The Goonies appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Though not stellar, the image usually looked pretty good.
Sharpness was the only real concern, mostly because parts of the flick looked a little soft. At times, the flick appeared tight and distinctive, but some parts of the movie appeared a bit ill-defined.
I debated how much of this stemmed from the original photography, and felt that a lot of it came from the source. Goonies came with restricted depth of field, and that often meant anything not dead-center in the image looked a little iffy.
However, the movie came surprisingly light on grain, which made me suspect some noise reduction. Granted, the limited depth of field likely stemmed from an effort to hold down grain, but I still felt the movie should’ve been grainier than it was.
A few shots demonstrated the usual hints of noise reduction, especially related to unnatural skin textures. For instance, when the Goonies first meet the Fratellis, they tended to seem a little “plastic” looking.
Otherwise, the image excelled. I noticed no edge haloes, shimmering or jaggies, and source flaws were absent.
Colors were rich and vibrant. The film generally went with a naturalistic palette, and the disc showed these tones with fine clarity and vibrancy.
Chunk’s hideous shirt displayed some lively hues, and other clothes and sets also demonstrated nice colors. The 4K UHD’s HDR allowed the tones to appear especially vibrant and full.
Black levels were also deep and rich, and shadow detail looked solid. The movie came with quite a few low-light sequences, and I thought they demonstrated good balance and clarity.
In addition, the disc’s HDR added impact to whites and contrast. Parts of the image looked excellent, but the moderate softness made this a “B“ presentation.
On the other hand, I felt very pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of The Goonies. The mix showed its age at times, but as a whole it provided an active and involving experience.
The soundfield favored the forward channels, where I heard a broad and engaging image. Music featured good stereo separation, as the movie’s score sounded neatly delineated.
Quite a lot of effects came from the side speakers, as the mix added a great deal of discrete sounds from the left and right channels. However, I thought these elements of the track tended to seem fairly “speaker-specific”.
Sounds blended acceptably at times, but usually the elements appeared to be stuck a little heavily within the specific channels. The localization was strong, but the bits didn’t fit together as well as I would’ve liked.
Surround usage seemed solid for the era. For the most part, the track offered general reinforcement of both music and effects, but a few scenes featured greater activity levels.
The action sequences came to life nicely, and some split-surround activity occurred as well; for example, the scene in which the bats flew around the kids appeared nicely realistic and involving. Overall, the soundfield provided good breadth and dimensionality across the channels that seemed superior to the vast majority of films from the period.
Audio quality also sounded good, though a few small concerns appeared. Dialogue generally appeared to be acceptably distinct and crisp. Some lines appeared moderately thick and muffled, but these were infrequent instances, as most of the speech provided adequate delineation, and I noticed no problems related to intelligibility or edginess.
Music seemed to be nicely lush and vibrant throughout the movie, as John Williams’ score offered solid fidelity. Dynamic range appeared to be strong, and the music showed good depth.
Bass response seemed even livelier in regard to the film’s effects. Many elements demonstrated very deep and rich low-end. For instance, an early thunderstorm displayed positive rumbling, and Sloth’s roar really shook the house.
Effects also were clean and realistic, and they showed no signs of distortion. Ultimately, the soundtrack of The Goonies was strong for an older piece.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray from 2010? Audio seemed virtually identical, as this disc’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 track compared closely to its predecessor’s Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix.
As foe visuals, the 4K came with the usual upgrades, as it boasted superior accuracy, colors, and general depth. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the 4K came from the same transfer as the BD, but it still turned into an upgrade.
The 4K UHD comes with no extras, but the included Blu-ray copy sports the same materials from 2010 – probably because it offers a literal duplicate of that release. Any fans who hoped the 2020 4K would come with a remastered Blu-ray won’t find one.
First comes an audio commentary from director Richard Donner and all of the “Goonies” themselves. We hear from actors Corey Feldman, Sean Astin, Kerri Green, Josh Brolin, Ke Huy Quan, Martha Plimpton and Jeff Cohen, all of whom sit together for this running, screen-specific affair.
With some multiple-participant tracks, the proceedings can become rather chaotic as too many people try to speak at once. That problem occurs occasionally during Goonies, but it’s mainly apparent early in the piece. After a few minutes, the eight of them manage to balance their remarks fairly well.
Somewhat surprisingly, this commentary suffers from a few empty spaces, as that seems odd since it includes so many potential speakers. Some of them come and go as well.
Brolin briefly splits to use the can, and Astin completely departs at one point. Nonetheless, the track as a whole seems spirited and entertaining, and it includes a fair amount of information about the film.
However, this isn’t the place to come if you desire a wealth of nuts and bolts facts about the production. Instead, Goonies mainly sticks with anecdotes from the actors’ experiences, and many of these are quite fun. Not surprisingly, Feldman seems a little too pleased with himself, and he tries too hard to be witty and irreverent.
Otherwise, the group generally falls into a nice rhythm as they enjoy the film and laugh at it as well. Donner largely sits back throughout the piece, and sometimes it doesn’t seem clear that he actually remembers the movie at all, but he chimes in often enough to make his presence worthwhile. In the end, I rather liked this lively little track.
The commentary also includes “hidden video treasures”, which means that it occasionally becomes a video program. During a few sections of the film, the movie image shrinks to the lower right corner of the screen as footage of the recording session then dominates.
You don’t have to do anything to activate the video segments while you watch the film. Instead, if you select the commentary from the main menu, the footage will appear automatically.
This feature remains somewhat gimmicky, but in this case, it feels somewhat useful, mainly due to the high number of participants. When heard solely as audio, it can be tough to know who speaks when, and this program helps narrow down the possibilities. It also seems nice to see the limited interactions between the members of the panel.
Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of six minutes, 53 seconds. The second clip simply offered a little additional - and fairly unnecessary - exposition, but the others clear up some of the film’s gaffes.
Snippet one shows how the map got burned, while bit three offers the famous octopus sequence. These are a nice little addition to the set.
The Making of The Goonies provides a 1985 featurette. The six-minute, 49-second piece lacks any real depth about the production as it combines a few film clips with brief interview snippets and shots from the set. The sound bites mainly focus on Donner, but we also quickly see Steven Spielberg and actors Anne Ramsey, Joe Pantoliano and Robert Davi.
These are interesting, especially as Donner semi-jokingly discusses working with so many kids, but the behind the scenes images offer the show’s clear highlight. Most of this short piece gives us shots of Donner as he directs the kids, and they’re a lot of fun to see.
In addition to the movie’s trailer, we find the music video for Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough”. I didn’t have MTV when this clip bowed in mid-1985, but apparently it ran as a two-part “cliffhanger”.
Back in that era, some artists experimented with long-form videos. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” remains the most famous of these, though I think David Bowie’s “Jazzin’ for Blue Jean” is easily the best.
“Goonies” fell into that category, as the ambitious piece ran a full 12 minutes, four seconds when both parts were combined. I don’t know how often MTV ran the full program, but rest assured that the disc includes the entire two-part production.
The video is a definite relic of its era, as we see a Cyndi-oriented story that echoes the plot of Goonies itself. She and her family run a gas station that may be taken over by nefarious elements, all played by pro wrestlers.
However, aided by the Goonies themselves, Cyndi discovers treasures, and along with a surprise guest at the end. In addition to the wrestlers, Steven Spielberg and all the Goonies kids except a mysteriously absent Kerri Green appear in this silly but entertaining clip. As for the song, it ain’t “Time After Time”, but it’s bouncy and catchy nonetheless.
Though dated, The Goonies provides a mildly exciting atmosphere that pervades the piece. It’s not on a par with the best action-adventure flicks, but it can be entertaining. The 4K UHD brings good picture, strong audio and a useful roster of bonus materials. We find an appealing release for a decent movie.
To rate this film visit the prior review of GOONIES