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Explorers

239 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

EXPLORERS are the inventive story about three idealistic and thrill-seeking boys who combine their wits and astuteness to build their own spaceship. Accordingly, the boys blast-off into the galaxy and embark on journeys both whimsical and weird.

Special Features

  • Two additional scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, Bobby Fite, Bradley Gregg, Georg Olden
  • Directors: Joe Dante
  • Writers: Eric Luke
  • Producers: David Bombyk, Edward S. Feldman, Michael Finnell, Tom Jacobson
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002V7O3I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,686 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Explorers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 67 people found the following review helpful By R. Christenson / Lunamation on August 21, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Explorers is a must for all true science fiction film collectors. The plot elegantly captures the dreams of a typical young sci-fi fan / space enthusiast. Hawke, then about 12, receives schematics from outer space in his dreams. His buddy Phoenix builds a circuit from the dream-diagram and hooks it to his computer, generating a miraculous force field capable of driving a space ship - which they build, with a third pal from school (Presson), from junkyard parts!

Joe Dante's 1985 space adventure pays homage to classic sci-fi in a number of allusions: the videos Ethan Hawke watches in bed (The War of The Worlds and This Island Earth), the old sf paperbacks and Classics Illustrated comics in River Phoenix's basement, the mouse named Heinlein (after the great American science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein), and the usual supporting roles of Dick Miller and Robert Picardo (The Burbs, Matinee, etc.). Watching this movies always puts me in the mood to reread the Heinlein juvenile novels (Have Space Suit, Will Travel, Rocket Ship Galileo, etc.).

If anyone says they're disappointed in the ending, that's only because the first 90 minutes of the film are so excellent, it's hard for any ending to live up to the oustanding buildup, including exploring the interior of a huge alien spacecraft. Take it for what it is, and if you're into space ships or sci-fi, you'll love it.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Demangel on June 22, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I agree the ending leaves a LOT to be desired, but even the ending can't ruin the real meat and potatoes of this film, and in it's own silly way somehow actually works.

I must emphasize that this film is as much about nostalgia for me, as it is about a simply good family film. As a child I loved Sci-fi, and this was one of the films that truly captured my imagination. I cannot look at a truly starry night without almost hearing the harmonica music Ethan Hawke's character plays on the rooftop, and knowing exactly what that character was thinking and feeling at that moment. Beyond awe, beyond wonder, beyond hope.

As I child spending my summer in upstate New York, occasionally the sky would be so clear you could see something akin to what he saw, so deep so vast, so wonderful.

I could also see a seriously good sequel being made to this film if the powers that be ever considered it. One that could wipe away the goofiness of the ending of the original and replace it with a more grown up ending. Sadly however I'm sure the magic, dreamlike quality of a movie set in the 80's will never be recaptured. To say nothing of the childlike wonder the movie inspires in me even today.

So needless to say I'm more than a fan of this film, one of these days I'm going to clear out the garage, find a tilt a whirl, and build my own version of the ship, even if it doesn't have force field bubble technology, it will be one hell of a conversation piece.

Anyone who was of the age at the time of this movies release and likes sci-fi, and doesn't mind the goofy ending, will enjoy this film, and nobody that I know who recalls this movie would ever say it wasn't a wonderful film.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Luster on August 27, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Fans of movies like "Galaxy Quest" will probably find this dated but still entertaining. If you enjoyed "Goonies" you should like this movie. Three teenage boys build a spaceship from plans that are sent to them by aliens. The fact they build it from a carnerval ride and other miscellaneous items only shows the imagination. A fun adventure for kids of all ages. The young aliens that sent the plans to the teenagers have modelled their behavior based on our TV shows. The alien comedy is like Robin Williams did in Aladdin, off the wall imitations of celebrities. I enjoyed it when I first saw it as someone in my twenties and I still think it is fun to watch.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
"Explorers" continues to be a perpetual favorite film of mine ever since I first saw it the theatre in July 1985! This story enthralls it audience, albeit mostly with kids, with imagination, adventure, and, as all Joe Dante affecionados know, campy humor and sci-fi homage. Nowadays, "Explorers" has come to be quite the nostalgia film, especially when seeing Ethan Hawke and the late River Phoenix in their starting roles, each at age 15. However, it has stood up quite well in terms of its Industrial Light & Magic-produced visuals and Rob ("The Thing", "Total Recall") Bottin's intricate creature/make-up effects. Acclaimed composer Jerry Goldsmith's score is one of his best works ever, written to accentuate a whimsical & ethereal dimension that lies among the vastness of outer space, as well as in a kid's dream. While on the latter subject, the flying dream sequences really treat the audience to some eye-candy graphics and camerawork, which really jabbed me awake when I first saw them on the big screen...such scenes do cry out for a widescreen DVD version! The only real vexation I've known in this film are the aliens "Wak" and "Neek's" 50's-TV personalities.
Highly recommended for family viewing, "Explorers", along with "Gremlins", "Innerspace", & "The Howling", is one of Dante's best and most memorable works to date! It's great that Paramount has re-released it for video after being nearly out-of-print for most of the last decade. Do rent or purchase it for yourselves...
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Are you kidding? I found your post on the product page of The Explorers, the same movie you're "inquiring" about.
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