#40: The Goonies — dir. Richard Donner
I once dated someone who was five years younger than me. And while she introduced me to a number of books, films, and CDs that I never would have been privy, I tried to do the same for her. So I found myself revisiting old films. I love The Goonies. But looking at it through a jaundiced eye, I realize that it’s super melodramatic, like crazy painfully so. They cut the octopus scene, and then left it in the later dialogue where it makes no sense, and just makes Data sound like he only spouts gibberish.
And yet I love The Goonies. The opening scenes are something I would show in screenwriting class. It’s like here’s five minutes. Here’s how you introduce — through show not tell — an entire cast of ten to twelve ensemble characters in five perfect minutes. Blammo. I remember having not seen it for a couple years and then deciding to screen it for our Dayover at the KIDS Program for 6-8 year olds. Because it’s only a PG movie. And then having to fast forward through the numerous swear words, the drug and sex references. I mean, fucking One Eyed Willie? C’mon! And freeze framing on the statute of David with it’s penis glued pointing up. Goddamn, kids movies used to be fucking awesome.
The cast, the quotability, of course. And they’re making the sequel now. I’ve never been against a Goonies sequel. Or a Ghostbusters sequel. It’s just if they do it right. My Ghostbusters III has always been about franchising. The economy tanked, and so no one can afford to pay thousands of dollars for ghost disposal anymore. And so they’ve gone back to the whole “We’re Ready to Believe You” and hiring the name out to suckers who run snake oil deals. And then there really is another dangerous ghost infestation and they have to team up and fight. My Goonies II is basically the same kind of deal. Mikey has never stopped searching for One Eyed Willie’s pirate ship, studying coastal breaches and what not. Most of them still live in Astoria, now with kids of their own. And so when Mikey disappears for a few years somewhere down in the islands, they have to convince everyone to go looking for him. I never intended it to be a kid’s movie.
So who knows what they’ll do with the new one. But the old one will always have a place in my heart.