The Saturday reviews march on, continuing what
X-Men: The Last Stand started in what is sure
to be a review-filled weekend on the Bureau.
Cast, Crew, and Other Info
Cary Elwes as Westley
Robin Wright as Buttercup
Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya
Chris Sarandon as Prince Humperdinck
Christopher Guest as Count Tyrone Rugen
Wallace Shawn as Vizzini
Andre the Giant as Fezzik
Fred Savage as the Grandson
Peter Falk as the Grandfather
Peter Cook as the Impressive Clergyman
Mel Smith as the Albino
Carol Kane as Valerie
Billy Crystal as Miracle Max
Written by William Goldman, based on his own
Directed by Rob Reiner.
Complete information is available from the IMDB.
A man reads his son a fairytale, complete with “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles… ”
“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Multiple shadows are present while swordfighting outside. If that doesn’t scream “you’re watching a movie!” nothing does.
Normally, adaptations suffer for originality, given that they aren’t original materials. In this case, however, Goldman had been trying to translate his own work for years, and was doing something a little bit different from the book, so it doesn’t feel the same. It’s also a satire of fairy tales that long predates Shrek, and there aren’t many of those at all. I give it 5 out of 6.
The effects were not so good. The plastic creatures looked unmistakably like plastic creatures. The eels seem to be running on tracks, and the ROUSs don’t seem as threatening with completely immobile faces. I give it 3 out of 6.
The story was very nicely interwoven between the sick grandson and the story he’s listening to. There are some interesting twists that we aren’t used to, such as the survival of the villain (spoiled in the movie as well) that keep the audience guessing. Most importantly, it seems to have hit every goal it set for itself. I give it 6 out of 6.
The acting could have been exceedingly hammy, given the nature of the story, but they avoided that temptation nicely. The casting in general, such as Falk and Crystal, was incredible for all roles, regardless of whether they were big or small. That pair nailed every element of their roles, doing perfect jobs. The rest of the cast, while not perfect, was merely fantastic. I give it 6 out of 6.
The emotional response is wonderful. This is fun and funny, and a great way to spend part of an evening. I give it 6 out of 6.
The production has some shining moments, such as the angle shot at the beginning of the “guide my sword” portion. Other moments are quite pedestrian, while some just have obvious goofs (such as the aforementioned low point.) The actors do a wonderful job with their lines, but the director leaves the entertainment almost entirely up to them. I give it 4 out of 6.
Overall, despite its production flaws, I have to recommend this movie without reservation. I give it 6 out of 6.
In total, The Princess Bride receives 36 out of 42.
The Coming Weeks
The first three Saturdays in June will be home to reviews of the Indiana Jones trilogy. On June 24, a review of Return to the Batcave will wrap up the month’s Saturday reviews.