Release: 9th November 2015
Format: BR / DGTL
When two brothers find out they might lose their house they are desperate to find a way to keep their home. They find a treasure map and bring some friends along to find it. They are all out looking for the “X” and trying to get away from a group of bad guys who also want the treasure.
The year has been a big one for birthdays. Disney’s Pinocchio reached the ripe old age of 75. The grandfather of modern cinema – Birth of a Nation – is now 100. Guys and Dolls, The Seven Year Itch, and Rebel Without a Cause; are all now in their 60th year. Jaws hit the big 4-0, as did One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. There is Seven, Toy Story, The Breakfast Club, Back to the Future; the list goes on. All iconic films, each sharing a special birthday. Among the group is possibly one of the greatest family films of all time; The Goonies.
Nothing new can be said about Richard Donner’s blisteringly nostalgic adventure. Yes it is dated, and yes the archetypes grate a little with adult sensibilities. But even now, at 30 years old, The Goonies is one of the most enjoyable film’s cinema has to offer. It’s witty and moves at breakneck pace without ever really going anywhere. Boil the film down to its core and you have a group of kids who follow a map and find a cave. It’s the ideal Saturday for every pre-teen. It is a film so simple; the odds of its genius are mind blowing. With its subversive take on dreary suburbia and the frustrated escapist tendencies of youth, The Goonies is an ever relatable tale that feels like Golden Era cinema. Donner’s film has a wonderful script (thanks Chris Columbus), feels like Indiana Jones (Nick McLean’s cinematography is lovely stuff), and the chemistry of the main cast is like lightning in a bottle. However, the true magic has always, and still does, come from Michael Riva’s production design. What an amazing set experience The Goonies must have been.
The Goonies speaks for kids everywhere. Before an age where emulation was everything, and hero worship meant acting way beyond your years; being a kid was about finding yourself and exploring the sandbox of your town. Being a kid once felt like the world started when you woke up and ended when you went to sleep, that Geography didn’t span far beyond the immediate area. Whatever decade of the 20th Century you grew up in, The Goonies still represents that exciting part of your childhood where anything was possible. The humour and action still play perfectly, and the film looks very handsome in high-definition. I can think of no better way to celebrate 2015.
Film Grade: A
First of, the actual packaging for this release is an unusual little beast. It opens from the top like a pack of cards, and feels like it is begging to be torn or bent. Which is a shame, because the original raised artwork on the front is fresh and appealing.
Inside you have the blu-ray itself, and a Souvenir Magazine which is a re-print of an original publication. The magazine is clearly aimed at a youth audience, and at times the print is hard to read. But it functions as a nice little making-of, that offers far more input in to the film than the actual Making Of featured on the disc. Plus you get to see some absolutely hilarious mid-air poses of the cast.
Also inside the packaging is an Empire Article that was featured in the Spielberg guest edited issue some years back. The article is a reunion of all the major cast, and is still a great read even if you have seen it before. Then comes a collection of Storyboards that give insight into key moments from the film and some never-before-seen scenes. These are more for the superfan that the casual viewer, but then again, with The Goonies there is no such thing as a casual viewer.
On the disc, along with the previously mentioned making of, is Cyndi Lauper’s Music Video for the film; always fun to watch. A Theatrical Trailer and some Deleted Scenes. The deleted scenes are nothing new if you own the DVD or previously released blu-ray. In fact, the disc itself has nothing new to add; as this IS the previously released blu-ray.
Then there are the Commentaries. The video commentary and audio commentary are one and the same, but they are great fun, and are like a walk down memory lane. But you can’t help but feel like it’d be best served as a retrospective video.
Special Features Grade: B
For such a special occasion, the film could have easily had a remaster or at the very least a commemorative documentary. Still, never look a gift horse in the mouth; the old-new magazines and recently unleashed storyboards might just be enough to warrant the purchase.