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June 4th, 2014 AP KRYZA | Movie Reviews & Stories
 

AP Film Studies: Never Say Die

The Goonies ‘r’ good enough.

movies_gooniesday_4031TRUFFLE SHUFFLE: Fans at Goonies Day in Astoria in 2013. - Image courtesy of Astoria Warrenton CoC
Until the machines rise and hail him as a pioneer in the field of sentient military robotics, Short Circuit’s Johnny Five will never get a statue in downtown Astoria.

ILLUSTRATION: Hawk Krall
And despite his teaching children how to differentiate between headaches and tumors, the city will never name a library after Detective John Kimble. Never mind that he was the best damned cop Astoria’s kindergartners ever met.

No matter what other classics might be set in the seaside town, the people of Astoria will be Goonies until the day they die. And since Goonies never say die, it looks like Johnny Five is screwed.

In 2010, Astoria—home of the Oregon Film Museum and maybe the ghost of Anne Ramsey—declared June 7 Goonies Day to celebrate the cult classic’s 25th anniversary. It’s now an annual nerdfest, with screenings, tours of the Goonies house, specialty beers by Fort George, treasure hunts and mass truffle shuffles. The museum may have memorabilia from Free Willy and Kindergarten Cop, but only The Goonies—that ageless tribute to mischief, outsiders and imagination—gets a holiday.  

The inaugural event in 2010 also offered a brief glimpse of what the long-threatened Goonies sequel might look like, with director Richard Donner and much of the cast in attendance. If that event was any indication, a new movie would be…well, sad.

Do we really want to see what a grown-up and puffy Mikey is doing with his life, or revisit Corey Feldman’s Mouth as a dickhead grownup who insists that his stupid band gets to play in the movie (oh, wait, that was the real Feldman)? And how do you replace the glory of John “Sloth” Matuszak’s grotesque makeup? You don’t. He would be motion-captured. So would Chunk, since actor Jeff Cohen is now, you know, thin.

I understand the desire to pass the Goonies torch to a new generation. But that’s exactly what happens every time a fully grown fan deems the kids old enough (people forget how scary and crude the movie is) and pops in that well-worn DVD. 

In the film, One-Eyed Willy’s treasure saved the Goonies’ house. In real life, fans preserved it as a monument. These folks, the ones who flock to look at Haystack Rock and imagine seeing One-Eyed Willy’s ship emerging onto the ocean, are the keepers of the flame. Not wrinkly old Corey Feldman.


Also Showing: 

  • Pix Patisserie kicks off its weekly Movies at Dusk series with—yup—Chocolat. Don’t worry. The series goes all summer, and The Goonies is playing in September. Pix Patisserie, 2225 E Burnside St. Dusk Wednesday, June 4.
  • There are a lot of ambiguities in Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 sci-fi opus Total Recall. Is the entire film a figment of Quaid’s imagination? More importantly, does Arnold Schwarzenegger remember the scene with the three-breasted prostitute? An Arnold DVD commentary—that’s the version screening for free tonight—is a true thing of beauty, a garbled odyssey in which Arnold just explains exactly what’s onscreen. Drink every time he says, “I remember that.” 5th Avenue Cinema. 7:30 pm Friday, June 6.
  • North by Northwest isn’t Hitchcock’s best film, but it’s the master’s most purely enjoyable. It’s a great spoof of spy films, one of Cary Grant’s goofiest cinematic gifts and an innuendo-strewn middle finger to old-school censorship. 5th Avenue Cinema. 7 and 9:30 Friday-Saturday and 3 pm Sunday, June 6-8.
  • Laurelhurst’s Western train just keeps on a-chuggin’, and now the Duke himself has finally boarded with The Comancheros. John Wayne, who also co-directed, plays a Texas Ranger taking on a renegade gang using his guns and his insults. Laurelhurst Theater. June 6-12.
  • 24 Hour Party People, a film about the rise of British New Wave and, you know, sex and drugs and other fun stuff, screens all week. The Friday screening, a fundraiser for 91.1 XRAY.FM, is followed by an after-party that hopefully doesn’t feature a lot of sex and drugs and other fun stuff, mainly because that would be gross in a movie theater. Academy Theater. June 6-12.
  • The Oregon Historical Society unearths In the Land of the Head Hunters, a silent 1914 pseudo-documentary that predated the infamous Nanook of the North by eight years in the revolutionary technique of making a vaguely racist fake documentary using indigenous people. The film, long thought lost, has been painstakingly restored with its original score. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 2 pm Sunday, June 8.
  • The Clinton Street Theater is turning 100, and it kicks off its yearlong celebration with Charlie Chaplin on Clinton Street, featuring Chaplin clips (The Little Tramp also turns 100 this year) with live musical accompaniment, and Chaplin-inspired physical comedian Dan Kamin. Clinton Street Theater. 2 pm Sunday, June 8.
  • The Mystery of Chess Boxing is not the Wu-Tang song of the same name, but rather a martial arts classic in which the Ghostface Killer—who is not the Wu-Tang member of the same name either—cruises around the countryside killing his enemies and pretty much being a dick. His only undoing could be a special fighting technique based on chess. It’s weird. And wonderful. Hollywood Theatre. 7:30 pm Tuesday, June 10.
 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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