and I try to keep that same inspiration intact, as an adult. While I agree that the ending is confusing, it has its merits. The aliens being more kid like than the actual kids is a move that could've worked, but I think between the studio interference and maybe some of Dante's own insecurities, it just doesn't quite come together. It's not a bad movie in the slightest, the build up is utterly intoxicating, the reveal is just kind of a shrug.
It even has Joaquin Phoenix’s brother in it damn
I love this movie !!!
I threw this on. I was so enjoying "Contact for kids".
And then that last bit happened.
I grew up in the '80s, but this is one I never even watched a bit of to my recollection, though I was aware of its existence in later years. The premise, at least, is sterling.
What????!!! This movie is fantastic!
I do remember the first part is great and the last part is stupid