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A band of young boys find a treasure map and embark on a magical adventure.
For more about The Goonies and The Goonies Blu-ray release, see The Goonies Blu-ray Review
Starring: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, John Matuszak
Director: Richard Donner
» See full cast & crew
The Goonies Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, November 6, 2010
Richard Donner's "The Goonies" (1985) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Warner Brothers. The supplemental features on the disc include an audio commentary with director Richard Donner, actors Jonathan Ke Quan, Corey Feldman, Sean Astin, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Jeff Cohen, and Josh Brolin; standard making of featurette from 1985; deleted scenes; Cindi Lauper's classic video "The Goonies R Good Enough"; and the film's original theatrical trailer. This Ultimate Collector's Edition release also arrives with a massive illustrated souvenir magazine; reprint of an original article from 2009, guest-edited by Steven Spielberg; ten collectible storyboard prints housed in a large envelope; and an exclusive board game. In English, with optional English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Korean, and Traditional Chinese subtitles for the main feature. Region-Free.
Mikey (Sean Astin, Where the Day Takes You) and Brand (Josh Brolin, Hollow Man) are told that their house will be demolished and a brand new country club erected in its place. The boys share the terrible news with their best friends, Chunk (Jeff Cohen) and Mouth (Corey Feldman, Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever), who suggest that they find something valuable, sell it, and help their parents keep the house.
While playing in the attic, the boys, who have nicknamed themselves Goonies, discover an old map supposedly pinpointing the exact location of notorious pirate One Eyed Willie's hidden treasure. They are not entirely sure the map is real but decide to give fate a chance and see if there really is a treasure waiting to be uncovered.
The Goonies end up at an abandoned restaurant, which has become a hideout for a family of Italian crooks (Robert Davi, Anne Ramsey, Joe Pantoliano, John Matuszak). Before kids can leave, however, the crooks appear, forcing them to enter a tunnel leading to an underground cavern.
I should probably say it upfront so that, if needed, you could ignore the rest of my review: I am not a very big fan of The Goonies. I've seen it a number of times and I think that it is a fairly entertaining film, but nowhere near as great as some people insist. There, I said it. Now you can stop reading and go do something productive. But before you go, you've got to give me some credit for being honest with you.
Now, if you are still reading, allow me to tell you what I like and what I dislike about The Goonies.
I like its energy. Once the Goonies embark on their journey, the action is relentless. There is always something happening, and for the most part the humor is mixed very well with the action. I also like the fact that there is a good dose of vulgarity in the film. I think that it is well justified because when kids are not around their parents they like to use certain words that make them feel older.
What I don't like about The Goonies is how annoyingly glossy and cliched it is. Everything in it is well measured, too sweet. In most great adventure films something goes terribly wrong, there is an element of surprise, yet in The Goonies everything is predetermined. It is too comforting and not as unpredictable as a great kid's film should be.
Only a year after the The Goonies was released, Rob Reiner directed the marvelous Stand By Me (1986), a wonderful film about a group of friends on the road to adulthood. Unlike the boys in The Goonies, the gang in Stand By Me was slightly older and wiser. Their adventure was also slightly darker, slightly more real. Reiner's film also had a heart, soul, and poetic beauty that made me dream and admire its characters. The Goonies never ever made me feel the same way.
Note: In 1986, The Goonies was honored with Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress (Anne Ramsey) by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. The film also won Young Artist Award for Best Starring Performance by a Young Actor - Motion Picture (Sean Astin).
The Goonies Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, encoded with VC-1 and granted a 1080p transfer, Richard Donner's The Goonies arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Warner Brothers.
This is a fairly good high-definition transfer, and one that appears to be practically identical to the high-definition transfer Warner Brothers used for their UK Blu-ray release of The Goonies. Generally speaking, fine object detail is mostly pleasing, clarity adequate, and contrast levels consistent throughout the entire film. The color-scheme does not disappoint either - with a few minor exceptions, blues, yellows, greens, browns, and blacks look natural. However, as it was the case with the UK transfer, this 'new' transfer also looks somewhat soft - there are many traces of sporadic mild to moderate filtering. Still, a good dose of healthy grain has been retained, but a lot of it is also mixed with noise. Additionally, edge-enhancement is not a serious issue of concern, but occasionally it is rather easy to spot. There are no serious stability issues either. Lastly, I did not see any annoying cuts, warps, large marks, or stains, to report in this review. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location).
The Goonies Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are five audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 2.0, and Spanish Dolby Digital Mono. For the record, Warner Brothers have provided optional English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Korean, and Traditional Chinese subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, they split the image frame and the black bar below it.
The English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is solid. The bass is potent and punchy, the rear channels very intelligently used, and the high-frequencies not overdone. The dialog is crisp, clean, stable, and very easy to follow. There are no balance issues with Dave Grusin's music score either. Indeed, as I noted in my review of the UK Blu-ray release, the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is arguably the biggest reason why one would want to pick up this Blu-ray release - the gap in quality between previous R1 SDVD release of The Goonies and this Blu-ray release, with its Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track, is substantial.
The Goonies Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Commentary - in this hilarious commentary director Richard Donner, actors Jonathan Ke Quan (Data), Corey Feldman (Mouth), Sean Astin (Mikey), Kerri Green (Andy), Martha Plimpton (Stef), Jeff Cohen (Chunk), and Josh Brolin (Brand) recall their work on The Goonies, how specific scenes were shot, etc. In English, with optional English SDH, French, Dutch, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles.
Hidden Treasures - a pop-up video version (the director and cast occasionally show up in a small box in the right corner of the screen) of the audio commentary (114 min, 1080p).
The Making of The Goonies - a standard featurette, produced in 1985, in which Richard Donner and Steven Spielberg address the production process. Raw footage from the shooting of the film is also included. In English, with optional English SDH, French, Dutch, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles. (7 min, 480/60i).
Deleted Scenes - a collection of deleted scenes. In English, with optional English SDH, French, Dutch, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles. (7 min, 480/60i).
Music Video - Cindi Lauper's classic video "The Goonies R Good Enough". (13 min, 480/60i).
Trailer - the original theatrical trailer for The Goonies. (3 min, 480/60i).
Booklet - a massive illustrated souvenir magazine (with 150 photos and art) telling the complete movie story.
Steven Spielberg Presents... - a reprint of an original article from 2009, guest-edited by Steven Spielberg, which contains updates on the cast of The Goonies, as well as producer Steven Spielberg and director Richard Donner.
Storyboard Prints - ten collectible storyboard prints housed in a large envelope.
Board Game - an exclusive 25th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition board game.
The Goonies Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I know that there are some people who dislike these deluxe Blu-ray releases Warner Brothers produces, but I like them. Casablanca, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Wizard of Oz, and especially Gone with the Wind look fantastic. The Goonies is not an exception - the 25th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray release looks terrific. I know, however, that these are difficult times for a lot of people, which is why I believe that a standard Blu-ray release should have been made available as well. But I know that one will eventually appear. So, depending on how much you like The Goonies, you must decide which one you want in your library. RECOMMENDED.
The Goonies: Other Editions
The Goonies Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Amazon Blu-ray Deal of the Week: The Goonies: 25th Anniversary Ed... - September 11, 2011
Amazon's Blu-ray Deal of the Week has The Goonies: 25th Anniversary Edition on sale for $17.49, or 50% off the $34.98 SRP. The Richard Donner adventure film stars Sean Astin, Josh Brolin and Corey Feldman. The offer is valid until September 17th.
• The Goonies (Disc Only Edition) Blu-ray - August 7, 2011
Warner Bros. has plans to release a standard, movie only edition of their beloved adventure comedy The Goonies. The release will omit all of the collectible items packaged on the 25th Anniversary box set and retail for $14.98. A release date of October 18th has ...
• The Goonies UCE Blu-ray Announced - June 7, 2010
The eagerly-awaited 1985 adventure movie The Goonies will finally be released on November 2 in a 25th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray, with a wealth of memorabilia, including a new board game, collectible storyboard prints, a 1985 souvenir magazine ...
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