Sunday, 11 December 2011

REVIEW/THOUGHTS [Movie] -- The Princess Bride

Format Watched [Specific Edition, if any]: DVD [20th Anniversary Collector's Edition]
Approx. Runtime: 98 minutes (1 hour, 38 minutes)
Language Watched: English
Other Language(s) Available: Spanish, French
DVD Extra Content? Yes
Type of Movie: Adventure, Romance, Comedy, Fairy tale
Overall Impression: Loved it back then, and still love it now!

PERSONAL STANDING (Pre-exposures, thoughts, etc.)
The first time I ever watched The Princess Bride was at a friend's Canada Day gathering (I think it was Canada's Day) more than 10 years ago. I missed the beginning of the movie, so I didn't pay that much attention to it (I don't like watching movies from the middle). As it continued playing, though, certain scenes drew me. The scene that "won me over" was the battle of wits between the pirate and the Sicilian. The dialogue was so hilarious, I had to keep watching from that point on. I don't remember if we finished watching the movie, but I remember enjoying what I saw.

Fast forward to last year and I saw the full movie for the first time. I LOVED IT! What a sweet, romantic movie. And the humour is just right. I can watch this movie over and over (which I have for this past week while writing this review).

While I am aware that many have already watched this movie, I will keep this as spoiler-free as possible for those who haven't.

The movie starts with a boy who's sick in bed, playing video games. His grandfather pays him a visit and reads him the story The Princess Bride.

The Princess Bride is about a commoner girl named Buttercup and a farm boy named Westley who love each other immensely. Some things happen and Buttercup is engaged to Prince Humperdinck, a man she does not love. Before Buttercup is married, she gets kidnapped. There is more to tell, but that's all I'm going to tell you!

Westley and Buttercup. What a sweet couple!

I really enjoy that even though the main focus of the story is The Princess Bride, there are still scenes between the boy and his grandfather. It's interesting and funny to hear commentary from a boy who is listening to something that is at its core, a love story. I also liked that those scenes indicated a passing of time in the "real world"; there is one scene in the middle of the movie where the boy and his grandfather are talking and the boy is holding a sandwich with a lunch tray on his bed and his grandfather is holding a mug, indicating they were having lunch. I don't know why, but I find that added detail neat.

Let me say this: there was never a moment where I thought, They're acting. That means the acting was very honest and believable. During comedic moments, there was great comedic acting. During the serious, tender moments, there was great sincerity.

The boy and his grandfather. The boy is throwing a fit 
because he didn't like what his grandfather just read.

Being a fairy tale, many of the characters' intentions, motivations, desires, and alignment are clear-cut. Despite that, many conflicts and events happen that keeps you wondering if those characters will succeed. The main characters are also witty, lovable, and charming. The dynamics of the different personalities really mesh well.
The music is great. It really sets the era (medieval times) and the mood of each scene. There are also many times where the music helped express the hopes and sorrows of the characters. Sometimes I don't even notice the music playing until it's in full force. I think that says just how nicely the music works with the movie. Some tracks include dreary brass pieces; a slow, light string (lute maybe) and flute (clarinet?) piece; a brass, harp, and organ piece that instils hope and determination; a playful string piece; and many more. Most of the music is slow and soothing.

The 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition of The Princess Bride has these special features:

-True Love and High Adventure: The Official Princess Bride DVD Game (disappointing)
-Princess Bride: The Untold Tales Featurette (neat, but short)
-The Art of Fencing Featurette (neat, but short)
-Fairy Tales and Folklore Featurette (neat, but short)
-A Twice Told Tale: The reversible storybook with two version of The Princess Bride story (not present!)

The DVD game contains three easy mini-games and at the end, depending on how you did, you'll get a word that you can use at to redeem for something. The game wasn't very fun, though I did enjoy the dialogue between the characters. Going to the princessbridegame site was disappointing as there was no place there to input some word. If they had it at some point, it was probably taken down or was moved to another site, though there's no notice of anything being moved or taken down.

The Princess Bride: Untold Tales Featurette is a short talk with some of the actors about the film and their stories. It was way too short. The Art of Fencing Featurette is a short talk about fencing and its art (quite straightforward). The Fairy Tales and Folklore Featurette is a short talk about the meanings and significances of fairy tales.

The Twice Told Tale is supposedly a DVD booklet that tells the story of The Princess Bride when flipping through the pages one way, and tells an alternate version of The Princess Bride when turning the booklet upside down and reading it the other way. This was NOT included in my version of the movie (I bought the DVD a week ago), and after reading some customer reviews on an online store site, the booklet hasn't been included in over 4 years. That's... really sucky and misleading.

One thing that I find horrible about the special features is that there is no commentary track. For a movie as awesome as this, there needs to be one! It turns out that another edition of The Princess Bride includes a commentary track. So don't get the 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition if you want commentary.

If you have never seen The Princess Bride, I highly recommend that you do. After all these years, it is still so charming and magical. Ahh... true love... :)

To end off, here's a screenshot of one of the funnier moments in the movie (of course, while still trying to be spoiler-free).

Curious about what he's saying? Then watch the movie!

P.S. As always, if you're curious about anything or would just like to comment on anything, go ahead and respond! :)

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