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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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A Glowing Comic Fantasy

  • Dec 24, 2008
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 material. It should also be noted that Vaughn had directed primarily low-budget, critically acclaimed crime dramas and that he was unused to the pressures of making a commercially successful film of this scale. And yet he has succeeded in creating an entertaining movie. The film is relatively faithful to the novel, and yet it stands out as a separate entity. All of Gaiman's charm and wit are retained, while screenwriters Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn add a contemporary edge to the fractured fairy tale.

The story begins with a young peasant boy named Tristan as he tries to win the heart of the vapid damsel, Victoria. One night while sitting under the starlit sky, Tristan and Victoria watch as a falling star plummets to Earth. As a token of his love, Tristan offers to retrieve the fallen star for Victoria, but to do so he must cross the forbidden wall that borders their small English village. After crossing the wall, Tristan discovers that he's entered a bizarre world of magical enchantment. When Tristan finds the fallen star, he's shocked to see that on this side of the wall it has taken the form of a beautiful young woman named Yvaine. Yvaine says that she was struck by a bewitched necklace that was speeding through outer space and that it knocked her to Earth. The necklace, it turns out, is a precious heirloom belonging to the dead King of Stormhold Castle. The King's sons have killed each other in order to succeed their father as the new king, but now only the good Prince Primus and the devious Prince Septimus remain. The two rival princes must race each other to the necklace before either can ascend to the throne.
Meanwhile, Lamia, the Queen of the Witches, seeks the heart of a star, which she plans to eat so that her youth and beauty will be restored. Lamia, too, soon sets out on a journey and she uses her mystical powers to slow Tristan and Yvaine down. As Tristan and Yvaine elude the evil prince Septimus and Queen Lamia, they take refuge in the flying pirate ship of the seemingly fearsome Captain Shakespeare. It's not long before Tristan and Yvaine come to realize that they love one another, but can they overcome the many obstacles that stand in the way of their happiness? And can Tristan, an ordinary peasant boy, prove himself to be a courageous hero or shall he falter at the cost of Yvaine's life and his own true destiny?

Despite the film's predictable ending and the cliché fantasy themes, Stardust is really quite enchanting. The film shines with dazzling action, witty dialogue, and a perfect cast. The cast includes Charlie Cox as Tristan, Claire Danes as Yvaine, Michelle Pfeiffer as Lamia, Robert De Niro as Captain Shakespeare, Sienna Miller as Victoria, Peter O'Toole as The King, Mark Strong as Septimus, Jason Flemyng as Primus, and Ian McKellen, who voices the narrator. Newcomer Charlie Cox captures the spirit of his awkward hero nicely and Michelle Pfeiffer is deliciously evil as the Queen of the Witches. My only complaint regarding the cast of the film has to do with Claire Danes. While there's nothing wrong with her feisty portrayal of Yvaine, I found her heavily plucked eyebrows to be very distracting and they gave her an unintentionally eerie appearance. But this is minor.
Yvaine on a unicorn...

The DVD includes "Good Omens: The Making of Stardust" documentary, deleted scenes, a blooper reel, the theatrical trailer and previews.
DVD cover Poster Tristan Dumps Victoria (Literally!)

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December 25, 2008
Hey, Count--loved this film and I remember this as your "sayonara review" to amazon. Nice work as always. Can't wait for the Thor movie--I saw a rendition of his movie costume and it looks like the current one in the comic.
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 . 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 . December 20, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
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, …
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About this movie


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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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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The Best Fantasy Films, Part I


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