Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Movie Vault Review: The Goonies [1985]

Year Of Release: 1985
Directed By: Richard Donner
Written By: Chris Columbus, Steven Speilberg
Starring: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen, Jonathan Ke Quan, Anne Ramsey, John Matuszak, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton
Duration: 114 minutes
In A Nutshell:
Unless the families living in Astoria, Oregon can come up with a huge amount of money, they will lose their homes to land developers who plan to build a new country club. So when Mikey Walsh (played by Sean Astin) stumbles upon what seems to be a lost pirate map, he gambles to follow the trail in hope of discovering treasure that will help everyone stay in Astoria. He convinces the rest of his friends, which includes "Mouth", a troublemaking yapper (played by Corey Feldman), "Data", an intelligent gadgets-kid (played by Jonathan Ke Quan), and "Chunk", an overweight compulsive-liar (played by Jeff Cohen). Mikey's brother Brandon (played by Josh Brolin) tries to run after them, but he along with friends Andy (played by Kerri Green) and Steph (played by Martha Plimpton) ends up following along with the adventure. On the way to the treasure, they encounter upon a group of highly-wanted criminals, Mama Fratelli (played Anne Ramsey) and her three sons who are in hiding.
Thumbs Up:
+ Quintessential 80s blockbuster movie, a mash-up between the Indiana Jones films [1981-1989] and E.T [1982]
+ Heavy doses of fun, adventure, and comedy
+ Excellent dynamic rapport between the kids which makes for great banter and dialogue
Thumbs Down:
- I'm perhaps being hugely bias here, but I can't find anything that I don't like about the movie
Selected Quote:
"Don't you realize? The next time you see sky, it'll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it'll be in another school. Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now, they got to do what's right for them. Because it's their time. Their time! Up there! Down here, its our time. Its out time down here. That's all over the second we drive up Troy's bucket."

The Verdict Is In:
First off let me confess that this is an extremely biased review. I have a massive soft-spot for 80s movies like this one here along with others such as Back To The Future [1985], Ghostbusters [1984], Raiders Of The Lost Ark [1981], and Gremlins [1984]. Even The Empire Strikes Back [1980] and Return Of The Jedi [1983] belongs in the same category. These were the movies that help define my childhood. They were probably the films that ignited this burning passion and love affair I have with cinema. It did eventually put the label "geek" on me during my school days, but I don't regret a thing. So because of that I find it hard to judge this film solely from an adult's perspective. These films never fail to bring out the kid in me. Heck, read my review for Teen Wolf [1985] and you'll know that I even enjoyed that bad and campy movie.

The Goonies has Steven Spielberg's (here acting as a producer and creator of the story) signature stamp all over it. You get the feel of the Indiana Jones films [1981-1989] and E.T [1982] throughout the movie. It features everything a kid would want from their dream adventure. Pirate ships, treasures, booby-traps, wishing well, death-organ, waterfall tunnels, and plenty more. And you get to do this all in the company of your closest friends. The humour and banter is what your expect from real kids in a close group. They talk over each other instead of waiting for one person to finish like some films would try to portray.

I'd like to be able to say that an adult viewing this film for the first time would also enjoy it, but I can't really be sure. Everyone I know who has seen it, has saw it for the first time while still at a young age. And as mentioned above, my judgement as an adult is pretty much clouded. But I can tell you this. The movie has the ability, if you allow it, to evoke that joyful and fun experience that exists in your inner-child. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.
[Biased rating of...9 out 10


  1. ya allah ni antara fav movie aku!!! berpuluh kali agaknyer dah tgk
    fav scene still shuffle truffle! bwahahah

  2. aku baru sedar kor letak booby-traps...bwahahaha

  3. Mash up between Indiana Jones and ET? Whoa, looks like a great combo. Now I have a better picture of it, Thanks.

  4. @reza: shuffle truffle memang best...

    @andina: yup.. Indiana Jones and E.T... fun fact: Jonathan De Quan who plays "Data" in this movie also played Indy's side-kick in Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

  5. Hi Asrap, oh kamu orang Indo toh, bilang dong, kan bisa ngomong bahasa Indo aja di comment :) No I actually prefer English so my other readers can understand.

    I just read about this movie at Andina's blog, clearly tons of people love this movi. I think the one I remember most that have tons of kids also is 'Stand By Me.'

  6. @Ruth: bukan Indo, orang Malaysia... "Stand By Me" pon ok jugak, Corey Feldman is in both movies

  7. I agree there is no thumbs down for this movie. A perfect film for kids of all ages (even 30 year old ones like me!) I'm pretty sure they don't like them like this anymore.

  8. Pete... i"m glad I'm not the only one that feels this way!


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