Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Princess Bride (3 Stars)

I bought this film on Blu-ray three months ago, after being strongly advised to watch it by two different people within the space of a few days. It was only £2.85 ($4.75) for the 25th anniversary edition, pictured above. I was anxious to watch it, but guess what? It didn't work. After putting it in my Blu-ray player, the disc spun for a while, but the screen remained blank. I enquired about a refund, and I was told to make sure that my Blu-ray player has the newest firmware version, because this disc has special requirements. That sounded strange, because I own over 100 films on Blu-ray already and I've never had problems. But I checked online forums and I read that the disc needs recent firmware. So I decided to update my firmware, which I would have to do in the store where I bought my player, since it wasn't an Internet-connected player. But then the store warned me that after updating the firmware my player would no longer be multi-regional, so I didn't update it. I put the disc back on my shelf. Wasted money.

Then last month I decided to buy a new Blu-ray player, because I realised that Internet capabilities are worth having. My new player, a Sony BDPS5200 MR, is cheaper and better than my old Blu-ray player that I bought in May 2010, before I started writing this blog. It automatically installs firmware updates once a week, if available, and it remains multi-regional after updating. It has everything I need, including access to Netflix and BBC Iplayer. Apart from this, the salesman at Richer Sounds gave me a £10 discount on the normal price, and he gave me the five year extended warranty for free (usually 10% of the purchase price). I love Richer Sounds. It's the best and cheapest store in the UK for hi-fi and home entertainment systems. If they have a branch near where you live, there's no need to shop around, just go there. You won't be disappointed.

I got the new Blu-ray player on August 18th, two weeks ago. Since then I've only watched a few films at home. Mostly I've been catching up on TV series on Netflix. Before then I had only used Netflix on my computer. It's a completely different experience to see "Lilyhammer" and "The Almighty Johnsons" on my 42" television. They look incredible. Both series have only been released on DVD, not Blu-ray, so the Netflix broadcast is superior to the discs I already owned.

Today I thought I'd try out "The Princess Bride". I put it in, and the disc played without any problems. I'm happy, even though I still don't understand why it didn't play on my old Blu-ray player.

I thought I'd never seen "The Princess Bride", but after watching the first 15 minutes I recognised scenes I'd seen before. It was interesting to see it again, but I have to say that I don't understand why people call it a "classic". The romance is just presented neutrally, it isn't moving enough to make me cry. The action is unrealistic, and I can't relate to the fairy tale aspects of the story.

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