The Goonies (1985)

goonies clipThey don’t make films like this any more: written by Steven Spielberg and directed by Richard Donner; The Goonies is an adventure that appeals to both kids and adults in equal measures. The Goonies are a group of kids who live on the “Goon Docks” in Astoria, Oregon – but not for long. A ruthless businessman is turning the local area into a golf course and the local residents have seemingly no choice but to sell up and leave their beloved area. When the gang find an old treasure map however they decide to go on one last adventure in the hope of finding the riches that could rescue their homes.

I hadn’t seen this film for many, many years and finally watching it on DVD after all this time was pure enjoyment from beginning to end. Films like this, made today rarely work this well, the key elements are a great story by Spielberg, great direction from Donner and some excellent acting from the kids – add these up and you have a superbly enjoyable action adventure movie. As I say the acting on the whole is very good, extremely mature performances are put in Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen and Sean Astin to name just three and all manage to be realistic and very funny. The action throughout is great, just think of a small scale Indiana Jones and you’ll be somewhere close to what you see here. Set piece after set piece put together by Donner provide fantastic excitement and the excellent special effects stand up even against some of today’s efforts. The comedy is also paramount to the enjoyment, and it’s not childish humour either, Chunk is the obvious laugh throughout but the baddies are also great value played by Robert Davi and Memento’s Joe Pantoliano.

goonies dvd

The enjoyment I got from watching The Goonies was not just nostalgic memories, this film is great entertainment and should be in everyone’s collection.

Movie Quote : “I’m gonna hit you so hard, when you wake up your clothes will be out of style!”

starring : Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Jonathan Ke Quan, John Matuszak, Robert Davi, Joe Pantoliano

Gremlins (1984)

Steven Spielberg’s’ Amblin Entertainment was responsible for some brilliantly entertaining films during the 1980’s, such as Back to the Future (which has some interesting similarities to this movie, which I will explain in a moment), The Goonies, and of course Gremlins. I think it is safe to say that most people will have seen this movie at least once, but just in case you haven’t, let me explain.


Billy (Zach Galligan) is 18yrs old, a bank clerk during the day, and a budding artist in his spare time. His father is a hapless inventor who brings home an unusual present for Christmas, a magwi. This little creature is cute and cuddly but comes with three rules that cannot be broken: keep it away from bright light, don’t allow it near water, and never, ever feed it after Midnight!

Of course it wouldn’t be much of a movie if these rules were not broken, and so all hell is unleashed as hundreds of little creatures are reproduced when water is spilt on Gizmo the magwi. They turn into monsters after feeding after midnight, and start their oftentimes quite comedic attack on the population. Can Billy and Gizmo save the day?

Not for the very young but I think one of the more enjoyable christmas movies shown each year.

Oh and what does this movie have in common with Back to the Future apart from Steven Speilberg? Have a close look at the Town setting; does it look a little like Hill Valley of 1985 to you?

Die Hard (1988)

The plot of Die Hard is brilliantly simple and highly effective:

A group of terrorists led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) take control of the offices of the Nakatomi Corporation, an L.A high-rise, during the companies Christmas party. While visiting his estranged wife, New York cop John McClane finds himself in the middle of the action as he tries to stay unnoticed while he figures out a way to stay alive and stop the group from killing the hostages and making off with $600 million.

bruce willis die hard

Fox Studio Die Hard Mural. Photo credit : Jay Galvin

Die Hard, as an action film, has never really been bettered. The fact that the film is set inside a 40 story building, it’s claustrophobic at times which makes it all the more thrilling to watch, some of the action scenes are absolutely breathtaking – even by todays standards. As well as the action Die Hard is actually very funny, Willis’ character manages to take sarcasm to a new level and much of the story outside of the building featuring Chief of Police Dwayne T. Robinson and the F.B.I is very tongue in cheek and very amusing to watch. The performances are also excellent, Willis shines in a role that couldn’t have been played by anyone else and Alan Rickman as the almost pantomime villain is sensational.

What more could you want? Die Hard is simply one of the best action films ever made, the story is great and very well written, while director John McTiernan has failed to reach this level since. A classic.