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The Goonies (DVD) Review
Brainchild of cinematic genius Steven Spielberg, The Goonies is a thrilling fantasy adventure film for younger audiences - although adults will find it enjoyable as well. Foreshadowing the success of the Harry Potter films, The Goonies involves a series of tests and obstacles that a group of young kids must overcome in order to save the day. In a lot of ways, the film is like an Indiana Jones for kids - produced in such a way that kids can envision or fantasize about being in just such a situation.
The film follows the exploits of a neighborhood group of kids who call themselves The Goonies. Upset that they will soon have to part ways because of the forced commercial development of their neighborhood, the kids are enjoying what they believe will be one of their last meetings together.
But while Mikey, Chunk, Mouth, and Data (the nicknames of the Goonies respectively) are exploring Mikey's attic, they find a treasure map hidden in the back of an old picture frame. Purportedly, the map leads to the long lost treasure of the famous pirate "One-Eyed" Willy. Banding together with Mikey's older brother Brandon and two neighborhood girls, Andy and Stef, the group sets out to uncover the pirate's vast riches and thus save their homes from the wrath of the wrecking ball.
But a small problem stands in their way. The treasure map's starting point rests underneath an old abandoned house used as a hideout by the notorious Fratelli crime family. Brothers Jake and Francis, coupled with their deformed yet gentle brother and mean Mama Fratelli, are quite an intimidating force. When the Goonies manage to uncover the entrance to the cave that harbors their treasure, Chunk is left behind. The Fratelli's viciously interrogate the boy in an effort to find out what happened to his friends. But it takes a freak accident (spilled water falling down the hole in the fireplace) before they find One-Eyed Willy's secret passage.
With the Fratelli family hot on their heals, the Goonies must pass through a series of mental and physical obstacles set up centuries before by pirates intent on keeping undesirables away from their precious bounty. Interspersed in the action is a number of clever and humorous one-liners that add to the overall audience enjoyment of the film.
In the end, the kids discover One-Eyed Willy's monstrous treasure. But can they stave off the greedy ambitions of the Fratelli family? Will they manage to save their neighborhood with the newfound treasure? You'll have to watch to find out, and trust me, this movie is a lot of fun.
Each of the stars contributes to the film in his own way. Chunk provides many moments of comic relief with his endless whining, and Data's constant deployment of quirky homemade inventions, although stretching the limits of reality, are a welcome addition to a fantasy adventure film tailored for a young audience.
With the introduction of The Goonies DVD, an entirely new generation can discover the thrill and wonder of this instant cinema classic. Given its wide range of appeal to audiences of all ages and the exciting quest for hidden treasure, The Goonies passes the test as a definite must-see film. If you haven't seen it, or even worse - if your children have been deprived of seeing it - then I highly recommend renting this one.
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