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Death Wish: A respectable architect becomes a crime-slaying vigilante after his family are assaulted by street punks. For a film this dark and serious, the acting is nothing short of comedy. Championed by the daughter, who looks like she’s winding up a pantomime audience. Everyone else involved – up to Bronson himself – doesn’t really aim much higher; unfortunately the wife’s short-spiel is the best in the movie. Given the atrocious crimes committed, the first group of antagonists (Hi Goldblum!) also feel like parody/goofy stereotypes. Still, the main scene of violence is brutal, graphic and unsettling – like a punch to the gut, which doesn’t happen to me very often. Hard to miss the overall critique of violence, and considering how much more this has to say than the average crime b-movie; just a shame that it falls down due to the poorly-drawn characters and bad acting. I don’t say this about many ‘classic’ movies, but Death Wish would greatly benefit from a modern, more serious, re-telling.

Score: 5/10

The Princess Bride: a beautiful princess is captured and her childhood sweetheart (now a pirate!) must embark on a quest to save her. What elevates this above all other films in this genre is a high-quality script that’s saturated with witty, understated and dry jokes that you could easily miss. There’s also some rather good action for a motherflippin’ fairytale – the swordfights are all decent – first proper one in particular is immense – and we get to see WWF star Andre the Giant get sleeper’d out!!!WTF!!! As you’d expect, the acting’s quite hammy – although Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) is an absolutely legendary comedy character – for expressions and use of language alone. There’s a cheap / budgety vibe given off by the sub-standard scenery and props; which combined with everything above creates more charm than most high-end films could wish for. The Princess Bride most reminded me of the fabulous TV series Blackadder in that its ‘historical’, hysterical in parts, and much smarter & aware than it first appears. Definitely one of the best anti / post-modern fairytales I’ve seen!

Score: 7/10

 

Hello. My Name is Inigo Montoya. You Killed My Father. Prepare to die