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Blu-ray Reviews


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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted November 02 2010 - 12:26 PM

The Goonies
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Studio: Warner Home Video
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-ray "ECO-BOX" and extras in a heavy cardboard case
Year: 1985
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1:54:00
MSRP: $49.99

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.

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   robbbb1138


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Posted November 02 2010 - 12:49 PM

Wal-Mart tends to have unannounced versions of these releases that are disc-only.  Has anyone checked there for Goonies yet?

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted November 03 2010 - 03:40 AM

Thanks fror the review Cameron.  I freely admit that I fall into "the film is immune to such criticism" catagory.  I really enjoy it.  Shhh just between us I enjoy the music video too.  I feel like I have been transported back into the 80s when I watch that!

Originally Posted by robbbb1138 

Wal-Mart tends to have unannounced versions of these releases that are disc-only.  Has anyone checked there for Goonies yet?

Amazon UK has had it for several months in a disc only package that is a lot cheaper. Its the same disc and is region free.

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted November 03 2010 - 06:26 AM

Maybe we'll get a reasonable disc-only release when my son is old enough to really appreciate the movie.
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#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted November 04 2010 - 04:03 AM

As a kid who actually grew up in the "real" Goondocks (the east mooring basin area of Astoria, in fact you can see my old house in a long shot), this movie is so full of rediculous inaccuracies and scientific errors that its quite humorous watching with some of my friends. That said... its still pretty fun and our town's "Citizen Kane" due to its historical importance as well as the simple fact its actually GOOD.

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   cafink



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Posted November 04 2010 - 04:30 AM

A character in this movie saves himself from a deadly fall by launching from his belt a pair of chattering plastic teeth attached to a long spring.  I don't think they were going for "scientific accuracy."


#7 of 11 OFFLINE   urbo73


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Posted November 04 2010 - 04:02 PM

Originally Posted by cafink 

A character in this movie saves himself from a deadly fall by launching from his belt a pair of chattering plastic teeth attached to a long spring.  I don't think they were going for "scientific accuracy."

LOL - I think this needs to be tried on MythBusters!

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Michael Allred

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Posted November 05 2010 - 09:20 PM

Originally Posted by robbbb1138 

Wal-Mart tends to have unannounced versions of these releases that are disc-only.  Has anyone checked there for Goonies yet?

I hope there is a disc only release because there's NO WAY I'm paying $45 for a bunch of extra shit I don't want/need.

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Xenia Stathakopoulou

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Posted November 06 2010 - 01:04 AM

According to another forum, the single disc release will be in January. But why wait,  when the Uk blu ray is dirt cheap right now ?  Ive had it for ages, its region free cause its Warner.
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#10 of 11 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool



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Posted November 06 2010 - 12:34 PM

Originally Posted by Xenia Stathakopoulou 

According to another forum, the single disc release will be in January. But why wait,  when the Uk blu ray is dirt cheap right now ?  Ive had it for ages, its region free cause its Warner.

I concur.  I just recently ordered my copy (along w/ a bunch of other titles) from Amazon UK.  If you order a few titles together, the price reduction from VAT adjustment basically offsets the relatively high cost of shipping from UK to the USA.  Right now, the 1-disc version (w/ IMHO less tacky looking, non-spoilerized, "original" cover art) can be had from Amazon UK for ~$14US or so.  That's a no-brainer for any Goonies fan me thinks...

And thanks, Cameron, for the fine review...


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#11 of 11 OFFLINE   AaronMK


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Posted November 07 2010 - 09:41 AM

Even if you are only ordering The Goonies from the UK, you'll still save a lot over the "Anniversary" edition, and probably pay about the same as what you would pay for a single disc edition when released here.  (Coming up as $19.33 all inclusive.)  Unless you have some special love of the FBI warning, there is no reason not to go this route. And you get that warm fuzzy feeling of giving Warner US the finger when it comes this expensive cardboard or nothing BS.

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