1987 Movie Review: THE PRINCESS BRIDE, 1987

THE PRINCESS BRIDE,  MOVIE POSTERTHE PRINCESS BRIDE, 1987
Movie Reviews

Directed by Rob Reiner
Starring: Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Andre The Giant, Billy Crystal, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn

Review by Virginia De Witt

SYNOPSIS:

A young boy is home sick from school, when his grandfather arrives and begins to read to him from a story book. The tale of Buttercup and Westley, who live in the faraway land of Florin, then unfolds. They fall in love but are separated, and Buttercup believes Westley has been killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Years later, Buttercup, now betrothed to the villainous Prince Humperdinck, is kidnapped on the eve of her wedding. A mysterious man in black appears to do battle with the kidnappers and save Buttercup. Westley eventually reveals himself to Buttercup as the man in black, who has survived his encounter with the Dread Pirate Roberts, and together they set off to escape Humperdinck and his men, only to be caught and separated again. The Princess Bride, Buttercup and her true love, Westley, eventually endure many tests and trials before their ultimate and inevitable reunion.

REVIEW:

This adaptation of William Goldman’s 1973 novel of the same name, is as heavily indebted to the history of the movies as it is to the stories of Hans Christian Anderson, which its title and its core story are meant to evoke. William Goldman was a successful Hollywood screenwriter, e.g. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969), when he wrote this children’s book and he, along with director, Rob Reiner, made it into a deeply affectionate tribute to the Saturday matinee idols of their youth, particularly to the swashbuckling films of Errol Flynn. It is a swiftly paced, beautifully shot and often funny adventure fantasy, that is aided greatly by its large cast, as well as Goldman’s imaginative writing.

The story itself is the proverbial roller coaster ride which never lags and features every familiar figure from the world of fairy tales, from giants to a wicked prince; a beautiful princess in waiting to a wizened old wizard. Goldman throws in a few inventions of his own along the way – in the Fire Swamp, for instance, where Buttercup and Westley hide from their pursuers, they must battle Rodents of Unusual Size, monsters which are fun to watch and which conjure up memories of cheap horror flicks. The film is memorably shot by Adrian Biddle who successfully evokes a technicolor story book landscape. Florin is a world unto itself of gauzy meadows and moonlit waters, and which features Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher standing in for the Cliffs of Insanity where the Man In Black first does battle with the three marauders who have kidnapped Buttercup.

The key to the film’s success, however, is its cast, which Rob Reiner has directed with a sure hand. This is especially true in the comedic interludes, which dominate the film except for the love story between Westley and Buttercup. Their story is always presented in iconic fairy tale terms, as when Westley earnestly declares to Buttercup on his return from his encounter with the Dread Pirate – “Death cannot stop true love. It can only delay it for awhile.” Cary Elwes as Westley, seems cast as much for his resemblance to the young Errol Flynn as for his acting ability, but he achieves the requisite romantic chemistry with Robin Wright’s Buttercup. She has a lovely natural honesty in the part that makes even the most shopworn of romantic cliches seem fresh.

Every other situation is played for laughs and Reiner is assisted by a group of wonderful comic actors. As a result, he manages to strike a winning balance between humor and romance. William Shawn as Vizzini, one of Buttercup’s inept kidnappers, is a scrappy little gnome of a bad guy, constantly in everyone’s face, arguing and complaining. Mandy Patinkin as Montoya, one of Vizzini’s partners in crime, who is seeking revenge for his father’s death, is like a figure out of comic opera, sporting a campy accent and dueling his way through the film. Chris Sarandon as the wicked Prince Humperdinck and Christopher Guest as Count Rugen, his equally repugnant co-conspirator, are perfect comic villains, always more silly than scary. Billy Crystal and Carol Kane have a wonderful cameo appearance at the climax of the film as Miracle Max and his wife, Valerie, an ancient bickering couple who live in a tree but kvetch like Borscht Belt comedians.

In the framing story, Peter Falk as the grandfather and Fred Savage as his grandson have a gently funny rapport. The intermittent return to them throughout the telling of Buttercup’s story is not intrusive as it might have been, as Reiner sets an appropriately light tone for this material. We’re never really in doubt about the outcome of the tale and therefore don’t resent a bit of meandering in its telling.

“The Princess Bride” is a re-imagining of the fairy tale, from the point of view of a writer and director saturated in the equally powerful world of classic adventure movies. Together, William Goldman and Rob Reiner, create a magical combination of fantasy, romance, comedy and action that has not dated in the least.

THE PRINCESS BRIDE,1987

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Film Review: WONDER WOMAN (USA 2017)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

wonder woman.jpgBefore she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

Director: Patty Jenkins
Writers: Allan Heinberg (screenplay), Zack Snyder (story by)
Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston,
David Thewlis

Not to be confused with the two other WONDER WOMAN films made in 2009 and 2014, this updated expensive $149 million film has been marketed well and is one of the most anticipated films this summer.

Gal Gadot is WONDER WOMAN though the term WONDER WOMAN is never used even once in the film. She is known as Diana. The character played by Gadot, and reasonably well by her, combining sexiness and a certain ferocity was first introduced to excited audiences in BATMAN V. SUPERMAN. She gained 17 lbs. of muscle while training in martial arts for the role. Now audiences can see her for a full 140 minutes or so.

Diana first appears as a little girl fiercely intent on becoming a fighter much to the chagrin of her mother, the queen (Connie Nielson). Diana’s aunt who is also the general (Robin Wright) trains her eventually to become the warrior with special gifts destined to save the world as it is written in the Book of the Gods. The film’s voiceover informs that Diana is made from clay by the God Zeus and she must destroy the evil Ares before mankind is destroyed. As such this bevy of beauties appropriately named Amazons live on a Greek-like paradise island till a World War plane crashes into the waters nearby with the pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) saved by Diana. How the two worlds collided is never fully explained.

With the world of the Gods brought into the human realm, the film grows more interesting. Diana is drawn into fight against the Germans in WW1. The trouble with all this is that Diana, Trevor and a assorted troupe of fighters kill Germans one by one to save innocent people as well as allied soldiers. This is a very simplistic look of things as German soldiers killed are people too. The script does attempt to discuss this problem but not too convincingly. Diana is shown to be naive as to the human world, with humour thrown in whenever possible.

For a $149 million production, there are as expected, lots of special effects and pyro-technics. In addition, there are a lot of sexy fighting (but ridiculous) poses by Diana.

The film contains three villains as if one is not enough. David Thewlis plays the main one, The God of War Ares in human form. The other two villains are more comical than sinister, two Germans, one a female doctor, humorously named Dr. Poison (Elena Anaya) with a disfigured face and the other a sinister German General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) who will stop at nothing to win the war.

Business wise, WONDER WOMAN cost $149 million to make, thus requiring to gross at least $460 million worldwide to break even. The estimate for the opening domestic weekend is $100 million so it likely will bring Warner Bros. a tidy profit.

The fourth film of the DC Comic Universe after SUPERMAN, BATMAN V. SUPERMAN and SUICIDE SQUAD, WONDER WOMAN is the best of the lot with a good combination of action and tongue-in-cheek humour. But that is not saying much considering how awful the first 3 were.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSB4wGIdDwo

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Happy Birthday: Robin Wright

robinwrightHappy Birthday actress Robin Wright

Born: Robin Virginia Gayle Wright
April 8, 1966 in Dallas, Texas, USA

Read her best reviews:

THE PRINCESS BRIDEThe Princess Bride
1987
dir. Reiner
Starring
Robin Wright
Cary Elwes

movie posterFORREST GUMP
1994
dir. Robert Zemeckis
Starring:
Tom Hanks
Robin Wright

UNBREAKABLEUnbreakable
2000
dir. M. Night Shyamalan
starring
Bruce Willis
Samuel L Jackson

MOVIE POSTERMONEYBALL
dir. Bennett Miller
Stars:
Brad Pitt
Robin Wright

Beowulf
dir. Robert Zemeckis
Starring
Angelina Jolie
Anthony Hopkins

What Just HappenedWhat Just Happened
2008
dir. Barry Levinson
Starring
Sean Penn
Bruce Willis

STATE OF PLAY Movie PosterState of Play
2009
dir. Kevin Macdonald
Starring
Crowe
Ben Affleck

A Christmas Carol Movie PosterA Christmas Carol
dir. Robert Zemeckis
Stars:
Jim Carrey
Gary Oldman
Colin Firth

MOVIE POSTERRAMPART
dir. Oren Moverman
Stars:
Woody Harrelson
Ben Foster

MOVIE POSTERTHE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
dir. David Fincher
Stars:
Daniel Craig
Rooney Mara

tvHOUSE of CARDS season 2
2014
Best of the NETFLIX show

tvHOUSE of CARDS TV Series
Starring:
Kevin Spacey
Robin Wright

MOVIE POSTERBREAKING AND ENTERING
2006
dir. Anthony Minghella
Stars:
Jude Law
Robin Wright

tvHOUSE of CARDS season 1
2013
Best of the NETFLIX show

MOVIE POSTERTHE CONGRESS
2014
dir. Ari Folman
Stars:
Robin Wright
Harvey Keitel

MOVIE POSTERA MOST WANTED MAN
2014
dir. Anton Corbijn

Stars:
Rachel McAdams
Robin Wright