Tino

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it was not well-reviewed.
THE GOONIES
Critics Consensus
The Goonies is an energetic, sometimes noisy mix of Spielbergian sentiment and funhouse tricks that will appeal to kids and nostalgic adults alike.

76%
TOMATOMETER
Total Count: 58
91%
AUDIENCE SCORE
User Ratings: 579,481
 

Ejanss

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THE GOONIES
Critics Consensus
The Goonies is an energetic, sometimes noisy mix of Spielbergian sentiment and funhouse tricks that will appeal to kids and nostalgic adults alike.
RottenTomatoes, being only a recent creation of the late-90's/early-00's, tends to mix nostalgic video reviews in with vintage press critics (which are harder to dig up nowadays).

In Goonies' case, you can practically draw an age line between the new nostalgia/video reviews, and the historical-witness reviews--
Like Roger Ebert's, for example:
During "Goonies", I was often exhilarated by what was happening. Afterward, I was less enthusiastic. The movie is totally manipulative, which would be okay, except it doesn't have the lift of a film like E.T. It has the high energy without the sweetness. It uses what it knows about kids to churn them up, while E.T. gave them things to think about, the values to enjoy.

(See, back in those days, we used Poltergeist as a template, still associated Chris Columbus' name with "Gremlins", and thought Spielberg secretly "directed" everything that had his name on it, like "Batteries Not Included" or "Young Sherlock Holmes". We know better today.)

Which, TBF, is more fair than Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader saying that Richard Donner "turned the kids into shrieking ferrets for two hours".
 
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Tino

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RottenTomatoes, being only a recent creation of the late-90's/early-00's, tends to mix nostalgic video reviews in with vintage press critics (which are harder to dig up nowadays).

In Goonies' case, you can practically draw an age line between the new nostalgia/video reviews, and the historical-witness reviews--
Like Roger Ebert's, for example:
During "Goonies", I was often exhilarated by what was happening. Afterward, I was less enthusiastic. The movie is totally manipulative, which would be okay, except it doesn't have the lift of a film like E.T. It has the high energy without the sweetness. It uses what it knows about kids to churn them up, while E.T. gave them things to think about, the values to enjoy.

(See, back in those days, we used Poltergeist as a template, still associated Chris Columbus' name with "Gremlins", and thought Spielberg secretly "directed" everything that had his name on it, like "Batteries Not Included" or "Young Sherlock Holmes". We know better today.)

Which, TBF, is more fair than Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader saying that Richard Donner "turned the kids into shrieking ferrets for two hours".
I could just as easily pull positive reviews from its release. Like this one from Richard Corliss of The NY Times.

“Which is only to say that The Goonies is as hip, sassy and innocent as its seven teenage heroes. In the Spielberg tradition, each youngster uses his or her ordinary strengths to forge, and then save, a community of lost souls. Wise-Guy Mouth (Corey Feldman) translates the Spanish on an old map; Data (Ke Huy-Quan) gets out of scrapes with his Rube Goldberg gadgets; pretty Andy (Kerri Green) plays the Death Organ; Stef (Martha Plimpton) socks a crone on the jaw; Chunk (Jeff B. Cohen) finds an unlikely friend who loves junk food as much as he does; athletic Brand (Josh Brolin) muscles his way through calamity; and his little brother Mikey (Sean Astin), a dreamy hypochondriac, goads his fellow Goonies toward their rendezvous with a storybook pirate. The Goonies is like a clubhouse where every Boy's Life adventure comes true. And on the door hangs a sign: ADULTS KEEP OUT”


In the end of course it comes down to different strokes which is fine. I loved it in 1985 (as a 22 year old) and love it now. Others don’t. It’s all just opinions anyway.

The 4K transfer looks and sounds great by the way. A big improvement over the BD.
 
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Tino

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Like Roger Ebert's, for example:
During "Goonies", I was often exhilarated by what was happening. Afterward, I was less enthusiastic. The movie is totally manipulative, which would be okay, except it doesn't have the lift of a film like E.T. It has the high energy without the sweetness. It uses what it knows about kids to churn them up, while E.T. gave them things to think about, the values to enjoy.
Here’s Roger Ebert’s full 3 star review of The Goonies which is much more positive than suggested.
 

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I would have been the prime audience for this film at the time, and while I enjoyed the film and saw it a couple of times in the theater, I wouldn't say I really loved it. I'm not sure I've watched it from start to finish in years. I catch a few minutes here and there when it's on cable.

I was much more stoked about Temple of Doom and Gremlins around that time.
 

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Are you saying it would have been more coherently written/directed, or less shrill and gratingly unfunny, if I was personally under 16?

Or are you just implying that kids who were at the time, or since then on video, liked it because they didn't know any better?
As that would rather fall into line with my judgment.
Yeah, the latter. :)

I agree with what you said about the film feeling like it was not only written for obnoxious 12-years-olds but by obnoxious 12-years-olds as well. As an adult, I find it almost unbearably shrill. However, the movie really does capture the anarchy, chaos, and strident cacophony of how a gaggle of obnoxious 12-years-olds behave with considerable precision, which is why kids ate it up at the time and still have nostalgia for it today. My wife likes the movie way more than I do and was very excited to introduce it to our own boys.

That certainly doesn't make it a good movie, but something that hits its target audience so directly can't be entirely written off either.
 
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Tino

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By the way Indians Jones And The Temple Of Doom and Gremlins came out in 1984, a year before Goonies. ‘84 and ‘85 were great years for summer movies.
 

Colin Jacobson

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By the way Indians Jones And The Temple Of Doom and Gremlins came out in 1984, a year before Goonies. ‘84 and ‘85 were great years for summer movies.
Can't argue there, though I'd heavily give 1984 the nod. Summer 1984 movies I still like a lot:

"Ghostbusters"
"Temple of Doom"
"Gremlins"
"Star Trek III" (not great "Trek" but enjoyable)
"Karate Kid"

And some I liked then but don't hold up for me now ("Bachelor Party", "Purple Rain", "Revenge of the Nerds")

Summer 1985 was weaker, with only 2 movies I still really like:

"Back to the Future"
"Pee-wee's Big Adventure"

Also had "Fright Night" and "Real Genius", movies I liked at the time but haven't seen for years...
 
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Ebert also gave thumbs-down to THE THING and most of the best 80's genre films. Lovely man, awful critic. I remember every single audience for all of those 80's summer of films. I've never seen an audience react as they did to GREMLINS or RAIDERS or TOD or BTTF. I was the TARGET for THE GOONIES. I cut class thinking I was one. The movie was bad on a number of levels and none of my friends raved or cared about this film whereas TOD, THE TERMINATOR or even REVENGE OF THE NERDS were playground topics. I totally understand the 80's nostalgia around THE GOONIES. I feel it too even though it was a wake-up call to Spielberg's worst impulse and influence that would devolve with YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES and BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED. But I'm sure THE GOONIES will outlive all of us.
 

Ejanss

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I was much more stoked about Temple of Doom and Gremlins around that time.
I remember, by the later 80's, there was this nostalgic El-Dorado search for "When is somebody going to bring back the old-fashioned Errol Flynn pirate swashbuckler?" (They'd tried also in the 70's, so it had nothing to do with Linda Ronstadt or Kevin Kline.)
There was Graham Chapman's "Yellowbeard", there was Roman Polanski's "Pirates", nobody remembers a young John Hughes' "Nate & Hayes", and later, of course, we had "Cutthroat Island". And then we started talking about a "pirate curse".

The Goonies had some bit of neato anticipation (at least as soon as we found out that "Goonies" were not some other weird critter Chris Columbus thought up after gremlins), since Spielberg had said this was "his version" of Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride...Boy, wouldn't THAT make a cool movie someday? :lol:

I agree with what you said about the film feeling like it was not only written for obnoxious 12-years-olds but by obnoxious 12-years-olds as well. As an adult, I find it almost unbearably shrill. However, the movie really does capture the anarchy, chaos, and strident cacophony of how a gaggle of obnoxious 12-years-olds behave with considerable precision, which is why kids ate it up at the time and still have nostalgia for it today.
That certainly doesn't make it a good movie, but something that hits its target audience so directly can't be entirely written off either.
Although nowadays, for 80's nostalgists, "Stand By Me" gets credit for distilling and capturing the Obnoxious Years with more affection and less shrill. I'll take cherry-flavored Pez over Truffle Shuffles, any day.
 

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Although nowadays, for 80's nostalgists, "Stand By Me" gets credit for distilling and capturing the Obnoxious Years with more affection and less shrill. I'll take cherry-flavored Pez over Truffle Shuffles, any day.
Again, I don't disagree. However, Stand by Me is a movie about childhood made for adults looking back at their youth, whereas The Goonies is a movie made for kids. These are two very different things.
 
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Stephen_J_H

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I like The Goonies just fine, and Stand By Me, as others have suggested is very clearly looking at childhood through a nostalgic lens rather than the more immediate childishness of the "Goonies". In a similar vein to The Goonies, and scrappier, is The Monster Squad, but I don't need a 4K release of that either.
 
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Well there goes all your credibility. ;)
Movies like THE THING and BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA and EVIL DEAD and so many others could have used a critic's help. Ebert loved the awful THE GOLDEN CHILD and told people not to see the lovely BTILC. As an aware geek in the 80's, I knew Siskel and Ebert were hurting a lot of films now considered classic. Facts.
 

Tino

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Movies like THE THING and BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA and EVIL DEAD and so many others could have used a critic's help. Ebert loved the awful THE GOLDEN CHILD and told people not to see the lovely BTILC. As an aware geek in the 80's, I knew Siskel and Ebert were hurting a lot of films now considered classic. Facts.
So you think he’s an awful critic because you didn’t agree with his opinions? Seriously? Not facts.. just another opinion.
 

MatthewA

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Except in the case of Stand By Me, it took Norman Lear’s money to finish it instead of Steven Spielberg, which is how Columbia ended up with it since they released it before they sold the film division of Embassy to Dino DeLaurentis. And there was already a novella by Stephen King. There was no underlying literary IP in this case that I am aware of.

To this day, I don’t know how I managed to be the only child of the 80s who stayed neutral on the whole Goonies thing. Maybe that’s because I hadn’t seen it since I was five and at a friend’s house, and even then it was the pan-and-scan-edited-for-TV version from NBC, so that counts for not a lot.
 
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David Norman

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Movies like THE THING and BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA and EVIL DEAD and so many others could have used a critic's help. Ebert loved the awful THE GOLDEN CHILD and told people not to see the lovely BTILC. As an aware geek in the 80's, I knew Siskel and Ebert were hurting a lot of films now considered classic. Facts.
But helping a film isn't really a real critic's job, that's a shill's job though many 'critic's' are far more the latter than former.
Ebert was one of the first Real Man's critics I remember seeing and hearing -- he didn't automatically dismiss a film just because it wasn't Citizen Kane or designed to be High Art. Sometimes a fun film was just a fun film. Siskel always felt more like the stereotypical critic to me though he had his film types he just liked.

Ebert and esp the TV shows did a lot to popularized the Film Critic's job and introduced a lot of films to a lot of people my age. Films I would never have even heard of being (way) outside NYC, LA I got the first taste with Eberts introductions. Ebert to me told people it was more than OK to like Pee Wee Herman, 3 Stooges, Keaton, Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, DeNiro, Kubrick, French, Swedish and Australian films.
 
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