Now that I am 30…

A nostalgic look back at the childhood of a small English kid.

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Oh those eighties films…

Posted by iwata33 on Friday 18 April 2008

I recently decided that DVD’s are taking over my home, they are everywhere like unwanted vermin spreading their plastic cases and shiny discs all over the place. So myself and my partner decided that enough was enough. We condemned half of our collection to eBay (and have been making quite good money there) the other half was safe but is now destined to never be increased. Instead we have joined a popular online rental site in the UK (www.lovefilm.com, the reason I advertise it here is because it is a fantastic service that has been flawless up until now in giving me everything I have asked for). We now rent any dvd we want, we can have as many as we want and whatever we want for a fixed fee. So for the last month we have been getting all the latest releases. Well this week I have been off work (belated Easter holidays), and I decided that I wanted to revisit some classic 80’s films, the first on my list was this absolute gem, ‘The Goonies’.

This film (for those that haven’t seen it, and by the way shame on you, you are missing one of the best films of that decade, yes thats right ONE OF THE BEST FILMS) came out in 1985, was directed by Richard Donner and starred amongst others Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Corey Feldman (Lost Boys and Stand by Me), Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men) and Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix). Most of the stars were kids and this was their first feature. The film is about a group of kids that call themselves the Goonies who due to reasons that are not fully explained but only serve as a catalyst for the plot, have to move away to another town and so the weekend in which the film is set is that last one they will be spending together. After finding an old pirate map and a story of a lost explorer the Goonies decide to go and find the lost treasure of ‘One Eyed Willy’ aided by Brandon the older brother of one of the kids and his two female friends. Just to make matters worse they are being chased by a gang of murders called the Fratelli’s (insert joke here about the band) who are on the run and also after the pirate treasure.

This film was one of many kid orientated films that came out of the 1980’s, hot on the heals of family favorites like Indiana Jones and Star Wars. Other films that were similar and also classics in the their own right were ‘The Monster Squad’, ‘Explorers’, ‘Flight of the Navigator’ and ‘The Lost Boys’ (however this last one although focuses on a group of kids is maybe intended for a slightly older audience, oh and by the way they are doing a sequel to this cult classic called ‘The Tribe‘, it should be out this year). Thats one of the things I miss about the 80’s, they just don’t seem to make these types of films anymore, sure they make films with kids in them but this sort of adventure type film is of it’s time, the only things that comes close recently are things like National Treasure and Sahara, which although goods films in their own right don’t quite capture the feel and magic of those old 80’s films. I suppose part of it is that in the 80’s the special effects weren’t polished, the acting could be a little goofy and the plot didn’t always make sense. Nowadays most mainstream films sparkle, they have a clean look (even if they stink) but when the script or some of the acting doesn’t quite measure up it stands out a mile. Back then films had a gritty quality, even a kids flick like this, that made inadequacies in parts of the film forgivable.

Now, I realize that I am looking at this through rose tinted glasses and that you might be thinking to yourself what are you talking about it’s awful and certainly does not represent the best of what the 80’s had to offer but that is the thing about nostalgia most of the time you remember something fondly and then you go back and experience it again and it never quite measures up to how you remember it (so many video games are like that). However for me watching Goonies again, for the first time in years yesterday, I found that this wasn’t the case and that like a good Mario Game this film is timeless and I enjoyed as much now 23 years on (thats quite a scary thought) as I ever did all those years ago.

For anyone that hasn’t seen ‘The Goonies’ and would like to check the trailer out, here it is, however I must warn you this isn’t a particularly well put together trailer so bare with it and don’t let it put you off.

Happy Exploring

Chris

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