So I fall victim to that feeling of ironically not doing something. I find it amusing when people are surprised that I haven’t seen [insert pop culture thing]. I begin to lean into it and start adding to the list when they start asking, and I get to chuckle at my oh so ironic enjoyment of not seeing things.
Those people actually drive me crazy, and when I realized I was turning into that person I wanted to strive to not be.
Here’s the thing: I’m not actively avoiding these things. A lot of them just never attracted my attention when I was young. And a lot of them still don’t, but I want to take my writing (even) more seriously, and to do that I need to inundate myself with media and learn to take what is useful and discard the rest.
As an adult the reason I don’t rush out to see these movies, and read those books, is money. Well the other day I was at the store and noticed a blu-ray version of The Goonies for less than $10. Boom.
The Goonies is a movie following a squad of kids known as The Goonies. Each kid has a different personality and gimmick, and you are introduced to all of them in the first ten minutes—in fact, all in one sequence.
The plot is about the children’s adventure to find a lost pirate treasure, which they can use to save the families house before it’s foreclosed upon. The main kid, Mikey, is the son of a museum curator and has a bunch of strange curiosities in the attic. One such curio: a map to a “One-Eyed Willys” long lost pirate treasure. Map in hand, the Goonies head off for one last adventure before they all have to move away from each other.
Standing in their way are the Fratellis, a criminal family that recently broke one of their own out of prison. They own an old, abandoned restaurant that acts as their hideout, and just so happens to be where the old map is leading the Goonies.
Shenanigans ensue and the Goonies make their way under Astoria, following the trail of One-Eyed Willy’s treasure. The Fratellis are hot in pursuit, seeking to seize the treasure for themselves.
The ending is as straightforward as you expect. They all find the treasure, but neither side successfully makes off with it. But in the end, Mikey manages to snag just enough to save their homes. The kids had their one perfect adventure, they all get to stay friends, and the Fratellis end up in jail.
I really enjoyed the movie. It didn’t blow my mind, but I have no doubt that if I had seen this when I was still living in Wisconsin it would’ve been my favorite movie ever.
What I really appreciate about the Goonies is that the movies entire setup is established in the first ten or so minutes. Nearly everything is! We meet the villains, the characters, and the problems. The payoff at the end is more enjoyable because it feels like you were on the adventure with all of the Goonies. There are few scenes in the Goonies that don’t serve the plot, and it makes it more enjoyable to watch.
That being said, the Goonies is a fantasy fulfillment movie. The problem of the foreclosing homes? Doesn’t really seem that high stakes. The Fratellis don’t even feel like they are dangerous villains. But I think that’s what keeps the movie light and fun!
The characterization is really spot on as well. Each character is unique and has their own gimmick, and those traits matter to the plot. It’s pretty refreshing, now that I think about it. They take the time to introduce us to all these characters, and nearly all of them have a usefulness to the plot that gives each character setup a satisfying payoff.
There was an unnecessary sub-plot involving one of the girls wanting to make out with the older boy, and it was kind of annoying. But I probably wouldn’t have minded when I was younger since I was just getting interested in girls. There was also an alarming amount of up-skirt shots of one of the girls, which might have been tiny Daniel’s favorite parts.
I can totally see why everyone loved this movie. It’s frequently listed as peoples favorites. It’s very simple, and because of that, the plot and enjoyment feel distilled. Spielberg and Richard Donner knew how to emulate that feeling of hanging with your friends, and wanting to find adventure everywhere. This movie isn’t just caching in on nostalgia, it learned how to make a movie that encompasses that feeling instead of evoking it. Just watching that movie reminded me of riding my bike around the neighborhood with Pat and Ryan and how weekends lasted forever.
I’d say give Goonies a watch if you haven’t. I don’t think you should rush out and buy it right now as a lot of the movie becomes quaint and a bit dated with time, but I’m sure everyone can find something to enjoy in the movie.