Flight Of The Navigator is a movie I really enjoyed as a 10 year old in 1986. Together with The Goonies, E.T., Back To The Future, Teen Wolf, The Lost Boys, The Last Starfighter, The Never Ending Story, Star Wars, Star Trek, John Hughes movies etc etc, it was a great time to be a kid. The zeitgeist of the 80's is just captivating and as us kids become middle aged, we look back not with nostalgia, but still feeling like we were part of something special and often still feeling like we are part of it. The following generations don't have to search for movies at video rentals, they don't have to save money for one-off trips to the cinema. Everything today within reason is at their fingertips. That's not their fault, but I imagine it's hard to fathom what being a kid in the 80's was actually really like, hence why such nostalgia exists now. The nostalgic factor is from today's kids wanting something they never had. Every Netflix movie or show aimed at teens now has an 80's aesthetic that tries but fails to conjure the real thing. But for us who were there at that point, it's also something we can never let go of, always seeking a way to relive those experiences.
As I grew up, I lost a little touch of the movies I loved, however I rediscovered that love through my own children. Introducing my daughter at the age of about two years old to Flight Of The Navigator and many of the others mentioned above struck that thought that we had it good back then. And being able to relive that through our own kids proves we still have it good. When your own daughter reaches 18 years old, still watching this movie on a regular basis, you know that certain films and their themes within have something magical and timeless about them, and with that, those people who made the magic happen to begin with.
We all assume Joey Cramer is that same 12 year old kid from 1986. But real life doesn't work that way. We have all heard of child stars being loved and cherished by the movie industry and fans alike only to be spat out and left by the side of the road once they hit puberty. Some forge ahead and make successes big and small. Some fall by the wayside very rarely intentional. Joey fell into that latter category. No doubt a nice kid, trying to make good but befell the pitfalls of being young, having money and no sturdy foundations to fall on to give him support and guidance.
The great news and a story which this excellent documentary makes clear is that you can rise up from those pitfalls. You can ask for help and with that arm around the shoulder, the strength to face down whatever demons have held you down, you can make good on what inspired people to love you in the first place.
This isn't just a documentary about a great and beloved film. It's a story about overcoming the odds with a fist in the air of the kind Judd Nelson gave us kids back in the 80's in The Breakfast Club.
Director Lisa Downs has structured the film in a way that intersperses the making of the movie with Joey's story. Whilst you can guess where it ends, it's the journey that matters, very much like the original movie itself. It's great to see so many cast and crew together for this and shows that the hardships of making a film can create lasting relationships and fond memories. More importantly, Lisa Downs captures the heart of this documentary and the heart of what made Flight Of The Navigator what it is and that is it's star, Joey Cramer. It's about a 12 year old boy trying to get home and against the odds, finally making it. We have all just made it home.
Life After the Navigator
Life After the Navigator
A feature that not only celebrates the 1986 classic "Flight of the Navigator", but also looks at the life of its child star, Joey Cramer, and his roller-coaster life since that breakthrough role.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 01, 2021 at 04:35 PM