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BLASTING OFF THE GLOSSY TEEN ORBIT OF SPACECAMP

Phoenix, Preston, and the rest... here at SpaceCamp YEAR: 1986
In the midst of the bright neon 1980's, two of the most popular theatrical elements combined into the teenage/science-fiction hybrid of SPACE CAMP, which was an obvious inspiration for Clint Eastwood's SPACE COWBOYS years later — only in this one, our crew gets shot into the stars on accident...

That's the somewhat limp third act as the students, nervously led by trainer Kate Capshaw, are forced to become real astronauts in a contrived crash course: So it's on the ground, at the title location, where the movie shines brightest with a bubbly babe played by Kelly Preston, the proverbial Ginger to a much more serious, hidden-beauty tomboy in Lea Thompson's Mary Ann; the geeky yet smooth token black guy dude, Larry B. Scott; and Leaf (later Joaquin) Phoenix is a brainy kid with a robot, bullied one minute and the next defended by cool cat Tate Donovan, who, cruising his jeep through the opening credits to Eric Clapton's Forever Man, is the true lead (along with Lea) despite Capshaw's top billing: The grownups provide experience and exposition while the kids put a touch of BREAKFAST CLUB into SPACE CAMP.
SpaceCampSCORE: ***1/2 Kelly Preston talks to Kate Capshaw (soon to be Mrs. Spielberg) in SpaceCamp
Kelly Preston hanging out with Lea Thompson in SpaceCamp... Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy perhaps?
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