The Goonies (Blu-ray)
For people that grew up in the 80’s, there are always a handful of films we associate with our childhood. For many of us, THE GOONIES is a film that embodies the spirit of adventure and imagination of childhood. As it turns out, THE GOONIES was not actually a film I owned as a kid, but one that I became more of a fan of as I grew older. Given the vast number of films that lose their luster as you grow older, I’ve always thought it was impressive that THE GOONIES remained a quality film, even as the generation that made it a success grew up.
The story is surprisingly simple, given how many characters and plot points there are. But basically, it’s a group of kids going treasure hunting. Like any group-on-a-mission movie, the key to the film lies with the quality of the characters. That’s really where THE GOONIES shines as audiences are endeared to the slapstick comedy of ‘Chunk’ (Jeff Cohen), the sarcasm of ‘Mouth’ (Corey Feldman), the innovativeness of ‘Data’ (Jonathan Ke Quan) and of course the leadership of Mikey (Sean Astin). Combined with a constant supporting cast, including the screen debut of Josh Brolin, the characters in THE GOONIES bring the film to life and make it a memorable movie, even after the innocence of childhood has long worn off.
As simple as the story is, it’s actually quite imaginative, thanks in large part to the strange treasure hunters the group encounters while on their mission, but also to the mature approach the kids take to finding treasure. They’re kids, but they treat the “mission” with an intensity of soldiers going into battle, but we’re reminded they’re only kids every time Chunk speaks. I’m tempted to give THE GOONIES credit for starting the revolution of kids movies into more mature, adventurous themes, but that probably belongs to Spielberg’s classic E.T.
Aside from the good performances, THE GOONIES had a great team behind it. Director Richard Donner had already directed SUPERMAN at this point and followed THE GOONIES with LETHAL WEAPON, so he knows how to deal with different audiences and complex characters. Chris Columbus co-wrote the screenplay and Columbus went on to write several films and direct the first two Harry Potter films. But the biggest reason for the film’s success has to fall to Steven Spielberg, who continued his streak of producing classic films in the 80’s (BACK TO THE FUTURE, GREMLINS to name a few).
I can’t count how many times I’ve seen THE GOONIES, but it had been a while between viewings as I sat down to watch this Blu-ray. Although expecting it to lose some of its shimmer, I found myself just as involved with their exploits as I was 20 years ago. The Blu-ray set comes loaded with special features and a handful of extra goodies that make the film even more enjoyable.
Video (1080p High Definition 16×9 2,4:1): This is an old film and it shows, but it still looks pretty decent.
Audio (Dolby TrueHD 5.1): Crisp and clear dialogue and there is no competition with the music which is refreshing.
Behind the Story-Commentary with Director Richard Donner and all seven actors: This seemed more like a reunion as opposed to a commentary. Lots of laughing, goofiness and pauses. I think these guys might be seeing this for the first time since they made it. If you are looking for technical information or special stories you won’t find it here. If you really liked these characters then this might be for you.
Hidden Treasures: These are video commentaries from the actors that pop-up at various times throughout the film.
The Making of the Goonies (6:48): This is an old making of featurette and is a real blast from the past. We get some interviews from Steven Spielberg, behind the scenes shots and the obligatory movie clips. This was fun to watch just because it’s so old and really there are some good clips and quotes in here. Worth a watch, especially since it’s so short.
Deleted Scenes (): If you were a fan of the film then these are fun to watch but it was good they were cut to keep the pace.
Music Video: The Goonies “R” Good Enough by Cyndi Lauper
The Ultimate Collectors Edition also includes:
- A booklet explaining the complete story from the film
- Steven Spielberg Presents-which is a reprint of a 2009 article with updates on the cast and crew of the film
- Storyboard prints
- 25th anniversary edition board game