Because I definitely grow up with Half-Life. Because I can’t remember how many times I played the original game. Because I can’t count the hours expend building maps… playing around… And because I bought the original collector edition with t-shirt (yes, back in the 90’s) and because I gave it to my girlfriend… the t-shirt I mean. This video has to be here.
Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]: This book is written as a story inside a story, so this edition speaks about how Goldman wrote the book, and he pretends it was actually an adaptation from an older one. At the same time, the movie tells us the story as a grandpa reading the book to his grandchild. And it’s like this:
Buttercup is going to become the most beautiful woman in the world… when she grows up. Right now she is only the daughter of a farmer, and Westley is a homeless boy who works for Buttercup’s father. But none of that matters, because Westley is the only who loves Buttercup as she is, and also… Westley is the only one that Buttercup loves.
But there is a problem. Wesly doesn’t have anything, so he cannot offer anything to her. The only way for Westley to prove he is good enough for Buttercup is leaving to America searching for fortune… but his boat is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts who never makes prisoners.
Knowing about Westley’s dead Buttercup wishes to die, but she is so beautiful that the prince know about her and ask her to be his wife. She doesn’t want this marriage, but also she doesn’t want to disobey her prince. What she doesn’t know is that the passion of the prince is not for her but for hunting and war and he has a secret plan to kill her and make it look like a plot from another country.
That is why Vizzini, Iñigo and Fezzik kidnap the princess and are going to kill her. But they didn’t count with the masked man in black. He is able to follow Fezzik climbing the cliffs of insanity, he can beat Iñigo Montoya, the best swordsman in the world. The defeat Fezzik the giant in a hand to hand battle, and he kills Vizzini in an intellect battle.
Who is this masked man that did all this to rescue the princess? It’s the Dread Pirate Roberts (who never makes prisoners). Well… not exactly. Westley boat was captured by Roberts and when he was about to kill Westley he said “please, I need to live”, and being the only one that didn’t try to bribe Roberts for his live, he was curious and allow him to live one day more. Every day Westley learned something from Roberts, and every night Roberts said “well done Westley, I’m not killing you today, but maybe tomorrow”. And so was life for 5 years.
After those years of serving Roberts, he revealed the secret to Westley “I’m not the Dread Pirate Roberts, I inherit the name and the ship from the previous Pirate Roberts, who also was not the Dread Pirate Roberts. The real Pirate Roberts is retired living like a king with his bounty”. And he said also “you know, in piracy the inly important thing is the name” and he start calling Roberts to Westley and hire a new crew for him and he became Roberts.
When Buttercup finds this she becomes the most happy girl in the world. She is in love with Westley, she really never love the prince, and Westley loves her, he overpass all this just to rescue her.
It’s a moment of great passion. Love reunited, love against every challenge in the world. Love.
But the story doesn’t finish here, The princess is trying to chase them. At the beginning was fake, just to cover his plot, but now he has to recover the princess and kill her himself. Westley has his ship ready to scape, but they need to cross the fire swamp to reach it and they didn’t manage to do it in time. The prince has them.
To save Westley’s live, Buttercup accept to marry the prince if he let Westley go.
But is all a tramp. Westley is sent to Count Rugen (Prince right hand). The count has been studying pain all his life and wants to become immortal writing a book about pain. That’s why he has created a machine that sucks life and produces the most horrible pain.
For months, while the wedding is being arranged, Westley supports all this pain, broken bones, blood, hurts… He was trained to do that… but he was not trained to support loosing Buttercup and that is what they use to break him. He starts suffering when they tell him that Buttercup doesn’t love him anymore. And the pain is so intense that they torture him to death.
With Westley dead, Vizzini dead and the princess ready to become queen, the plans of the prince to start a war quilling the queen are ready…. But he didn’t count with Fezzik and Iñigo.
Iñigo is the best swordsman in the world for one reason, avenge his father who was killed by the man with six fingers… the man who is torturing Westley… count Rugen. But count Rugen is in the castle with the prince, and the castle is protected with by brute squad. With Vizzini death, who is intelligent enough to enter the castle with only 2 men? The dread Pirate Roberts!
They find Westley just to discover he is dead. But Iñigo is not going to fail! Miracle Max has to revive him. But before doing a miracle, and without so much money… there must be a reason for helping Westley. With his instruments, Miracle Max manages to give a little life to Westley, enough for a couple of words “true love”.
With Westley coming back from death and only a few hours up to the wedding, the chances of killing Count Rugen, stopping the Prince and rescuing the princess are almost null.
But the man who defeated Vizzini has a plan, and they manage to enter the castle and Iñigo faces the count and Westley meets the prince. Almost diying Iñigo manages to kill the count
“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
And Westley faces the prince… without being able to move a single muscle. But he doesn’t know and as the coward he is, he surrenders and everybody manage to escape the castle.
Personal Review: I cannot just simply comment or review this book, because the movie, which I watched when I was a kid, is one of my big movies. The things that marked my life. And nowadays memes from this story are everywhere, it’s “inconceivable”.
To put you in situation, I watched the movie many years ago, but know about the book just one year back, and was something quite random, somebody just took a fancy book to the lab… I look at it bored, just being curious… and there it was! The princess bride book! I liked so much the movie that I brought the book straight away… and didn’t read it. What if it is not good? What if the story is different?
I waited for months with the book always next to my bed… and when I flew to Italy I rode it. I was on the plane and It was amazing. The flight was so short that I stay awake on the hotel trying to finish it before the next day (which was my first day on a short stay at INRIM).
I admit that the story is a fantasy/adventure, so ideal that most of the people will say it’s for kids. Is it for kids? I mean, maybe it’s not a story to be taken as a love tragedy but as an epic battle. If you consider it this way…
Buttercup and Westley become in love just after knowing each other for a while, and not because of their appearance or rich families, just because they care about each other.
Iñigo studied for 20 years to avenge his father. In the book the story is much more rich with many details. He travelled the world learning from every master, always wishing to fulfil his task to allow his father rest in peace.
Fezzik was a good fellow, he was just big, too big. In the book he travelled the world as a professional wrestler, and when nobody wanted to fight with him, he started fighting groups (that’s where the movie quote “i specialized on groups” come from. And eventually he was completely alone in the world, with nobody who wanted to be near him. That’s a love story again.
When Westley leaves to try to offer something better to Buttercup, that is love again. He could have stay and lived on Buttercup’s parent’s, but he decided to go away for her, to be able to offer something to make her happy.
When Roberts is about to kill Westley and he ask “please I need to live”, that is a tremendous epic moment. His life doesn’t mean being surrounded by pleasures, treasures, women… no, his life is for Buttercup, that’s why he asks to live.
The rescue of Buttercup it’s another proof of love. Don’t you think that Westley, being the Dread pirate Roberts and with fame and fortune, knowing about Buttercup’s wedding could have left her marry the prince? Why he goes back? Because he still loves her and despite everything looks lost, he risks his life trying to see if love is lost or there is a chance. He never give back.
And the sacrifice of Buttercup, accepting the prince to try to protect Westley’s live, that’s again, her life is not her, but for Westley.
The most impressive moment is when they torture Westley. Now they proof again that love is what really matter to him. They can crush his bones and his flesh, but know Buttercup loves him gives him enough strength to overcome it.
And finally, when Westley comes back to live to fight the final battle, with all the odds against him… that is epic. I mean, it’s not just restoring life, it’s fighting for love, coming back to live because his loved is in danger and needs him.
I think the movie can be more commercial, and also the book, but the ingredients for an epic story are there, and in some ways is better not to change it, because it’s perfect as it is. Maybe tragedy is not shown as in other stories, but is there, and love as the most powerful, irresistible, force is also there.
I need to say also that this movie is one special case of becoming better with the ages. Because it seems it is always gaining more fans. It’s more popular now than when it was released, and the memes from it are making it a part of our culture.
I think I cannot say anything more about this story. Just enjoy it, and if you don’t like it, be it.
Just one thing, if you didn’t watch the swords video, this is at the end of it:
And that is all.
Oh, c’mon, ok, here it is, Lego Princess Bride (kid, grandpa, duel, fight, intellect battle… and kiss)
and also by being a Science Fiction fan and is present in many conventions and comic-con. This is what happens in Denver comic-con this year. A little girl asks him what to do when other kids call you nerd.
Alex Rogan: Hold it! There’s no fleet? No Starfighters, no plan? One ship, you, me, and that’s it? Grig: Exactly! Xur thinks you’re still on Earth. Classic military strategy, surprise attack. Alex Rogan: It’ll be a slaughter! Grig: That’s the spirit! Alex Rogan: No, *my* slaughter! One ship against the whole armada? Grig: Yes, one gunstar against the armada. I’ve always wanted to fight a desperate battle against incredible odds.
Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]: Alex Rogan is a young with great talent but with no future. He is living in a trailer park and his life is condemned to continue there. One day he finishes the arcade game Starfighter… and an alien comes to his door to tell him that the game was only a recruitment test to select the best pilots of the galaxy to defend the League against Xur and the Kodan armada. In the beginning he refuses to join the Starfleet and returns to earth, but then he realises that the threat is real and he has to help. By that time the League has been attacked and he is the only one left able to pilot a Starfigther. He and Grig accept the challenge and themselves alone confront the whole armada piloting the last Starfighter, an experimental ship with the “Dead Blossom” a super weapon able to destroy all ships nearby at the cost of defensive shields. It is a great battle a heroic struggle of only two… humanoids against the whole army. And they win.
Personal Review: To be honest… is there any boy who plays video games who actually doesn’t dream with this happening to him? I mean, beat the game and realize it was a test to become a real pilot who flights in real spaceship. At least I did, and this is one of my iconic adventures. Even if the movie is now a little bit old, remember it was one of the first movies ever presenting such level of computer generated graphics.
I think this book is quite the same as the movie. I read it and immediately after I watched the movie again… and they where pretty much the same word by word. So I enjoed it as wathing the movie. And obviously it’s not a hard science fiction, it’s just a space opera about the path of the hero. But it is cool, and the mixing of video games makes it even more cool. And you know, there was actually a Starfighter game after the movie made by Atari… but it was very bad and not like in the movie.
Fortunately, now, years after, followers made the real game of the movie and you can play it for free (I couldn’t make it work… but it looks nice).
You can visit their web page and download it there. This how it looks alike.
I think the worst thing (in the movie and not in the book) is the frontier. In the movie it is presented as a real drone-like spaceships making a real frontier, while in the book is like a series of outpost who look after the perimeter. I mean, think of the materials needed to have such frontier. That was a bad mistake.
Another weak point is the lack of actual war strategy and preparation. Let’s assume it, the Kodan might be an evil empire made for war… but his strategy is carp and his power is really tiny. A single gunship destroy all of their ships (which by the way where formed completely align and rely on a single central node for control). Seriously? That’s the worst strategy ever. C’mon, at least send thousands of hundreds. And from the League side… even if peace has been for centuries, how it can be that they are not prepared at all for war. Only one base with a few trained pilots it’s hard to believe. I mean, I think war is not necessary, but people trained to survive in hazards environments it is always needed, and I think it will not be very difficult to turn these ones into expert pilots for gunships. A little bit innocent view of life I think.
Ok, I don’t mess more with this movie/book. I really recommend you to watch it!
And if you want to go deeper into the story… before or after watching the movie, here is the documentary.
Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]: Scott is Shrinking! He is Shrinking at a constant rate and there is no clue why. This book tells the story of his last days before shrinking to the nothing. He is trapped in the house basement with a spider without food and with no water. After struggling for water, food and killing the spider, he finally becomes so small that he start realizing that maybe there is another smaller universes in an eternal cycle that never ends. Before disappearing the reason for his illness is revealed, a strong insecticide combined with radiation is making his body loose vitamins, elements and shrink.
Personal Review: There is 3 things wrong for me in this book. First one, trying to make it scientific with insecticide and radiation. It could have been good reasons back in the 60’s but you get sick or die, not just shrink… Second thing is, even if your body is loosing some elements, not all the tissues will loose at the same rate, so shrinking will not happen proportional to all of them. You probably broke your bones before your weight drops, or your skin maybe shrinks too fast and just rip off… Third thing is that physical laws don’t scale so well, so for instance water can flow through a pipe if it is big, but if it is too small, it will make bubbles. So… it is a good book? It is, but sometimes it is a little bit annoying how he is not able to predict his future needs or how he gets angry instead of enjoying the experience and experiments or explores this new world. I know it will be not funny, but imagine the endless possibilities…
Writers: Ryder Windham; John Ostrander; Rich Handley; Rich Hedden;
Illustrators: Tom Fowler; Jan Duursema; Darko Macan; Rick Leonardi
Editorial: Dark Horse Comics.
Edition year: 1, 2000.
Since this is a collection of stories, I’m going to review each one separately.
The Death of Captain Tarpals.Ryder Windham and Tom Fowler.
Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]: Jar Jar Binks is expulsed out of the city.
Personal Review: Crap. George Lucas better have kill himself before introducing this stupid Jar Jar Binks. This a useless story of how he is exiliated (not even that, just how he is released out of the city) just before he meets the Jedis. Boring story of boring creatures.
Deal with a demon. John Ostrander Jan Duursema.
Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]: A mercenary helps a princess to scape from his planet.
Personal Review: Honestly, the story is too short to develop it consistently. And on top of that, half of the images are the demon-like smiling.
Lady Luck. Rich Handley and Darko Macan.
Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]: Lando Calrissian is playing Sabacc in the cloud city of Bespin. he is not yet in charge of the city and the former governor wants to play against him. He wins thanks to the donations of the miners and becomes the new governor of Bespin.
Personal Review: It’s not a long story, but I liked this one because it expands a little bit the original 3 movies (the best ones). I think they introduce a girl just for showing her… but the rest is fine.
Three Against the galaxy. Rich Hedden and Rick Leonardi.
Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]: A prisoner gamorrean helps a rich girl to scape from her evil uncle (who kills her father to take possession of his business).
Personal Review: I think this one is not very bad… at the beguining. Because it develops a story and you engage into it, but at the end it looks like they run out of pages and just make things happned. They spend 3 or 4 pages to get out of a mine, and only one image to show how they blow up a complete factory evacuating all prisoners and avoiding the guards.
My general review of this comic is that it is very bad. Doesn’t worth the money you pay for it. But despite of that, for those who manage to read up to here…