As far as movie pedigrees go, they donít
come any more impressive than that of The Goonies. Featuring an
original story conceived by Steven Spielberg, a screenplay by Chris
Columbus, who would later go on to helm Home Alone and
Harry Potter and the Philosopherís Stone, and the directorial
talents of Richard Donner (Superman, Lethal Weapon), the
film was warmly, if not rapturously, received upon initial release in
1985. It also helped launch the careers of several of its burgeoning
stars, amongst them Corey Haim, Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings),
Josh Brolin and Martha Plimpton (Parenthood, Raising Hope).
The film, as every child of the 80s knows,
revolves around a group of kids who, while rummaging around in an attic,
stumble upon a wizened newspaper clipping, an ancient doubloon and what
appears to be the treasure map of infamous pirate One-Eyed Willy.
Intending to solve his parentís financial woes, Mikey (Astin), after
much persuading, leads his friends on a thrilling quest for the
forgotten riches. Complicating matters are the attentions of local
crime family the Fratellis, who quickly get wind of the plan; the
meddling of Mikeyís older brother (Brolin) and a series of terrifying
booby traps, dead ends and complications that lay between The Goonies
and their treasure.
The Goonies is one of the freshest,
funniest and most durable of the 1980s adventure films. It still proves
a rollicking and gratifying viewing experience after all these years,
and its madcap characters offer as much outlandish excitement as ever.
For those of us who grew up watching battered VHS copies, this Blu-ray
release and the DVD edition which preceded it are most welcome.
Audio & Video
The Goonies got a decent transfer
onto DVD in 2001, and itís debatable whether the Blu-ray edition offers
a massive improvement in picture quality. Though the image features
good clarity overall the print still shows its age in places, appearing
a little soft at times. Colours are also ever so slightly muted. It
looks good, but weíd be hard-pressed to say it looks amazing, especially
by the standards of what Disney and other studios are pumping out onto
Blu these days. The remastered Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack is robust,
but the DVD also featured 5.1 audio, and once again there really isnít
too much of a difference between the two.
All the extras on the present BD edition
have been recycled from the decade-old DVD release of the film, and all
are standard definition. Thereís the audio commentary recorded by
Donner and the principal cast mates back in 2001, and the option to view
it as a video commentary, with footage of the recording session
interwoven with shots from the film. Also rehashed are Cyndi Lauperís
music video for The Goonies R Good Enough and two Deleted Scenes,
listed on the box cover as Outtakes. Lastly thereís a 7-minute Making
Of. Filmed in 1985, nothing has been done in the way of restoration in
the intervening 25 years and the featurette is grainy, extremely soft
and riddled with artefacts. Itís a bit of a disappointing haul,
considering thereís nothing here that canít be viewed on the DVD release
in the exact same picture quality. The only Blu-ray exclusive is a
plump Collectorís Booklet, which contains over 150 photos, artwork,
exclusive interviews and various insights into the production. Itís a
nice touch, but a couple more BD exclusives wouldnít have gone astray.
The Collectorís edition is also housed in a great looking cardboard
case, oversized to allow for the 64-page booklet.