You may recall last year that I checked out a documentary called Life After Flash (you've not read that? Click the title after you have read this and check it out, also read the interview with Lisa Downs!) by Spare Change Films. Well, they're back again, and this time the story is behind the story of one of mine and Awesome Cupcake's favorite childhood movies, Flight of The Navigator. So, let's check out the documentary Life After The Navigator, the movie Flight of The Navigator itself, and then have a listen to the score from Flight of The Navigator by Alan Silvestri.
LIFE AFTER THE NAVIGATOR
Flight of the Navigator has to be one of the most popular children's movies released in the 1980s, and it is just pure awesome. If you are a fan of movies from the 1980s then this has to one of the must-watch movies on your list in my humble opinion. Me and Awesome Cupcake introduced this classic to the teacups and they absolutely loved every minute of it!!
The main star of this classic movie (barring Max of course) is of course the then child actor Joey Cramer, who played The Navigator himself, 12-year-old David Scott Freeman. After Navigator, Cramer had a troubled life...he stole a lot, he got into drugs, and then he robbed a bank...but what actually happened to him for these events to unfold? And what happened to Cramer afterward? Life After The Navigator mostly shows the story of Cramer after that film, what he did, the troubles he had and the help he finally got, and his road to redemption. There are also stories and anecdotes from other actors and crew from the movie also as well as from his mother.
As well as exploring what happened with the filming of the movie, and how things were for Cramer as he grew up, we see what he is up to now.
Life After The Navigator is such great to watch and is really quite touching. It is no holds barred and shows the brutal truth of what happened to Joey Cramer in his words for the most part (although family, friends, correctional officers, and more add to the story) and he is obviously very emotional about it all. As I was watching this I was close to tears, I knew that there was a lot more to it than "just a robbery" but when you hear the story directly from Cramer and you see how emotional he gets about it you cannot help but feel the same way too. As the tagline on the case says "It's all about the journey home".
I did notice in the credits that at the end they say you can purchase Flight of the Navigator from Second Sight Film, which I thought was a really nice touch. I have to say I cannot recommend the Second Sight Films Limited Edition enough, which oddly enough is the one I'll be talking about after this!!
As well as the documentary there some great extras too. There are interviews with Director Lisa Downs, Joey Cramer, and Randal Kleiser, trailer, as well as extended footage of the documentary. This is certainly worth buying and a great addition to the Life After Film series...and if future documentaries are going to be only half as good as this or Life After Flash then it's going to be an awesome collection of documentaries that fans will want to own as companion pieces to their favorite movies! Oh, and if you purchase the Blu-Ray now you can get a Limited edition Life After The Navigator patch too! AND.....if you head over to the Life After Movies site you could well get a copy signed by Joey Cramer!!!
FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR
OK, so now it's time to watch the limited edition Blu-Ray of Flight of The Navigator from UK distributor Second Sight Films. Now a few of you may have noticed that I really like this movie, and I have several different copies of the Blu-Ray now, all released from Second Sight Films. I have the Limited Zavvi-Exclusive Steelbook (This had a run of 2,000 copies), the standard edition, and the Limited Edition. Both the Steelbook and Standard are now out of print, so watching and reviewing a copy you can still purchase makes more sense.
NOTE: I have reviewed this edition already and I interviewed Chris Holden (Managing Director at Second Sight Films) about putting together the limited edition, if you want to read that as well, please go HERE.
The year is 1978, and David Scott Freeman is an ordinary American boy who lives with his family with a younger brother and a dog.
While walking through the woods on 4th July to go get his brother, David goes missing, reappearing eight years later not having aged a single day.
At the same time as David's reemergence, an Unidentified Flying Object had been recovered, entangled in power lines, and taken back to a NASA base. David has a connection with the UFO (called Max), and once they get together they have an excellent adventure (no guitar noodling here) and become the ship's navigator.
This has to be one of my favorite movies of my childhood, if not my favorite. I loved sci-fi and thriller movies at the time (with some leanings to horror) and this was just perfect and for me, it has just got better with age. The special effects at the time were literally cutting edge, they were making up what they needed as they went along because they have the things they wanted. There is a great cast, with Joey Cramer playing David so well and so natural, and Paul Reubens voices Max really well (he used the pseudonym Paul Mall, his choice.). This is one of the few movies that I can watch again and again.
But what about the actual Blu-Ray disc itself? Well, I have to say it's stunning! As mentioned earlier, I have the standard Blu-Ray (as well as the Steelbook, which has the standard Blu-Ray), and comparing this, the 4K transfer is mindblowing! The visuals are so clean and the audio is so crisp (I was listening to this with noise-canceling headphones and you could hear the "clack!" of the dog's teeth on the frisbee at the beginning so clearly, it was amazing. I recently watched the VHS for comparison and the sound was so dull, although rather nostalgic!) it was amazing. When I was talking to Chris Holden about the making of this restoration and boxset, he was saying that when the 4k restoration was completed (with the supervision of Randal Kleiser), Kleiser watched it and was so impressed and thought it was as close as you were going to get as watching it at the cinema...high praise indeed and truly deserved for this limited edition.
The subtitles have also been updated too, which is a good thing as the old version had a couple of errors (They misspell the dog's name in one of them, and in the other, there is a grammatical error).
Add to that some interviews and you have a well rounded out disc. The cover of the Blu-Ray also has a reversible sleeve with new artwork by Rich Davies as well as the original cover artwork. I usually like to have original artworks on my Blu-Rays and DVDs, but this is one of the rare exceptions as this design is - pun totally intended - out of this World!!
This limited edition Blu-Ray is housed in a beautiful hard slipcase along with a softcover book (the cover is also done by Rich Davies) with original storyboards, production notes, a new essay by Kevin Lyons and behind the scenes photos along with a reversible poster that has the new artwork the original cover artwork. If you pre-ordered the disc directly from second sight you also got a postcard with your set too, which I also have with my copy.
The boxset is astounding! It has a great version of the movie, great interviews on the disc, along with a brilliant book and poster. This is a must-buy for any fan of the film and they will not be disappointed. Another Second Sight Films Limited Edition comes up trumps yet again, kudos guys!
FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SCORE (DIGITAL EDITION) - ALAN SILVESTRI
And now it's time to check out the music, which is really cool! As much as acting and story are two of the most important parts of a movie, the score/soundtrack are vital also, as they can make or break a movie...and Alan Silvestri (with scores to Avengers: Infinity War, Predator, Back to the Future Trilogy, Super Mario Bros and Ready Player One among others to his name) certainly knows how to write a score...
The music sounds brilliantly funky and is played on synthesizers. The sounds have a really spacy and futuristic feel to them which is what they need and were something different compared to most of his other scores at the time.
I warn you, my hoopy droogs, however, if you get the CD and you haven't seen the movie yet (and if you haven't...what the heck?!? Get watching it already! Then watch Life After The Navigator!!) The booklet has a synopsis of the movie as the tracks are listed, so you may want to avoid looking at that booklet until AFTER you have seen the movie...you have been warned!
The soundtrack is great and is something that also has permanent residence on my phone so I listen to it on the go. As I was listening through the score I could actually picture events in the movie, so I could see when David and Max were doing certain things depending on what track played. A dozen tracks of instrumental goodness bringing you into the world of Flight of The Navigator even if you're not watching the movie!
So there you have it, the triple bill...The Documentary, The Movie, and The Score. I think that was a great way to spend an afternoon. There were some great nostalgic moments, some things I learned about the movie and I had a good thorough listen to the score, something I've not done for a while.
Life After the Navigator is rated 15 and available right now on Blu-Ray from Life After Movies. You can order the standard edition HERE and you can pre-order copies signed by The Navigator himself Joey Cramer HERE. You can also order movie posters HERE. You can also head to http://www.lifeaftermovies.com and find more details and get updates on future projects.
Flight of the Navigator is available on VHS, LaserDisc, DVD, Blu-Ray, and VOD. The special edition I reviewed here can be bought directly from Second Sight Films HERE. Flight of the Navigator Original Motion Picture Score by Alan Silvestri is available on CD (although can be rather expensive as I think it is out of print), or you can digital on Amazon Music HERE or iTunes HERE.