Goonies never say die…but they do, apparently, yell “reissue” every once in awhile, and this Blu-ray package is the beautifully packaged proof. This box is as thick as a brick, and given that the movie is celebrating a special anniversary this year (it says so right there on the box!), it’s bound to contain a bunch of new stuff, right?
Well, yes and no. First, if you’ve somehow missed out on one of the cultiest popcorn flicks of the ’80s, a rundown of the plot:
Synopsis: A group of small-town Oregon kids, on the verge of losing their homes to a greedy developer, stumble across a map leading to a buried treasure that’s the stuff of local legend. With a trio of angry gangsters hot on their trail, and a series of pirate-made booby traps threatening to end their adventure at any moment, can they find the loot and save their neighborhood?Video: The Goonies arrives on Blu-ray with a new 2.4:1 remaster that outshines the 2001 DVD release, but as with pretty much everything else released during the era, you’ve got to temper your expectations going in. Overall, the picture is fine — suitably crisp and colorful, with heightened contrast and detail — but it struggles to maintain consistent tones (and in some cases, simple visibility) during darker scenes, and that’s a noticeable flaw in a movie that takes place largely underground. Still, this is the best the movie has ever looked. That doesn’t mean it’s worth swapping out your DVD…but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Audio: This is a swashbuckling adventure, and the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack has plenty of opportunities to send stuff zooming across your speakers. The remix has obviously been sweetened with modern ears, but that’s more of an observation than a complaint; movies like The Goonies are supposed to feel big, and this audio remaster, while curiously light on the lower frequencies, pumps it up.
Special Features: Here’s where the set falls down. The Goonies DVD included a pretty healthy selection of added content for an early release, so it stood to reason that Warners would give consumers even more extra stuff with the Blu-ray — but everything on the disc has simply been ported over. It’s puzzling, given the set’s lavish packaging, which includes an embossed box, clips from Empire Magazine’s 20th anniversary article on the movie, a reprinted souvenir magazine containing tons of photos and articles from the film’s original release, an envelope packed with glossy storyboards, and a board game (yes, you read that right). It’s all really cool, and it’ll be tempting for diehards, especially at the $35 Amazon’s selling it for now — but if you pre-ordered this when it was announced and you already own the DVD, some disappointment is understandable.
If you don’t own Goonies already — and you’ve got room for a hefty box on your shelf — though there’s nothing here that screams “25th anniversary,” you should be more or less content with the special features, which include a commentary track (including various bits of video trivia) hosted by director Richard Donner and the majority of the cast, a vintage making-of featurette, outtakes and deleted scenes (including the infamous killer octopus), trailers, and the full-length video for Cyndi Lauper’s “Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough.”
Bottom Line: It isn’t the lavish tribute that fans of the movie are probably expecting, or that packaging more or less promises, but there’s no denying The Goonies has made a big splash on Blu-ray with this set. It’s one of those releases that you hate yourself a little for buying twice, but gives you just enough to make it hard to resist — or, at this time of year, one of those releases that’ll make a perfect gift for the aging ’80s child in your life. Like Cyndi said, it’s good enough.