SpaceCamp (1986) When I was a kid, every once in a while a movie would come down the pike that I really wanted to see. I mean really, really, REALLY wanted to see! For some reason, SpaceCamp was that movie in the summer of 1986. Of course, being 12 years old and having no car (yet alone drivers licence or money) I didn't make it out to see SpaceCamp. So, I did the next best thing...I read the Scholastic Books novelization of the film. It was a real page turner, let me tell you. I only had to wait 6 months to see SpaceCamp in the comfort of my living room Thanksgiving weekend 1986. Then when I finally saw it, it was just so-so! SpaceCamp is sort of infamous for having one of the worst timings for an opening in the history of movies. The film, about a group of Space Camp kids who accidentally get launched into outer space aboard the Space Shuttle, opened just a short four months after the real-life Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. People weren't really in the mood to watch a fictional account of Space Shuttle hi-jinks so soon. Now, 23 years after the film originally came out and after a second Space Shuttle disaster, it's hard to believe there was ever a time when NASA would think it's a good idea to let a bunch of kids into a Space Shuttle while they are testing the turbo booster engines (or whatever). I watched SpaceCamp on the new cable channel Disney XD and I have a feeling it was cut up a bit to fit into the two hour time slot.
I included this shot of the original one-sheet poster for SpaceCamp, the very same poster I had hanging in our playroom back in the day!
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009) I thought this was a really good movie. I would have liked to have seen it in 3-D, but my children are still afraid of watching a movie "with the glasses on!" Meatballs is very funny and as I've said before, all I ask from a comedy is to be funny throughout the whole movie. Meatballs serves up big laughs from the first course to the last - there's plenty of slapstick for the kids and good writing and visual gags for anyone else who's quick enough to pick them up. I was a bit disappointed in myself when reading the closing credits that I didn't recognize more of the celebrity voices. However, I think it's safe to say that Mr. T has a bright future in cartoon voice overs. After all, he's had plenty of practice! I'd also go out on a limb and say Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is one of the best non-Pixar computer animated films ever. (Antz and Monster House are my other two contenders.) I was very pleasantly surprised with this film!