Release Date: November 2, 2010
Studio: Warner Home Video
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-ray "ECO-BOX" and extras in a heavy cardboard case
Running Time: 1:54:00
|THE FEATURE||SPECIAL FEATURES|
|Video||1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1||Standard definition|
|Audio||Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: English 5.1, English 2.0, French 2.0, Spanish 1.0||Stereo|
|Subtitles||English SDH, French, Dutch, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese||Variable|
The Feature: 3.5/5
With their neighborhood about to be taken over by a local land developer, a group of kids calling themselves "The Goonies" hopes to spend one final moment together before their families are forced to relocate. The day turns into an outright adventure, however, when they stumble on a treasure map leading to a legendary pirate's gold, hidden in caves in their quiet coastal town of Astoria, Oregon. Leading the way is sentimental Mikey (Sean Astin), his tough older brother Brand (Josh Brolin), the wisecracking Mouth (Corey Feldman), excitable and frequently famished Chunk (Jeff Cohen), hapless inventor Data (Ke-Huy Quan), and Brand's principled classmates Andy (Kerri Green) and Stef (Martha Plimpton). Though the cohort is less than convinced the treasure exists, a run in with a gang of fugitive criminals forces them into the caverns, turning the treasure map into their only escape plan. With the Fratelli Gang behind them and lethal pirate booby traps ahead of them, the Goonies' day together could indeed be their last!
It's amazing what childhood nostalgia will do for a film. In the case of "The Goonies" it makes a pretty mediocre movie into something many my age regard with great fondness. But if 30-something adults never saw the film as kids, they'll likely question the appeal. It's not that there aren't universally fun set pieces - namely the scenes in the underground waterfall and Chunk's exhaustive confession scene - but by and large "The Goonies" is a film for kids' tastes and sensibilities. For adults it simply runs too long, is paced rather haphazardly and has one too many contrivances designed for the sake of a joke or a plot point. But with 25 years of nostalgia fueling its enduring popularity, the film is immune to such criticism; anyone who would press the issue just comes off as over-serious or, worse yet, old. Far be it from me to put a damper on what many consider one of their favorite childhood films (or make myself seem old), so to those who benefited from seeing it when they were young, I hope you get as much enjoyment from it as an adult!
Video Quality: 4/5
The film is accurately framed at 2.40:1 and presented in 1080p with the VC-1 codec. Black levels are generally stable and inky in depth, though can be somewhat limited in more dimly lit scenes. This can affect apparent contrast, though overall it displays the full range of values with no transfer related issues with compression. Colors are nicely saturated, particularly in the opening scenes with the rich fall color and overcast Pacific Northwest light. Detail is respectable, with occasional moments of softness, though grain structure appears intact with no indications of misused noise reduction tools. Likewise overall sharpness looks crisp and film-like with no signs of excessive digital sharpening measures.
Audio Quality: 4/5
The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD mix is somewhat front-oriented, but the surround channels include consistent support for the film score as well as the occasional directional effect. The full array engages for the film's more action-oriented scenes and includes some surprisingly robust LFE. Detail in the upper ranges is also satisfyingly clear, and dialogue is consistently well-defined and intelligible. Overall I was surprised by the dynamic range and breadth of the track, expecting it to be a straightforward, front-heavy mix.
Special Features: 3/5
All the extras from the 2001 DVD release are on the Blu-ray, in addition to a few physical items in honor of the film's 25th anniversary. Though the pieces are somewhat interesting, most won't find them worth the added cost (and I suspect true collectors will already have the original souvenir publications, or at least prefer them).
Commentary by Director Richard Donner and the Cast: Recorded for the 2001 DVD release, the commentary is filled with anecdotes from production, but tends to be a lot to wade through because participants are often talking over each other. Still, it's an entertaining track from a group who have good rapport and fond memories of working with each other.
Hidden Treasures Video Commentary: With this option selected, the video will swap at times to footage of the commentary recording session. A somewhat novel approach to commentaries at the time it was made, the feature really only gives a snapshot of how the participants looked 10 years ago and doesn't add much to the track itself.
The Making of Goonies (6:49, SD): A vintage behind-the-scenes look at filming in Astoria, Oregon.
Deleted Scenes (6:53, SD): Four scenes, the most notable of which is the excised giant octopus attack.
"The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" Music Video by Cyndi Lauper (12:04, SD): Long form music video reminiscent of Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" includes everyone from professional wrestlers to members of "The Goonies" cast.
Theatrical Trailer (2:41, SD)
Souvenir Magazine Reproduction: Includes production and promotional photographs, actor and character bios and details about the production.
Empire Magazine 20th Anniversary Reunion Re-Print: Reproduced article about the 20th reunion of the cast and crew.
Storyboard Cards: Ten cards measuring about 4 x 6 inches shows various scenes in their original storyboard format.
25th Anniversary Board Game: Four-person board game with the goal of acquiring dubloons seems straightforward, but may be somewhat rudimentary in game play.
The Feature: 3/5
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 3/5
Overall Score (not an average): 3/5
Warner Home Video turns in a great audio and video presentation for a popular kids film from the 1980s. The on-disc extras are identical to those found on the 2001 DVD release, making the Blu-ray a respectable upgrade for those looking for an improved viewing experience. The physical items in the set, however, will prove to be a turn off for many, adding nothing much of value while increasing the overall price of the package. My recommendation for most is to hold off purchasing until the inevitable disc-only release.