[box cover]

The Princess Bride: Collector's Edition

It's hard to believe there's someone out there who doesn't love director Rob Reiner's wonderfully fractured fairy tale — what's not to like about a delightful comedy filled with "fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles," and more? The story of the beautiful (if somewhat dim) Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) and her true love, Westley (Cary Elwes), is exciting, funny, romantic, and utterly enchanting. When Buttercup hears of her beloved's death at the hands of pirates, she agrees to marry the pompous, pompadoured Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), only to be kidnapped by the scruffy trio of Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), Inigo (Mandy Patinkin), and Fezzik (Andre the Giant, in a sweet if often unintelligible performance). She's rescued by a mysterious, swashbuckling man in black, and soon realizes Westley isn't quite as dead as she'd thought. Complications ensue, and it's up to Inigo, Fezzik, and Westley — with a little assistance from Miracle Max (Billy Crystal, hilarious under layers of makeup) and his wife Valerie (Carol Kane, ditto) — to save Buttercup and break up her wedding, not to mention help Inigo get revenge on the man who murdered his father. Needless to say, there's never a dull moment, whether the terrific cast is racing against time, fighting for their lives, spouting anachronistic humor ("Never get involved in a land war in Asia"), or tossing off now-classic lines like "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."The Princess Bride defies categorization; it's a unique, magical movie that deservedly became a cult favorite and instant classic. Fans who don't already have the DVD in their collection will enjoy Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's two-disc Collector's Edition, which expands slightly upon the previous Special Edition (if you own the SE, keep it — there's not enough here to warrant an upgrade unless you're a completist). In addition to the earlier release's two commentary tracks (one from Reiner, the other from screenwriter William Goldman), 27-minute retrospective documentary, vintage 1987 featurettes, brief excerpt from footage Elwes shot on set while making the movie, TV spots, trailers, and 88-picture photo gallery, the Collector's Edition (packaged in one of two different cases featuring Buttercup and Westley) also includes new featurettes on the historical context of the Dread Pirate Roberts, the film's place in the fairy tale genre, and Max's miraculous make-up, as well as an interactive quote/trivia quiz and an amusing "travel" booklet called "Fezzik's Guide to Florin." The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is strong, and the English Dolby Digital 5.1 sound does justice to Mark Knopfler's lovely score. Other audio options include Spanish and French tracks (the French track is another new addition) and English, French, and Spanish subtitles. Dual-disc slimline keep-case with paperboard sleeve.
—Betsy Bozdech

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