What do you think was the best movie of the 1980s? If you answer anything other than Flight of the Navigator then you’re wrong, and here’s why.
It was around 1991 and my mum had just told me and my brothers we could pick a film to buy from town. I was eleven years old and very excited. Bearing in mind this was an age before streaming and the internet. Buying a movie on videotape was one of life’s great pleasures for an eleven-year-old in 1991.
I remember that it was raining as we traipsed up the main street to where the shop that stocked the videos was. I was transfixed by the rows and rows of video covers that were jumping out at me. Obviously, I was drawn to the top rows where all the adult-rated action and horror movies were. But I was quickly reminded by mum that we had to pick from the kid’s section. Scouring my eyes along the bottom row, I was drawn to the cover of a kid sat in a silver chair. Upon closer inspection, I could see it looked like an alien ship. ‘Can we get this one, mum?’ I asked. Mum checked the cover and asked my brothers if they were happy with my choice. They agreed, and we headed home with our afternoon’s viewing packed up in a bag.
You want to be the navigator
After watching the film, I, along with probably millions of other kids, wanted to be the Navigator. It’s easy to see why; getting flown around in an alien spaceship with a cool, robotic sidekick, with no one to answer to. What’s not to like about that? There was an escapism to the film that really appealed to me. Just for a moment, you could see yourself sat in that navigator’s chair flying the ship.
Apart from the shape-shifting spaceship, one of the coolest parts of the film was the alien. His official title is a ‘Trimaxion Drone Ship’, but it soon gets shortened to ‘Max’. He’s the commander of the ship and is on a mission to collect species from across the galaxy. This is why David ends up eight years in the future as Max travels faster than the speed of light. Max’s design is also great. Technically, he’s some kind of robotic cyborg who looked like a long piece of metal with a ball on the end, but he was still cool. And what’s even cooler was that he was voiced by Paul Reubens, aka, American comedy character Pee-Wee Herman. This explains why the robot manages to pull off some hilarious voices when he takes in some human emotions.
Better than E.T
Ok, so that’s quite a claim, but I believe it to be true. The 80s spawned some fantastic kids’ movies; the most iconic being E.T. Now, that was a great movie. Everyone wanted to be Elliot and have their very own E.T in their bedroom cupboard. And there were many other films of the decade that made it awesome to be a kid in the 80s. Ghostbusters; Goonies and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids to name but a few. But what was special about Flight of the Navigator was that it was completely believable. It had something extra that the other films of the time didn’t have. Not only did you want to be David from the film, but it made you believe that it could actually happen. Well, it certainly convinced the eleven-year-old me.
It had the perfect mix of believability; adventure; excitement; action and emotion that is hard to execute for most movies. All the actors in the film do a sterling job – especially Joey Cramer who played David. He is the twelve-year-old boy who gets knocked unconscious after falling down a ravine and then taken to the future by the alien ship. David’s family do an excellent acting job when discovering their son has returned eight years later but having not aged at all. Howard Hesseman plays Dr Faraday; the scientist who discovers that David has alien maps and charts stored in his brain. He does a great job of acting the scientist who wants answers, but also a darker side of wanting to keep David against his will to study him. Sarah-Jessica Parker also has the role of a young scientist who helps David escape the facility.
One of the things that makes this film so good is the writing. More specifically, the dialogue between Max and David once Max has done a mind transfer and taken on human emotions. They are some genuinely laugh-out-loud bits throughout the film, but the best part takes place when Max takes the ship under the ocean to hide. David asks whether the ship leaks. Max replies, ‘I do not leak. You leak, remember?’ This refers to when the ship had to stop to allow David to take a wee. There are many great quips peppered throughout the segment, which is a credit to the screenwriter Michael Burton.
I also have to mention the special effects. Remember that this film came out in 1986, but the CGI used to create the alien ship still looks good today. There is a scene where the ship almost lands on top of a group of scientists. It then shape-shifts, before flying off at supersonic speed. That still looks awesome thirty-five years on. There’s no looking back today and cringing at it. Credit to Omnibus Computer Animation, who did a fantastic job at the effects.
If there is one feel-good family film that you should watch on a cold winters evening, then Flight of the Navigator is the one. It has everything you could want in an adventure movie. I can’t think of one single negative thing to say about the whole movie, and that’s with taking off my rose-coloured glasses.
There is also going to be a remake. Well, potentially two. Walt Disney has one in pre-production, and Neil Blomkamp from District 9 fame has announced a feature remake. I love Neil’s work, so I’m cautiously optimistic about that, but please don’t ruin an absolute classic.
That’s why Flight of the Navigator is the best movie of the 1980s. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
More of our Sci-Fi articles our HERE
Read IMDB information on Flight of the Navigator HERE.
Hogwarts Houses For MCU Characters
Since its conception, Hogwarts houses have been a deciding factor in getting to know people. How someone answers “what Hogwarts house are you in?” can tell you a lot about a person. But where do some of our favourite MCU characters shape up when faced with the sorting hat?
Tony Stark/Iron Man- Ravenclaw
While Tony could be argued for almost any of the houses, Ravenclaw suits him best. Most of his development comes from the pursuit of knowledge. Aside from being one of the smartest characters in the MCU, he is constantly learning and improving upon his technology. He tends to approach large problems from a strategic and pragmatic standpoint, especially in his later films. Admittedly he can be brave and somewhat self-servingly ambitious. But who he is at the end of his arc and the way that he solves problems points to Iron Man being in Ravenclaw.
Steve Rogers/Captain America- Gryffindor
Is it even a question? Steve Rogers is definitely a Gryffindor. From day one, he has always strived to do what’s right. And he subtly wants a bit of glory for it too. He’s a natural leader and has always rushed into danger without a thought. He is undoubtedly driven by bravery and righteousness and is through and through a Gryffindor.
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow- Hufflepuff
Natasha is tricky. She could truthfully swing in any direction. It may seem strange to put a spy in Hufflepuff, but if nothing else, Natasha is loyal. She cares deeply for those close to her and has shown that she’s willing to die for them. Her characterization throughout the MCU has been lacking, but her solo film has shown her to be fiercely loyal.
Bruce Banner/The Hulk- Ravenclaw
Another Ravenclaw. Similar to Tony, Bruce is very intelligent. While he seems to be less inclined to want to fight battles than Tony is, he is constantly learning. His relationship with the Hulk can even be characterized this way. By a desire to learn how to control him, then to understand him, then to become him. His arc is one that is driven by knowledge.
Thor is always looking to prove himself. Even though he can lift the hammer, he is constantly looking for validation that he is worthy. He’s not usually afraid of much, and when he is, he faces it anyway. What makes Thor a Gryffindor though is his desire to be the hero. He’s not in Slytherin because he doesn’t desire to rule. He’s not ambitious, he just wants validation.
Peter Parker/Spiderman- Gryffindor
Peter is another hard one. He’s intelligent like Bruce and Tony, which could throw him into Ravenclaw. He’s loyal to his friends, which could put him into Hufflepuff. But at his core, Peter is in Gryffindor. The proof is in one of his first lines in the MCU. In Civil War, he tells Tony, “if you can do the things I do, and you don’t, then bad things happen because of you. (paraphrased)” He feels that because he’s special, he has to act. And unlike Steve and Thor, Peter is almost always afraid. He faces his challenges in spite of that. And while he wants to have a normal life, and a typical High School experience, he selflessly puts himself on the line. Once again, Peter is not looking for recognition, he’s just trying to do the right thing.
Dr Strange- Ravenclaw
Lots of Ravenclaws in the MCU. For Dr Strange, there really isn’t any other option. He is completely driven by the pursuit of knowledge. And while recognition came with that, we see with his journey into the mystic arts that his true motivation comes from learning. He’s a very similar character to Tony Stark, and both of them are textbook Ravenclaws.
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch- Hufflepuff
Like Natasha, Wanda is driven by her relationships. She is faithfully loyal to her brother, then Vision, then her family. She is definitely motivated to protect and care for those she loves. Including creating an entire alternate reality to be with them! Wanda is brave and intelligent, but at her core, she is loyal.
Finally, a Slytherin. Once again, was there any other option? Loki is characterized by his cunning and ambition. He wants to rule. And he doesn’t get there by rushing into battle. He gets there by being sneaky and clever. Loki is a Slytherin through and through.
Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel- Slytherin
This may not feel like the obvious choice for Carol, but she definitely portrays characteristics of a Slytherin. She’s the best, and she wants people to know it. She’s confident and clever, and she likes attention. We don’t know her very well yet, but from what we’ve seen, she seems to relish in the attention her efforts provide. She is good, helpful, and ambitious.
T’Challa/Black Panther- Hufflepuff
T’Challa is also driven by loyalty. But while he is protective of those he loves, his true loyalty is to Wakanda. He’s not king because of ambition, he’s king out of duty. Everything he does is through the lens of “what is best for Wakanda?” While it’s a bit unconventional, his loyalty to Wakanda characterizes him as a Hufflepuff.
Scott Lang/Ant-Man- Gryffindor
At first, it appears that Scott would be in Hufflepuff. After all, he is very motivated by his relationship with his daughter. But if he were truly 100% driven by that, he would have made different choices. He would not have betrayed Hope and Hank and teamed up with Captain America without their permission. He also would not have stolen from his company and landed in jail in the first place. But both of those above decisions do characterize him as a Gryffindor. He wants to be in the action, and he doesn’t always consider the consequences. Scott isn’t really looking for recognition and is not that ambitious, but he does want to be involved in the big events. He wants to help people, and he bravely faces battles. Sometimes without discretion.
Do you agree with our picks for these MCU characters in Hogwarts Houses? If not or if we’ve missed any out, leave us a comment below.
Check out our review of Black Widow HERE.
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