Starring: Mandy Patinkin, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, Cary Elwes, Chris Sarandon, Robin Wright
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Movie Summary: [Comedy]
At the loss of her true love, Buttercup becomes engaged to a prince, who unknowingly has a plan to start a war created by her murder. As the plan begins with her kidnapping, the Dread Pirate Roberts comes to her rescue. With the help of a washed-up swordsman and a giant, Roberts in the name of love outwits the forces of evil to save a princess and a kingdom.
Widescreen: 1.85:1, Pan & Scan, Color, Additional Languages: Spanish, Subtitles: French, Spanish, Region 1
aughs and love. These two words are forever glorified in a story that charmed our collective socks off. This tale of the love that bonds sweet Buttercup [Robin Wright, Forrest Gump] and handsome Westly [Cary Elwes, Twister] eternally to one another has won the hearts of thousands of women around the world and entertained the psyche of the unorganized male tainted with dirty jokes and football factoids. The Princess Bride is a splendidly original achievement that offers a traditional love story encompassed by a charming script and dynamic characters. Rob Reinerís highly anticipated film to DVD release has finally arrived. All doubts can be cast aside, the film really does physically exist in a DVD format allowing people all around the world (well, Region 1 thus far *sigh*) to send their worn out VHS copies packing to the local Goodwill store.
The non-anamorphic visual presentation of this film looks great in terms of its presentation of this film that is pushing its 14th birthday in 2001. But, unfortunately, this transfer is not without its faults. Primarily the image clarity is generally solid with colors just short of the saturated vibrancy found in newer films which is great considering its age. At times color presentation seems strong and at other times the image seems somewhat dull. The same can be said for certain scenes in the film where depicted images seem to lose a little of their detail at times in the transfer. Since weíve been spoiled by the luxuries of new films on DVD, the one factor that might prove the most distracting in terms of presentation is the fairly constant dirt and hair specs that plague the transfer. When you think about it, this is really no different than many of the films weíve watched in the theaters and seems unavoidable (in that the studio canít completely or is unwilling to spend the money/time removing this dirt) with older aging film prints.
MGM has included a re-mixed Dolby Digital 5.1 track that is exceedingly helpful in improving the presentation of this film, yet by no means can it be classified as an audio mover and shaker. The complete audio track prevails in a subtle fashion offering fairly clear dialogue at the center and cheerful sound and music accompaniment across the front sound stage. The rears are used for reverberation effects as a means for livening the filmís atmosphere. The LFE channel trots out onto the track, but gets nowhere near breaking a sweat today. Bass feathers some of the more ďimpactingĒ moments in the film, but is barely noticeable.
Unfortunately, itís a shame that MGM could not have released a special edition of this DVD now. It would be safe to say that theyíve had ample time to throw something together by now, but rumor has it that a Special Edition release of Princess Bride will not come to fruition until sometime later next year in 2001. This disc otherwise contains absolutely nothing (short of a theatrical trailer that certainly shows its age) in the way features. If itís content you want, donít look to the DVD. Pull out the DVD insert pamphlet for a few minutes worth of reading material - thatís all youíll find here. The animated system is as complex as this disc is feature rich. There arenít many places to go here, so the navigation is straightforward and simple. If it werenít for the touch of animation and music, this disc would nearly remind me of Columbia/TriStarís DVD glory days when their menus consisted of graphical layouts that rivaled Atari 2600 games since the feature-lacking discs offered nowhere to go.
In situations like these, itís clear and simple. Princess Brideís popularity status will make it an instant purchase for many of us out there regardless of its lack of features. However, those of you who arenít torn to purchase this DVD off the shelves the day others would declare was love at first sight, then it might be worth your time and money to wait around for MGMís royal treatment of this film on DVD in the year to come. Then again - if you were to ask me, itís an awfully worthwhile film to add value to oneís growing collection. When weíre done analyzing the state of DVD affairs - whatís $20 bucks here and there in the name of good laughs and wholesome fun?