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(25th Anniversary Edition)

THE GOONIES ($50) is probably one of the best "kid’s movies" ever produced, which is why it has a strong following of fans that will be glad that this minor classic will be celebrating its twenty fifth anniversary on Blu-ray. Upon my first viewing the film, I could understand why this Richard Donner / Steven Spielberg collaboration has accumulated such a large following. In a nutshell, THE GOONIES is a whole heck of a lot of fun- it’s filled with thrills and chills, plus a good deal of slapstick humor that will appeal to the kids of every age.

The plot of THE GOONIES revolves around a group of young friends, dubbed The Goonies, that are being forced to move out of their Oceanside neighborhood by a money grubbing developer, who wants to use the land to cater to an upscale clientele. However, before The Goonies leave their homes for good, they set off on one final adventure. Armed with a map that they believe shows the location of a hidden pirate treasure, The Goonies go in search of the gold in an effort to save their homes. Unfortunately, not only do our young heroes have to deal with deadly booby traps left by the pirates in the caves beneath the town, The Goonies also have to square off against a family of desperate bank robbers, who also want to get their hands on the treasure. The engaging cast of THE GOONIES features Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Ke Huy Quan, John Matuszak, Robert Davi, Joe Pantoliano and Anne Ramsey.

Warner Home Video has made THE GOONIES available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. The 1080p presentation is very pleasing, and allows the film to much look better here than it has in any preceding home video release. THE GOONIES appears sharper, more dimensional and better defined, thanks to the film being offered in high definition. The mid-1980’s film stocks produce a good level fine detail, but they can sometimes fall short of modern stocks. Also this being a 1980’s era production, there is something of a penchant for the use of smoke and diffusion, which does soften the image in places. Colors can be rather vivid, but never appear over-saturated and produce attractive looking flesh tones. Hues are rendered with excellent stability and better range that they do in standard def. The blacks are usually quite deep and the whites are just fine. Contrast is smooth. Shadow detail is sometimes a bit limited by original production factors, but still holds up relatively well. The elements from which THE GOONIES has been mastered appear quite clean. Mild grain is ever present, and can get a bit heavier in places, but helps maintain the film-like quality of the presentation.

THE GOONIES is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. Considering that this soundtrack originated in the Dolby Surround era, the lossless audio is really quite good. This being something of an adventure movie, the sound design is reasonably active, with the outlying channels being effectively utilized for sound effects placement during key moments. However, the surrounds aren’t as active as a newer film, so the presentation comes across as more front loaded than modern tracks. The lossless encode enhances Dave Grusin’s music, as well as the sound effects. Additionally, bass channel is fairly potent, which will give one’s subwoofer the opportunity to shake up the listening environment from time to time. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. English and French Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo surround soundtracks, along with a Spanish monaural track have also been encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as, as well as the supplemental materials, which have been ported over from the earlier DVD release. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Richard Donner along with the seven actors that portrayed The Goonies. The commentary also features a Hidden Video Treasures version, which, during the course of the track, the movie drops down into a small window, giving the viewer a chance to see the actors and the director talk about the film. While the commentary is highly entertaining and will appeal to fans of the film, it is very light on technical details of how the movie was made. Also included is a short, but entertaining, The Making Of The Goonies Featurette that was produced for the film’s release back in 1985. A Music Video for Cyndi Lauper’s song Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough is also provided. The video is a hoot to watch because it is so absolutely goofy and utterly cheesy- see if you can name all the old wrestlers that make appearances in the video. Closing out the supplements are the three Deleted Scenes, plus a Theatrical Trailer. THE GOONIES comes packaged in a heavy duty cardboard box that contains a Souvenir Magazine Reproduction, Empire Magazine 20th Anniversary Reunion Re-Print, Storyboard Cards and a 25th Anniversary Board Game.

After twenty-five years, THE GOONIES remains a delightful comic adventure that will appeal to kids of every age. The Blu-ray presentation is really good and worthy of an upgrade. Recommended.


The Goonies (25th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray] (1985)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2010 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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