DVD Review

by Bob Grimm & r & & r & The Princess Bride: Buttercup Edition & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & M & lt;/span & y opinion of director Rob Reiner has taken a few hits in recent years (Rumor Has It, Alex & amp; Emma). After revisiting The Princess Bride, his 1987 gem, I'm reminded of the kind of magic he is capable of. This is one of the sweetest films I've ever seen.

The film represents a shining moment for the likes of Robin Wright Penn, Mandy Patinkin and Cary Elwes (whom I now regard as one of the worst actors on the face of the planet). Its mix of fairy-tale wonder and sinister humor was perfectly balanced, and it's that rare kind of movie that gets better with each viewing. Especially good is Patinkin as a swordsman with daddy issues.

The look of the film is authentic and, well, like a storybook. Reiner reveals in the film's excellent making-of featurette that much of the swordplay is real (the amazing fight between Patinkin and Elwes is all them, shot for shot). But it's just off-kilter, too, with such things as RUS (rodents of unusual size), a six-fingered hand and even Peter Falk.

Chris Sarandon, Wallace "Inconceivable" Shawn and Christopher Guest provide the film with terrific villains. Billy Crystal's turn as Miracle Max could be the best thing he ever did (certainly better than his tiresome Oscar gigs). And Mark Knopfler's beautiful soundtrack will always remain among my favorites.

And let us not forget the awesome work of Andre the Giant. ("Anybody want a peanut?")

The disc carries over features from prior editions, including commentaries by Reiner and writer William Goldman. On this edition, you can choose either the Buttercup Edition or the Dread Pirate Edition, but it's just the packaging that's different.

A new Dread Pirate Roberts mockumentary, the excellent documentary on the making of the film (As You Wish) and home movies by Cary Elwes help to make this a packed two-disc set. As You Wish reveals many fun facts about the film. Despite all his stunt work on the film, Patinkin admits that the only injury he sustained was a rib injury from holding in his laughter during Crystal's performance. The documentary also contains a tribute to Andre, who used to keep Robin Wright Penn's head warm by simply covering it with his giant hand. May he rest in peace. And may this film live on forever.