This was a film I hadn’t seen for many years. I had downloaded a Blu-ray rip to iTunes to see if it worked on AppleTV (which it did) but I prefer to watch my movies in the best possible 1080p format. So I had placed the disc on my Lovefilm list and it duly turned up and then sat there unwatched for weeks.
I finally got some free time on the Saturday night, feeling a bit miserable after lack of sleep and dental pain and felt like it might be the ideal film to cheer me up.
I regret to say that although it still contained many quotable lines (when I posted on facebook about it, they all got shot back at me by various people), and is still a very warm and funny film – it was not without its flaws. Basically it sags awfully in the middle. From the fire swamp until the end battle I did rather find myself losing interest.
That said – there is enough good here to warrant a place in anyone’s collection. The writing is still spot on – the script absolutely crackles. Wallace Shawn (the Grand Nagus in Star Trek Deep Space Nine) is fantastic, but is sadly killed off early on. Cary Elwes shows a great flair for comic timing, and the rest of the cast all play their roles with aplomb.
The Blu-ray, picture wise, is an absolute revelation. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to have a format that can render classics this well. It truly looks like it was filmed yesterday. Sound wise, the result is not so good – but the reality is that the original sound mix probably wasn’t all that anyway.
So at the end of the day, it probably isn’t as good as you remember it. But the reality is, if you do remember it you had probably set the bar way high. It is still an excellent film, and if you have never seen it then you really do need to rectify that immediately. I just felt that the pacing was a little off. A minor flaw.