Friday, May 30, 2014

If you Could Change the Ending of a Movie, What Would it be? [Spoilers]

[This post deals with endings, so yes there will be SPOILERS.  You’ve been warned!]  

We've all had that moment, that “why are you doing that at the end?” moment.  It’s where we curse at the screen for the stupidity or carelessness of one of the characters.  It’s where we ask ourselves if the entire experience is worth it if it comes to this ending.  We might even yell at the screen once we see it.  In any case, we would do anything to change the ending; or at least, wish we could play a small part in it.  In honor of that, here are a few movies where I wish I could change the ending.

First, there is the ending to The Sound of Music.  Rolf is the young man that the oldest girl, Lisel, falls in love with.  But after the Nazi party takes over Austria, he becomes different man.  He is all business and ignores his relationship with Lisel.  On the day they are going to escape, they are forced to hide out in the Abbey.  All the other Nazi soldiers leave but Rolf hides behind a gravestone.  After the family comes out of their hiding spot, Rolf appears and the father, Captain Von Trapp, slowly walks to toward Rolf while Rolf has a gun trained on them, while the others in the family steal away.  Finally the Captain grabs the gun and says, “You’ll never be one of them.”  Now, in the original ending, Rolf, insulted, quickly blows his whistle, and sounds the alarm.  I was disappointed with that part of the ending.  Yes, the family did get away in the next scene (the nuns steal parts of the cars so they can’t run), but I wanted Rolf to run away with them.  I would have him bow his head and say that the Captain was right.  Then the Captain would ask Rolf to run away with him, to leave this terrible situation and not look back.  And Rolf would go with them into Switzerland.  That would be the ideal Sound of Music ending for me.

Another ending that I would definitely change is the end of The Last Battle of the Chronicles of Narnia.  In that story, Susan the oldest girl has become more interested in clothes and boys than in the world of Narnia.  As such, she misses “the call” to return to Narnia at the end.  I know C.S. Lewis was trying to make a statement about going astray, but to me it rings as false.  At the end, Susan should have realized her mistake and repented.  She would join them and say what a fool she was for not remembering the wonderful things that Aslan the ruler of Narnia did for them.  And then she wouldn’t stay separated from her siblings forever, because that is what the ending implies. 

This one is bad just for the silly/stupid way it was forced into the movie.  In (500) Days of Summer, Tom Hansen meets Summer Finn.  As shown with the wildly frantic back and forth of the dates, Tom and Summer meet, he falls in love with her and they have a short relationship, but they do not end up together.  By the end, she is engaged with someone else and Tom needs to move on with his life.  So he goes to a job interview and meets a girl also interviewing for the same job, and decides to ask her out.  The girl’s name is Autumn.  The problem with this ending is that it feels nothing more than the writers saying, hey, look how clever we are. I would have the entire scene of meeting the girl completely out – maybe just have the job interview.  Or maybe the girl would have a different name.  But not one that was so cringing. 


So sometimes it comes down to one simple thing that can bring out of the story and make you wonder, “They’re ending it like that?”  Why did that character have to turn evil?  Why did the filmmakers have to be so hokey with the ending?  And then the experience and enjoyment of the work is lessened.  So what about you?  Which ending are you dying to change? 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Romance is for Other People Tidbit #22: Amanda Character Profile

Hello Everyone!  For the Month of May, I am going to profile all four of the main characters on Wednesdays. Here is Romance is for Other People Tidbit #22:

Amanda is 16 years old.  She tries to maintain a B- average.  She has no siblings.  She lives with her mother and has no contact with her father.  She is as clever and sarcastic as she is angry and bitter.  She has played basketball since she was very young.  She only has one friend, her best friend Katie, also on the basketball team.  She sometimes gets in fights with Katie, because of what Amanda perceives is Katie being a “mom” (that is, telling her how she’s messing up).  Her middle school basketball team won one game in the playoffs for the first time in the school’s history.  However, currently she has been skipping practice after getting into fights with the coach.  She considers all guys to be jerks, even the boy she’s currently flirting with, Jeremy.  She knows he flirts with other girls but she can’t stay away.  A typical day would be running into Jeremy and flirting with him, arguing with the teacher about homework assignments, having lunch with Katie, running into Jeremy and flirting/fighting with him again, and finding an excuse to skip practice.  

Look for a new tidbit next Wednesday!  Here are the last 21 tidbits:
1. I am releasing a novel in 2014
2. The title is Romance is for Other People
3. There are four main characters
4. The first main character is Chris, male, 14 years old.
5. The second main character is Lydia, female, 14 years old
6. The third main character is Jeremy, male, 16 years old.
7. The fourth main character is Amanda, female, 16 years old.
8.  The format is first person, split between the four main characters.
9.  The title is a quote from the novel.
10.  All the chapter titles are quotes.
11.  Plot summary (View Here)
12.  Genre: Modern Teen Drama-Comedy.  Just to be clear, it is not: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Drama, Mystery, Western, or Musical.
13.  There will be a dance in chapter 3.  
14. Chapter 1 will be from Chris and Lydia's viewpoint.  Chapter 2 will be from Jeremy and Amanda's viewpoint.
15. Chris and Lydia will be auditioning for a play in Chapter 1.
16. Amanda has a best friend named Katie.
17. Chris and Lydia have not been dancing together before the beginning of the story.
18. Both Jeremy and Amanda play on basketball teams.
19. Chris Character Profile (View Here)
20. Lydia Character Profile (View Here)
21. Jeremy Character Profile (View Here

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Does Knowing Reviews of Movies Keep You From Forming Your Own Opinions?

These days, with the power of the internet, if a movie has been out more than a weekend, most people already know about what the critics and the public think about it.  If they don’t see it on the very first weekend, they will hear about it from their friends and family.  Those people who saw it first, and those people who write professional reviews, have already seen it and given their view of the movie.  And I’m curious if those people, who are on the fence about a particular movie, once they hear what others think, decide whether or not to actually attack the movie.  I can tell you that it has been the cased for me several times. 

My brother really wanted to see Ender’s Game, because he had read the book. However, I thought the trailers were okay.  Then the reviews came out and they were all lukewarm, not exactly enthusiastic about the movie.  Whenever he talked about going to see it, I wanted to see something else, like maybe The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which had fantastic reviews.  But it didn’t matter, because we didn’t get to see either in the theaters.  If perhaps I had ignored the critics, then I would have been able to go see a movie in the theater, which I rarely do nowadays. 

But on the other hand, you might finally see a movie you read a good review about, you don’t like it.  In fact, you don’t understand why everyone else was making such a big deal, perhaps.  When Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith came out in theaters, many of the reviews said that it was the best of the prequels.  Perhaps in their eyes, but when I actually saw it, it was so dark and depressing (and the only Star Wars rated PG-13) that I did not want to see it again, and it sapped my energy to see the other prequels again as well.  The critics may have thought it was the best of the prequels, but I didn’t like it. 

Another experience I had with critics being wrong was when I went to see the movie Alvin and the Chipmunks.  They really hated it, probably for the formulaic plot and tired jokes.  But my friend suggested we see it and even though I knew about the reviews, I decided to give it a shot.  I actually really enjoyed it.  It was very funny and entertaining in places.  I was left thinking, well, even with what the critics, think, I liked it.  What can I say?  It may have been predicable, but it was a lot of fun to watch.  Of course, critics are not kind to Christian productions, and I have enjoyed many of those movies. 

And yet, if it’s a movie that I have heard great reviews of and everyone else has said that it’s fantastic, then I want to see it myself.  One recent such example, I received a gift card and decided to see Frozen, even though at the time it had been out for a few months and newer movies were garnering great reviews as well, like The Lego Movie.  But because everyone had seen Frozen and thought it was awesome, I wanted to see it more and more.  And when I first saw the trailer, I was not impressed.  It did not give enough humor and tension to entice me to go out and see it. 


So I guess it’s a balance.  Yes, movie reviews and your friends’ opinions will always shape how you think of the movies, but ultimately it’s your own decision.  For better or worse, there will be movies and TV shows you don’t like that others close to you will think are amazing, and those you think are amazing others why you even want to watch that sort of thing.  Take reviews with a grain of salt…a movie you really like might be around the corner that everyone else won’t take the time to consider.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Romance is for Other People Tidbit #21 (Jeremy Character Profile)

Hello Everyone!  For the Month of May, I am going to profile all four of the main characters on Wednesdays. Here is Romance is for Other People Tidbit #21:

Jeremy Character Profile:
Jeremy Wagner is 16 years old.  He tries to maintain a C+ average.  He has no siblings.  His parents are divorced and he rarely sees his father.  His mother spoils him and she has a rotating series of boyfriends.  Jeremy is loud and speaks his mind.  He hates his cousin Chris and thinks he’s a loser.  He played basketball since he was a little kid.  He considers all of his basketball teammates his buddies.  He wants to be accepted by the coach.  His middle school team made it to the playoffs for the first time in school history.  As a result, he is arrogant about his high school skills and a ball hog.  He has tendencies to have fantasies, sometimes even in the middle of conversations.  He loves to flirt with girls and pretend to be interested in them.  One girl he flirts with, Amanda, he thinks he might actually like.  A typical day for Jeremy would be running into Amanda and flirting with her, flirting with Becca in Chemistry, goofing off of classes, running into Amanda again and flirting/fighting with her, flirting with Kristina in social studies, and running into Amanda yet again and fighting/flirting with her, and maybe showing off his oh so obvious prowess at basketball practice.  

Look for a new tidbit next Wednesday!  Here are the last 20 tidbits:
1. I am releasing a novel in 2014
2. The title is Romance is for Other People
3. There are four main characters
4. The first main character is Chris, male, 14 years old.
5. The second main character is Lydia, female, 14 years old
6. The third main character is Jeremy, male, 16 years old.
7. The fourth main character is Amanda, female, 16 years old.
8.  The format is first person, split between the four main characters.
9.  The title is a quote from the novel.
10.  All the chapter titles are quotes.
11.  Plot summary (View Here)
12.  Genre: Modern Teen Drama-Comedy.  Just to be clear, it is not: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Drama, Mystery, Western, or Musical.
13.  There will be a dance in chapter 3.  
14. Chapter 1 will be from Chris and Lydia's viewpoint.  Chapter 2 will be from Jeremy and Amanda's viewpoint.
15. Chris and Lydia will be auditioning for a play in Chapter 1.
16. Amanda has a best friend named Katie.
17. Chris and Lydia have not been dancing together before the beginning of the story.
18. Both Jeremy and Amanda play on basketball teams.
19. Chris Character Profile (View Here)
20. Lydia Character Profile (View Here)

Friday, May 16, 2014

My Favorite Guilty Pleasure Movie: Mr. and Mrs. Smith [Spoilers]

We all have them: the movie that you know deep down is no good for you.  You know; that movie that is fun to watch but has a very small to nonexistent moral center.  You find yourself on the one hand kicking yourself for even watching said movie, and on the other enjoying it way too much, enough so that you watch it again and again.  You try to list those redeeming qualities about it and instead list the terrible things in it that you actually like.  Everyone has such a movie.  One of those movies for me is Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
For those who don’t know, Mr. and Mrs. Smith focuses on a male assassin who becomes attracted to and marries a female assassin.  The twist is that Mr. Smith doesn't know that Mrs. Smith is an assassin, and Mrs. Smith doesn't know that Mr. Smith also has the same job as her.  The story is what happens as they begin to find out what their spouse does for a living. 

Near the beginning of the movie, they meet in South America, with Mrs. Smith on the run from somebody, we never find out who it is.  That’s the first problem with the movie.  There is no clear villain.  [Spoiler:] Later on in the movie, we find out that both of the companies that Mr. Smith and Mrs. Smith work for pitted Mr. Smith and Mrs. Smith against each other because “they were a liability” or something like that.  But we never find out who is at the top of the either organization.  That is never resolved.  So the people that Mrs. Smith is running from and the heads of the organization are basically unexplained ghosts.  Not that it really matters, though.  The movie is edited in such a way that you don’t care while watching it.

Also, that two people could be married for five (or six) whole years and not figure out what the other does for a living is preposterous.  Wouldn't the cracks start to show way earlier?  In any case, the very first scene of the movie is the two at a psychiatrist’s office trying to figure out why they have a lifeless marriage.  But of course, the fun is watching them slowly figure out who the other is and start to test their partner.  In one scene, Mr. Smith had just started to suspect that Mrs. Smith might be an assassin.  He comes home to dinner to find a nice meal on the table.  The tension arises in the scene because he thinks she might have poisoned the meal while she is trying to figure out why he is acting so suspicious.  It’s a well done scene that has the right balance of tension and comedy.  The scene ends with Mr. Smith intentionally dropping a bottle of wine beside Mrs. Smith – and his wife reflexively catching the bottle before it hits the ground.  There is a split second scene where both look at each other, realizing for the first time who the other is – and then immediately excuse themselves to run away from each other.

The middle part is the part that is shown in the trailers, that of the assassins attempting to kill each other, despite being married to each other.  The action is way over the top, especially the final fight in the house, but it so well choreographed that we don’t care.  Part of the guilty pleasure fun of the movie is watching a couple literally try to kill each other.  The guys want the guy to win and the girls want the girl to win, but part of us wants them to fight but then get back together.  Ultimately, that is what makes Mr. and Mrs. Smith so enjoyable – watching the couple fight, but then work past their problems and then survive the assassin organizations trying to take them down.  The last scene, with Mr. and Mrs. Smith in a department store working in sync with each other as nameless bad guys keep coming again and again to take them down, is a thing of beauty.  It’s an unrealistic thing of beauty, however.  With so many people trying to gun them down, the fact that the couple hadn't already died is a mystery. 


All of these elements put together give Mr. and Mrs. Smith it’s unique, uh, “charm,” which keeps me coming back to it again and again.  It's a fun romantic action-comedy movie and I enjoy watching it...so stop making fun of me!  You know you watch it too! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Romance is for Other People Tidbit #20 (Lydia Character Profile)

Hello Everyone!  For the Month of May, I am going to profile all four of the main characters on Wednesdays. Here is Romance is for Other People Tidbit #20:

20. Lydia Jamison Character Profile:
Lydia Jamison is 14 years old.  She maintains an A- average.  She has a little brother named Mark, with whom she has an “okay” relationship.  She is loyal to her best friend Chris. She is more willing to speak up than Chris, though she shares some of the same quiet and reserved traits.  She has a good relationship with her parents, but she is closer to her father.  She has acted in plays since she was a little girl, and three of the plays in middle school with Chris.  She used to be as close to some girls she knew when she did plays, but now she is only close friends with Chris.  Like Chris, she can be compassionate towards others.  Likes romantic movies but internalizes the relationships she sees.  She is more comfortable with physical affection. A huge secret she has never told Chris: she has been in love with him since she was very little.  She has however become somewhat jaded because Chris has never returned her affections or shown any hint he was in love her…  A typical day for her would be getting up, going to school with Chris, and then going home to do homework with him, which she preferred to do at Chris’ house.  

Look for a new tidbit next Wednesday!  Here are the last 19 tidbits:
1. I am releasing a novel in 2014
2. The title is Romance is for Other People
3. There are four main characters
4. The first main character is Chris, male, 14 years old.
5. The second main character is Lydia, female, 14 years old
6. The third main character is Jeremy, male, 16 years old.
7. The fourth main character is Amanda, female, 16 years old.
8.  The format is first person, split between the four main characters.
9.  The title is a quote from the novel.
10.  All the chapter titles are quotes.
11.  Plot summary (View Here)
12.  Genre: Modern Teen Drama-Comedy.  Just to be clear, it is not: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Drama, Mystery, Western, or Musical.
13.  There will be a dance in chapter 3.  
14. Chapter 1 will be from Chris and Lydia's viewpoint.  Chapter 2 will be from Jeremy and Amanda's viewpoint.
15. Chris and Lydia will be auditioning for a play in Chapter 1.
16. Amanda has a best friend named Katie.
17. Chris and Lydia have not been dancing together before the beginning of the story.
18. Both Jeremy and Amanda play on basketball teams.
19. Chris Character Profile (View Here)

Friday, May 9, 2014

What is One Series You Can't Finish but Wish You Did?

We’ve all done it.  We’ve all started a movie/book/TV/comic series with the intention of going through from the beginning and catching up to present day.  To look back on an impressive, long running series and say, “I completed that, and it was very rewarding.”  Well, there are times you start something and then other things distract you.  Other things take prominence and there are only so many hours in the day.  But we look back on it and wish we could get back into it.  We wish we could finish what we started, no matter what that thing might be.  Well, in honor of that, here are some of my things I started and stopped along the way, but wish I could be actively finishing them right now. 

The first thing I regret most of all not finishing is the webcomic Sluggy Freelance.  With defined, engaging characters and a sprawling storyline, each arc feeding into the next, the webcomic shifts from dark to light to dark again, with humans and a homicidal talking rabbit and a hyperactive talking ferret and an alien shifting form several times, it is one of the best webcomics out there.  Goofy Torg, inventive and not quite serious Riff, and Zoe, the voice of reason fill out the human cast.  The characters get themselves mixed up with demons, government conspiracies, time travel, parodies, you name it, it’s been done on the strip.  It can be quite deep at times and other times just plain funny.  Of course, with an ongoing storyline, if you miss a day or several weeks you start of fall behind.  I can’t remember exactly when I stopped but it’s been over a year.  I want to finish so bad but then I think about how much I have to read to catch up. 

My brother and my father are huge Lord of the Rings fans.  I did not have a desire to read books of that size.  However, I thought of a solution: I could listen to the books on CD.  So I checked out The Fellowship of the Ring from the library and started on my quest.  I got about a third to a half way through when the CDs started skipping so bad I couldn’t finish it.  So I returned the disks and either listened to the music I had and didn’t go back to trying again.  Also, I started listening to the Nikki Heat books by “Richard Castle,” a de-fictionalized book series based on the TV series about a crime novelist named…Richard Castle.  I listened to the first two with much success…and the library didn’t have the third on CD.  I should probably check out the digital copy, but that’s a thing I’ve never done before so it means it’s another hoop to jump through.

Now this one really annoys me.  I have been a loyal Netflix subscriber for years.  I also use the DVD service to check out things not on the streaming service.  Anyway, I had heard about Friends, loved the bloopers on Youtube and even checked out a couple episodes that hadn’t been deleted yet by the copyright claims.  So I was looking for a series to get into in the fall of last year, and decided to finally try and watch all ten seasons of the show.  I got all the way up to season four, disk 2, when disk 3 would be forever on “Extra Long Wait,” as if there was only one disk in the entire library of Netflix.  This was one of the most popular shows of the 90s and early 2000s, and I had to wait seemingly forever for the next disk?  Finally, during my wait for that missing disk, the tenth season was no longer available on Netflix, and I was done.  I deleted the rest of the seasons from Netflix and watched ONE of the episodes I missed online.  I really want to go back and watch all the episodes I missed, but still it seems so hard!  So one day I would love to com Friends, but since it isn’t on streaming and the service for DVDs for the show is terrible, I don’t know if I’m going to be finishing it anytime soon.

Finally, I started watching the Dick Van Dyke show on streaming.  I thought it would be fun to catch a classic comedy show and watch it from beginning to end.  While the show could be very funny at times, it was the first season so the show was still finding its footing at times.  Also, I was used to the ongoing, serialized storylines that was the staple of many shows today, including comedy shows.  I watched the first thirteen episodes until I wanted to watch other things more.  When I thought about it and went back to it, I found out that the show was being pulled off streaming soon, so I gave up.  Sure, the DVDS are available, but still…


Anyway, I’m sure there are plenty of things you started but never got around to finish.  What about you?  What’s one thing you wish you could finish if you had the time?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Romance is for Other People Tidbit #19 (Chris Character Profile)

Hello Everyone!  For the Month of May, I am going to profile all four of the main characters on Wednesdays. Here is Romance is for Other People Tidbit #19:

19.  Chris Character Profile:  
Chris Howard is 14 years old.  He maintains a B+ average.  He has no siblings.  He is quiet and reserved.  He is loyal to his best friend Lydia.  He has a good relationship with his parents.  He would, however, avoid his cousin Jeremy at all costs; and struggles to stand up to him.  He played basketball until age 11.  He turned his attention to plays and acted in Music Man, Sound of Music, Robin Hood and Romeo and Juliet with Lydia after age 11.  He does not have any close friends outside of Lydia but doesn’t care.  He likes things the way they are and does not want to upset the status quo.  He is compassionate towards others, though sometimes doesn’t know how to respond.  He is not a fan of romantic movies but will watch them because he knows it’s what Lydia likes.  He is partly or acutely uncomfortable with physical affection.  Negative generalizations about guys annoy him.  And finally, he is afraid that his best friend Lydia wants more than just a friendship.  A typical day for Chris would be going to school, eating lunch with Lydia, going home and doing homework in his kitchen, also with Lydia. 

Look for a new tidbit next Wednesday!  Here are the last 18 tidbits:
1. I am releasing a novel in 2014
2. The title is Romance is for Other People
3. There are four main characters
4. The first main character is Chris, male, 14 years old.
5. The second main character is Lydia, female, 14 years old
6. The third main character is Jeremy, male, 16 years old.
7. The fourth main character is Amanda, female, 16 years old.
8.  The format is first person, split between the four main characters.
9.  The title is a quote from the novel.
10.  All the chapter titles are quotes.
11.  Plot summary (View Here)
12.  Genre: Modern Teen Drama-Comedy.  Just to be clear, it is not: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Drama, Mystery, Western, or Musical.
13.  There will be a dance in chapter 3.  
14. Chapter 1 will be from Chris and Lydia's viewpoint.  Chapter 2 will be from Jeremy and Amanda's viewpoint.
15. Chris and Lydia will be auditioning for a play in Chapter 1.
16. Amanda has a best friend named Katie.
17. Chris and Lydia have not been dancing together before the beginning of the story.
18. Both Jeremy and Amanda play on basketball teams.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Reasons I Love The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is a fantasy film wrapped in comedy and finished with a dash of romance.  It blends all the elements so effectively that we can’t stop watching.  In this post I will recite, in no particular order, the reasons I love The Princess Bride!  

First, it has a great framing device.  Here we are going to see a classic fantasy movie, and the very first shot is of a 1980s video game.  We are then introduced to the sick boy (played by Fred Savage) who is visited by his grandfather to read him a story (played by Peter Falk).  Several times throughout the story, the story is interrupted and the grandfather and grandson discuss the story.  The first time, right before Wesley and Buttercup are about to kiss the first time, the grandson stops him and says, as if the grandfather had tricked him, “Is this a kissing book?” The grandfather reassures him that there are a lot of other great elements in the story.  Later on, the grandfather himself stops the story when Buttercup is in the water and a giant Screeching Eel is about to eat her, and reassures him that Buttercup doesn’t get eaten when he notices the grandson is tensing up.  But the grandson assures him he can handle it.  Finally, at the end, the grandfather finishes the story and the grandson asks him to read it again tomorrow.  His response: “As You Wish.”  I love the fact that it went back to where it started, because some movies start with the framing device but never go back to it.  There is an added level of satisfaction to see the characters that start the story finish it and show how they’ve been changed.

Secondly, has there ever been a more quotable movie?  Wesley’s repeated response to Buttercup’s early requests, “As You Wish,” which really means, “I love you.”  Vizzini’s repeated cry of “Inconceivable,” to which Inigo Montoya replies “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.”  Inigo’s line to the six fingered man is the classic, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die.”  When Wesley, disguised as the Dread Pirate Roberts, and angry that Buttercup was engaged to Prince Humperdinck, tells Buttercup, “Life is pain, Highness.  Anyone who says differently is selling something.”  And who can forget the Impressive Clergyman, “Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam.”  It’s a testament to the script and the actors delivering the lines that there are so many memorable lines in The Princess Bride.  Anyone who has seen the movie loves quoting it back and forth to each other. 

Thirdly, the theme of true love triumphs over all actually applies here.  Wesley loves Buttercup but is poor.  So he goes out to seek his fortune to provide for her.  When they meet again, Buttercup realizes that the Dread Pirate Roberts is actually Wesley (and Wesley realizing that Buttercup never loved Humperdinck), after he tells her, “As You Wish.” They go through the fire swamp and Wesley save Buttercups’ life from the ROUS’s (“Rodents of Unusual Size?”  I don’t think they exist).  But on the other side of the swamp Wesley is captured by Prince Humperdinck and tortured.  Then Indigio and his friend Fezzik find Wesley and take him to Miracle Max, who tells him that Wesley might be only mostly dead.  When asked the near-death Wesley what he was living for, Wesley sputters out, “true love.”  His love of Buttercup is the only think keeping him alive.  Later, as they are storming the castle, Wesley finds Buttercup just in time to convince her not to commit suicide.  Every single thing Wesley does is for his love of Buttercup.  He really will go to the ends of the earth and near death for her, and come out of it better than ever.

And finally, Inigo Montoya has one of the best subplots.  As a boy, his father was murdered by the six-fingered man, Count Tyrone Rugen, one of Humperdinck’s henchmen.  He tried to stop the man but he wasn’t strong enough.  He vows revenge for his father’s death.  When he meets up with Rugen in the castle, the duel does not disappoint.  Rugen throws a knife and hits Montoya in the side.  But with willpower and every bit of strength he has, Montoya recovers and starts winning the duel, all the while repeating his greeting that he had rehearsed to say to him.  He finally defeats and kills the man who had killed his father.


But the biggest reason Princess Bride is so great is just that it’s fun to watch.  The characters, the quotes, the medieval setting, all of it contribute to a fantastic movie that can be enjoyed over and over again.