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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

G4 isn’t good enough 4 Goonies

Summer for those of us in Southwestern Pennsylvania has been a huge disappointment. The weather has been extremely unseasonable. It’s either been cold and rainy or moderately warm…and rainy. To that end, weekends have been a real bummer at the Mongo household. We would like to enjoy the new pool before we close it in September or it tips over and washes out the neighbors who live below us, whichever comes first. Of course, my yard does not get a lot of direct sunlight thanks to the four trees, two oaks and two maples, that sit at each of the four corners of yard that is somewhat level.

What all this means is that this past Sunday I opted to stay in, my butt firmly placed in the already established indentation on the seat of my recliner, and kick back with some old school DVD selections. As I was returning from getting some much needed Bob Evans Blueberry Stuffed Pancakes, my mind thumbed through the mental listings of movies I had at home. There was Tron, which is always good for a dismal Sunday and is heading into sequel land next year. There was The Goonies, which is just about near perfect on a rainy day. Or, as a last resort, there was Tango & Cash, a classic tale of two action heroes of the 80s learning to put aside their differences in order to work for the greater good. I say that with loving sarcasm as it ranks somewhere near the bottom of my Top Ten guilty pleasures on film.

Now, as any Mongo faithful will attest, what I should have done is go through and watch the stupid 96% of used space on my DVR. This would have been more productive as the Fall Season is right around the corner and I haven’t even seen where Izzie has a tumor or that Callie is in a relationship with Dr. Erica “It puts the lotion in the basket” Hahn. But, that is something I have to do, not something I want to do. I still have a couple of days before my crops are ready to harvest in FarmTown, so my plate of irresponsibility is empty.

When I got home, to my joy, I found that on G4 The Goonies was starting at 5pm. At 7pm, Tango & Cash was showing on ION. Oh, how fortuitous. I can watch one of these and not have to go downstairs and rifle through my DVDs. This act ultimately leads to that DVD being migrated to a different level of the house and not being returned to its proper place for six months. So, with my choices already laid out, before me, on digital cable, I have an optimal solution for slacktitude already in place.

If I haven’t explained in countless passages of self indulgent drivel, I simply love The Goonies. Forget the bad acting. Forget some of the bad staging of fights, namely the scene where Martha Plimpton punches Anne Ramsey on the gang plank of One Eyed Willie’s ship resulting in Anne’s hand coming up to her cheek in reaction before Stef’s hand “connects” with her face. Simply bask in the Goonie Goodness that is a coming of age treasure hunt done wonderfully by the man who brought you E.T. and Indiana Jones and the guy who directed Superman The Movie and the best parts of Superman II. The movie stands as a Regan era film in which kids talk and act like adults in the face of mortal danger and general bumbling silliness on the parts of what little part adults serve in the story.

Settling into my recliner, I mentally spoke the lines as they occurred on screen. I have this film mostly memorized and could talk countless hours about it, debating its importance in American cinema while simultaneously speaking for and against a sequel being made, now nearly 25 years later. I am after all a movie snob without pretense and a traditionalist in the discussion of wide screen over full screen. However, I do concede that I should have just got my lazy ass out of my chair and grabbed the DVD because what happened next was more of a travesty than what Madonna did to Don McClean in 2000, covering "American Pie".

Now, I understand that due to the language of the film and the fact that you need to fit in all those pesky commercials, the film has to be edited from its original format. That is a given. But to slap dash edit the film in such a way as to butcher not only the continuity of the storyline but the flow of such a tale was a downright injustice to my childhood. Notably missing was most of the dialogue between Mrs. Walsh, Mouth, and Rosalita describing the housekeeping chores in which Mouth translates all of Mrs. Walsh’s instructions into Spanish, misleading Rosalita into believing there are drugs separated in different clothes drawers, “Always separate the drugs, kids” and various torture devices in the attic.

From then on the movie was like a train wreck that I couldn't stop watching. I was caught somewhere in the realm of disgust and morbid curiosity. No scene depicting The Goonies attempts at contacting the surface by banging on the pipes underneath the Country Club. No additional scene depicting Chunk and Sloth finding the shaking pipes and audio gag following Sloth’s attempt to fix the situation. No discussion on the finer points of Martin Sheen playing President Kennedy while underneath the old Moss Garden Wishing Well. No pee break or snogging between a pubescent Mikey and curiously attractive cheerleader Andie. One of the biggest omissions was the water slide scene which was cut down to about five seconds, totally destroying the thrill of including those sets and action that took place on them.

Honestly, the editing was so bad it was like watching 30 unrelated scenes pasted together with no thought or relevant transitions. G4 should be ashamed for touting this movie as “Movies That Don’t Suck” fare for the geek masses that make up the channel’s demographic. Anyone who sits through this and likes it, without having previously seen the full, uncut version, should be taken out and made to do the truffle shuffle naked, in a snow storm.

I should have known better than to trust an entity like G4. The channel has fallen far from its geek roots. They have done away with such cool shows as Cinematech and Cheat!, which is now been reduced to a small segment of X-Play. Instead they are playing such drivel as Cheaters and a failed attempt to incorporate Star Trek with chat crawls called Star Trek 2.0.

From now on, my laziness will not be a factor in my…laziness of shirking other responsibilities to watch a movie I’ve seen literally thousands of times. I will get up and walk to my DVD library, pull out my own personal copy of The Goonies and watch it the way it was meant to be watched. Then, I will thumb through the extra features and watch both videos for Cindy Lauper’s “The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" staring Cindy, some of film’s cast, various wrestlers from the good old days of the WWF, and a set of female pirates played by the yet unknown, Bangles (see Susanna Hoffs infatuation.) If I’m in a rather saucy mood, I will watch the deleted octopus scene. If I still had a tape player in my car or a working Walkman and a bike, I ride throughout my neighborhood blasting the first and last song from the soundtrack, which I own on cassette, because that’s just how I roll.

So, I shall leave you to your own thoughts over the gang from the goondocks with a little song by The Atari's called, "So Long Astoria." It provides just the right mix of nihilistic nostalgia and allusions to the movie set upon your own childhood backdrop. And if you are listening Hollywood, don't you dare touch this one. G4 did a huge disservice to pop culture. Don't you dare screw it up by making some piss poor sequel. I won't allow it. Because this is my dream, my wish. And I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back.

It was the first snow of the season
i can almost see you breathin
in the middle of that empty street

Sometimes i still see myself
in that lonesome bedroom
playin my guitar
and singing songs of hope
for a better future

life is


as good as the memories we make
and i'm taking back what belongs to me
polaroids of classrooms unattended
these relics of remembrance
are just like shipwrecks
only theyre gone faster
than the smell after it rains

last night while everyone was sleepin
i drove through my old neighborhood
and resurrected memories from ashes

we said that we would never fit in
we were really just like them
does rebellion ever make a difference

life is


as good as the memories we make
and im taking back what belongs to me
polaroids of classrooms unattended
these relics of remembrance
are just like shipwrecks
only theyre gone faster
than the smell after it rains

So long astoria
i found a map to buried treasure
and even if we come home empty handed
well still have our stories
of battle scars, pirate ships and wounded hearts,
broken bones, and all the best of friendships

and when this hourglass
has filtered outits final grain of sand
i raise my glass to the memories we had
this is my wish
this is my wish
im takin back
im takin them all back

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