Thursday 21 March 2013

Blu-ray review : The Princess Bride 25th Anniversary

We recently received a Blu-Ray to review that made me feel all nostalgic, not to mention very old ! March 25th - that's this Monday - sees the release of a special 25th anniversary edition - TWENTY FIFTH !! - of The Princess Bride. I have fond memories of the original film so I was keen to introduce it to the Madhouse Mini-testers and see what they'd think because it's a classic family movie.

The official blurb says : "Celebrating 25 years of the comical fantasy tale of beautiful princesses, foul villains and dashing heroes from director Rob Reiner. The Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) is saddened by the disappearance of her true-love Westley (Cary Elwes), and finds that she now has no choice but to become engaged to the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). But Westley soon arrives back on the scene and, along with his mismatched band of adventurers, sets off on a daring mission to rescue his beloved. The film also stars Mandy Patinkin as a Spanish cavalier and Billy Crystal as a crazy magician."

If you've never seen the film, I'm sure you're thinking that it sounds like the same-old-same-old, and you'd be totally right - The Princess Bride encompasses all the elements of classic romance and swashbuckling adventure movies that have ever hit the big screen. But the director also knows this and what makes The Princess Bride such a great film is that pokes fun at itself and all the other films in the same genres. It's got princesses, pirates, over the top evil villains, swordfights, a giant ... it's like a big collection of all the fairytale clich├ęs you can think of, but the great script, packed with humour and action, means that you end up with a film that will win you over, even if you come to it with a few reservations.

It's 25 years old so don't go expecting state-of-the-art special effects and computer-generated imagery. It's got a definite retro feel to it but stays just the right side of 80's cheesiness ! 

Fans of the film from 25 years ago will also love the oodles of bonus content - a retrospective looking at why the film has such staying power with tributes from some of the actors and a reunion with the director, audio commentaries from director Rob Reiner and screenwriter William Goldman (it's incredible to think he wrote the original novel back in 1973 !), a Cary Elwes on-set Video Diary and various featurettes (‘The Art of Fencing’, ‘Dread Pirate Roberts: Greatest Legend of the Seven Seas’, ‘Miraculous Makeup’, ‘Fairy Tales and Folklore’ and ‘Love is like a Storybook’). It's the biggest amount of bonus content that I've seen in a very long time.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £12.50

  • Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment UK Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Mar 2013
  • Run Time: 94 minutes

Disclosure : We received a Blu-Ray in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Kids' DVD review : Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon

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