In May 2001, I read the first reports on the forthcoming The Goonies DVD. The American release date was
August 21. I could only hope for a release in Europe soon thereafter, but those hopes quickly disappeared
when none of Warner's European schedules for the third and fourth quarter of 2001 included The Goonies.
I subsequently found out that the DVD would be available in Spain, as of January 2002. My grandparents
were heading towards Spain during the last two weeks of that month and I, thrilled as ever, asked them if
they could secure, buy and bring home a copy.
I phoned them a few days later and asked them how they liked their trip so far, and if they had already found
the DVD. My grandfather told me Benidorm wasn't really a DVD-minded city, but assured me he would continue
his search for the rich stuff for sure. I replied that they could buy the DVD in El Corte Ingles, a big shopping mall.
At the same time, Shrek got released on home video in Belgium. I loved the movie and wanted to buy it in my local
entertainment store. Once inside, standing next to Shrek in the racks was ... The Goonies. No announcements.
No commercials. No TV spots. Warner Bros. had just dropped the disc into Belgian stores without any fanfare.
I didn't know what to think of the situation. Amazon.co.uk had stated the European release date to be "March 2002",
which they later changed to "September 2002". But now, the versatile disc was just available in my home country.
I immediately called my grandparents, who had returned that same day, and asked them if they had found the DVD.
"Yes", my relieved grandfather said, "we had to travel 28 miles per bus, but we have it, especially for you". I felt the
ground sink beneath my feet, and felt like a spoiled douchebag of epic proportions. These poor folks spent an entire day
to find the disc, and now it was available around the corner. I bought a little bouquet to make amends (even though my
granddad insisted it wasn't a big deal, for they had had a fun day searching for the disc), and learned my lesson well:
never be too greedy or anxious to get your hands on a little piece of entertainment. In most cases, rather sooner than
later, said product will show up in a store near you.
As stated, I own the Spanish disc. Region 2, with 'Los Goonies' on the front. The disc begins with fantastic menus.
No one in their right mind praises a DVD for menus, but these sure are "a real treat" (to quote Mama Fratelli).
The four available options are obvious and clear: "Play Movie", "Select Scenes", "Languages" & "Special Features".
Each button leads you to one of Willy's booby-traps and is accompagnied by cool sound effects.
Presentation of the movie: Picture
The picture quality is nothing short of amazing. A terrific (anamorphic) 2.35:1-transfer means an absolute new experience
for those (including myself) who have always seen the pan & scan (full screen) version. I once heard about a full 3.4 inches
cut from both sizes to fit on normal televisions. That sure may be the case. Take a look at the "There's gonna be a golfcourse
right where we're standing"-scene. Data was completely cut from the VHS-version. The DVD restored the film to its proper
cinematic aspect ratio. Quite the brilliant experience, especially for fans who have seen the movie multiple times.
Presentation of the movie: Sound
Again, nothing to complain about. A DTS-track would have been a nice added bonus for those with compatible soundsystems.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix ensures that every sound channel gets used, ranging from a character saying a line or the bullets
that really blast out of the speakers. Crank up the amp and set the volume to eleven. The "Fratelli Chase" sounds stunning.
The outtakes, the making of, the Cyndi Lauper-music videos and the trailer are all fantastic to have.
But the audiocommentary is where the real treasure lurks.
You can blame Mr. Feldman for interrupting too many times (although he never bothered me, for he came up with most of the tidbits),
you can still wonder why Mr. Astin left (He had to give an award to Mr. Pantoliano. This is old news)... but face it: this rocks! A whole lot!
Too bad Mr. Richard Donner didn't remember all that much about the shoot of the movie. A more technical commentary with Columbus,
McLean, Bernhard and Grusin about writing, shooting, producing and scoring the movie (for example) would have been an awesome addition
to the DVD, but what's here is nicely done. Certainly considering the fact that some other popular Warner Bros. movies don't receive this kind
of deluxe treatment on the special features front.
Julian De Backer, April 2002
[major bad grammar and typo corrections in 2015]