and I and all those people out there with a vocal love of film have
ruined it for everyone, pimping movies up, falling in love with
mediocre films and championing them to near-legendary status. We’ve
embraced turkeys, legitimized borderline movies, and elevated modest
films in our favorite franchises above and beyond realistic standards.
We’ve even embraced the films everyone likes, somehow adding a
credibility to them that transcends the mainstream. Sacred cows, little
flicks, and everything in between. It’s time we took a look inward and
came clean with 25 movies we think need to be taken down a peg or two.
These are our four categories for this list:
These guys have had it too easy. Far too easy. Don’t believe the insane hype.
Good flicks that have gotten too damn big for their britches.
Asshole, you love this film for all the wrong reasons.
WHAT THE FUCK
Something went horribly wrong here and it’s carried over the the fans, who are blinded by shizer.
Your guide: Nick Nunziata
Its Legacy: An entire generation of 30-40 year olds are convinced this LOUD staple of their childhood is worth something. Unleashed the best Brolin on the populace as well as some of the first work for Hollywood legends Robert Davi, Corey Feldman, Martha Plimpton, Ke Huy Quan. and bumped the word “Goonie” into the lexicon of words people never needed. Caused kids to LOUDLY explore the woods looking for treasure, few found any but a few probably bumped into Wayne Williams.
Why It’s Here: This is proof positive that Steven Spielberg’s Midas Touch didn’t work on small boys.
The Goonies is a noble idea, what with Indiana Jones in the middle of his heyday and my generation in the thrall of anything uncorked by bearded men in power [Santa, Lucas, Spielberg, Castro, Kahlo]. Adventure and the 80’s were synonymous but The Goonies is a very flawed, very annoying, very busy, and very overdone movie from the typically reliable Spielberg [still] and Richard Donner [then]. Remarkably prescient casting aside (including a then alive John Matusak as the beloved waterhead Sloth), the kitchen sink approach and overload of kids yelling and making jokes between the numerous set pieces is numbing at first and then simply a headache to endure. It’s as if the powers that be focus grouped everything people responded to in E.T. and the Indiana Jones films and multiplied them while skewing younger. Younger and dumber.
There’s no magic in this film, just a total assault of action and sound and nary a second to catch your breath. In a lot of ways this bitch paved the way for things like Spielberg’s own dreadfully annoying Hook and other kitchen sink “classics” unfolded by folks named Sommers, Verbinski, and well… Donner.
There’s simply too much talent here to allow for this film to be such a bloated and loud misfire. Worse yet, a whole onslaught of my peers and generationmates have championed this film as some sort of lost treasure from the 80’s when in reality it’s one of those films that works a lot better when you don’t know any better and have expectations in proportion to your cock size. The fandom for this film is a total and sound WHAT THE FUCK.
The Goonies ain’t good enough. Not even close.
A Moment of Piss: The Truffle Shuffle. Watching a fat kid shake his fat is good for no one. Especially when it’s supposed to be comic relief.
These Ain’t Chopped Liver Alternatives: Stand By Me, Short Eyes, Gremlins, The Wizard of Oz, The Lost Boys, Lord of the Flies.
Devin Faraci Agrees: Jesus Christ is this movie irritating. What’s baffling is that there are so many people wedded to this cacophonous mess even as adults. When you’re 12 and hopped up on Pixy Stix and jaded by the sensory overload of Saturday morning cartoons I can understand how 90 minutes of screaming is what it takes to get you off, but when you’ve finally got hair on the parts that need it, how can you still find any of this charming or amusing? Goonies is an assault that makes the Our Gang shorts seem like Pinter plays.
I don’t even know how anybody could defend this film without going to the sickly, diseased well of nostalgia. I’ll be interested in seeing what Alex has to say below me, since I can not come up with a single defense of this movie that doesn’t begin with ‘It was great when I was a kid.’ Of course it’s the people who make this defense that will be raging the most in the comments below; they’ve internalized this load of shit and made it not just a part of their past but a part of their identity. These people likely have emotional issues big enough to send two generations of their psychologist’s offspring to college.
Here’s the bottom line: A lot of the stuff you liked as a kid objectively sucks. You’re an adult now. You can appreciate the way that this stuff made you feel as a kid without still tying yourself in knots trying to appreciate it at an age where it’s wholly inappropriate and forced.
Alex Riviello Disagrees: I’ll admit, I stumbled a bit while re-watching this for the defense. Turns out that yes, the years haven’t been kind to this film. Like you guys said, the entire thing is mostly all about kids running around screaming and getting in situations over their heads. Stereotypes abound. The moments that are supposed to have heart don’t work because Donner didn’t realize that it’s stupid to throw all the heavy emotional scenes on an asthmatic kid who can’t wait to grow up and make out with Frodo. But you know what? It’s still pretty damn fun.
It is Indiana Jones for kids, with all the traps, gadgets, and adventure you could ever want. The kids are good (Corey Feldman gives arguably his best role!), and as goofy and ineffective as the Fratellis are, you can just see how much they enjoyed their roles. Joey Pants screaming about bats while trying to grab onto his toupee = GOLD.
Maybe it’s because you old bastards have almost a decade on me, but I still chuckle at the humor in this one. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with adults liking a film that’s clearly targeted towards kids. This is the kind of movie you could watch with your spawn today and still enjoy yourself. It still holds up in that regard, and deserves its status as a minor classic.
On the flipside, I agree that if you’re watching this movie all the time as an adult, still quoting it while wearing Sloth t-shirts… yeah, might be time to grow up.
Goonies 2 for the NES still rocks, though. Digitized Lauper and all.