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The Princess Bride (1987)
True Love Conquers All
Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, and Robin Wright Penn star in this classic fairy tale entitled The Princess Bride. It is based on a novel by William Goldman, who also wrote the screenplay. Director Rob Reiner brings life to this story and effectively evokes the enchanting spirit of the witty 1973 novel.
The movie opens with a sick boy (Fred Savage) who receives a visit from his grandfather (Peter Falk) who intends to read to him from his favorite book. The boy is not exactly pleased to be distracted from his world of video games. However, his mood quickly changes as he and the viewer are transported to a place out of time. We are taken to Florin, a kingdom in an imaginary land, complete with dashing heroes, cowardly princes, rhyming giants, rodents of unusual size, fancy swordfights, and yes . . . even some kissing.
This fairy tale begins on a farm in the countryside. There lives a beautiful, young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) who learns that "as you wish" really means "I love you" when she falls for her farmhand Westley (Cary Elwes). While trying to seek his fortune, Westley disappears at sea and becomes an apparent victim of the Dread Pirate Roberts. A few years later, Buttercup, who is now engaged to Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), is kidnapped by a trio of misfits, which includes brains--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn); brawn--Fezzik (André the Giant); and sword--Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin). As they sail away toward the Cliffs of Insanity, they notice the pursuit of a man in black. Now begins the adventure . . . .
The central idea of The Princess Bride is that true love can conquer all. Throughout the movie, there are many hardships and trials that true love must endure. The movie keeps the viewer guessing until the very end whether or not there will be the classic fairy tale ending.
This movie is appealing to me because of the classic fairy tale style combined with the witty humor, well choreographed action sequences, and intense instances of suspense. The characters are well developed and all the actors give an amazing performance which adds to the overall appeal of the movie. The Princess Bride is easily one of my all time favorite movies.
Miracles or Coincidence?
Mel Gibson stars in the sci-fi thriller "Signs", which was written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan ("The Sixth Sense", "Unbreakable"). "Signs" primarily takes place on a farm in rural Pennsylvania. Gibson plays Graham Hess, a man who lives with his two children Morgan (Rory Culkin) and Bo (Abigail Breslin), and his brother (Joaquin Phoenix).
The plot begins when Graham finds a crop circle in his field. He thinks it's a prank, but when reports come in from around the world about similar crop circles, it's obvious that something more is happening. The next day, Morgan hears some strange noises while playing with a baby monitor. Graham later hears the same noises and sees something in his field. Reports come over the television that lights are appearing in the sky close to the locations of the crop circles. With all signs pointing to an invasion by aliens, Graham has to protect his family.
Throughout the movie, we learn things that allow us to understand the characters. We learn that Graham was a reverend, but since the loss of his wife, he has lost his faith. We learn that Merrill was a baseball player, Morgan has asthma, and Bo has some obsession with water. This leads us to the critical intention of the director.
The central idea of "Signs" is that everything happens for a reason, even though that reason may not be apparent. Many instances that happen will ultimately affect the outcome of the movie. This movie also asks the question, `do you believe in miracles?'
What I like most about the movie is how the director sets the mood and timing. There are many instances of sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to see what happens next. Camera angles and lighting are used effectively to create suspense and fear. As for timing, the elements of the central idea which are spread throughout the movie all come together in the end to affect the outcome. I am a huge M. Night Shyamalan fan. Anyone who liked and understood his previous films will definitely enjoy "Signs".