The TR3 has sent three ranking members of the RRP crew to 1985. We will review Explorers, to see if this is worth watching today, but what then? 00:04:58 Roundtable - 00:08:31 Likes - 00:27:26 Trivia - 00:32:35 Dislikes - 00:55:52 Final Rating - 01:00:01 Outros

Love what we are doing?
Support RRP here to help keep us going and growing!

Episode Time Stamps and Notes

00:04:58 Roundtable ▼

Memory Mind Meld
Kids find a bubble that gives them dreams of going to Gataca to find the Cross of Coronado. They use those dreams to build a spaceship from an old carnival ride - leading Young Indiana Jones to team up with teenage Ethan Hawke and some curly haired kid to meet teenage aliens in outer space.

Danae - Tragic
Paul - Classic
Francisco - Tragic

00:08:31 Likes ▼

- I think that it was well cast, they were a good age for it yeah I thought Ethan Hawke for his age was was a good actor. I won't say like you know all of the script writing was great but I don't think that's helpful but I think the casting was good and it had yeah I'll leave it at that.
- I thought that they did a pretty good job with the 80s Ambiance I mean it's obviously filmed in the 80s, it definitely fits in that era of movies well. It's not the best fleshed out like set production and all of that but it definitely felt like it was in the 80s and it felt in place. Like this gives me vibes of E.T or Gremlins, you could definitely see the crossover from Gremlins with being the same director. This is giving me really Big Mac and Me vibes.
- I think it was the special effects was by Industrial Light and Magic, yeah so even though obviously they don't hold up as well today both Travis and I thought like they did the effects and some of the 3D renderings of like the flyover the circuit boards so smooth some of their motion with the whole Space bubble thing it was like pretty well done for 1985.

- I enjoyed the music by Jerry Goldsmith. You know I mean not all of it but I thought it was good especially for this tone, the type of movie. It didn't feel too much like Star Trek, this was right on par for teenagers in space - young teenagers not these punk rock teenagers from Space Camp with John Williams music.
- This whole alien theme going on and how they were able to even from the beginning utilize old movies, older movies with aliens in them, like War of the Worlds, This Island Earth and the fact that they were able to use them and incorporated them, I thought was a really good.
- The cast. I just thought this was extremely well cast, even down to there was the helicopter police guy and and even his friend from a Designing Women so that was fun to see the guy in the helicopter with Dick Miller. I was like oh I know him, he's from Designing Women. I thought the casting was just on fire it was great to see the these kids and their chemistry.

- I felt like the lines they gave the these kids to say, made them feel grounded. Like they were referencing pop culture items like freshman in high school or maybe the top of middle school I wasn't quite sure I didn't pay that much attention to the school name. They felt like actual kids in this place, it didn't feel like your typical 30 year olds playing high schoolers. River Phoenix was the oldest I think he was about 15-16. Ethan Hawk was 14 and yeah and what's his name was Jason Presson was 13.
- I thought the first half of this movie was actually really good setup. It's like oh they dream about circuitry, now they're like building it, now they have to see what this does, now they're gonna build the Thunder Road to be inside this bubble, and then like all the foibles that happen with it and all these testing sort of little set pieces that happened. I thought that was really interesting uh until they go up to space and then...I'll stop right there.
- Jerry Goldsmith's score. Yeah I thought it fit the film so well I'll only ding it because I can't remember anything from it, it's not hummable at all. It doesn't like stick anywhere, there's no hook but it really brought the movie up to another level with how well it it fit and helped to express the emotion and all.

00:27:26 Trivia ▼

Did you all realize River Phoenix, who had grown up in communes in South America, was somewhat unfamiliar with popular culture and slang words. During rehearsals it became a running joke when he would attempt scripted well-known words and phrases and usually pronounce them incorrectly.

My question to you all is: what word or phrase did you use to constantly mispronounce, or still do?

00:32:35 Dislikes ▼

- I felt like their whole oxygen thing. Well not only that they could eat snacks at the same time that they were like in this apparently pressurized vessel that had just like a rubber gasket sealing it closed in the front. But they're like checking the pressure but like had an oxygen tank and then one of them with the gas mask and then two of them with these like poorly fitted oxygen masks that were like literally in Ethan Hawke's mouth, was so distracting. I was like who who came up with this? I get it, the kids are gonna work with whatever they have but also this is a movie and if you're trying to use these, there's a significant amount of filming done with these nose masks on while they're like going around is unnecessary. They could have come up with something different they could have come up with a plot element where they didn't need oxygen.
- I hated the alien comedy routine song and dance number. It was so distracting from the movie, just out of place. The aliens have been consuming a lot of just TV and movies and so he's speaking a lot in the like movie quotes and TV shows yeah that was funny but like when it just devolved into this this musical number I was like maybe if it was a Mel Brooks movie. It felt like the alien scene in the diner in Spaceballs where it's like hello my baby, hello my honey.
- I just feel like the plot was so underdeveloped. I don't know if it was like a combination of the original script with insufficient editing; not being able to finish it - it just doesn't feel finished. We've talked throughout there's just a lot of these side plots that they were trying to do more than they could in a regular feature length movie, or they just needed to pair it down and really flesh out some more of like the interpersonal components, or just really focus on more of the space elements, or make the aliens fit the vibe of the movie more.

- I mentioned that I like Jerry Goldsmith's music in this. I was able to listen to the soundtrack, and kind of like what you said earlier is that there is a theme but it's kind of all over the place. What they need to do is like have a a mashup or a mix of all the best little like tunes and melodies into one nice theme. I mean it fit well with the story but as far as a soundtrack is concerned, unfortunately it's a little lacking as a whole.
- Okay do you remember the scene at the drive-in where they're watching in their spaceship floating above the cars watching and then they say oh get out of here so then they crash into the concession stand. Then for some reason the movie set that they're watching on the movie screen in the drive-in, it falls apart. They're trying to put the movie set back together as they're trying to put the concession stand back together - is it alive a live show? I think it was meant as a funny gag but it makes no sense at all.
- The fact that, this is a little behind the scenes but, Paramount wanted to release this movie early for the summer movie going audience and they basically took this away from Joe Dante the director before he was finished and they edited it. According to Dante it felt like what was his quote "That period got frozen in stone" and then he says he's happy people say that they like it and show it to their kids. It's charming but it just isn't what it could have been. He has the time now to re-edit it to what he would like to, but this is decades later and he doesn't have the the wherewithal - he's not in the same mind frame or able to think what he was feeling back then. Yeah he said it would be a completely different movie.

- Something that I didn't really care for that threw me for a loop was the Romantic elements seemed very contrived or tacked-on like Ethan Hawke's infatuation with the girl which is understandable, you have crushes, but I didn't see why they needed to make anything more of it other than I get that it's a good test case for the bubble thing. But he gets the girl - I'm like "why?"
- What boggled my mind is they take this computer system to a hilltop and how is it being powered? Apparently some nine volt battery powers the computer and this bubble somehow, which it seems would take an enormous amount of power to be able to do that. Wolfgang's computer was not an Apple 2, it was an SGI Iris 1400 workstation that cost $35,000. It had a 73 megabyte hard drive, 1.5 megabytes of memory, and weighed 130 lbs.
- I was telling you the first half of the movie I thought was a great sort of like building up momentum and it's just dashed to pieces once they hit the aliens. It was just a yeah hard left into a completely different style like you said Danae, it should have been like a Mel Brooks movie - it's like they took Indiana Jones the first half and then Mel Brooks the second half. It is very disparate.

00:55:52 Final Rating ▼

• Danae - Tragic
Reflux Capacitors - Classic
• Paul - Classic
• Francisco - Tragic

FINAL RATING - Nostalgic (Disputed)

01:00:01 Support and Contact ▼

• Find out more about Danae
• Find out more about Paul
• Find out more about Francisco

Explorers Trailer

🎬 Technicals, Cast, and Crew

  • Released: July 12, 1985
  • Runs: 1h 49m
  • Rated: PG
  • Directed by: Joe Dante
  • Written by: Eric Luke
  • With the lead stars being: Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, Jason Presson, Robert Picardo, Dick Miller
  • And Music composed by: Jerry Goldsmith
  • Explorers was made for about $20 and only earned just $10 Million at the box office.