It’s movie night again here at the house of Branded. This week brings screenings of E.T. and Starman, and it will conclude three weeks of space themed flicks my friend Kevin and I have been watching for our nostalgia movie list. It started with Flight of the Navigator and continued on last week with Space Camp and the Explorers.

Flight of the Navigator was pretty fun to watch, as I haven’t seen it since I was a kid. It’s a really weird film really, being more about time travel than Pee Wee Herman voiced spaceships, which I always forget until I’m in the middle of watching it. The film plays out like an episode Twilight Zone mixed with a space themed Disney movie. In fact it’s closer in kin to Starman than E.T.

Space Camp had little in the way of surprises as I’ve seen it a million times and even recently to boot. We did it up right though and mixed up a big pitcher of Tang that we horked off of throughout the flick. I still get goose bumps when Jinx causes the Thermal Curtain Failure to happen. It also brings back memories of the Challenger disaster as I was living in Florida at the time of the explosion. You could see the smoke in the sky from where we lived. We had contemplated a drinking game where each person has to take a swig when Jinx says something about Max, but after the eighth annoying drawn out spiel we were glad we didn’t. “Frrrriieeeeeeennndsssss Forrrrrrrreeeevvvveeeerrrr.”

The Explorers unfortunately is still not one of my favorite movies. It was, like Return to Oz, one of the few kid movies I missed when I was young, though I managed to catch it on TV when I was in high school. The thing that I have a hard time getting past in the flick is the last third of the film where the kids board the alien spacecraft. The film goes from being moderately serious in tone and execution to a live action combination of a video game and a Looney Tunes cartoon. Considering that Joe Dante directed it (he of Gremlins, Twilight Zone: the Movie, and the Howling fame), I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m sure he had to grit his teeth through directing the first hour without any rubber suits or zany sound effects (don’t get me wrong, this is actually something that I love about his style of directing, but only when it’s a little more homogenous.) Ah well, each part of the flick separately makes for a fun time, but put them together and it always sort of gets me down.

Also, before we caught those two flicks, we decided to eat at Pizza Hut and as a nostalgia enhancement we dined in. I took some pictures and will be putting up a review soon.

Tonight, like I said above, it’s E.T. and Starman, so there will be a ton of wholesome alien interaction with just a tinge of sadness throughout. We’re also going to be dining on Oscar Meyer Cheese-Dogs (I’m sure augmented with Easy Cheese) and Bugles corn snacks. So Nostalgia ho!