The Princess Bride Anniversary Blu-ray Review (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Monday, October 29, 2012
The first time I saw The Princess Bride, it mirrored what transpires in the film. My parents popped me and my brother down in front of the TV and told us to watch this “great movie”. I don’t know if that was over selling it or not. However, my Dad raised me on movies and the term “great” was usually applied to The Adventures of Robin of Hood and Casablanca. So in my mind, at 12 years of age, I thought I was going to get the next of those films. My brother was an easier sell since Andre the Giant was in it and he loved the WWF.
It was a tough sale for me. I loved the story, itself. Robin Wright was cute, although she had a terrible character name, Buttercup. Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin delivered a sword fight on the upper echelon of the all time great sword fights. Yet, it was that opening segment, with Fred Savage and Peter Falk, that was like nails on a chalkboard. I cared little for the coaxing of The Princess Bride. Is it so hard to take your parents’ or grandparents’ advice on face value? It is part of the point and the history of passing down stories from one generation to another. It has always been an issue with me and I even considered editing them out once.
This is not the first release for The Princess Bride on Blu-ray and it will not be the last. This edition features all the same special features as the 2011 edition. The only new feature is a 30 minute documentary titled “True Love: The Princess Bride Phenomenon”. Director Rob Reiner sits down with his two leads, Cary Elwes and Robin Wright, and reminisces about shooting the film, setting Wright on fire, meeting Andre the Giant, and how the film has changed their lives. Elwes’ story about meeting President Clinton is a highlight as well as Reiner’s trip to Africa. The 30 minute featurette does feature some “super” fans that may scare people. However, anyone actually watching/ reading this will understand an obsession with movies.
“The Princess Bride: The Untold Tale” (9:06) is a short piece from the 2007 release that has an incredible remembrance from Mandy Patinkin. Patinkin regales us with his first viewing of the completed film and the profound effect it had on him. That alone made watching all the special features worthwhile.
The Blu-ray Experience:
You cannot deny the transfer that MGM and 20th Century Fox have done for The Princess Bride. When we witness the budding romance of Wesley and Buttercup, each leaf is seen. Morning dew glistens and the entire world comes to life. It does make many of the set pieces feel just like that, set pieces. However, your overall enjoyment of the acting and dialogue quickly bring you back to the matter at hand, this “great movie”. Perhaps the best way to see the difference between the Blu-ray transfer and what you had before is the end titles. They are terrible and look as if they were forgotten about in the transferring process. I found it strange and completely noticeable after witnessing this great transfer.
Here we are today, 25 years later, and The Princess Bride has become that “great movie”. A movie that is taking its rightful place next to the likes of The Adventures of Robin Hood and Casablanca. It is the perfect tale for countless generations that will be passed down from one to the other. The coaxing will always commence as trust between the generations will never be an easy thing. Ironically enough, if we would have been asked to pass it down, our collective answer would have been, “as you wish”.
The Special Features:
True Love: The Princess Bride Phenomenon
Audio Commentary by Rob Reiner
Audio Commentary by William Goldman
As You Wish: The Story of The Princess Bride
Cary Elwes Video Diary
The Dread Pirate Roberts: Greatest Pirate of the Seven Seas
Love is Like a Storybook
The Princess Bride The Untold Tales featurette
The Art of Fencing featurette
Fairytales and Folklore featurette
Original theatrical trailer
Mania Grade: A
Starring: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Christopher Guest, André the Giant, Wallace Shawn, Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Chris Sarandon
Written By: William Goldman (book), William Goldman (screenplay)
Directed By: Rob Reiner
Original Year of Release: 1987
Distributor: MGM/ 20th Century Fox
Extras: See Below