The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Cinephiles: ‘The Goonies’

An ode to my childhood
The ‘80s classic is a staple in my household.

Growing up there were always a few staples throughout my childhood. These unofficial traditions came in all forms including trips, recipes and so much more. One of the best parts of my childhood was getting to learn from my parents, especially about their childhoods and interests.

I grew up in the same neighborhood as my dad, a subdivision split by the decision of whether to turn right or go straight. He lived on the straight path and now both of us turn right to get home. Because we grew up similarly, he’s taught me a lot about what he is interested in.

We as a family have a number of movies that, if on TV, we are practically required to watch. My mom’s picks were always “Mamma Mia,” “Grease” or “Pitch Perfect.” They’re some of my favorites. But if I had to be honest, my dads picks are ever-so-slightly superior. 

My dad never shies away from movies like “The Breakfast Club” or “National Treasure” (Because who doesn’t love Nicolas Cage?) My favorite pick, though, is definitely “The Goonies.”

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“The Goonies,” a 1985 hit classic about a group of young misfit friends on the hunt to fulfill a myth about pirate One-Eyed Willy’s buried treasure, will forever be one of the best parts of my childhood.

Now, at age nineteen, I never really reach for action or adventure movies. But if “The Goonies” is on, guarantee that I’ll be watching. I think one of my favorite parts of the storyline is the characters themselves. 

The story starts by sharing that Mikey (Sean Astin) and Brandon also known as “Brand” (Josh Brolin) are losing their house in the Goon Docks (hence the name “Goonies”) because a golf course is being built on the land and they cannot afford to fight against it.

While his parents are gone and Brand is told to watch over him, Mikey invites his friends Mouth (Corey Feldman), Data (Ke Huy Quan) and Chunk (Jeff Cohen) over. They end up in the attic of the house, digging through boxes and reminiscing. Eventually, they find a framed treasure map and skull key and it makes them curious.

They decide to search for One-Eyed Willy’s treasure in the hopes that the gold and jewels they find will help save the Goon Docks.

The group winds up at an abandoned restaurant where they are surprised to find the main antagonist Mama Fratelli (Anne Ramsey) and who I would describe as her two clueless sons and makeshift henchmen, Jake (Robert Davi) and Francis (Joe Pantoliano) Fratelli. It is at this point that Andy (Kerri Green), Brand’s rumored girlfriend, and her friend Stef (Martha Plimpton) join them.

After serving the boys some questionably dirty water, the trio leaves. The group takes their opportunity to explore the restaurant and look for clues. They find a newspaper article with a Wanted report on the front. Whose picture is underneath, you may be wondering? The Fratellis.

After exploring a bit more, the group discovers something shocking. A man, whose face and body is physically deformed, is chained to the wall. They learn that the man’s name is Sloth (John Matuszak) and he is the third son of Mama Fratelli.

Soon after, the group hears the Fratellis return. They quickly discover what they were looking for: a hidden passageway underneath the fireplace. They all quickly jump down into the tunnel. Rather than waiting it out for the Fratellis to leave again, they decide to explore and find another way out.

It is because of this that this group of kids, some older and some younger, go on an indescribable journey. And it is through this journey that they become more than just a group of kids. They become the Goonies. They laugh, they cry, they fight, they find themselves and most importantly they find each other.

This movie does mean so much to me. It’s a representation of my childhood and the memories I made by simply spending time with my parents. It reminds me of how important it is to experience and learn about those closest to you. Parents are bound to experience their children’s childhoods with them, why can’t we experience theirs too?

I encourage all who want a feel-good adventure movie “The Goonies.” You may hate it, or you may decide to stan the character Data like I do. Regardless, give it a chance. You won’t regret it.

Braun can be reached at [email protected].

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