A cute 80s alien flick (Explorers reviewed)

Movie abstinence finally broken, but I still have withdrawal symptoms :]


Explorers (USA, 1985)

Seen: Wednesday, 2nd September 2009 (VHS)
Runtime: 109′
Director: Joe Dante
Cast: Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, Jason Presson, James Cromwell
Production House: Paramount Pictures
Plot: Three boys get hold of some strange technology that ends up taking them up into space.


Impressions In Short
Cute *grin*

More About the Film
I found this on my shelf, looking for something short to watch. I barely remembered it, so I thought I’d turn it on. And about half-way through I was wondering why on Earth I taped this cause it’s a nice movie for one watch and all, but I couldn’t quite figure out why I thought this was something I’d want to re-watch. I suspected it might have something to do with watching River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke in their early teens (they are really cute in this), but I still didn’t quite get why I’d taped this years back.
But I decided I may as well see it through to the end - I remembered that the bit when they finally meet the aliens was hilarious and I remembered well - I totally know why I kept this now lol The whole alien sequence is absolutely hilarious. It’s a kind of 80s television grotesque. It was probably very poignant at the time - I guess in the 80s TV changed the world in a similar way to how the internet is changing it now. But the true reason I totally can’t get myself to chuck this (even though the film as a whole isn’t that brilliant) is the little, teen River Phoenix romancing a pink, female alien with tentacles. It’s particularly amusing because his character (Wolfgang) is not interested in girls at all for the first part of the movie. The other two are clearly starting to notice the opposite sex and Wolfgang either calls them perverted or asks them if they ever think about anything worthwhile. But once he meets the pink alien with tentacles it’s love at first sight - “Ben, she’s really intelligent! Besides, I think she kind of likes me.”.
River Phoenix was really good as the nerdy scientist, though I do think he doesn’t quite look the part even when he’s dressed for it… To me he looks like a kid that spends most of his life outdoors (it probably would have helped if he hadn’t been the most tanned of the three ;)). Ethan Hawke is hilarious in this too.
Something that strikes me about 80s films every time is how blunt they are about certain things. One of the boys, Darren, clearly has an abusive father and they’re just so blunt about stating it. These days you just don’t get that sort of thing in Hollywood. There’s something about this sort of bluntness that really appeals to me, I don’t know why…

Yes, for the whole bizarre alien sequence and especially for little River Phoenix romancing a pink alien with tentacles ;) But it’s not a must see.

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