Thursday, October 6, 2011

"The Princess Bride" a not-so-fairy-tale classic (by a guest blogger)




BASIC INFO:
TITLE: "The Princess Bride"
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1987
DIRECTOR: Rob Reiner
STARS: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright
EDITOR: Robert Leighton
AWARDS: Best Fantasy Film, Best Costumes, Nominated Best Writing, Nominated Best Actress (Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Films, USA)
BOX OFFICE: $30,857,814 (USA)
RUN TIME:  98 min.
RATING: PG
VIEWING FORMAT: DVD
SUMMARY:
A woman falls in love with a farmboy, but he is soon killed by pirates as he searches for a fortune in order to marry her. When the prince is to make her his princess, she is captured by bandits. Now she is being tracked by her soon-to-be husband, who can only hope to find her before the mysterious Man In Black. The story brings everything to the table: action, drama, comedy, and true love.
WHY THIS IS THE FILM OF THE WEEK:
While it may not match the renown of the other movies to have crossed this blog, it is quite possibly the most likable by all audiences. Its genius humor (with Rob Reiner at the helm, who would expect any less?) combined with its excellent rendition of the original book's story (the author wrote the screenplay) created a masterful work that, while remaining true to the fantasy genre, spans almost all cinematic preferences. Many viewers may enter into the experience expecting a chick flick, much like the young Fred Savage's character, but I am certain those expectations will be crushed by the end of the movie.
No, the movie did not spawn a sequel or redefine the genre, it is a classic in my book simply because of its watchability. If one parses out the script, they will find a original mixture of clever humor and philosophical maxims, leaving the viewer with some of the most quotable movie scripts of all time. Even after a single viewing experience, I have found almost every viewer swapping lines for a half-hour. Many movies have memorable quotes, whether funny, deep, or heartwarming. Very few movies can attain a good quantity of one type; even fewer can attain an enormous quantity of all.
I cannot forget the wonderful screenplay by multiple-Grammy award winning music artist Mark Knopfler. He is highly regarded as one of the greatest guitar players ever, as well as an extremely respected producer. The decision to choose Mark Knopfler for this movie was a stroke of genius.
All in all, this is a fantasy movie for the non-fantasy fan. It is a romance movie for the non-romantic. It is a comedy for someone just looking for a drama. Nothing is left out in this classic tale of adventure and true love.
CRITIQUE:
This is by far the most widely accepted movie I have ever seen that is not somewhat directed towards children. Disney movies, while having widespread appeal, are still focused towards children. Many people my age love Disney movies because of fond memories they have of them as children. The Princess Bride, however, is not focused towards children. It is by no means explicit, but it its humored is just clever enough to be missed by children.
Its constant parody of traditional princess movies is also a fine line that is hard to match. It was able to capture just enough of that “true love” appeal to gain the respect of romantics, while at the same time making fun of it without offending anybody.
The swordplay performed by Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, and Christopher Guest did not use stunt doubles. While some of the acrobatic moves' practicality may be in question, a distinct lack of cliché is quite noticeable to all viewers. The plot is convenient and coincidental without feeling contrived. The script is complex without feeling labored. The scenes continuously step back into the real world with Fred Savage and Peter Falk without breaking the stride of the script whatsoever. The subtle humor spread throughout the entire film is enhanced by the sometimes unrealistic props, not diminished by it (Andre obviously not being in the Holocaust Cloak). Every ounce of this movie is calculated and clever, making sure to not offend anybody without feeling like the script was neutered by some Hollywood censor. In essence, this movie is popularly regarded as “the perfect movie.” Another movie walking the precise line of humor, drama, romance, and action would be inconceivable.
MY IMDb RATING:  8 out of 10
GUEST BIO:
Hey, I'm David. I'm a Music Business student at Anderson University. While many afternoons before and during high school watching various movies with my brother grew a huge appreciation for all genres of movies, I love nothing more than an extremely thought-provoking piece of cinematic philosophy. The best movies are those that are unpredictable because of their unprecedented creativity (i.e. Memento, a movie not only hugely thrilling but scientifically spot-on). That being said, there is a reason cliche is overused. Popular cliche movies are just like catchy tunes, there's something about them that resonates with true life. I like movies. Come watch one with me sometime.

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