Goonies – Retrospective review

Will we ever see a Goonies 2? Prolly not. Will we see a reboot? I hope not. Because I seriously doubt Hollywood will do it justice. Does this movie belong in your collection? Absolutely. I hope movies like this gets handed down from parent to child as we get older, because there is a huge library of movies that deserve to be.

One of the many wonderful things about having your own kids, is getting to share some of the movies you grow up watching with them. Emily’s no exception to this and we’ve already covered a wide array of movies from my child hood. One of these happens to be one of my favorites, one that I’ve already mentioned in my Top Ten Influential Films from my Childhood. For awhile I had been threatening to make Emily watch Goonies, to which she’d say, “I don’t want to, I won’t like it.” This is a key comment to keep in mind when you continue on through this review.

When I was growing up I had pretty much free reign over a huge backyard as well as the neighborhood. I made a few friends here and there. Pretty typical child hood. Movies were pretty common, which I’ve pretty much already gone over. One that I really couldn’t wait for Emily to be old enough to see, and one she hadn’t already seen was Goonies. This movie pretty much defined my adventurous spirit and wanting to be out roaming the country side looking for treasure. I’m sure most kids either grew up digging for bones or treasure, but what really solidified this movie for me, was how well it portrayed not only the kids, but the magic of that… Desire? Need…? To go on adventure as well as how important your friends were to you as a kid. It captured the allure of the imagination pretty good and really stuck with me growing up.

So when I was able to share this movie with my daughter, I was pretty excited to see how well she connected with it. Sure she said she didn’t want to see it. Being as she says this about a lot of things, then changes her mind after, I knew there was a likelihood she would with this as well. So I set out to find it. And wouldn’t you know it, it recently came out in Blu-ray. Sweet! Unfortunately every time I remembered to look for it, the store I was at, didn’t have it. Luckily for me, my wife remembered and picked it up for me this past Christmas. Blu-ray in hand and daughter in tow along with the wife, we sat down and watched the brilliance of such a classic movie.  A few hours later the credits rolled and I turned to Emily and asked her, “So, what’d you think?” She squinted her face at me, “Ehhh…” While moving her hand back and forth to indicate it was, ‘ok’.  Within the following few days, she had watched it about five times. Goonies had enthralled another child.

Having seen the movie in its re-mastered form was a treat to be sure. What was even more amazing than seeing the movie again, was how well the Goonies aged. The location, pretty much untouched since the movie was filmed 27 years later, is a place I’ve been a few dozen times or so.  Geez I’m old. As I said the movie aged well. There is VERY little technology or other decade defining ‘things’ in the movie. Sure there’s a few,  the biggest being the music of Cyndi Lauper. A few of the styles of cloths but really, and it is a bit odd seeing a kid version of Samwise Gamgee. Maybe a few other minor things here and there, but really it’s not enough to take you out of the movie and say, “boy that’s old”.

The adventure is still there. The promise that everyone can search for treasure and bring your friends along for the ride is still tempting. Even if there might be booty-traps abound, I mean, booby-traps. It’s a wonderful movie that is still worth watching, nearly 30 years later. Will we ever see a Goonies 2? Prolly not. Will we see a reboot? I hope not. Because I seriously doubt Hollywood will do it justice. Does this movie belong in your collection? Absolutely. I hope movies like this gets handed down from parent to child as we get older, because there is a huge library of movies that deserve to be.

Six String Samurai – Retrospective Review

Six String Samurai was released in late 1998, to little or no fanfare. It bombed at the box offices. Despite only having a budget of $2.00 million, the movie only made $134,000 thousand by 1999. Not a lot of money. The size of the budget doesn’t matter since most this movie was filmed on location around Death Valley and other parts of California and Nevada.

Sometimes a movie comes along that passes under everyone’s radar and it’s the masses that really suffer for not having known it even existed. Six String Samurai is one of those, “What?” films. When you mention it to your friends, be prepared to have them stare blankly at you for a moment, as if you grew horns and started spouting gibberish.  Much in the way you’ll look at this film within the first 10 minutes of watching it. Trust me though, stick with it.

Six String Samurai was released in late 1998, to little or no fanfare. It bombed at the box offices. Despite only having a budget of $2.00 million, the movie only made $134,000 thousand by 1999. Not a lot of money.  The size of the budget doesn’t matter since most this movie was filmed on location around Death Valley and other parts of California and Nevada. Small cast of characters with a musical score mostly composed and performed by The Red Elvises, who also make various appearances throughout the movie. The music really plays a part in the movie, as it sets the tone of the fights as well as the atmosphere. Not to mention is the main crux of the movie. Six String Samurai starts of with a fight between Buddy, played by Jeffry Falcone, our reluctant hero for the next hour and a half and some no named bad guys. He steps in to save an orphan boy, for no real reason then other then being nice. We then see the boy tags along, much to Buddy’s displeasure.  Being a fan of rock myself, and the “Fallout” type apocalyptic genre, I think I give this movie more of a chance then others may at first. Throughout the movie Buddy peppers his one liners in swinging 50s rock fashion. Actually, he says very little throughout the movie. What he does say though, is pretty dry and humorous. As they make their way through the desert, Buddy and his new little sidekick are presented with challenges and we learn that he’s running from Death, who is chasing him because he’s the last, uh. Old Rocker? Or something. Death, a ‘Slash’ looking heavy metal guitarist wants to keep Buddy from reaching Lost Vegas, where Buddy will likely become the new King. Yeh the plot is pretty thin at times and its very predictable, but really, is that so bad? I guess it could be and does slow the movie down in places. For me though, it’s still a good romp through the desert with a Buddy Holiday, Six String Samurai sword wielding tough guy. And really, that’s pretty much what it should be thought of. Don’t expect to much, and you too will have a good time following along.  In fact, when the end of the movie does come along, you’ll be left scratching your head. But that ok, put on some “Johnny B. Good” and you’ll make it out.

Sure the movie isn’t very mentally engaging, sure the editing can be a bit cheap looking, sure the dialog is cheesy. And yes, this is probably why the movie didn’t fare to well. However it should be given a chance. The music is solid and really captures the essence of old time rock’n’roll. The action sequences are well done and pretty awesome. The humor is well placed and timed. Six String Samurai really does belong in a movie lovers catalog and should be thought of as a cult classic. Find yourself a copy and give it a watch. If you love movies, you’ll like this movie. If you’re a movie snob and only watch high brow movies, then you may want to watch something else.