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The Goonies

The Goonies on DVD

Richard Donner directs this swashbuckling adventure that could almost be a tribute to the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew books.

A group of kids, who are about to lose their houses so a country club can be built, discover a treasure map with a legend attached to it (not the type of legend on most maps!), and are whisked off onto a grand adventure.

Unfortunately, where there are good guys there must be bad guys, and here the Fratelli trio are also seeking the treasure and will stop at virtually nothing to get it. Along the road to the treasure, the expect chaos breaks out, friendships get stronger, and a politically correct lesson in tolerance is meted out when the buddies meet a misunderstood creature.

The characters are likable and the kids turn in good performances - and of course (since this is a Steven Spielberg production) the production design and production values are first rate. Richard Donner's direction, not surprisingly for the man who brought us "Superman," "Ladyhawke," "The Omen," and the "Lethal Weapon" series, is magnificent.

The DVD is a very good example of the species, and should please Goonies fans. The picture has been mastered in anamorphic widescreen, 16x9 TV compatible, and the video quality is very, very good. In fact, if you've only seen this movie on Pan&Scan VHS, you're in for a treat. The extra stuff you can see with the widescreen image almost makes this feel as if it's a different movie from its older video release, and that's sure to enhance your enjoyment. There are a few imperfections on the film that make their way through, but nothing major.

The audio, which has been remastered into Dolby Digital 5.1, is excellent overall and they've made very good use of the surround channels. The sound is very directional (which is good!) with surrounds that really envelope you with effects and music. And considering the fact that this film was made before Dolby Digital was available to theaters, there's enough good, rumbling bass to keep fans of room-shaking audio happy.
The extras are really good, too. Not only do you get several deleted scenes (including the supposedly famous 'octopus' scene), you also get the Cyndi Lauper "Goonies R Good Enough" music video (which guest-starred the cast and many more people and things).

Even better, is a video-based director's commentary. This is really neat. At times during the film, you can actually see director Donner and the film's stars at a long table, chatting about the picture and their experiences on it, with the main feature in an onscreen window. It's really neat! The rest of the time, when they aren't on screen, the movie continues normally with the commentary restricted to the audio tracks.

Other extras are more conventional, but no less welcome. For instance, there are outtakes, a behind the scenes "making of" documentary, and the trailer.

In all, a terrific DVD experience.

The Goonies, from Warner Home Video
114 min. anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Jonathan Ke Quan
Produced by Richard Donner and Harvey Bernhard
Written by Chris Columbus, Directed by Richard Donner


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Updated May 13, 2006