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The Princess Bride Criterion Blu-ray Review

Bride

“The Princess Bride” is bound to be one of Criterion’s biggest sellers.

If you don’t know the story of “The Princess Bride” by now, I’d be shocked. A young sick boy is read a story by his grandfather. That story is, of course, “The Princess Bride” which is about the romance between Buttercup and her former farm hand Wesley. Their love is fraught with heartbreak and danger, however, due to a series of unfortunate events that end up separating them (a couple times in fact). Worse still, Buttercup is set to be wed to a shady Prince she does not love. Will Buttercup and Wesley reunite once again?

1987’s “The Princess Bride” is one of those movies that appeals to everyone of all ages because there’s something for everyone here. There’s action and adventure, humor, a great cast of characters (and a great cast), endlessly quotable lines (“Inconceivable!”), romance, revenge, creatures, great danger, you get the idea. It’s also the rare fantasy movie that works wonders. Even to this day, the fantasy genre is the toughest nut to crack, but ‘Bride’ makes it look easy because you buy into these characters almost instantly. Much of the credit has to go to director Rob Reiner who really makes this story come alive through a tight 98 minute runtime.

Going back to the characters, the cast is absolutely aces. Cary Elwes and Robin Wright are the heart fo the movie as Wesley and Buttercup, but the supporting cast is as good if not better. Personally, Mandy Patinkin steals the show for me as Inigo Montoya as he has many of the best scenes and lines. Not to be forgotten here are Wallace Shawn as the fast talking, obnoxious but utterly unforgettable Vizzini, Andre The Giant as the towering and sometimes rhyme loving Fezzik, Fred Savage as the grandson, Peter Falk as the narrator and grandfather, Billy Crystal as the quirky Miracle Max, Christopher Guest as the six fingered Count Rugen and finally Chris Sarandon as the slimy Prince. It truly is one of those magical ensemble casts where everyone is on point.

Note: I have to say I absolutely love the packaging for this release. The disc comes housed in a children’s storybook like purple hardcover book case with pages inside of it. The pages, of course, are the standard booklet that come with each Criterion release. In this booklet, you get credits, an essay by author Sloane Crosley and an excerpt from a William Goldman book.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The film has been given a 4K digital restoration and results may vary depending on how you like your picture quality. This is a very natural grain heavy release which may bug some viewers. That aside, the colors are certainly nice and crisp here.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? From the sword fights to the music, this 5.1 audio track is as sharp as a sword.

Extras: * “The Princess Bride” audiobook excerpts read by Rob Reiner * 2 trailers and 4 TV spots * “The Art Of Fencing”- Sword master Robert Goodwin talks about the fencing in the film as well as the work of sword master Bob Anderson * “Fairy Tales And Folklore”- An interview with scholar Jack Zipes about fairy tales and “The Princess Bride.” * “Making The Film”- A 6 part extra that includes segments about the makeup work on Miracle Max, a Cary Elwes video diary, an interview with art director Richard Holland, select cast members reciting memories about making the film, a 2001 making of documentary, and 5 short behind-the-scenes videos. * “The Tapestry”- A new extra about the tapestry that illustrates scenes from the story. * “Pure Enchantment”- Another new extra. This one features writer/professor Loren-Paul Caplin discussing the screenplay. * ‘True Love”- A discussion about “The Princess Bride” with Cary Elwes, Robin Wright and Rob Reiner. * An enjoyable 1997 commentary with Rob Reiner, William Goldman, Andrew Scheinman, Billy Crystal and Peter Falk.

 

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November 4, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , ,

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