Archive for the Film Category

The Princess Bride

Posted in Books, Film, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2010 by randomintermissions

“Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poisson. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.”

That’s a hell of a tag line for any book or film. In actual fact the aforementioned quote spans both of the aforementioned genres.

... images courtesy of Google ...

The Novel

The Princess Bride by William Goldman is a masterpiece of adventure, action and romance, soppy enough for the ladies, but with enough comedy and action to suck in even the machoist of guys. To go into plot details would do nothing but spoil it, but suffices to say it’s a modern fairy tale of the beautiful Buttercup and her love; Westley the farm boy. When Westley departs to make his fortune, Buttercup vows never to love another. Then one sad morning, news is delivered that Westley’s ship has met with none other than that of the Dread Pirate Roberts, a pirate so ruthless that he never leaves survivors. Heartbroken, Buttercups charms soon draw the attention of Prince Humperdinek, who will do to any lengths to make her his wife, and thus the plot is afoot.

The plot alone is brilliant, but Goldman uses a device I have never seen before or since reading it. Goldman claims in his introduction (and frequent interruptions to the prose) that he is merely presenting us with an abbreviated version of one S. Morgenstern’s novel, “The Princess Bride”. Not being one for over-analyzing texts, I can quite honestly say I have no idea what Goldman was attempting to achieve by doing this, but it certainly makes interesting and comical reading.

But what of the film?

I am very much against film adaptations of novels, but ever rule has it exceptions:

  1. Jurassic Park.
  2. The Lord of the Rings.
  3. The Princess Bride.
  4. I am sure there are others… suggestions on a postcard please.

The Princess Bride is a special exception here, as the screenplay was actually written by Goldman himself and so this is a simplified version of his vision, but retaining the suspense, mystery, action, adventure and comedy; for once, nothing is lost in translation bar a few additional scenes which flesh out the setting in the novel.

The moral of the story (pun not intended at first, but then I kind of liked it, so decided it could stay): read the book, watch the film, enjoy.



Posted in Film, Review with tags , , , , , , , on June 8, 2009 by randomintermissions
... and away

... and away

A Pixar / Disney (yes, unfortunately Disney are involved too, they always will be, now owning Pixar) release is always cause for much excitement, and their latest film certainly does not disappoint.

From their humble beginnings with the first full length computer animated film, Toy Story (1995), Pixar have gone from strength to strength, bringing us such wonders as Toy Story 2 (1999 – there had to be a sequel), Monsters Inc (2001) and The Incredibles (2004). Then in 2008 Came what can only be described as a mind blowing triumph, Wall-e. After the affectionate and imitatable wailings of our robotic hero in one of Pixar’s most adult themed movies to date, it was difficult to see how they could follow it up.

Enter 78 year old Carl Fredricksen, tired of city life and with a promise to keep. One house floating by 10,000 helium filled balloons, a collection of sidekicks ranging from Wilderness Explorer, Russell, a Dog called Doug and a bizzare, female bird like creature (affectionately called Kevin), hilarity quickly ensue, leading to yet another masterpiece.

Touching to start, Up pulls on the heart strings before turning it’s theme to feel good, comedy, adventure romp, making the impossible seem possible.

Turning to a more technical note, the animation is truly another leaping bound towards photo-realism (seriously, check out how darn good the balloons look)! It would not come as a shock if Pixar were to be the first company to release the first photo-realistic, computer animated short / full feature film. Time will tell on this one as although Pixar’s scenery is looking considerable more realistic with each film, there is a real sense that they are trying to establish a definite style with their human animation that moves away from realism.

With two consecutive (and clearly now a third) wins of the Best Animated Oscar, we can only hope that this year will be Pixar’s chance to (at the very least) pick up a nomination for Best Film.

Best film of 2009 so farr, be sure to check it out.



Toy Story 3 on it’s way in 2010.