Real-life married couple Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy star as Frank and Faye Riley, the owners of a small diner in a dilapidated building that also houses their apartment in the slums of Manhattan. The rest of the tenants of the building are being paid off to evacuate ASAP, so that greedy land developers can take over and demolish the building in order to erect some high-rise corporate edifices. Those that refuse are being threatened with injury “or worse” by some local thugs that are also on the corporate payroll to scare the bejesus out of the remaining tenants. Without anyone to turn to, a desperate plea may have saved the day, as a couple of miniature flying saucers arrive, consuming metal materials and then fixing up damaged parts of the building. The saucers befriend the remaining tenants, although the thugs and land developers are determined to put an end to this new development even if it costs lives in the process. Steven Spielberg produced this quaint sci-fi fairy tale.
Joe Dante’s Explorers marks the big screen debuts of two future stars, Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix, who, along with Jason Presson, make up the three young boys with a thirst for adventure and scientific exploration. In their dreams, the boys have a connection to a circuit board that they eventually use to build their own little hovering spacecraft, thanks to the help of a strange spherical energy capsule in which they place an abandoned tilt-a-whirl carriage that they use their computer to control. The makeshift spaceship gets them into all sorts of adventures, before culminating in a close encounter with aliens in outer space.