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Blu-ray Review
Blu-ray Disc review by Bill Hunt, Editor of The Digital Bits

The Goonies: 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition (Blu-ray Disc)

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The Goonies: 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition
1985 (2010) - Warner Bros.
Released on Blu-ray on November 2nd, 2010
Previously released on DVD
The Goonies Blu-ray also available from

Dolby TrueHD

Film Rating: B-
Video: 16.5
Audio: 16.5
Extras: C+

If you were between the ages of 8 and 15 when Richard Donner's The Goonies was released back in 1985, this is probably a film you remember very fondly. If you fall outside of that age range, however, the film probably barely registered for you. For a variety of reasons, this story of a group of poor kids who find an old pirate map and launch a last-ditch treasure hunt to save their coastal Oregon homes from foreclosure, falls just a little short of the intended mark.

You have to admire the filmmakers for attempting to elevate The Goonies above the usual hormone-fueled, teen-angsty fare of the time, but the young cast (which includes Josh Brolin, Sean Astin and Corey Feldman) just wasn't quite up to the challenge of the snappy, more adult style of witty banter they're asked to perform. Still, the film is cute and does certainly have its charms.

Warner's high-def presentation is good - nothing outstanding, but probably about as good as you can reasonably expect and arguably better than the film has ever looked before on disc. Colors are accurate, with nice texture and good detail. Blacks occasionally look crushed and a little gray, but only occasionally. You'll also notice a little anamorphic lens distortion and softness around the edges of the frame from time to time. All in all, it's a solid presentation. Audio is the expected 5.1 Dolby TrueHD lossless. Dialogue is clear, and sound effects and music are well balanced. It's a flatter, more front-heavy mix typical of films of this vintage, with the surround channels used mostly for light atmosphere and really only kicking in for occasional sound effects - flashes of lightening and the like. As with the video, the audio has been given a solid, if not exactly outstanding, upgrade.

In terms of extras, Warner's Blu-ray is basically a direct port of the previous DVD release from 2001. There's nothing new here, and only the film has been updated in HD. You get about 6 minutes of deleted scenes, a vintage 6-minute featurette, the cast and crew commentary with occasional video pop-ups, a trailer and the Cyndi Lauper music video. So what's new here? All of the effort for this new 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition has been spent in creating paper products to include in the packaging. You get a surprisingly-elaborate, embossed box, reproductions of the film's 1985 souvenir magazine and the 2009 Empire retrospective magazine article, a set of 10 storyboard cards and even a board game for the kids - Escape from One-Eyed Willy's Cave. The magazines and storyboards are nice, but the game is really only going to appeal to kids. Problem is, I don't know how much appeal the film even has with today's kids. In any case, I'd have preferred at least a couple of new disc-based features. The swag content is really for diehard fans only.

When watching The Goonies again after all these years, don't be surprised if it's not quite as good as you might have remembered. Still, the film has more than enough clever and genuine moments to make for an enjoyable afternoon's viewing. Unless you're a super-fan, though, the newly-added paper goods in this box just don't justify the cost that, say, new disc-based features might have. So if you decide to upgrade, look for a really great sale price or wait for the cheaper (and inevitable), disc-only version.

Bill Hunt
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