OK, before we start, I am no movie critic ok, I know what I like, and can have a chat about it, but don't be expecting bloody Roger Ebert ok! I have decided that I will pepper throughout this blog at varying points (i.e. when I can be bothered) some of my personal insites into some movies that I really enjoy. So we are starting fantasy - with The Princess Bride.
Why oh why has it taken me 23 years of my life before watching this film [before anyone says anything I know it was released in 1987, so technically 22 years of my life, as the 1st year doesn't count, because the film hadn't been released yet...but if you spotted that you're lamer then me]?! I'll tell you why though, there was a problem with the title of the film that just didn't sit well with me. Now I have no problem with the word “The”...but stick the words “Princess” and “Bride” after that, and what you have on your hands is a snoozefest. Boy have I learned to never judge a film by it's title.
I decided to give the film a watch after hearing it talked about briefly on the “Geek Syndicate” podcast (I will blog about these guys another time – they rawk!). They happened to mention that there was some pretty decent swordplay in it...and as soon as I heard the word sword, my ears pricked up! And boy oh boy was I not disappointed on that front!
I'm going to TRY and not give too much away in this post, in case there is anyone reading who hasn't seen the movie. However there may be spoilers in this post, so if you REALLY don't want to know too much about the movie, it might be worth giving this one a miss.
Ok, admittedly you have to get over the polystyrene rocks, and the wobbly swords (I don't know a lot about swords...maybe they really are that wobbly in real life), but all in all this is a great film. I don't want to go into too much detail about the story line, but essentially it is about an old man who is reading a story to his sick Grandson. The story is what makes the basis of the film (and the bits where they cut back to the bedroom where he is reading to his Grandson are actually a bit annoying). Our Princess to be, gets kidnapped by a trio of crooks, Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) – a sword wielding Spaniard, possibly the best Sword-fighter in the lands..., Fezzik (Andre the Giant) – a big...strong...giant man, and Vizzini (Wallace Shawn – the voice of the Dinosaur in Toy Story...!). They are chased down by our hero, Westley (Carey Elwes – I especially like the bit where he chops off his foot with a hacksaw...oh wait wrong film!!). Now there is a lot more to the story then this, with twists and turns all over the shop, but like I said before – I don't want to give too much of the game away!
Well what can I tell you about this movie then (I hear you scream). There is an awesome, awesome, kick-ass scene where Carey Elwes and Mandy Patinkin (who is on a search for the 6 fingered man who killed his father so he can look him in the eye and say “hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father...prepare to die!”) duke it out fencing stylee! I mean this is just beautiful choreography, however the swords are a bit wobbly (this could be the style of sword – they're pokey ones, not slashy ones...or just poor props) but it is great, great fun! It all starts with Mandy saying “You seem a decent fellow, I hate to have to kill you”, Carey retorts “You seem like a decent fellow, I hate to die”...the sword fight starts off fairly understated...but builds up wonderfully, including between the legs parries, backflips, and behind the back thrusts! It is pure fencing too, on rocky, terrain...keep an eye on Carey Elwes legs...I can't get over his stance, it is amazing how he moves!
There is pure comedy in this film as well, some really funny parts...and words of wisdom too (“you be careful, people in masks can't be trusted”...were truer words ever spoken?!). And Christopher Guest towards the end of the film is brillo. Mandy dispatches a few of his bodyguards, and gives him a line of dialogue, and they face off against each other...Christopher Guest readies his sword, then turns round and hightails it out of there!
Wallace Shawn was great too, although you will never want to hear the word inconceivable spoken by another person! He has introduced me to the two classic blunders though...saying to Carey “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders the most famous being never start a land war in Asia, but the only slightly less well know is never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line”! So remember that guys...don't trust the Sicilian's! (*Said without prejudice...*)
Add on top of this, eel infested water, rodents of unusual size, the fireswamp (with it's lightning sand!), the pit of dispair, and pirates, well you've got the makings of a corking film in my books!
WATCH THIS MOVIE...it is a must see, great, great fun.
Oh and look out for ROUS's – although, I don't think they exist... ;o)