Film (1985). Edward S Feldman/Paramount. Directed by Joe Dante. Written by Eric Luke. Cast includes Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix and Jason Presson. 109 minutes. Colour.
Three schoolboys (Hawke, Phoenix, Presson), tipped off by a dream, employ a Computer to help create a sphere that can move very quickly and is impervious to Gravity; they use it to power a Spaceship they build out of junk. Far above Earth they find another spacecraft with, inside it, two Aliens – their view of humanity entirely gleaned from old television programmes – who turn out likewise to be kids on a joyride. This strange film was apparently aimed at pre-teens, but the grotesque aliens (more like cartoons than extraterrestrials) and their television/radio obsession seem directed far more at adults. Perhaps because of this uncertainty about the audience, Explorers, the most personal of Dante's films, was a box-office failure. Despite its self-indulgence it has wonderful moments, captures well that sense of dream and yearning in children known to sf fans of whatever age as the Sense of Wonder, and deftly pinpoints many points of collision between the child's world and the adult's. The novelization is Explorers (1985) by George Gipe. [PN]
see also: Cinema.
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