Two warnings about the new, quarter-century anniversary Blu-ray set of “The Goonies“:
1. It will make you feel really old.
2. That damn Cyndi Lauper tie-in song will lodge in your brain for hours, if not days.
The Steven Spielberg-produced, Chris Columbus-penned, Richard Donner-directed spectacle holds up as a goofy, old-fashioned, just-for-fun adventure. And its home-foreclosure subplot unfortunately probably rings more true today than it did in 1985. On the eve of losing their house, Mikey (Sean Astin) and big brother Brand (Josh Brolin) enlist Mikey’s fellow misfit “Goonies” — snarky Mouth (Corey Feldman), nerd Data (Ke Huy Quan) and fat Chunk (Jeff Cohen) — on a hunt for rumored secret treasure, left somewhere in the coastal town by legendary pirate One-Eyed Willie (!).
If they can find the gold, they can save their abode. And it actually exists, but our Goonies run afoul of the Fratellis, a family of fugitives. This leads to a movie-long chase through secret passages and underground tunnels, all cleverly booby-trapped by the pirate, who obviously took a few cues from Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” a year earlier.
While this is not a film that depends upon or asks for strong performances, all the kids have a natural charm that keeps viewers’ disbelief firmly suspended. It’s hard not to have fun with it, although it is a half-hour too long. It’s amazing how many of its sequences I remembered after only one viewing in its initial release; what I didn’t recall was how many times the PG-13 feature uses the word “shit,” not to mention a joke about “sexual torture devices.” It didn’t bother me, because it’s not done out of a spirit of menace, but some parents may wince.
The Blu-ray includes a video commentary by Donner and the kids that’s a joy, if only to see how they look and interact today. The deleted scenes include the much-discussed octopus attack — rightly excised (the sea creature dances), but interesting to see. Other extras include a short, muddy production vignette and the aforementioned Lauper video, whose 12-minute, two-part nature was once all the rage on MTV. (Even with the passage of time, I still find myself perplexed by Capt. Lou Albano’s facial rubber bands.)
But wait! There’s more! With a couple inches to spare in the package, Warner Home Video throws in an envelope of storyboard cards; a reprint of the “Goonies” reunion article from the UK movie mag Empire from five years ago; a small-scale, full-color reproduction of a “Goonies” souvenir magazine that I actually bought from Pratt’s Grocery in the summer of ’85; and, last but not least, a fold-out board game.
While that’s a nice touch, it’s more than likely your kids would rather re-watch the movie. To quote Ms. Lauper, what’s good enough for you is good enough for me. —Rod Lott