The Goonies After Dark Review
By Bret Dorman
It’s no secret that I love movies. Sometimes I spend the entire day watching movies, whether it be a marathon at the theater or at home catching up on some commentaries. You might imagine as a child I had a troubled youth or some disease that prohibited me from going outside at all, but the truth is, I was a normal, active kid. In fact, over the summer, I would spend nearly every day at the playground at the Church on the end of our street with my friend Adam who lived on the same street as me.
I never considered myself too much of a daredevil. I started out on that playground like any kid would, carefully watching my step, playing within the structures, using my imagination to create a world around me. However, as I grew a bit older and more comfortable… the playground became more maneuverable. Tag was my favorite game to play because while most kids were stuck playing within the construct of the wooden towers, bridges, and giant tires, my friend Adam and I were jumping over, around, and through the playground. We were uncatchable. We were the best!
Like most things though. Everything comes to an end. I got a job which meant less time for playing. I moved away, which meant the playground was no longer just a simple walk down the street. And upon one visit home I discovered the playground was torn down, for whatever reason, which made me just for a second, feel a bit old and sad. If I had known the playground was even in danger of being demolished, I might have been able to go on some crazy adventure to save it… rounding up old friends and maybe meeting new ones. Because if there’s one thing The Goonies taught me, its that adventures are the best way to save things from my childhood.The Story: The Goonies are a group of rag tag kids who all live in the same area and act as a bunch of outcasts together. The ‘leader’ of the group Mikey (Sean Astin) finds a treasure map and due to his home being bought out, decides to rally the troops for one last adventure. Along the way they discover an booby-trap filled cave and are chased by a crime family. Also, there’s a crazy scary guy who turns out to be nice.
I was never a huge fan of The Goonies. It doesn’t hold that special place in my heart that most people seem to have for it. In fact, I think the first time I saw it was at my Aunt and Uncle’s house, which would make sense since they were the crazy goofy Aunt and Uncle, the kind of ‘characters’ that would seem to fit right in with The Goonies. Overall, its movies like The Goonies that have me asking are movies from our childhood really good movies? Or do we just like them a lot because we remember them so fondly? (Side note: My ‘childhood’ movie I struggle with the most is Short Circuit. While I genuinely believe its an underrated comedy that most people make fun of or think is ‘so bad its good’ I ask myself do I just love it because I watched it all the time as a kid?)Remembering my playground from my childhood, it would be nice to know its still there, but even if it were, would I ever use it? Most people remember The Goonies fondly, but do they really watch it? Would they like it today if they never saw it years ago? Everyone from the movie has either moved on to bigger and ‘better’ or dipped into obscurity. Like with Short Circuit, sometimes I wonder why people like the movie today. It’s hard to make fun of a movie like The Goonies which seems in on the joke and using certain elements as ‘charm.’ Some movie that may have seemed good we actually find out later are not so great (I bought Super Mario Bros. dirt cheap for the nostalgia factor but it turns out that movie is just bad regardless). The sure thing is that the midnight movie crowd will all be fans. All in on the joke. All having fun with the movie instead of at its expense. That’s the most important part of childhood classics.
The Goonies might seem a bit outdated now or most certainly tame to the youth of today, but there’s a certain wholesome charm that saturates the movie. Everyone wants to find pirate treasure. Everyone wants to be a hero. Everyone wants to be around friends. These are things both kids and adults can relate to and The Goonies is not great just because of these relate-able themes, but how relate-able we find the characters doing them. Mikey and Brandon fight and bicker. The Goonies themselves pick on each other. Everyone has a nickname. Small things like getting a driver’s license and a first kiss are the most important things in the world despite home troubles or life threatening dangers.Like with most things Spielberg-ian, The Goonies has a great sense of turning the tables and true discovery. Something as simple as an old map turns into a life threatening adventure. The perils of booby traps is rewarded with pirate treasure. The scary deformed mongoloid ends up teaming with the most picked on Goonie to become the last minute hero. Anything that seems fun and harmless turns into danger and anything that seems scary is usually met with great reward. Like with Poltergeist (the ultimate in the fun/harmless turning into malevolent destruction), the introduction of something that inspires curiosity can not simply be ignored. In real life we can talk ourselves out of anything. But in the movies, we have to say yes to everything…
Why You Must See It After Dark: The Call of Midnight is about as mundane as it gets for adults. Sure its not treasure map, but even the mundane can turn into something wonderful, like a showing of The Goonies. This weekend visit the newly renovated Mosaic area and discover the gem that is Angelika. Goonies never say die and neither do fans of fun, adventure, and film.