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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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Stardust - Showing People What Stars Do Best

  • Nov 1, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+3
Pros: Fun, unique story, solid cast, good times all around.

Cons: Not for kids (though I'm not sure that's really a con...)

The Bottom Line: Good fantasy, good fun, a love story, some action, pirates, and magic; you’ve got yourself an enjoyable movie.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

When we moved to Missouri, we said farewell to the evil Comcast and hello to Dish Network.  Our introductory package deal gave us a bunch of movie channels like HBO and Showtime.  It certainly made TV more interesting.  I got to watch the second season of True Blood and all sorts of other movies, including Stardust.

Tristan Thorne is a young man who wants to prove his love to the lovely Victoria.  So when a star falls from the sky, he claims he will fetch it from her, even if it means venturing over the wall their town borders and heading into the world of faerie.  What he doesn't know is that he's not the only one after the star, and that a star, when it falls in faerie, is actually a woman and not a lump of rock.

Just a tidbit for you.  Originally I'd heard of it and was curious, and was glad to finally see it.  Especially since I'd completely forgotten who some of the names in the movie were.  Claire Danes is Yvaine, the star.  The story is narrated at the beginning and end by Ian McKellen.  Michelle Pfeiffer is a witch after the star.  And Robert DeNiro is the pirate Captain Shakespeare.  The best part is that they're all doing a bit of something we've never seen them do.  Or at least, I haven't.  I've never seen Michelle Pfeiffer as an evil, ugly old witch, which she pulls off fantastically.  If Tristan (Charlie Cox) weren't so darn cute, I'd have to say that I loved Michelle the best.  Robert De Niro comes in close too though, because of his unique, ah, personality as Capt. Shakespeare.  It makes me giggle even now.  I'll never think of Offenbach's "Can-Can" the same way again.  In short, stellar acting...pun sort of intended.

This movie is kind of strange in that it has a relatively normal (fantasy) plot and it plays out well, yet sometimes it feels slightly disjointed.  I think it's because of some semi-odd things, such as how no one would recognize a missing princess for over 17 years, the unicorn's appearance, and the deal with the wall and things on the other side of it.  One can infer plenty, though I myself didn't ever fully understand what the deal was with the wall until I read the book (which is much, much different by the way).

But aside from that, it's a fine movie.  I enjoy it every time I watch it, and I love how Tristan goes from an awkward boy to a fine man.  Fine in more ways than one.  The chemistry between Tristan and Yvaine is very cute.  I'm particularly fond of a part near the end where Tristan is running through the forest.  And that boy is bookin' it.  I love the magic and fighting at the end, and everybody's acting.  It is a nice change from typical fantasy storylines, has some unique twists, and some really funny moments (who knew fallen princes could be so amusing?).

The special effects are done very well, with only enough computer graphics as necessary, unlike how other movies rely on it so heavily it gets annoying.  It's also got a solid soundtrack by a composer I'm not at all familiar with, but am pleased to have now heard.  Very lovely and sweeping, especially when dramatic moments call for it.

Keep in mind that the book is found in the adult and teen sections of the bookstore.  I'm not sure which it first appeared in, but the point is that this isn't a child's story.  There is some violence; people and animals do die, and not nicely.

So if you want some good fantasy, give this movie a try.  You might be surprised at how much you like it. :)

NT

Recommended:
Yes

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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 …
review by . January 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
3 stars: Stare into the bright eyes of adventure
  You have heard stories like this before, stories of far away lands, magical kingdoms, strange creatures, dashing princes and beautiful princesses but this however is not a story that you have heard before. This is not a story of a dashing prince who sets out on a quest to save the beautiful princess from some kind of unspeakable evil. This is instead a story of a young peasant boy who out of love dares to cross from the human realm into the realm that all fantasies are made of a world full …
Quick Tip by . April 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
Beautifully filmed, competently acted and wonderfully written and directed by Matthew Vaughn. "Stardust has all the makings a perfect summer fantasy thriller, but it lacks a certain charm and style to it that I thought was necessary to really push it into the realm of greatness. Instead this film settles for average far too easily and does not take its fantastical premise as far as it could have, none the less "Stardust" is an oh so entertaining adventure/ romance that it is just …
review by . September 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Flying pirate ships and human stars seem like they border on the ridiculous as plot elements, yet they work to create an entertaining fairy tale in Stardust. The movie has an A-list cast and strong acting, especially for a "fairy tale" movie. There are some really delightful scenes, such as De Niro (as Capt. Shakespeare) giving Charlie Cox and Claire Danes lessons in fencing and dancing, respectively. There are also some really original twists on cliched scenes, such as the sword fight with the …
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 . April 29, 2009
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 16, 2008
I'm afraid I have to start this review by saying that the director failed. By his own admission he set out to make a new Princess Bride, for a new generation. And, not sadly, he failed totally. Stardust is as far from Princess Bride, as much as I love Princess Bride, as 2001 was from Mars Needs Women. Princess Bride is an adult, tongue in cheek look at fairy tales. Stardust is, in every sense, a true fairy tale. There is so much to love about this movie. But I think what I loved best was that for …
review by . December 13, 2008
It's very rare, I think, that a movie can outshine the book it was based on, but "Stardust" is a rare exception to that rule.  While the Neil Gaiman novel is full of wit and satire that is elegantly executed by an author who knows very well that he's being clever, I feel the movie had an important aspect that was missing from the novel:  Heart.  No pun intended, to those of you who already know the plot.    Some might say that the characters of the movie are simplified …
review by . November 15, 2008
Stardust
You all know the Christmas carol, so maybe you'd like to sing along with me as you read this review about a remarkable fantasy film that should be on everybody's Santa list this year.     Said the night wind to the little lamb   Do you see what I see?   Way up in the sky, little lamb   Do you see what I see?     A star, a star   Dancing in the night   With a tail as big as a kite   With a tail as …
About the reviewer
Nicole ()
Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … 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
First to Review

"A new classic"
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