classic, film, musical, must see

Movie Review: Quest for Camelot

I bet I know what you are thinking: “What is this Disney Movie and why haven’t I heard of it?” Hate to burst your bubble, but this is not a Disney movie it’s Warner Bros. (though given it was 1998 during Disney renaissance I can understand the confusion.) Unfortunately the film did not do as well as Warner Bros. would have liked, both box office and critically, and the studio ended up loosing $40 million. However the film did develop a bit of a following after the success of the soundtrack and while probably not a must watch for a kid it is still enjoyable. Spoilers ahead.

Kayley (Jessalyn Gilsig as an adult, Sarah Rayne as a child and Andrea Corr singing) wants to be a knight like her father Sir Lionel (Gabriel Byrne), a knight for the Round Table, yes King Arthur’s round table. During a meeting Ruber (Gary Oldman), a knight desiring to be king, tries to kill Arthur (Pierce Brosnan and Steve Perry singing) but Sir Lionel saves Arthur at the cost of his life. Years later Ruber returns to take over by stealing Arthur’s sword Excalibur. Ruber’s griffin (Bronson Pinchot) does steal the sword, but thanks to Merlin (John Gielgud)’s falcon Ayden (Frank Welker) the sword falls into the forbidden forest. Ruber seizes his army, including the comical rooster Bladebeak (Jaleel White) and Kayley’s mother Juliana (Jane Seymour with Celine Dion (yes that Celine Dion) singing) to gain entry into Camelot. Kayley escapes and decides to go after the sword, gaining allies in Garrett (Carey Elwes with Bryan White singing) a blind hermit and a two headed dragon Devon and Cornwall (Eric Idle and Don Rickles) in her quest.

This was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid and I still watch it every now and then. I am a huge fan of the Arthur myth and while I haven’t seen every version this is probably my favorite of the ones I’ve watched; which includes The Sword in the Stone. I get why the story itself gets a lot of grief, but as a kid I didn’t mind.

However the most successful part of the movie is the soundtrack, with spectacular songs. Here are some of my favorites: “On my Father’s Wings” by Kayley as she grieves for her father and how much she wants to keep him alive through her, “I Stand Alone” is Garret’s song about how he doesn’t play well with others, there is a reprise when he doesn’t feel good enough for Kayley and “Looking through Your Eyes” a romantic duet between Kayley and Garret as they fall in love. The most famous song from the soundtrack is Julianna’s number, you may have heard of it, “The Prayer.” That’s right people, the song famously covered by Celine Dion, Andrea Bochelli, Josh Groban and just about everyone doing an opera number on the talent shows came from this little known movie. First time I heard this song outside the movie I thought, “this cannot be the same song I heard” but no it was and I could not have been more gleeful. Whenever someone tells me they haven’t heard of the movie but the song I always say check it out, and I’m telling you the same thing. Regardless if you are a kid or an adult this movie is great and I highly recommend it.

classic, film

Classic/Modern Move Reivew The Princess Bride

As you guys have read I love recommending films for people to watch. Now obviously people may have different tastes than I do, some would rather watch a movie like Sharknado over a classic like Casablanca (yes I know weird combination there) but I do respect people’s opinions. I cannot force someone to like a movie or TV show I love and vice versa. I always say “If you want me to watch (insert title) I will, doesn’t mean I have to like it. However anyone who knows me will tell you if you have not seen and liked “The Princess Bride” then we cannot talk until you do.

If for some reason you have not watched this movie, allow me to give a simplified version. At the start and a few times in the film you will see a young Fred Savage being read the story by his grandfather (the late Peter Faulk). Oh yeah there is a book before the movie, but this is one of the few times where the movie is better than the book. Buttercup, played by Robin Wright loved two things in life: riding her horse and tormenting the farm boy Westley (Carey Elwes). All he ever says to he is “As you wish.” One day Buttercup realizes when he says that he is telling her “I love you” and she discovers her love for him as well. Their time together is brief before Westley leaves to earn enough money for marriage. His ship is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who never leaves anyone alive. Buttercup swears to never love again.

Five years later Buttercup is unwillingly engaged to Prince Humperdink (Chris Sarandon) when she captured by three men, the smart and (no pun intented) short tempered Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), the strong giant Fezzik (the late great Andre the Giant) and the vengeful Spaniard Inigo Montoya, (Mandy Patinkin) whose background I will withhold to remain spoiler free, with the intention of killing her. While I cannot tell you why they kidnapped Buttercup I can say they are not the only ones who have plans for the Princess Bride, sorry need to be spoiler free.

I absolutely LOVE this movie, Robin Wright Carey Elwes, Andre, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn; everyone plays their parts perfectly. This is one of the movies that should never EVER be remade, and I swear to God if that happens I will not watch it. This is one of the funniest, most quotable movies there is out there. I could see it on TV at any point and know exactly where I am. It airs constantly, so you cannot tell me “I can’t find it.” I also know for a fact Fathom events will have the Princess Bride for an upcoming event in the fall check your local theater and see if they are doing it. I just re-watched this movie with my brother, whom is very hard to please with a not Batman movie and he liked it. I looked over and saw him chuckling at the parts I loved, cringing when necessary, every little action told me he was enjoying the film. Trust me if my brother likes a movie it is REALLY GOOD. Also if again you haven’t watch the film, keep an eye out for there are a few people you may recognize along the way. If this review doesn’t encourage you to watch it, trust me there will be people in your life that will.