When I was a kid, I wanted to belong to a group like The Goonies. Like most creative types, I was an outsider, so the film and characters spoke to me. Smartly, there was one of every type to make all sorts of misfits feel at home. Does it stand the test of time? Can you go home again? Find out after the jump:
The Goonies follows a group of kids on a great adventure, but it springs from something that rings true in today’s world (and global economy). Mikey and Brand, two brothers, are going to have to say goodbye to their home in Astoria as they’re about to be foreclosed on so a country club can be built. Mikey’s gang of friends assembles to spend some quality time with them: Mouth, the prankster, Data the inventor and Chunk, the resident fatass (long before Cartman). While playing around in his museum curator’s father’s stuff up in the attic, Mikey comes across a treasure map and clue. Escaping older brother Brand’s watch, the quartet set out on adventure with the goal of finding One Eyed Willy’s lost riches. Of course, while all of this is happening, Mama Fratelli and Francis Fratelli help break Jake Fratelli out of prison. These two stories overlap when the map leads The Goonies to a restaurant the Fratellis work out of. Brand chases down his brother and crew and is joined by Andy, a pretty love interest and her quirky friend Stef. The last big member of the ensemble is Sloth, the third Fratelli brother kept chained in the basement; first found by Mikey and befriended by Chunk. The assembled group are chased through booby traps (and the best waterslide of all time) in the search for gold and jewels and above all, adventure.
Despite the wondrous circumstances, the characters are believable. The cast of The Goonies was a lightning-in-a-bottle assemblage of talent. Sean Astin’s (The Lord of the Rings) Mikey is the best every-kid in the history of filmmaking. Come on, he was Rudy! He messes up phrases endearingly and is the heart at the center of the film. His jock brother Brand is no slouch either and Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, Jonah Hex) brings him to life. If you needed a wise-ass in the 1980s, you had to go to Corey Feldman (Stand By Me, The Lost Boys), so the character of Mouth was put in his capable hands. Ke Huy Quan (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) played Data and Kerri Green (Lucas) and Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope) brought the female touches of Andy and Stef. Great good guys alone aren’t enough to make a film and The Goonies has some of the best baddies going. Anne Ramsey (Throw Mama From the Train) brings dangerous charisma to Mama Fratelli. Robert Davi (License to Kill) and Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix) make Jake and Francis Fratelli sing, literally for Davi.
Great touches include a couple Rube Goldberg devices, a beautiful Oregon backdrop and some of the best little girl’s bike riding ever (done by Josh Brolin). That and as a kid I was psyched to see another kid say “bullshit” on film.
Audio English 5.1 DTS HD with optional French and Spanish as well as subtitles English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, French, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese and Korean.
Optional audio commentary with Director Richard Donner and all seven actors: Jonathan Ke Quan, Corey Feldman, Sean Astin, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Jeff Cohen and Josh Brolin.
Hidden Treasures — The above optional audio commentary starts off as a long Last Supper table with Donner at the middle and periodically, cuts back to them throughout, placing the film in the bottom right corner.
Deleted scenes — a couple deleted scenes including the infamous octopus and explains just how the map is burned later on… Troy’s fault.
Music video — Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” — oddly enough, one of my friends thought she was singing “it’s Goonie love for you, it’s Goonie love for me…”
Theatrical trailer — While amusing, watching it, I don’t know that any aspect of movie making has come along as far as trailers have. I don’t think you could sell a modern audience on the masterpiece that is this movie with that trailer.
Additionally, off-disc included materials are a 20th Anniversary Empire Magazine “where are they now” insert, a pocket-sized The Goonies Souvenir magazine, and a Goonies board game (good for you and one to three of your friends).
Not many things stand up to the test of time, but The Goonies is one of them. Despite (as mentioned in the audio commentary) one shot with the worst blue screen work in history (see for yourself), this film still speaks true tonally and looks beautiful on Blu-ray. Not only will this please fans of the film, it should create new ones. Even in my “advanced age”, I still kind of hope to find a treasure map because of this film. Love live the truffle shuffle.
Final Grade – A+