Richard Donner

The Goonies

Whether you saw it in the theaters in the 80s, or watching it dozens of times while it played on HBO in the 90s, The Goonies has become an essential part of the childhood movie diet. That’s pretty impressive for a film that includes that many pre-teen curse words, sexual references and dangerous situations. Billed as a collaboration between producer Steven Spielberg and director Richard Donner, it was one of the few hits from the 80s that didn’t get an immediate sequel. Whether you’re still waiting around for that sequel – and whether you think that sequel is a good idea or not – you can still enjoy The Goonies in a variety of home video formats. Back when the DVD was released in the 2001, the cast reunited with Richard Donner to provide a commentary track that has been preserved on subsequent Blu-ray releases. Even though the commentary track is almost as old now as the movie was when the commentary was recorded, it still has some fun insight into the film, including the mysterious message that Sean Astin wanted to share with Cyndi Lauper.

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IntroGenre

By no means are directors expected to make the same movie over and over again – but they also don’t tend to fly genre to genre like some kind of bipolar carnival game either. Here are a few directors who – if they were to put on an autograph signing – would find themselves in the midst of a very polarized crowd of fans.

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scrooged anne ramsey

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and we’re already devoting a second Scenes We Love list to a Christmas movie. Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of Scrooged, so how could we not? Did you know this modernization of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol had the fourth best opening of 1988? And of those four, it debuted in a significantly fewer amount of theaters, giving it the second-best per-screen average among them. It also opened on a Wednesday, like three of those films, and of those three it had the second-best five-day opening. People clearly loved this movie, right? Not quite, but they really wanted to see it. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay at or near the top for very long. By the big holiday weekend, it was in 9th place, behind stuff like Tequila Sunrise, The Naked Gun and Oliver and Company. But at least it was doing better than Ernest Saves Christmas. Scrooged received a fair amount of negative reviews when it came out, and maybe the audiences then were disappointed, especially if they were hoping for something as entertaining and funny and spectacular as Ghostbusters, since this was both Bill Murray‘s first comedic starring vehicle since then and it was also marketed to that film’s fans. In the decades since, many of us have warmed to it, probably through countless TV airings, where it does seem kind of appropriate. Back then perhaps audiences weren’t happy with how unlikable Murray’s character is for much of the movie, even though that’s part of […]

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supermantruth-1

When Superman and Batman finally team up for a movie, will Batman take Supes to task for allowing such widespread destruction in Metropolis? Will Superman counter with Batman allowing his city to be taken hostage for months while he was cured of a broken back with a rope in a dirty dungeon? These (and many other lingering questions) demand to be addressed. Either way, movie fans know that Superman has faced some pretty huge threats over the years. From killer computers to the genetically engineered Nuclear Man, massive city-wide destruction has always been in the cards. In Richard Donner’s 1978  Superman: The Movie, Lex Luthor stands to literally make a killing in the real estate market by wiping out the California coastline, transforming the tracks of worthless desert the new West Coast. His plan involved detonating a 500-megaton bomb in the San Adreas Fault, causing the unstable land to shift, resulting in everything to the west would “fall into the sea.” This got us thinking (and worrying, since some of FSR’s best writers live on the West Coast): Could Lex Luthor, or some other super villain, cause part of California to fall into the ocean?

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supermanii-commentary1

Any fan of the Superman movie series knows of the myriad problems experienced during the filming of Superman II. The most notable was the estranged relationship that director Richard Donner had with producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind. Donner’s plan was to film the first two movies simultaneously, but he was eventually dropped from the production and replaced with Richard Lester. In 2006, Warner Bros. worked with Donner to restore his own vision to Superman II, releasing his cut of the film. The result is an incomplete movie patched together from alternate takes and even some screen tests. However, as flawed as this cut of the film is, it is nice to see the original director get some closure in one of the original superhero movie franchises. Donner and his creative consultant Tom Mankiewicz lend their voices to the commentary on this film, which can be purchased separately or in the box set of Superman films available on DVD and Blu-ray. They offer a look into the overall production of the two films, rather than the restoration process.

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Superman

The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Superman (1978) The Plot: Many light years away, the planet Krypton is doomed to explode, so the scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) and his wife launch their infant child Kal-El into space to find safety on the distant planet Earth. The young child’s spaceship crashes in a Kansas field, and he’s taken in by the older couple Jonathan and Martha Kent. The Kents raise the boy, whom they name Clark, as their own. However, he knows he’s different from other people, possessing amazing and superhuman powers. After finding a link to his Kryptonian past, Clark goes on a twelve-year journey to discover his destiny. He moves to Metropolis to become the city’s hero known as Superman (Christopher Reeve), all the while living a double life as a mild-mannered reporter at the Daily Planet. Superman catches the eye of the fiendish criminal Lex Luthor who plans for the hero’s destruction so he doesn’t interfere with Luthor’s plot to make a fortune in real estate.

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all of the show’s 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #147): “Sounds and Silences” (airdate 4/3/64) The Plot: A large, loud man in love with volume finds himself in an audio nightmare. The Goods: Roswell G. Flemington is the captain of a model ship building office where he treats his employees to rants and insults as well as classical music blasting from the speakers. He likes it loud, and he expects everyone else does too. They don’t of course, and neither does his wife who has grown sick of playing second fiddle to a grand orchestral cacophony of other noises. Roswell couldn’t care less about any of them though, but the tables turn one day when every single noise becomes a thundering boom between his ears.

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all of the show’s 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #140): “From Agnes – With Love” (airdate 2/14/64) The Plot: A scientist runs into trouble when his supercomputer falls in love with him. The Goods: James Ellwood (Wally Cox) is a high level brain working with the State Department on a very important and top secret project. The primary tool at their disposal is the world’s smartest computer, nicknamed Agnes, but after her last handler is relieved of duty for apparent job stress Ellwood becomes the primary scientist on the project. Agnes takes up an entire wall of a room, and her various display screens and communication window resemble a face to some degree. That personification takes on even more weight when she begins communicating with Ellwood about things outside of mathematics and science. She begins poking into his private life and discovers he has the hots for Millie (Sue Randall) the secretary, but when she starts offering suggestions on how to bag Millie it becomes clear that she may have ulterior motives.

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Back in 1985, releasing a family film that was directed by Superman’s Richard Donner and had Steven Spielberg’s name plastered all over it as a writer and producer was pretty much the antithesis of a risky proposition. At this point in the mid 80s Spielberg and his crew of cohorts were at the height of their powers, churning out family friendly blockbusters one after another. So The Goonies never really had an uphill battle to climb. It was probably always going to be a success. The way that it took the ball and has continued to run with it, even twenty-six years later, is a little astounding though. This is a huge movie. If ever someone admits to not having seen it, they instantly get hit with an incredulous, “WHAT? YOU HAVEN’T SEEN GOONIES?” It’s almost to the point where the DVD gets sent to suburbanites in the mail with Peter Frampton records and samples of Tide. On the other end of the spectrum, The Monster Squad is a total cult movie. While it’s loved passionately by a small group of geeks, a normal person would have to very randomly stumble across something deep within the heart of the Internet to ever realize that this movie even exists. There aren’t any college frat boys wearing out their copy of Monster Squad like they are their copies of Goonies. There isn’t a new generation of young kids catching on to Fat Kid and Frankenstein the way they are Chunk and Sloth. […]

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When people are talking about the best horror movies of all time, they often use the term “horror classic.” I’m not exactly sure how that’s different from a movie that’s just a “classic,” but I think it’s somehow implying that movies where people get decapitated aren’t as good as serious dramas. I often hear the 1976 version of The Omen referred to as a “horror classic,” so I guess what that means is that it’s really good for a movie where people get decapitated. In 1993 a couple of superstar little kids named Elijah Wood and Macaulay Culkin starred in a movie called The Good Son. It’s never been called either a “classic” or a “horror classic,” but that might be because nobody gets decapitated in it.

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It’s Spielberg week around here, so hop on your bike and join us on an adventure that involves dirty criminals, dirty pirates, and mortgage-saving gold. The Goonies, directed by Richard Donner, is the kind of fantasy that a lot of children had growing up. They knew something was happening, changing in their neighborhood. They knew that their parents were in some sort of trouble that was too grown up to really grasp, and they wanted to do something to fix everything. Fortunately, a pirate left a ton of treasure to help them out. Now to avoid all the booty traps to get to it. There is a ton of trivia surrounding this movie, but maybe my favorite is that Data has “007” inscribed on his belt, because, as we all know, Data was always a bigger bad ass than Bond. The other contender is the fact that the children weren’t allowed to see the pirate ship until they filmed the scene of them discovering it. That’s a play right out of the Willy Wonka playbook, and apparently the Goonies take had to be redone because some of the kids cursed.

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On June 7, 2011, everything that you love about Superman, be it the Richard Donner films of the late 70s and 80s or Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, will come full circle. No, you’re not being flown to the set of Zack Snyder’s Superman: Man of Steel. You will instead have the chance to own an eight-disc collection of Superman movies that will be in crisp, beautiful high definition and include over 20 hours of special features. I don’t know about you, but that’s a gift that keeps on giving. No matter what you’re after, original theatrical or expanded editions, this one appears to have it all. If you’re curious to see just how much extra Superman goodness there is, just click on through the jump and see the set’s detailed layout. And then you’ll know why I’m personally very excited.

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Ilya Salkind, a 63-year-old native of Mexico City, has reportedly gone missing. TMZ reports that Salkind had recently returned to his hometown to wrap up some loose ends involving an inheritance after the passing of his mother and was last seen leaving his estate to “handle some errands and get some dental work done.” He never returned and friends have filed a missing person report with Mexican police. Salkind has had a near 40-year career working in Hollywood, but he is best known for acquiring the live action rights to the character Superman in 1974, which led to Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman. Salkind served as an executive producer on the first three films of that franchise. If there’s any way that any of us can use our obsessive-compulsive comic book nerd powers to help find him, his friends have set up a website to help with the search.

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Drinking Games

With the holidays approaching, the studios are releasing some pretty sweet collector’s sets of classic films. One of the big releases this week is the 25th anniversary of The Goonies, which comes with the Blu-ray, memorabilia and a board game. If you were a fan of this film as a child, you are clearly old enough to drink now. So raise a toast to One-Eyed Willy and have some fun.

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Twenty five years ago to the day, producer Steven Spielberg and director Richard Donner were probably meeting at the Amblin offices, right there on the Universal lot where they still reside today. They were probably having a conversation about the first day’s receipts and the weekend projections for their newly released film The Goonies.

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Rob Hunter loves movies. He also thinks the 80s are going to be the best decade ever in the world of film. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to rent more movies on VHS.

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goonies-header

The folks over at UniqueDaily never say die, and neither do we. So it seems fitting that they posted this very cool, very rare behind the scenes video from the set of The Goonies.

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Huge Ackman as Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is set for some serious reshoots, but there might be reason to look on the bright side for once. Or not. I’ll let you decide.

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Richard Donner addresses the issue of Lethal Weapon 5, saying that its pretty much ‘dead in the water.’ What does that mean for Lethal Weapon fans? Probably nothing…

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