We all have those movies that we grew up watching, thinking that they were totally rad. So many times though, when we take off the rose-tinted glasses of childhood to see what the film is actually like, we realise that we perhaps weren’t the budding cinematic prodigies we thought we were back then – those movies we loved, just aren’t as great as we remember – the stunts, the graphics, the set, even the story just don’t hold up when you watch the same film as an adult. So, as something a little bit different, we’re going to have a look back at some of our childhood favourites and ask the question, so, is it still any good?
I don’t know about anyone else but one of my favourite movies growing up was The Princess Bride, released in 1987. Our copy was of course, on glorious VHS back in the day, so having a remastered version on Blu-ray is a slight step up from what we were used to as kids. Right off the bat, not having to spend 10 minutes waiting for the tape to rewind, that’s a huge tick from me. But first, the question! So, is it still any good?
Now, I’m going to assume that you’ve seen The Princess Bride. If you haven’t, you need to. Immediately. There is a reason that it was selected by the Writer’s Guild of America’s 84th Best Screenplay of all Time and that’s because it’s awesome.
(Oh hey Westley…..)
If you haven’t seen it in a while, it’s a story in a story – a grandfather, reading his sick grandson the story of a young farm boy named Westley (Cary Elwes) who falls in love with the beautiful maiden, Buttercup (Robin Wright). But before he can marry her (and turn it into a kissing book), he has to go and make his fortune across the sea. An unfortunate run-in with the Dread Pirate Roberts leaves Buttercup widowed before she’s even married, so five years later, she reluctantly agrees to marry the evil Prince Humperdinck.While out for a ride one day, Buttercup is kidnapped by the dastardly gang of the brains, Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), the brawn, Fezzik (Andre The Giant) and the sword-wielding Spaniard with a revenge plot, Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), because every gang needs one of those and the group. They are in turn being pursued by the Dread Pirate Roberts!Enter Miracle Max (Billy Crystal) for some hilarity and cue rescue/vengeance/love story. This movie is great on so many levels – it completely sets itself up to be the hero’s story, a fairytale and then seems to poke fun at itself with constantly cutting back to the grandfather reading his grandson a story.
Let’s face it – if the movie was going to be remade today, the opening with the grandfather who quite frankly, looks like a 50s gangster, coming in to read his sick grandson this amazing story, it just wouldn’t be remade like that so straight off the bat, it’s super obvious that this wasn’t made in the last couple of years. It does suck you in damn fast though, and it’s inconceivable (see what I did there?) to imagine The Princess Bride without it cutting in and out of the story for commentary by the adorable Fred Savage.While, yeah, some of the sets don’t exactly hold up and are obviously painted backdrops and some of the creatures in the fire swamp are pretty obviously fake, by the time you get to them, you’re already pretty much suckered into the story. The cliffs of insanity, the fire swamp, the castle – everything still looks amazing, the jokes are still funny and if you’re not quoting the film by the end of it, there is something seriously wrong with you.
The Princess Bride is amazing and if you don’t agree, then I have one line for you:
And maybe this one too:
Hello. My name in Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.