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Stardust (Widescreen Edition) (2007)

A 2007 fantasy film directed by Matthew Vaughn and based on Neil Gaiman's book.

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More than a whiff of stardust! MAGIC!

  • Dec 20, 2007
Rating:
+5
Films that depend heavily on special effects as created by computer generated graphics have never been too interesting for this viewer - and that, of late, covers a lot of territory from the Harry Potter series through the continuous glut of sci-fi films, vampire tales, and apocalyptic epics, etc. But there is something very different about STARDUST that brings it into a realm of solid storytelling simply enhanced by well-done special effects, and that difference is in the story itself, an unabashed fairy tale populated with wonderful characters played by some of our finest actors.

And it all begins with a wall (according to the narrator, Ian McKellen) that separates the real world from an enchanted place and through that wall runs a young lad who starts the frolic. Flash forward and the child of the runaway lad, Tristan (a magnetically alive Charlie Cox), has groan to maturity and has fallen in love with the beautiful Victoria (Sienna Miller) who demands a star from Tristan to prove his love. The magic begins when that 'star' falls from the sky in the form of Yvaine (Claire Danes, radiant even without the halo that surrounds her). The foul witch Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) and her wicked sisters become aware and plan to cut out the heart of Yvaine in order to gain immortality. The little village is also under the stranglehold of the impending loss of their king (Peter O'Toole) and there is a struggle among the seven sons to ascend the throne: the seventh son Septimus (Mark Strong) defeats his now spirit brothers and sets off to gain the stone that Yvaine wears which will give him immortality. The on-the-run groups encounter a pirate, Captain Shakespeare (Robert DeNiro in a splendid role), who captures lightening in a marvelous flying ship manned by a swarthy crew. Of course Tristan and Yvaine become his 'captives', only to discover that the fey closet queen captain is on their side against the forces of evil. As the film progresses Tristan and Yvaine gradually fall in love, negating their past histories, and the ending is another act of pure magic: evil succumbs to good in the best of fairytale ways.

The cast is uniformly excellent, from the true star turns by Pfeiffer, DeNiro, Danes, and Cox to the secondary roles equally well cast. The special effects are beautiful and very much in keeping with the story instead of simply breeding monsters to emerge from the bowels of the earth to destroy civilization. Everyone involved, from the director Matthew Vaughn to the writers Jane Goldman with Vaughn (and of course the creator of the novel Neil Gaiman) to the cast, seem to keep tongue in cheek and appear to be having as much fun as we the audience. It is a light, exceptionally beautiful fantasy that is pure joy! Grady Harp, December 07.

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More Stardust (2007 film) reviews
review by . April 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Among the stars
Let me start by stating that if you watch Stardust the movie hoping that it achieves the aura of Stardust the book, you will be disappointed. That, however, is the fate of most book into movie productions. Stardust the book was magical because it is made of words. Stardust the movie is made of images and it is unrealistic to hope that it could capture the essence of the written version. That said, Stardust the movie has its moments. Clare Danes makes a luminous star, Charlie Cox a credulous young …
Quick Tip by . June 02, 2010
I actually really like this :D
review by . December 24, 2008
DVD cover
Based upon comic book and graphic novel writer Neil Gaiman's original story, Stardust is a charming fantasy film with a humorous twist. Much like The Princess Bride in its combination of romance, adventure, comedy, and fantasy, Stardust is a remarkable film with a lot of heart. The film was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who had been eager to adapt the story for the cinematic medium. Thankfully Vaughn was a more than competent director and he had a great deal of respect for the source …
review by . August 15, 2008
Let me start by stating that if you watch Stardust the movie hoping that it achieves the aura of Stardust the book, you will be disappointed. That, however, is the fate of most book into movie productions. Stardust the book was magical because it is made of words. Stardust the movie is made of images and it is unrealistic to hope that it could capture the essence of the written version.    That said, Stardust the movie has its moments. Clare Danes makes a luminous star, Charlie …
review by . December 30, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
I picked up this DVD not expecting much, having not heard anything about it. I was pleasantly surprised and entertained throughout! Some of the comedy of the film seemed to be right out of Monty Python.    Tristan is the son of an enslaved princess from a forbidden fantasy land behind a long wall which is guarded by an old man. One day his father gives him a letter from his mother and Tristan decides to go beyond the wall to find her. The old man prevents him from getting past …
review by . October 19, 2007
The story begins in the 19th-century village of Wall. But Wall isn't your average country village -- it guards a low, stony wall between mundane England and the fantasy kingdom of Stormhold. No one crosses the wall -- except for young Drustan Thorn, whose curiosity led him to an otherworldly market and a single night of passion with a captive gypsy -- or princess -- and nine months later he was given a son, Tristan, who was left for him by the wall.    Flash forward 18 years, …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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About this movie

Wiki

Stardustsettles over the viewer like a twinkly cloak. The film, which captures the magic and vision of author Neil Gaiman's fantasy graphic fable, is a transportive journey into a world of true enchantment, which fans of theHarry Potterbooks will enjoy as well as will adults looking for the perfect date movie. The tale is a not-so-simple love story and adventure, set in 19th century England--and an alternate universe of witches, spells and stars that turn human--and hold the key to eternal life.

Young Tristan (played with wide-eyed vigor by Charlie Cox) vows to retrieve a fallen star for the most beautiful girl in the village, the shallow Victoria (Sienna Miller), and in his quest, finds his true love--in a true "meet-cute" moment (by Babylon-candle-speeding into the just-crashed human incarnation of the star, Claire Danes). Much of the film involves the duo's journey back home--though home for Tristan is his village, and home for the celestial Yvaine is, of course, in the heavens. There are villains, notably Michelle Pfeiffer as the vain witch who seeks the fountain of youth a fallen star can give, and the seven venal sons of the dying king of the mythical realm, backstabbing, grasping, and hilarious--even in death as a ghostly Greek chorus.

While the sparks of love between Tristan and Yvaine are resonant and touching, Stardust truly succeeds as a brilliant fantasy yarn--and as a comedy with more than its share of belly laughs. Much of the humor belongs ...

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Details

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: August 10, 2007
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Matthew Vaughn
DVD Release Date: December 18, 2007
Runtime: 127 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures, Marv Films
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DVD front

The Best Fantasy Films, Part I

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First to Review

"A new classic"
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