Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Universal is Really Trying to Get Me to Buy a Blu-Ray Player

Digital copies!!

Universal adds Digital Copies to upcoming Blu-ray & DVD releases (via BackTalk):
"Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just notified that they will be adding digital copies of all three films to both the Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases of the 25th Anniversary box sets being released October 26, 2010."
Can you just imagine being able to watch "Back to the Future" on your iPhone whenever you wanted??

I love technology.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hey! You! Guys!! - Goonies 25th Anniversary Road Trip (Part II)

As promised, I'm (finally!) picking up where I left off in my earlier "Goonies Road Trip" post:

So, once everybody was done milling about at Mikey's house and exploring every corner of a childhood fantasy, it was time to get back on the bus. As the last of the group boarded, the tour guide announced that we'd be going to Andy's practice field next.

On the way there, the bus slowed so we could snap pictures of a house whose chimney had a Goonies mural on it.  The tour guide explained that the previous owner made sure that - no matter whether the house was sold and remodeled - the chimney could never be torn down.

We all thought this seemed perfectly sensible.

Partial glimpse of a Goonies-themed chimney

We also passed the school they used for the film "Kindergarten Cop":

It's not a tumor! It's a playground.
It's not a tumor! It's a school.
(Later in the tour, we would also pass the house that was used as Penelope Ann Miller's house in the same film.)
It's not a tumor!  It's Penelope Ann Miller's house.
(I can do this all day, people.)

It didn't take us long to get to the high school.  I can't say that anybody was really thrilled about it.  I mean, we had just been in Mikey's house!  In his attic, no less!  And now we were going to see some playing field that got a few milliseconds of screen time? But, like good little Goonies, we all filed out of the bus and stood on the edge of a deserted Warren Field.

It didn't look like much but, had we had a screen capture (like the one below) or had Apple had the foresight to make Goonies available to download on the iPhone (and you know I totally checked), we would have noticed that, except for the lack of purple and gold paint, the bleachers look pretty much the same as they did in the film.

A glimpse of the bleachers behind sexy, sexy Andy

And there's Andy. Oh man, did I have a crush on Andy.

You can kiss me with my braces any day.

Who's your Goonie, huh? Who's your GOONIE??

That's right, I am.

I'm sorry... Where were we?

Oh yeah, playing field.

Here's another screen cap, this one showing the sweet flower Andy getting ready to wrangle a group of high school girls into a pyramid:

Standard School Attire Policy: No two students may wear the same color sweatpants.

Standing on the sidelines, I fought the urge to run out to the middle of the empty field so my brother could get a photo but I didn't want to look like an idiot (said the 36-year-old at a Goonies anniversary celebration).  It didn't take long for some of the others in the group to decide that, if they had come all this way to see Andy's field, they may as well make a human pyramid.

And we thought WE were dorks.
It took them a few tries but eventually they got their pyramid.

And our respect.

Put your arms up and smile...
You got it!
Our next stop: Mouth's House.  As our bus driver expertly drove us up the steep, narrow streets, the tour guide explained that the higher we went up the hill, the newer the houses became.  Back when Astoria was just a fur-trading fort (and the first permanent U.S. settlement on the Pacific coast), people built their homes closer to the shoreline.  The hillside may have had spectacular views but, without cars, it was much too inconvenient of a place to live.

A bit later, at the end of a long, straight stretch of road, our bus pulled up in front of an inconspicuous brick and wood house with two garage doors.  Our guide reminded us that we would, once again, be entering somebody's home and, not only should we be grateful for their allowing such a motley crew of awkwardness to stream through their home all weekend (I'm paraphrasing) but we should show our respect as well.

A beared gentleman came out of the house.  He looked like a college professor.  He boarded the bus and was handed the mic for the loudspeaker.  He cleared his throat like a man ready to give a lecture, and then he got to talking.

He first welcomed us, occasionally stopping to take some meaningful pauses.

He then talked about how great it was that the movie connected with so many people.

He then explained that they'd only bought the house a few years ago so they weren't there for the filming.

He then talked about some of the remodeling they've done since then. "But we're still using the same dishwasher.  It works.  No need to replace it."

I think he then cracked a joke about his wife never doing the dishes but, by this point, everyone's attention was straying towards the inside of the house.  It wasn't that he wasn't interesting. It's just that keeping a load of Goonies fans trapped in a bus sitting outside of Mouth's house could be considered "cruel and unusual" in some states.

Eventually, he got to talking about his house's part in Goonies. "So, why THIS house?" he asked aloud. "Well, as you'll be able to see once you're up in the kitchen, the window next to the sink has a view of a long stretch of road.  This is the road the police chased the Fratellis down at the beginning of the movie."

Here's a screen cap of that scene:

He then talked a bit more about the scene in which Mouth jumps up on the counter next to the sink and, when he looks into the drain, gets sprayed with water. "We were also going to try to have some water spurting out of the sink but, in the end, we decided not to. For two very important reasons.  First, logistically, it was no easy feat. Have you ever tried to rig a drain to spray water? It's not easy. And second, and more importantly, it was dangerous.  They last thing we'd want is for one of you guys to slip on our wet kitchen floor."


We were all pretty antsy by the time he finally got to talking about us actually going inside. "OK, so we'll be heading in soon.  For your convenience, we've got the scene from the movie playing on a loop inside.  We want you to have a chance to make that connection.  This whole thing will mean a lot more to you if you can see it on the screen," he held up his hands like a director and then swung the lens toward the house, "...and then see it in person.  Make that connection.  The connection between the movie and the house."

"All right!" he said with some finality, giving his hands a clap. My brother and I started to gather our stuff.

"Any questions?"

My brother and I put our stuff back down.

After the Q&A, he proposed a question to us. "Just a little something for you to ponder while you're inside.  Were Mouth and his father fixing their own sink?  OR... were they on the job at somebody else's house?  Something to think about."

And with that, we gave him some applause and started to unload. "To make sure you all get a chance to really see the kitchen," he added, "we'll only be allowing groups of 10 or less in at a time." Naturally, Ken and I were in the first group. "Don't forget to sign the guest book!" he reminded us as we walked up the brick steps into his home.

Once inside, we thanked his wife for all of the hospitality and we paused to watch the scene which was playing on a loop in the living room.

Here's the famous sink and, just above it, the view that got this house cast in the movie:

And here's Corey Feldman (so young! so innocent!) and his on-screen dad in the very house we were standing in:

"Turn that TV off, son. I can't hear myself think!"

Here's Ken standing between the famous view and the famous sink:

He's beaming, I tells ya!
Ken and I both had a chance to enjoy the view and, dare I say, make "the connection". (And, I won't lie, having the video playing on a loop really made it special.) Once we left the house, we immediately got back on the bus to tweet and Facebook about our experiences thus far.  Blogging would come later.

Much later.

As soon as everyone was back on board with us, the owners of the house came out to bid us farewell (and to breathe a sigh of relief that the "Goonies 25th Anniversary" was finally over). Here's a picture of the house as it is now:

"Thank God THAT's over!"
And here's a screen cap of the same house in the Goonies movie:

You'll also notice that there's a plumbing van parked in the driveway which lends credence to his theory that this was NOT Mouth's house, but just a plumbing stop.

Hey, you learn something new every day.

Our drive back to the seaside took us on another series of precarious streets across and back down the hillside. Each twist and turn of the road presented another view of the Astoria-Megler bridge:

Near the bottom of the hill, the tour guide pointed out a cluster of homes. "Annnnd, just inside there... that is where the home from Short Circuit is." The following blurry shot is the best we could get from the moving bus:

Thankfully, the house was no disassembled. (Ouch.)
From there, we went to the Lower Columbia Bowling Alley, better know as the place where Chunk smeared pizza and milkshake all over the window:

"Oh wow! A police chase!"

Before we arrived, the tour guide shared with us a rumor about the purpose of the "milkshake and pizza" scene. "You'll see when you get inside the bowling alley that there's a McDonald's across the street.  Well, Goonies had arranged a promotional deal with Burger King. And, needless to say, Burger King didn't want a McDonald's in their movie. So, rumor has it that they had Chunk hold up his pizza to hide the McDonalds."

Sure enough, if you look at the first screen cap below (click to make it bigger), you'll see the Golden Arches just between the bar in the middle and Chunk's left hand, and in the second picture, you won't:
Now you see it!
Now, you don't!

Here's the window as it is now from the outside:

The dirtiest window in Astoria

And here it is from the inside, along with a screen cap (and clever marketing opportunity):

The sign included the following warning (which I'm guessing was written by some fed-up janitor):

"Please do not recreate the milkshake spilling scene!"

Ken got himself a milkshake and posed for a picture:

As did a few others:

And, of course, the original:

The Money Shot

From here, the tour was pretty much over. We now had the option of taking the bus back to the Goon Docks or we could walk to the nearby county jail and the Flavel house, two more Goonies landmarks which, while we had passed them before, we would be able to explore on our own.  We opted to walk.

Here's the Flavel House Museum as it is now:

They were having a "History of Astoria" retropactum.
That's what I said.

And here it is as the Astoria Museum (and workplace of Mikey's dad) in the Goonies Movie.

And, literally, right across the street, is the former Clatsop County Jail.

Here it is in the film (with a dapper looking Joey Pants):

And here it is now, painted blue and converted to (fittingly) the Oregon Film Museum:

And what's that parked out front, you ask? Is that a 4-wheel deal with a real neat ORV??

Yes. Yes, it is.

Not only that, but check out what's inside:

Mama Fratelli's crackers!
Gas containers!
A Chunk-autographed dashboard!
Why, there's only one thing that could make this ORV cooler...


From the movie
In person
Obligatory bullet holes shot.

At this time of day, there were only a few other people in the parking lot, three of which I recognized from the human pyramid back on Andy's field. One of them offered to snap a picture of my brother and me in front of the bullet-holed vehicle.

Turns out that the 3 of them had also come from Seattle together but, unlike Ken and myself, they'd left at 5 in the morning to catch the Meet & Greet with Jeff "Chunk" Cohen, Corey "Mouth" Feldman and Joe "Hey, weren't you in the Matrix, too?" Pantoliano.

Sadly, it's didn't go well.

"None of the actors showed up!"
"Yeah, the whole thing would have been a total bust if Curtis Hanson hadn't shown up."
"Troy's dad. Great guy."

Troy's dad? Really? Here he is in the movie (on the right):

"Is your mommy home?"
Mr. Hansen must have really made an impression because they couldn't stop raving about him.
"Totally professional.  A real stand-up guy."
They all nodded in agreement.
"Yeah, I want to watch the movie again but with a new respect for Troy's dad."
"Absolutely! You know... I WANT him to get his balls out." (A movie reference that only a true Goonies could appreciate.)

"We take it all back, Troy's dad!"
They handed us our cameras back and we headed back to Ken's truck, ready for the long drive back to Seattle.

The Hero Shot
Thank you, Astoria.

See you next year for the 25th Anniversary of Short Circuit...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Check out my blog traffic for the week:

I wish EVERYday could be the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future!

UPDATE: I don't know how everybody found my site but nearly all of them seemed to be going to this post about the Back to the Future iPhone app.

UPDATE II: Think I figured it out. If you do a Google search for "back to the future time circuits", the picture from my post is in the top three. Interesting!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 25th Anniversary, Back to the Future!

It was 25 years ago today that "Back to the Future" was released, giving my 11-year-old self the thrill of his life and my 29-year-old-self a job in Japan.

Great Scott! Back to the Future Was Released 25 Years Ago Today (from /Film):
"Robert Zemeckis‘ Back to the Future was released 25 years ago today, on July 3rd 1985. The movie is not just a classic but, as you know, my favorite movie of all time.
After the jump I’ve included a bunch of behind the scenes videos and old trailers. Please leave your memories of the first film in the comments below!"
Big thanks to everyone who brought this trilogy to life.