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The Goonies
3 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Richard Donner

Written By:
Chris Columbus, Steven Spielberg

Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Martha Plimpton, John Matuszak, Robert Davi, Anne Ramsey, Mary Ellen Trainor, Jonathan Ke Quan, Kerri Green, Joe Pantoliano, Jeff Cohen, Lupe Ontiveros, Curtis Hanson, Keith Walker

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The Goonies (1985)
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Movie Review by Ryan Midnight
November 25th, 2006

On the weekend before their homes are about to be foreclosed and torn down to make a golf course, a small band of outcast twelve year olds - the heroic leader Mikey (Sean Astin), the wiseass Mouth (Corey Feldman), the invention-obsessed Data (Ke Huy Quan) and comedian Chunk (Jeff Cohen) - set out to find the town..s mythical treasure in order to save their homes. In tow with them is Mikey..s older brother Bran, and two teenage girls, Andy and Stef, who stumble into the mess early on. Fast on their trail though is the Fratelli Gang, but as the Goonies make their way through underground caverns and one booby-trap after another, the lost pirate gold and an answer to their dreams may just come true.

Even after twenty years, THE GOONIES is still a great adventure flick that will both stimulate the child that used to be in you and any kids that have come out of you, and has aged quite well both in effects and plot given the superior name power and production behind the film. The three big names behind the camera are executive producer Steven Speilberg, who also came up with the storyline, screenwriter Chris Columbus and producer/director Richard Donner. Among the star talent you'll discover Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Ke Huy Quan, Joe Pantoliano, and Anne Ramsey.

As a kid (hell, even as a teenager), I always found myself returning to THE GOONIES time and time again, to fulfill the insatiable wanderlust and "what if scenerios" that the story inspires. The fact that buried treasure could be right beneath your feet, and all you had to do was find a treasure map and set out with your friends to discover it was always uplifting. Add to that some great physical comedy, the multiple utterings of "sh*t" in a family movie, teen romance just waiting to be found, a heroic monster and dimwitted bad guys, and this is just about the best film a ten year old could ask for. Oh, and did I mention the f*ckin' pirate ship?! To paraphrase STAND BY ME, a movie and novel of a different sort of boyhood adventure, ..you never have friends quite like when you are twelve... This film, even through its fantastical adventure story, retains at its heart a message of friendship and the power that it holds.

Upon watching the film as an adult though, I noticed for the first time an entirely different sublevel to the story that I had never consciously seen, and through this I give even greater accolades to the Speilberg/Columbus/Donner trio. There is an almost unsettling childhood-vs-adulthood battle lying beneath almost every scene. Sure, the adult Fratelli Gang are after the kids, and the evil country club is about to knock down the Goonies' homes, and this is plainly seen in the events on screen. Beneath that though, is the corruption of innocence waiting to pounce, and the power, both good and bad, that adults have over kids.

Bran, the older brother of Mikey, is used as the intermediary throughout the film to express these points. It is Mikey's quest to find the treasure, but it is Bran's unknowing quest to retain his child wonder that serves as the basis for this examination. At the beginning of the film, Bran is accepted among Mikey and his three friends, even if he is a few years older. He has also failed his driver's test, a pivotal mark off adulthood, which forces him to ride a bike, the mode of transportation for kids. When their mother puts Bran in charge though, he becomes authority, and the four kids must escape him in order to go on their adventure.

After Bran catches up to them, he at first insists that they go home right away. It is only through Mikey..s persistent pleading, that Bran relents and becomes entranced by the possibility that the map may lead somewhere. He is then accepted once again into the arms of the group as they continue their subterranean mission. Bran continues to walk a thin line though, as he insists on using the ..men..s room.. instead of the ..little boy..s room.. during a bathroom break and takes on responsibility when he forces everyone to leave the cave when it begins to collapse instead of going after the treasure. It is during the last shot of the movie when he joins the four kids in cheering for the pirate ship as it floats away, that he succeeds in staving off adulthood, if only for a brief moment in time, and fully embraces what he has just experienced.

If only more adults would be able to do that...

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Nov 27, 2006 11:08 AM
Great review of a great film...

Nov 30, 2006 2:30 PM
Great review, I liked your original thoughts. A few months ago, my roommate and I discovered that our friend's wife had NEVER SEEN THE GOONIES!!!! Needless to say, we were at their apartment the next weekend with the DVD in hand. She liked it, of course, and now we can still be friends with her. :)
Ryan Midnight
Nov 30, 2006 4:01 PM
I'm glad your friend was shown the way.

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