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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Adventure > Fantasy > Teens > Goonies – 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (1985/Warner Blu-ray)

Goonies – 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (1985/Warner Blu-ray)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras:  C     Film: A



There are not many films that can easily define a generation, but Goonies does just that.  New to Warner Blu-ray is Goonies: 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition, with all the bells and whistles.  The first thing you will notice about this set is the massive size of the box.  The Goonies Blu-ray casing is about as thick as a dictionary to accommodate all the swag that is included.  This Collector’s Edition release is housed in a thick cardboard flip case with beautiful artwork.  Inside buyers will find the Blu-ray disc, promotional flyers, Goonies Official Collector’s Edition mini magazine with 150 Photos & Art to Tell the Movie Story, 10 story board cards, exclusive interview pamphlet, and a brand new Goonies Board Game.  Wow! That is a lot of stuff to treasure!  The problem is, however, whereas the Collector’s Edition is overloaded with peripheral material, the actual Blu-ray feature is not at its best; but more about that to come later.


As previously mentioned, Goonies is iconic; it defines a generation and is the classic film from many people’s childhoods.  It is a tale that is busting at the seams with creativity, mystery and PIRATES!  For those who don’t know, Goonies centers on a group of teens who set out on an adventure after discovering a pirate map and talisman in one of their attics.  Mickey (Sean Astin) is the one who pushes the hardest to follow the map; as he is fueled by a sense of adventure and wonderment.  He convinces his Goonie cohorts that this may be the one way they can save their neighborhood; as it is being foreclosed on to expand a country club.  So if nothing else the Goonies agree to set out on one final adventure together in the hopes of finding life changing riches and treasure.  The Goonies are made up of Mouth (Corey Feldman), Chunk (Jeff Cohen), Data (Ke Huy Quan of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), and of course Mickey.  After being taunted and tied up by Mickey and the gang, Mickey’s older brother Brand (Josh Brolin) is dragged into this pirate adventure, along with a couple of his girl friends Andy (Kerri Green) and Stef (Martha Plimpton).  Andy and Stef are the rich kids of the group (whose parents support the country club) and are unwittingly dragged along as Andy has a crush on Brand and Stef is her outspokenly, exhausted friend.


The Goonies follow the map to a shack that, unbeknownst to them, is the hideout for the family of criminals, the Fratellis.  The family matriarch and brains of the operation is Ma (Anne Ramsey of Throw Mama From The Train fame), who has just helped break her one son Jake (Robert Davi) out of prison.  The boys try to play it smooth, but soon make a break for it; heading deep into an underground cave, below the shack.  Unfortunately for the Goonies the Fratellis got wind that there was treasure to be had and quickly follow the troop into the cavern.  One Eyed Willie (simmer down) was the pirate that created the map, but what he also left behind was a series of booby traps.  So on their quest for riches and treasure the Goonies are faced with a variety of death defying traps, including collapsing floors, spikes, blades, and even one very menacing pipe organ.  So join the Goonies, the Fratellis, and yes even Sloth on the quest for One Eyed Willie’s treasure.


The script for Goonies is brilliant as it is simple.  The script by Chris Columbus and Steven Spielberg establishes a loose structure of archetypes and stereotypes to propel the story forward.  There is the bright eyed adventurer, the inventor, the fat/cowardly kid, the jock, the loud mouth, the fat kid, the babe; all of which add up to a crew of underdogs.  Outside of the action and adventure the story is simply one of good versus evil and against all odds, we know these kids are going to make.  Sure it is uncomplicated premise, but the delivery is flawless for this fast past 80’s flick.  Richard Donner (the film’s director) keeps the film moving as to not dwell on any subject for too long; otherwise viewers may start to question the scripts more absurd points.  The casts’ chemistry is overwhelmingly powerful as you can tell they all love the film and love each other; even giving the illusion that this treasure hunt could really happen.  It may be due heavily to The Goonies being such a huge part of my childhood, but I feel everything in the film is perfectly balanced.  It is one of those films (like Star Wars) that I can’t imagine anything changed; that extending from the cast to the smallest pebble, it all just seems too perfect.  As previously mentioned, this is a film that holds a special place in many peoples hearts and it is no wonder why it received such a ‘big box’ treatment here on Blu-ray.  Some may brush The Goonies off as a “kids movie,” but in reality the film is for any age and remains timeless.  After all, Goonies never say die.


Whereas there are a ton of goodies included in the box as mentioned above, the technical features are (sadly) disappointing.  The picture is presented in a 1080p, VC-1 encoded transfer that has its issues.  Whereas this is a vast improvement over previous VHS and DVD releases, the picture continues to have somewhat of a gritty quality though mostly clean.  The colors are vividly bright (especially the reds and greens) and flesh tones are well balanced.  I did find issue with the depth of the blacks, as they were borderline grey at times and not nearly as inky as they should have been.  For the most part shadow delineation was excellent, but a few scenes did remain overly dark; obscuring the scenery during darker sequences.   The audio is a cornucopia of choices as the viewer has the option of a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround tracks, a Dolby True HD, or a Dolby 2.0 Stereo.  I found the Dolby TrueHD (the rating at the top) to be the best, though by no means perfect.  The panning surrounds were mildly well done, though I found them to be unbalanced.  I also found the sound prioritization to be flakey as the dialogue was often times overshadowed by the atmospheric sounds, leaving dialogue muffled or distant.  I was expecting this to be the ultimate Goonies to own, but sadly the transfer still needs a great deal of work.  I know a lot of source material from films was damaged or lost in the 1980’s, but I can’t see this being the case with the insanely popular Goonies, especially with Spielberg involved.


The extras are pretty underwhelming and I fell all the extra stuff within the box is to account for the Blu-rays high cost and obscure the fact that it does not contain many bonus featurettes.  This all on top of the fact that there are NO new extras, instead all being ported over from the 2001 DVD.


Extras include the following:

  • Commentary track with Director Richard Donner and cast (from 2001)
    • There may have been no need to rerecord the commentary, since it was done in 2001 and what else could the crew say; but maybe they could have added Spielberg to the mix (though I realize he hardly ever does commentaries).
  • Hidden Treasures
  • The Making of ‘The Goonies’
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Cyndi Lauper Music Video for ‘The Goonies R Good Enough’
    • I would have liked to see Lauper do an commentary track for this video, as she is very open and probably has a lot of memories of this over the top music video
  • Film Trailer


This is a great film that withstand the test of time; continuing to deliver fantastic fun for generations to come.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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