Starring: Kate Capshaw, Tate Donovan, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, Larry B. Scott, Leaf (Joaquin) Phoenix, Tom Skerritt
Written By: Clifford Green, Casey T. Mitchell
Directed By: Harry Winer
Studio: Kino Lorber
Buy On Amazon.com
Do you remember Spacecamp? Not many people do but I do because it aired on cable loads of times in the 80s and 90s. The movie is quite dated but it’s still entertaining with a good cast and fun score by John Williams.
Space Camp is about Kathryn (Lea Thompson), Kevin (Tate Donovan), Rudy (Larry B. Scott), Tish (Kelly Preston) and 12-year-old Max (Joaquin Phoenix) going to space camp at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Their instructor, Andie (Kate Capshaw) is a NASA astronaut who hasn’t been assigned a space mission yet. Her Husband, Zach (Tom Skerritt) has been and is also the camp director. While exploring the grounds, Max finds a robot named Jinx that helps around NASA and takes everything literally. One day, the robot overhears Max saying he wants to go to space, so he messes with the space shuttle settings to send the team into space when they were practicing. What the robot doesn’t know is the shuttle isn’t space-ready and the team is certainly not ready either. Stupid robots.
It’s been a long time since I last saw Space Camp. I don’t even remember the last time, late 90s perhaps? It brought back memories of watching it when I was younger. It’s just a bit dated now with all the old gadgets and the way it looks; it’s an 80s movies after all. What I don’t remember was this was released after The Challenger explosion and that’s why it didn’t do well in theaters. As a kid, you don’t pay attention or care about box office results, you just want to watch something on cable.
The cast is good and funny to see some of them so young, especially “Leaf.” He was a bit annoying in the movie but at least he turned out to be a good actor in his older age. At one point in the movie, you even see a younger, still bald Terry O’Quinn working as a the launch director. He didn’t even have a name in the credits. I guess the biggest thing I didn’t like about the movie was the stupid robot Jinx. It was voiced by Frank Welker who has done a thousands voice-overs including Megatron from Transformers and Fred from Scooby Doo. The robot just makes the movie so uncomfortable to watch. Maybe not as bad as Mac and Me but it’s not good. Remove the robot, they would have had something to trigger them to go up into space though. I’m sure a malfunction would have been find instead of weird sounding stupid robot. Annoying robots aside, the movie is still fun and interesting to see how the group grows up while they are in space.
The Blu-Ray extras has 2 interviews: one with Lea Thompson and another with director Harry Winer. The Lea Thompson interview was entertaining since she talked about looking up to Sally Ride and others, the Challenger explosion, who she was dating at the time and who George Clooney was dating at the time. I got a kick out of that. She was talking about the negatives of the shoot but she also said it was a lot of fun.
If you haven’t seen this 80s movie yet and feel the need to, it’s now back on crisp Blu-Ray. I love how all these movies are being re-released on Blu-Ray and in better quality. Only downside is not all of them contain a digital HD code, which is more the future than Blu-Rays themselves. I guess Kino Lorber doesn’t have the rights for streaming at the moment. But back to the Blu-Ray, it looks great and the movie is entertaining enough to watch it at least once.
Interview with Star Lea Thompson
Interview with Director Harry Winer
Original Theatrical Trailer
English DTS 5.1
Widescreen 1.85:1 Color
Bottom Line: Not the best movies from the 80s but entertaining one
Running Time: 107 mins