All three films; The Goonies (1985), Stand by Me (1986) and E.T. (1982) were made and released in the eighties, when blockbuster summer flicks were relatively new and drew in all the kids who didn’t want to miss out on what their friends would be talking about when school rolled around again. This period of excitement and adventure has recently been brought back to the height of cultural awareness thanks mainly to a small show on Netflix called Stranger Things.
E.T. is to many an important memory from their childhoods, of a time when Elliott's desire for adventure mirrored our own
For many of us some of the happiest times of our youth was spent indoors with friends watching other kids (American kids on a small screen) going off and having adventures, rather than doing it ourselves because, who needs to hassle?. The Goonies and E.T. are staples of western youth culture. Many of us have seen both films many times over the years and know the films very well. While I have some issues with it in other ways, E.T. is to many an important memory from their childhoods, of the time when Elliott's desire for adventure mirrored our own and when they pretended not to sniffle and cry at the end.
The Goonies is perhaps the quintessential young-teen adventure movie. It features an excellent and eclectic range of outsiders living in the drab Oregon town of Astoria, their only escape being their friendships with each other and rides on their prized bikes. Their friendship however, is on the verge of being torn apart. An attic rummage one afternoon sets the kids off on one last adventure, to find the treasure of One-Eyed Willie (don’t laugh you’re at Uni now). If you want a true adventure movie for kids and adults of all ages, then get down to the far end of Northumberland Street before the month is out.
Of the three films being shown at the Tyneside over the coming weeks, the one that I will certainly be going to watch on the big screen is Stand By Me by Rob Reiner. It is, unlike the other two, a drama and a more emotionally taxing experience, but one that will stay with you long after your first watch. Based on a Stephen King novella called The Body, the story follows four young guys as they attempt to beat their summer boredom by trying to find a dead body. Along the way they discover themselves, and a dead body. The films emotional edge is given by the outstanding performance of the short-lived River Phoenix. Many older readers will have already seen Stand By Me, but if you haven’t I strongly recommend you do. It will stay with you long after you leave the theatre and reinforce your close friendships like no other film can.