April 23rd, 2006

Peter Jackson directing

Beat it or I'll join the Brute Squad!

Okay, there's something wrong with either my Princess Bride DVD, the Cyberlink PowerDVD software I was using to play it, or my computer.

I put the DVD in and used the scene selection menu to watch the "Battle of Wits" scene. Vizzini clearly cannot choose the goblet in front of either him or the Dread Pirate Roberts. Eventually he laughs and dies. Best damn scene in the whole movie. So far, so good.

Then I decided to watch the "Miracle Max" scene. Second best damn scene in the whole movie. So back to the scene selection menu, scene 21, "Miracle Max". It starts playing. Inigo and Fezzik approach Miracle Max's cottage. Inigo pounds on the door. We hear a voice: "Go away!"

Except... why is Fezzik saying the line instead of Max?

Closeup of Max's door. Inigo's fist pounds on the door again. Miracle Max opens the little peephole door. "What, what?" Then I realize what's wrong: the scene is playing at the wrong speed. Everything is slowed down, all the voices are deepened. Miracle Max sounds like Fezzik. Inigo sounds like Fezzik with a Spanish accent. Fezzik himself sounds like SATAN. I'm all like WTF?

I went back to the scene selection menu and tried playing the movie from scene 20, "Where is Westley". It plays at the proper speed. When it gets to the Miracle Max scene, it still plays at the proper speed. This time Miracle Max sounds like himself. I watch and enjoy the scene. "Have fun storming the castle!"

Experimentally, I went to the scene selection menu and selected Scene 21 again. It plays too slow, as before. I use the shuttle controls to rewind from there into the previous scene. It plays too slow as well. I rewind a lot further to some scene much earlier in the movie. It plays too slow. Grandpa (Peter Falk) sounds like a very old Fezzik, and grandson (Fred Savage) sounds like... some androgynous hermaphroditic character from some sci-fi movie.

So what's the deal here? What's causing it?
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