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The 5 Best Teen Time Travel Movies

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project almanacTime travel is best left to the young… or so it seems if you’ve seen any movies. Kids who’ve barely gotten their driver’s license often seem to end up trapped in history trying to change things or put them back, depending on what kind of mess they’ve gotten themselves into.

So with that in mind, below is a list of our favorite teen-centric time travel movies in no particular order. Here you’ll find teenage slackers, robots, and of course everyone’s favorite DeLorean.

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The Seven Best Films About Close Encounters

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Tomorrow sees the arrival of Dark Skies in theaters, the latest from writer/director Scott Stewart (Legion, Priest). The film has Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton as a suburban couple who find their lives spiraling into chaos after a mysterious force takes an interest interest in their family, and not the good, “we made you brownies” kind of interest. No, the trailers suggest that the poor Barrett family has landed square on the to-do list of some malevolent extraterrestrials who think they’re prime candidates for a little abduction, a dash of missing time, possibly even a little old-fashioned anal probing.

We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to learn if Dark Skies is any good (check back for our review), but its impending arrival got us thinking about the movie’s place in a larger sub-genre. Namely, stories where average, ordinary people come face-to-face with visitors from outer space. Some are malevolent, some are friendly, some are downright adorable. But each and every one of them changes the lives of the humans they contact, for good or ill.

Here are our picks for the very best movies about close encounters between average janes/joes and strange visitors from another world.

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Colin Trevorrow Wants To Make The Flight Of The Navigator Remake A Heartfelt Movie

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Trevorrow

Months after the Disney/Lucasfilm merger, indie director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) was one of the top-rumored candidates to direct Star Wars: Episode VII. As it turned out, Trevorrow was busy working on another geek-favorite property: a remake of  1986’s Flight of the Navigator. But why did Trevorrow decide to make Flight of the Navigator his follow-up to Safety Not Guaranteed? He wanted to expand the themes of his debut to his sophomore effort.

“We touched it a little in Safety Not Guaranteed and I want to keep pushing in that direction,” says the 36-year-old director. In an interview with SciFiNow.com, Trevorrow and his writing partner, Derek Connolly, opened up about their new project. The pair previously worked on the screenplay for Safety Not Guaranteed, and they are taking the same approach to Flight of the Navigator. Connolly explains how the original Navigator impacted him as a child:

I acknowledge that Navigator is not a perfect film and that’s not why I loved it, it’s because when I was a kid at that particular moment that movie had a fear embedded into it, a nightmare scenario; what if everyone grew up around you and you’re still a kid and your parents are old? It’s child horror and one of five VHS tapes that I had and therefore watched a thousand times.

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Colin Trevorrow Opens Up About Flight Of The Navigator

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For weeks, Star Wars rumors and speculation ran rampant when word got out that indie director Colin Trevorrow might be helming the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. Those rumors were put to rest when Trevorrow revealed that he would be directing an entirely different beloved sci-fi movie for Disney: the remake of Flight of the Navigator. Now the indie director has begun to open up about the Disney remake.

In an interview, Colin Trevorrow disclosed that he and his writing partner, Derek Connolly (Safety Not Guaranteed), want to remain faithful to the original 1986 film. The duo also wants to keep the film as an emotional touchstone for children. They don’t want to bog the remake down with flashy special effects and CGI. Here’s Trevorrow:

There’s a question in it which I always thought was compelling. What if suddenly you woke up and your world was gone and your parents were old? There’s something so scary about that for a kid. We know what the themes are and what characters we’re going to be working with, but beyond that it’s going to take a little while.

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Colin Trevorrow To Remake Flight Of The Navigator For Disney

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Director Colin Trevorrow may not be helming Star Wars: Episode VII, but he does have another sci-fi property in his future. Disney has tapped Trevorrow and his Safety Not Guaranteed collaborator, Derek Connolly, to write a script for a Flight of the Navigator remake. Trevorrow may also direct the film.

A few weeks ago, Trevorrow had to clarify that he was not up for the Star Wars directing job but teased, “his next project will involve him tackling a mythology with a substantial fan base.” It turns out that substantial fan base was for Flight of the Navigator. Derek Connolly told Variety, “Flight of the Navigator wasn’t a seminal movie of my childhood but I remember liking it and the original meant a lot to Colin as a kid, so it’s really his baby. It’ll be good to have some balance so it’s not two fanboys writing the movie.”

The original Flight of the Navigator took place in 1978 and was about a 12-year-old boy named David (Joey Cramer), who is knocked unconscious and wakes up in 1986. Everything in the world around him aged eight years, even his parents and his little brother Jeff, who is now 16 years old, but David hasn’t aged a day. He later discovers out that an alien craft nicknamed Max (voiced by Paul Reubens) was responsible for his journey through time, and together the two try to find a way to return David to his native era.

The original film had groundbreaking special effects and advanced 3D animation in movies in 1986. It’s also cherished by many children of the ’80s, so the remake will definitely result in some angry fanboys if they don’t get it right.

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Be Good: Eight Family Friendly SF Flicks To Double-Feature With E.T.

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Steven Spielberg’s classic film E.T. hit Blu-ray this week, so I got to thinking about something that’s one of my favorite things to do: a double-feature. Sure, sometimes the schedule is so hectic that you’re luck to be able to sit through one movie, much less two. But there’s just something enormously satisfying about the double feature, especially if you’ve put some thought into picking the perfect pair of films, whether they’re united by genre, theme, creative talent, or even some obscure joke only you and your friends understand.

I’m betting some of you will be picking up E.T. on Blu-ray and watching it for the first time in a while, or maybe ever showing it to your kids for the first time ever. Because GFR is a full-service kind of place, I’ve sifted through the heaps of cinematic history and pulled out eight family friendly science fiction movies that will pair quite nicely with E.T.. We hope the results will be something to phone home about (ahem).