The Goonies: 25th Anniversary Edition – DVD Review

It was much easier to be a kid 25 years ago when The Goonies was first released. Less access to cable TV meant less to do all day in your house, which meant more free time outside. More time to form neighborhood gangs of kids who would spend entire afternoons on bicycles roaming the streets and nearby areas. Parents were more trusting of the environment and allowed their children to freely play outside, just as long as they returned home when the street lights turned on. In 1985, before Steven Spielberg and Richard Donner coined the name, every kid was already a Goonie.

Mikey Walsh (Sean Astin) is the wimpy, asthmatic little brother to body-building Brand (Josh Brolin). Their middle class community faces demolition, a very sad situation that would break up their group of friends, The Goonies. In a final Goonie Adventure to save their homes, the gang sets out to find the treasure of local pirate legend One Eyed Willie. Along the way, they find themselves pursued by a family of criminals, they make friends with a giant “It,” and encounter many “booty” traps.

The Goonies is the ultimate culmination of everything successful in family movies in the ’80s. It is directed by Richard Donner (Superman), with a screenplay by Chris Columbus (Gremlins), and executive produced and based on a story by Steven Spielberg (E.T.). It also happens to star some of the best up and coming film stars at the time – Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings trilogy), Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men), Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys), Martha Plimpton (TV’s Raising Hope), Ke Huy Quan (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), and Jeff Cohen (who was amazing as Chunk, but went on to become a successful entertainment lawyer).

The film is full of those perfect moments that illustrate what it’s like being a kid. The wide-eyed child cast energetically embarks on this adventure of theirs that is carefully overseen by the crew, but the entire situation really feels like one that the kids would have come up with on their own. With the exception of the cynical Steff (Martha Plimpton) and the other two teens, who seem more interested in finding places to make out than anything else, the younger Goonies seem like they’re on a sugar rush through the entire movie.

The Goonies is such a beloved movie, quotes and scenes from it have become part of our vernacular. Who hasn’t yelled out, “Hey you guuyyys!” in Sloth style, shouted “Goonies never say die,” or quoted Mikey’s “It’s our time down here” speech? The movie doesn’t talk down to kids, it speaks to them like so few movies can. These kids run around without parental supervision, curse, make potty jokes, and are discovering the opposite sex. It’s the very stuff that few modern family movies will even attempt. The Goonies is one of the classic family movies, and will remain one of the classics for generations to come.

This release of The Goonies has a much better visual quality than I have ever seen. I have owned it on VHS and DVD, and this edition looks and sounds much clearer than ever. Perfect for that awesome, energetic score.

The Making of The Goonies – This featurette was filmed during the making of the movie in the ’80s, which makes it so much more exciting to watch. Richard Donner talks about how frustrating it was, “Working with this many kids, every night I’m contemplating suicide,” he says with a chuckle. He also talks about how the kids were banned from seeing the pirate ship until they came down the water shoots. A fact that is proven wrong by Corey Feldman during the commentary. (6:50)

Cyndi Lauper Music Video – “The Goonies R Good Enough” – This is less of a music video and more of a short film. Directed by Richard Donner, the video showcases Cyndi as she searches for pirate treasure in order to save a gas station from foreclosure. All of the Goonies make an appearance in the video (except Kerri Green), and there are several guest stars including the members of The Bangles, Andre the Giant, Captain Lou Albano, and Steven Spielberg. (12:06)

Theatrical Trailer – Boy, trailers have sure come a long way…

Commentary With Hidden Treasures – This awesome commentary was also included in the DVD version released in 2001. The “hidden treasures” are the grown up cast members, who are seen periodically throughout the commentary with the movie shown as a picture in picture. Involved with the commentary are: Ke Huy Quan, Corey Feldman, Sean Astin, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Jeff Cohen, Josh Brolin, and Richard Donner. There are so many highlights of this commentary, I highly recommend watching it. Personally, I love how the cast makes fun of their younger selves, particularly how often they say “C’mon guys!” and “Let’s go!”. They also point out how often they give “big eyes” to the camera, and they point out how often they curse. Corey Feldman also reveals to Richard Donner that he sneaked a peek at the pirate ship before they filmed the scene. Donner looked so disappointed, as this was something he was very proud of.

Outtakes – These are not bloopers, but deleted scenes. One shows a deleted scene inside a convenience store, another shows an extended scene outside of the restaurant. But the best one is the famed “octopus scene” at the end. Data even hints at this during the movie when The Goonies are explaining their adventures to the police. It’s a very short scene and it’s pretty obvious why it was cut from the final film, but it’s still cool to see. (6:55 total)

Other Extras with the 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition:

The Goonies Official Collector’s Edition Souvenir Magazine – This is a reproduction of a magazine released in 1985 with the film that has a behind the scenes account of the entire movie, cast bios, pictures, and interviews.

The Goonies Storyboards – These notecards are packaged in a nice Goonies envelope, and show set design drawings. There could have been more of them though.

The Goonies Board Game – This board game comes in its own packaging, reminiscent of old computer games. It is for 2-4 players, recommended for ages 14 and up. But my children, ages 8 and 10, had no problems playing the game. You can choose from one of the Goonies characters and must draw cards to move your player across the board. The first one to successfully beat the booby traps and escape, wins. We played it twice and had a great time with it.

In this 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition, Goonies‘ fans are treated to their very own copy of The Goonies Official Collector’s Edition Magazine, some spiffy storyboard notecards, and a very fun Goonies board game. What they won’t get is some new juicy features, except for a new Making Of featurette. Casual fans probably already own The Goonies on DVD, and that version will remain just fine to own. For super fans or those who want to upgrade to the new DVD or Blu-ray release, the 25th Anniversary Edition is made for you. The shiny new packaging is a great addition to any collection, just don’t expect too much in the way of extra features.

Warner Home Video presents The Goonies: 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition. Directed by: Richard Donner. Starring: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Anne Ramsey, Martha Plimpton. Written by: Steven Spielberg, Chris Columbus. Running time: 114 minutes Rating: PG. Released on DVD and Blu-ray: November 2, 2010.

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