My Movie Crush continues as I reminisce back on my memories of the objects of my adolescent obsession. Join me.
Kids always have a thing for their friends' older brothers. They're around when you come over for a visit, sweaty from doing upside-down sit-ups in cut-off sweatshirts and bandannas and wondering why they got stuck hanging out with the younger kids while those hot cheerleader types are out dating jerks with names like Troy. They act tough and totally uninterested until you find the map to One Eyed Willie's treasure and then before you know it, those hot older brother types are right there with the ragtag band of misfit adventurers, battling the bad guys and saving the neighborhood from foreclosure.
Well, that's more or less what most older brother types are like, at least in my hazy childhood recollections. Then again, I could be confusing my real life memories with my movie memory of 1985's The Goonies, which starred the then-17-year-old Josh Brolin as Brandon "Brand" Walsh in his very first screen role.
For children of the '80s, Brolin's Brand was and still is the definitive "hot older brother" in the movies. While the younger, pubescent Goonies were still clowning around like kids with video games and gadgets, Brand was busy working out. Like, all the time. Sweating like a man. Yet even as he teased and bullied younger brother Mikey (Sean Astin) and Mikey's friends, Mouth (Corey Feldman), Chunk (Jeff Cohen), and Data (Jonathan Ke Quan), Brand's brotherly love emerged whenever the gang was really in trouble, proving that he was still one of them.
Brand was even cuter for his crush on popular cheerleader Andy Carmichael (Kerri Green). Andy was a tad on the wimpy side for my tastes, but Brand melted into a giant, adorable goofball whenever she was around. He may not have had Troy's Mustang (or a driver's license), but Brand was the guy Andy wanted to cling to in the dark -- even if she did accidentally make out with Mikey that one time.
Hard core fans remember Brolin's next big role following The Goonies in the little-seen 1986 skating drama Thrashin', which I recommend only for folks who really, really love the '80s. Brolin starred as Cory Webster, a super cute skateboarder who breaks into the L.A. downhill skateboarding scene and crosses a rival punk skating gang. Was it really Thrashin', with its epic skater-on-skater jousting scene, that slowed Brolin's post-Goonies career momentum?
In the years that followed Goonies and Thrashin', Brolin found himself on television shows like the short-lived "Private Eye" and ABC's "The Young Riders," in which he played a young version of Wild Bill Hickock. A few years later he resurfaced in films like Flirting with Disaster, The Mod Squad, and Hollow Man, and nabbed the lead role in the series "Mister Sterling," which was shortly canceled.
The year 2007, however, marked another turning point for Brolin: he had a memorable role as the infected Dr. William Block in Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror and later that year appeared in the Oscar-nominated American Gangster and the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men. The following year, Brolin co-starred in two more acclaimed films, Oliver Stone's W. (as the titular George W. Bush) and Gus Van Sant's Oscar nominee, Milk. Brolin fans can next look forward to seeing him work further with notable directors in the comic book Western Jonah Hex (Jimmy Hayward), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Oliver Stone), You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (Woody Allen), and the remake True Grit (Joel and Ethan Coen). Not bad for a one-time exercise-obsessed teenager who once defeated the Fratellis, saved the town, and got the girl with a little help from his friends.
As Mikey Walsh once said, "Goonies never say die!"