I’ve been a huge fan of The Goonies since the first day it hit theaters back in 1985. If I remember correctly, I saw it at least three times in theaters. While I’m the first to admit that The Goonies will never be considered a great film, it’s a lot of fun that continues to entertain thirty-five years after its release. Having seen it countless times now, I’m thrilled The Goonies has finally made its way to 4K.
It’s a solemn Saturday on the seaward side of Astoria, Oregon (which is often referred to as the ‘Goondocks’). A real estate developer is set to foreclose on all of the homes in the area on the following day, sending many families packing. The looming date threatens to break up the Goonies, a group of friends, on the cusp of their teen years. They are: sheltered asthmatic protagonist Mikey (Sean Astin), Spanish-translating wiseass “Mouth” (Corey Feldman), fraidy-cat klutz “Chunk” (Jeff Cohen), and gadget-inventing Chinese boy “Data” (Jonathan Ke Quan). After finding a treasure map in the attic collection of Mikey’s museum curator father, the guys decide to set out on one final adventure together.
The guys end up at the restaurant of the very cranky Mama Fratelli (Anne Ramsey). They feel they need to get to the land underneath her restaurant. If the map is right, it will take them to the town’s elusive pirate treasure that was long ago written off as a legend. The gang is joined by Mikey’s older brother Brand (Josh Brolin), his potential girlfriend Andy (Kerri Green), and her friend Stef (Martha Plimpton). Chunk winds up in the custody of Mama Fratelli and her often bickering grown sons (Robert Davi and Joe Pantoliano). Chunk is placed in captivity with the third Fratelli brother, the frightening chained-up Sloth (John Matuszak). Meanwhile, the “Goonies” explore the caves, while avoiding various troublesome situations.
The greatest strength The Goonies has, is the combined imaginative force of Steven Spielberg (story), Chris Columbus (screenplay), and Richard Donner (Director). The film starts out a bit slowly, but it sets the scene for how these kids feel about losing their homes and being separated. As the film progresses and the adventure begins, the ‘real world’ quickly transforms into something we all might have imagined during our playtime as children. We are taken on an adventure that involves cartoonish villains, dangerous puzzles and swashbuckling action. Kids can easily lose themselves in the adventure, and adults, no matter how hardened by the trials of everyday life, are reminded of what it was like to be a kid. No matter what your age, there’s plenty of danger, fun, and laughs around every corner. The Goonies is one of those films that’s perfect for the whole family.
Presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, The Goonies is a solid if not stellar 4K UHD presentation. Sharpness was an issue, as parts of the film looked a bit soft at times. At other times though, the film seemed tight, distinctive and generally well defined. My guess is that The Goonies was l limited by a restricted depth of field, meaning anything not at the center of the image could be iffy. Beyond that, the film is light on grain, suggesting the use of DNR. Overall though, the image excels, there are no edge haloes, or other source flaws. Colors are rich and vibrant throughout. The palette has a decidedly naturalistic flavor and it’s rendered well. Black levels are deep and rich, while shadow detail appears solid.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack showed it’s age at times (this isn’t Dolby Atmos), but still provides a few opportunities to send things zooming across the screen. Dialogue is clean, clear and concise throughout.
English, French, Latin, Spanish, Dutch, Castilian, Italian, Korean, Czech, Romanian, Thai, and Chinese subtitles are included.
The 4K UHD disc comes with no extras, but the included Blu-ray copy sports a literal copy of the 2010 extras. Commentary (With Hidden Video Treasures) by Director Richard Donner and Select Cast Members – Most of the Goonies in the same room with Richard Donner discussing the film, and yes, it’s as fun as it sounds. The cast members were a bit older at the time of recording, so they spend a lot of time recalling the funny things that happened to them on set, as well as laughing at some of the dated special effects that appear throughout the film. The Hidden Video Treasures option allows some video pop-ups of the cast doing the commentary throughout the film as well. The Making of the Goonies Featurette – This is really more of a promotional piece than anything else and is only around 7 minutes in length. Instead of actually learning behind the scenes stuff, we’re being told about a film we’ve already been sold on seeing. Also included are some Outtakes, which show us three scenes that were left out of the film, as well as the Cyndi Lauper – The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough – Music Video and the Theatrical Trailer.
The Goonies (1985)
Movie title: The Goonies
Duration: 114 min
Director(s): Richard Donner
Actor(s): Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green , Martha Plimpton
Genre: Comedy, Family, Adventure, Mystery