83. The Goonies

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Movie: The Goonies

Release Date: June 7, 1985

Director: Richard Donner

Starring: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Ke Huy Quan.

Tag Lines: “They call themselves “The Goonies.” The secret caves. The old lighthouse. The lost map. The treacherous traps. The hidden treasure. And Sloth… Join the adventure.”

“The pirates map, the villainous crooks, the underground caverns, the booby traps, the skeletons, the monster, the lost treasure, and the magic that is… THE GOONIES!”

“It’s excitement all the way as Steven Spielberg and Richard Donner, the makers of ‘Indiana Jones’, ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Superman’, combine forces to create the Family Adventure of the year!”

Relevance: As mentioned on this blog once before (see 196. Girls Just Want to Have Fun), I was a big fan of Cyndi Lauper as a kid (still am as an adult). For an eighth grade English assignment, I wrote about her in a composition aptly named “She’s So Unusual,” after her first solo album. I had to read it out loud in class and was mocked and bullied for it, but I didn’t care. I loved that album and it constantly played on my boom box for months. In 1985, right around the time I was graduating from grade school, she released a song and video called “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough.” Since it was her first new music since her 1983 debut album, I was hooked.

Cyndi Lauper premiered the video for “Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” on MTV sometime in late May of 1985. Actually, it was just Part 1 of the video. Directed by Richard Donner, the video was a huge production to market the movie, ‘The Goonies,’ that was to be released in the coming weeks. Like the movie, it was an action adventure romp with a lot of Cyndi Lauper silliness thrown in for good measure. Part 1 ended as a cliffhanger and Part 2 was released around the time the movie was released in theaters on June 7, 1985. The song was a catchy pop song that played quite a bit on radio that summer, eventually becoming a top ten hit on the Billboard charts in the United States. The soundtrack contained another Cyndi Lauper song, “What a Thrill,” as well as songs from REO Speedwagon, Luther Vandross and a then unknown group called The Bangles. I was just thrilled with new music from Ms. Lauper.

‘The Goonies’ (the movie) was released to positive reviews from critics and instantly became a box office hit, eventually becoming the ninth highest grossing film of 1985. With Cyndi Lauper’s song, the exciting trailer as well as already being a fan of Steven Spielberg, who produced the film, it was a no brainer that I wanted to see it big time. So one afternoon in June, while my cousins were visiting from New Jersey, my Uncle took us to see a matinee. With a big bucket of popcorn and a smile on my face, I was thrilled to finally be getting the chance to see ‘The Goonies.’

I loved the movie instantly. From the misfit group of kids to the action adventure storyline to Cyndi Lauper’s music (and a brief “video” cameo), the movie was everything I wanted it to be. As a fourteen year old kid, I was on the edge of my seat with a smile on my face the entire time it was playing. It was so much fun and completely entertaining as well as a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon. I left the theater in complete glee and sang “Good Enough” the entire way home.

When ‘The Goonies’ was available to rent, I did just that so that the rest of my family could watch the film. I wanted them to see the movie, but more so I wanted to see it again. It became one of my family’s favorite films and when it played on HBO, we watched it over and over again. We eventually owned the VHS and it became a part of our movie collection. As I got older, I never forgot the joy that the film brought me and I eventually bought it on DVD. Every time I want to feel like a kid again, I watch it and relive all of its nostalgic glory.

Today’s Thoughts: “Goonies never say die!”

Watching ‘The Goonies’ again today did make me feel like a kid and for almost two hours I forgot all about my adultlike problems. That is one of the magical things about cinema, it allows you to escape into other worlds and forget about life for awhile. Not only did ‘The Goonies’ do that for me, it also allowed me to reminisce about my youth.

Richard Donner and Steven Spielberg really did create a wonderful joyride for both kids and adults. It is still a very enjoyable movie to watch. Despite some of the effects being dated, I am talking to you Mr. Pirate Ship sailing away at the end, it remains a silly fun adventure to surrender a couple hours of your life to. The cast, especially those lovable “goonies,” is absolutely perfect. Each character is quirky and have their own special moment in the film. If I had to choose, Sloth is definitely my favorite, but I do enjoy everyone, even the Fratelli’s, those criminals you love to hate.

‘The Goonies’ is a wonderful family adventure that entertained millions in the 1980’s and even more today as the film remains as popular as ever. With Pops and T-shirts and stuffed animals still flooding the market, its popularity has lasted generations. I am sure my great grandkids will at least know about the film and maybe even the Truffle Shuffle. That’s not so shabby for a group full of misfits.

Awards: National Film Registry (2017).

Ways to Watch: YouTube, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Amazon Prime, DVD Availability.

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