Fair warning: this is likely the only GeekDad home video review to focus almost exclusively on content not included on the movie disc. That being said, this modern re-skinning of 80s classic The Goonies looks beautiful for the most part, though the dimly lit environments, antiquated effects and overall grimy visual style of the film don’t always benefit from Blu-ray-level scrutiny. Still, if you have a system that can take full advantage of this cleaned up transfer and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound, you’ve got the recipe for an experience that far surpasses your original theater viewing (not to mention the grainy VHS/cable TV broadcast version that most of us grew up on) with regard to overall quality.
The Blu-ray also comes equipped with a nice selection of supplementary material. Commentary by Richard Donner and the cast isn’t exactly a surprising feature, but it’s certainly satisfying. The same can be said for the inclusion of the theatrical trailer, deleted scenes and making of featurette. My own favorite amenity was the bonus video for Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough,” though your opinion may differ depending on your individual tolerance for New Wave pop and gratuitous professional wrestler cameos.
The biggest selling point of this 25th Anniversary Edition, however, is the tangible pack-ins – a fine selection of retro goodies sure to please the hardcore Goonie in all of us. Included within this set’s exquisite packaging is an appropriately grainy but no less enjoyable reprint of the film’s original 1985 souvenir magazine. This is aptly supplemented by a reprint of Empire Magazine‘s 2009 retrospective article complete with contemporary photos and cast member updates. Even more interesting is the selection of ten movie storyboard reproductions, half of which contain information on deleted or amended scenes. However, these all pale in comparison to the set’s true treasure – a special Goonies-themed board game.
The bulk of the box set’s real estate is devoted to this game, and immediately upon cracking open the shrink wrap you are taken by its diminutive size. Still, if The Goonies taught us anything it’s that size doesn’t always matter, and I’m happy to report that this is the case here. Though the board itself is only about half the size of your average game, it’s actually a brilliantly colored fold-up printed on super sturdy laminated stock that appears perfectly capable of standing up to multiple years’ worth of play sessions. The same can be said for the game’s Move Cards which, while not quite as brawny as most CCG cards, are thick enough to get the job done.
Gameplay is fairly simple and properly reflects the spirit of the source materials – players take the role of one of five Goonies (Mikey, Data, Mouth, Chunk or Andy) and use a three-card hand in an attempt to escape One-Eyed Willy’s cave. Players disarm traps to collect Gold Doubloons, and the first to reach the “Escape” square with three such Doubloons wins the game. The process is complicated by a trio of tricky Skull Spaces (only one of which contains the necessary key) that must be passed to reach the exit. This is balanced out by a fun selection of Special Move Cards that allow players to switch places with or steal gold from opponents. While certainly not the most engaging board game experience in movie fandom, it does manage to channel the proper amount of nostalgia and charm in a small but effective package.
The Goonies 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray will set you back around $35 at Amazon, and it’s money well spent for any true fan of the original film. The bundled magazines and storyboards help to sweeten the deal on top of the high quality transfer that is the disc itself, but the board game makes it a veritable must-buy. No Truffle Shuffle required.
WIRED: superb audio and video quality with a nice selection of bonus materials, interesting magazine reproductions, storyboards make for great collectibles, board game is quite enjoyable
TIRED: needs more Martha Plimpton, Baby Ruth not included
Review materials provided by Warner Home Video