The Princess Bride Blu-ray Review
Release Date: March 17, 2009
Run time: 98 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Disc Spec: BD50 DL
From celebrated director Rob Reiner (When Harry Met Sally) and Oscar(r)-winning* screenwriter William Goldman (Chaplin) comes “an enchanting fantasy” (Time) filled with adventure, romance and plenty of “good-hearted fun” (Roger Ebert)! Featuring a spectacular cast that includes Robin Wright (Forrest Gump), Cary Elwes (Liar, Liar), Mandy Patinkin (Dick Tracy) and Billy Crystal (City Slickers), this wonderful fairy tale about a Princess named Buttercup and her beloved is “a real dream of a movie” (People)! *1969: Original Screenplay, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1976: Adapted Screenplay, All the President’s Men.
A bored little boy (Fred Savage) is sick in bed, is told a story by his quirky grandfather (Peter Falk). In it, young lovers Buttercup (Robin Wright) and Westley (Carey Elwes) are separated when Westley is apparently killed. A few years later, the heartbroken Buttercup is unwillingly affianced to the slimy Prince Humperdinck. As if that weren’t enough, she’s kidnapped by a trio of mercenaries.
But things go wrong for the mercenaries — a mysterious masked man is following them, and he defeats each of the mercenaries with his swordplay, strength and wits. He also knows quite a bit about Westley’s fate — and Buttercup soon finds that he is Westley after all. But Buttercup is only a cog in Humperdinck’s evil plot, and now it’s up to Westley, gentle giant Fezzik (Andre) and vengeance-seeking Spaniard Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) to save her.
If “Princess Bride” had been done in a halfway serious manner, it wouldn’t have been even remotely interesting. It would have been just another kids’ film. But with William Goldman’s tongue-in-cheek script and entertaining characters it becomes a film that is a lot of fun.
Movie Content: 9/10
The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Colors are rich and bold than they have ever been. Fleshtones look accurate and natural. Black levels are deep with shadows having a nice defined look. Details are excellent considering that the film is 18 years old. Like all the recent Paramount catalog releases on Blu-ray, there are a few white specs throughout the transfer. The visual effects still look good for the age of the print and not once does it look phony as it has in other older films transition to high definition.
Print Quality: 9/10
The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix. This is a film that will not rock the house from an audio standpoint, and it was never intended to. ‘The Princess Bride’ is very light on sound effects from the rears as this is more of a front heavy presentation. When there are sound effects through rears, they do sound good. The soundtrack uses the soundfield a bit more than I expected. It helps give the sound that little dynamic punch. With this film being so dialogue driven, it takes the spotlight here. Dialogue comes through the center rather clean and crisp.
Audio Quality: 9/10
- “Audio Commentaries by Director Rob Reiner and Screenwriter William Goldman”
- “As You Wish: The Story of The Princess Bride” Featurette
- “Miraculous Makeup – The Dread Pirate Roberts: Greatest Pirate of the Seven Seas” Featurette
- “The Cinemascope Story Featurette” Featurette
- “Love Is Like A Storybook – The Princess Bride” Featurette
- “The Untold Tales – The Art of Fencing” Featurette
- “Fairy Tales and Folklore”
- “Video Diary from Cary Elwes”
- Theatrical Trailer [HD]
Fans will be excited that all the special features from the 20th Anniversary DVD. All features are presented in standard definition, except for the Theatrical Trailer which is in high definition.
Special Features: 9/10
The Final Word
As of late FOX has been churning out some excellent catalog titles on Blu-ray. As a fan of ‘The Princess Bride’, to see FOX go back and do a full restoration to MPEG-4 when the film was sitting in a warehouse with a MPEG-2 BD25 encode is excellent. I highly recommend this film for anyone that is a fan of fantasy films and even more for those that are a fan of the film. The image transfer trumps all the previous DVD releases so upgrading is a no-brainer.
Overall Rating: 9/10