• Goonies, The – 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition

    Released by: Warner Brothers

    Released on: November 2, 2010.
    Director: Richard Donner

    Cast: Jonathan Ke Quan, Corey Feldman, Sean Astin, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Jeff Cohen, Josh Brolin, John Matuszak, Robert Davi, Joe Pantoliano, Anne Ramsey
    Year: 1985
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    The Movie:

    One of the most beloved ‘kid’s movies’ of the eighties, The Goonies tells the story of two brothers, Mike (Sean Austin) and Brand (Josh Brolin), who learn that their family home is going to be bulldozed so that a golf club can be built on the land. Completely bummed out by this proposition, they talk to their friends - Chunk (Jeff Cohen), Mouth (Corey Feldman), Andy (Kerri Green), Stef (Martha Plimpton), and Data (Jonathan Ke Quan) - and figure that if they can come up with a good amount of money they might be able to stop this from happening in the first place. Shortly after they come up with this idea, they come across an old treasure map in the attic that supposedly shows where a pirate named One Eyed Willie buried his treasure long ago.

    Unsure if the map is the real deal or not, the boys figure they have nothing to lose by trying so the whole gang heads out to explore only to wind up on the wrong side of a family of mobsters (lead by Joe Pantoliano, Anne Ramsey and Robert Davi) named the Fratelli’s and their disfigured brother Sloth (John Matuszak) who force the kids to take them through some underground caverns in search of the treasure.

    Say what you will about this movie, but it’s really just a whole lot of fun. Maybe you had to be there when it broke in 1985 and maybe you had to be the right age at the time to really appreciate it but for many of us who grew up around that time, this film will always be a special one. It’s got a great sense of adventure to it and such a fantastic energy that it’s hard not to have a good time with it. Sure, you can pick apart the performances and plot holes easily enough, as you can with most films, particularly those geared for a younger audience, but the cast all generally do quite well with the material. Our young heroes are ambiguously noble while the villains completely hissworthy stereotypes through and through. We’re not talking about rich character development or enthralling back stories, instead we’re given just enough to let us sympathize with the kids and dislike the bad guys, which in turn gets us rooting for the kids to pull off their plan by the time the movie ends.

    Shot in and around the small coastal towns of Astoria and Cannon Beach, Oregon, (in addition to some California locations) the movie features some great production values. The house featured in the film has plenty of the interesting character that is common to that area while the underground caverns and caves used in the picture lend themselves well to the film’s sense of old school adventure. Elements of old pulp magazines and serials work their way into Spielberg’s script while Donner’s direction is tight and professional throughout. It’s all set to a really effective score the highlights the action and accentuates the more emotional moments the kids go through, while the classy cinematography ensures that the movie always looks great and retains a certain style throughout.

    A great mix of humor and adventure, the film moves at a good pace and keeps it going throughout. Yes, it’s full of clichés, incredibly predictable and as such not particularly suspenseful, but it’s fun. It’s well made and a strong kids film that’s aged well and still provides plenty of entertainment value from start to finish.


    Warner’s 2.40.1 AVC encoded 1080p high definition widescreen transfer of The Goonies looks pretty good and appears to be identical to the UK Blu-ray release from last year. There’s some mild print damage here and there and some scenes look a little bit softer than others but this definitely blows away the standard definition DVD that was available. Contrast looks dead on and detail is pretty strong, especially in close up shots. Some mild edge enhancement is there in a few scenes and sometimes the grain can make things look a little noisy, but overall The Goonies is in fine shape here and its fan base should be pleased.

    The best audio track on this release is the English language Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix, though alternate tracks are supplied in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and Stereo in English, French Stereo and Spanish Mono with subtitles provided in English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Korean, and Traditional Chinese. The TrueHD mix is the one to go for, however, as it’s got a fair bit more power behind it and it sounds considerably cleaner and more natural than the standard definition mixes are able to. Surround activity is plentiful, though not quite constant, while the levels remain balanced throughout. Bass response is good, there are no problems with hiss or distortion to note, and the score sounds great. This beats the standard definition audio mix in every conceivable way.

    Actors Jonathan Ke Quan, Corey Feldman, Sean Astin, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Jeff Cohen, and Josh Brolin join director Richard Donner for a great commentary track that’s done with a good sense of humor that makes it a blast to listen to without getting too carried away. It hits that nice mix of information and amusement as the group discuss the making of the film, the casting, their characters, their interactions with one another and other cast and crew members during the production and more. Complimenting this commentary is a Hidden Treasure track, which, when enabled, allows a pop up to appear on the screen which will deliver some interesting trivia about the movie as it plays out. Warner has also included a seven minute featurette entitled The Making Of The Goonies that features some cast and crew interviews.

    Rounding out the extras are the film’s original theatrical trailer, seven minutes of deleted scenes, a video for Cindy Lauper’s Gonnies R Good Enough track, animated menus and chapter stops. Aside from the Hidden Treasure track, all of the extras on this disc are in standard definition.

    If that weren’t enough, inside the heavy cardboard box that houses the disc are some other interesting items – namely, a full color souvenir magazine reproduction loaded with stills and articles about the film, a nifty Goonies board game, an article from Steven Spielberg on the film, and an envelope containing ten storyboard prints. It’s a nice touch that rounds out the extras with some class and style.

    The Final Word:

    A movie that remains as much fun now as it was when it was first released in the mid-eighties, The
    Goonies – 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition is a pretty solid release through and through, offering up the film in the best condition it’s ever seen on home video and throwing in some pretty solid extras too. Good stuff!