Meathead March – The Princess Bride (1987) -Tranquil Dreams

Check out my review over at MovieRob’s Meathead March Blogathon. In case that confuses you, it is a blogathon based on Rob Reiner directed films. My first entry is for the simply beautiful and exciting Princess Bride.

It started this week, so if you missed any, remember to head over and check it out.


meathead march blogathonFor today’s first review of The Princess Bride for the Meathead March Blogathon, here’s a review by Kim of Tranquil Dreams.

Thanks Kim!

princess bride poster

The Princess Bride (1987)

Director: Rob Reiner

Cast: Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Fred Savage, Peter Falk

While a young boy (Fred Savage) is home sick in bed, his grandfather (Peter Falk) comes over to tell him a story thats been in their family for a long time called The Princess Bride.  It takes them into the country of Florin where Buttercup (Robin Wright) falls unexpectedly in love with the farm boy called Westley (Cary Elwes).  Eventually, he goes across the sea in hopes of seeking fortune where news is eventually sent back to Buttercup that he lost his life on the ship held captive by Dread Pirate Roberts .  A few years later, Buttercup still in love with Westley, is…

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Valentine’s Marathon: Message in a Bottle (1999)

The first movie adapted from Nicholas Sparks is Message in a Bottle. Let me just confess that when I was in high school, I loved Nicholas Sparks novels.  I’m not sure if I still have that love now because I just don’t read romance as much anymore and well, I had lent my copy of Message in  a Bottle to a friend who never gave it back to me. Either way, I’ve owned this movie for about 5 years now (I think) and tried to start watching it about 4 times and every time, I can’t get past the first 30 minutes and fall asleep.  Last night, I made myself some tea and sat upright in my chair and watched this, lets check it out!

message in a bottle posterDirector: Luis Mandoki

Cast: Robin Wright, Kevin Costner, Paul Newman, John Savage, Illeana Douglas, Robbie Coltrane

Divorced mom and  researcher for Chicago Tribune, Theresa (Robin Wright) takes a vacation.  During a run along the beach, she finds a bottle with a message inside addressed to Catherine, signed by G.  Touched by the letter, she brings it back to her office and her boss (Robbie Coltrane) publishes it in the newspaper which causes a lot of response with other letters coming in.  After some research, she traces down a Garret Blake and convinces her boss to go get his story.  After meeting Garret (Kevin Costner), she couldn’t bring herself to tell him about the letters and the two end up falling in love.  Despite their feelings, Garret still doesn’t seem to know how to let go of his past with Catherine, while Theresa has to go back to her reality with her son.

I personally think that Nicholas Sparks is a genius, a really messed up romantic writer above all things but he knows how to capture his demographic well using very similar tragic love stories done in a certain formula that almost always ends in a depressing way, but people still come back for more. Believe me, I know. I went through a phase which ended up with me owning six of his novels on my bookshelf right now and another 3 that I’ve read but don’t own. Nothing quite impacted me like Message In a Bottle and A Walk to Remember though.  So, its safe to say that I did like the source material from what this movie was based on. Now, did it match to my expectations? Thats really the question, right?

message in a bottle opening

To that question, I’d have to say half and half.  I liked the movie (now that I finally stayed awake to watch it) but there were certain parts I just couldn’t buy into.  The story is fine.  Its is.  I can’t hate on it at all.  Message in a Bottle is a really well-written love story.  Its about letting go, making choices between your past and your future because you only get to choose one.  Its about pushing through your fears and taking risks.  And its about loss and tragedy and learning to see what is most precious. As generic as it all seems, its what works for love stories.  Its signature for Nicholas Sparks to add this sweet but tragic ending. Okay, I’m rambling again….What else did work was the scenery.  I think it was shot in Maine, but I’m not exactly sure but it was by lots of water and it was beautiful.  Simply magnificent scenery.  Thats a romantic setting.  And they had beautiful background music to match the scenes.  It gave the movie a nice touch 🙂

message in a bottle garret theresa

I never skip talking about the characters.  I haven’t seen Robin Wright do a lot of movies. Well, obviously, I’ve seen Princess Bride. She is a beauty to watch and a pretty awesome actress.  I think romance works for her a lot too.  Her has Theresa pulled right into the role and I could feel her happiness and that she was in love  and when she felt pain, I somehow felt it a bit too.  However, I can’t get past that Kevin Costner isn’t really the guy for this role.  I mean, he’s a charming man but he was just in pain through the whole role and it seemed like even when he was happy, I wasn’t fully sold that Garret was in love with Theresa.  The only part I felt that way was their kisses.  That affects the whole dynamic of the movie for me.

message in a bottle jacket

THE best part of the movie was Paul Newman in the supporting role as Garret’s father, Dodge.  That man can act.  He was all sorts of awesome.  He brought in some humor and in the last part when he was having an argument (kind of) with Garret, that really touched me.  Actually all the scenes between Dodge and Theresa or Dodge with Garret or Dodge and other characters were really strong.

There really is nothing wrong with the movie but I really think I should have watched this when I was younger because then I wouldn’t ask the initial question of, “If I were to run along the beach, would I go picking up a bottle sticking in the sand?” I’m a curious person but I don’t go around picking up empty bottles.  Maybe I’d give it a second though because it would be amazing to actually find a message in a bottle.

What I’m saying is that, Message in a Bottle isn’t a bad romance.  The source material does give it a stronger presence.  If you need any reason to watch this, its to watch the gorgeous Robin Wright act and to see the awesomeness of Paul Newman.  Its a touching movie and the final scene is pretty good, its really just the beginning that kind of stretches a bit slower and can get boring.  It can feel lengthy since its over 2 hours long.  Still, if you like romances and Nicholas Sparks, its a decent one 🙂

Have you seen Message in a Bottle? Or maybe you read the novel? What do you think of Robin Wright and/or Kevin Costner?




Christmas Marathon: Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)

A-Christmas-Carol-Blu-ray-DVDDISNEY’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2009)

Directed: Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future trilogy, Polar Express, Cast Away)

Voices by: Jim Carrey, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright

Based on the classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Robert Zemeckis both write and directs this full-length animation.  The story is about a man called Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) who is very uptight about his money and doesn’t care about the people around him, much less the ones who he sees regularly like his employee, Bob Cratchit (Gary Oldman) or his nephew, Fred (Colin Firth).  On Christmas eve, he goes home and is visited by his former deceased business partner, Jacob Marley (Gary Oldman) burdened with heavy chains.  He tells him that these were from all that he had done while he was alive and that he would be visited by three ghosts: Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (all voiced by Jim Carrey).  These ghosts bring him to visit memories and visions that he has chosen to ignore and made him realize all his wants had lead him to his ignorance.

The first thing that pulled me to this movie was the idea that Jim Carrey does 7 different voices.  Four are from different stages in Scrooge’s  life: Young boy, Teenage, Middle Age and finally the one we see, as an elderly stingy man.  He also does the voices of the three ghosts.  Jim Carrey and his voice was what drew me to him originally when I first saw him in The Mask.  He does a decent job in that area for this movie.  I have no problem with it.  The voice work was pretty good actually.  I like Colin Firth a lot and his distinct voice was quite himself as Fred.  Gary Oldman did a great job with this one also.  I’ve never heard him doing voices in an animation.

The second aspect of this movie is that I truly love the story and it looked to be really visually stunning.  It did turn out to be quite detailed.  My boyfriend commented about the detail of the reactions and expressions.  The experience was definitely geared towards being seen in 3D, however, I have a normal Blu-ray so it had to do.  It seem had exciting moments.

However, this flick is probably not primarily geared towards young children.  It had a lot of spooky moments near the end.  Although they do try to balance it out with a lot of funny moments to lighten the mood up.  I’m do enjoy this movie a lot.  Its not my absolutely favorite but whats Christmas without a little bit of Christmas carol, right?

There is a CRAZY amount of Christmas Carol adaptations both in animations, or themed like Disney’s, for example, and in real life. Which ones have you seen? Are there some you enjoy more than the others? I heard Muppet’s Christmas Carol is pretty good also.