"Stardust" comes in a line of what I'd like to call hybrid fantasy films.
Like "Ella Enchanted" (2004), the 2007 film meshes elements of princess
fairy tales and a little bit of modern storytelling into a tidy movie.
The fantasy film that warmed critic's hearts, but didn't measure with
audiences, is now on DVD.
The story of "Stardust" involves a young romantic named Tristan (Charlie
Cox) who tries win the heart of Victoria (Sienna Miller) by promising her a
falling star, who turns out to be Claire Danes as Yvaine. Tristan finds this
fallen star and together, after some bickering, are off on an adventure.
They encounter the evil witch, Lamia (Michelle
Pfeiffer), and a tough pirate with a secret, Captain Shakespeare (Robert De
Niro). If this sounds a little confusing, there are actually a few more plot
points and characters mixed with the story of "Stardust."
I wasn't totally bowled over by "Stardust." It didn't charm me like "The
Princess Bride" (1987). I probably shouldn't compare them to each other. A
better comparison is "Ella Enchanted," in which some of the parts are
enjoyable, yet the whole picture doesn't quite add up. Simply too many
ingredients are thrown into the pot and mixed up.
The performances are the strong point to the movie. It's great to see
Pfeiffer return to the screen. She's been in many movies over the years, but
mostly in forgettable films. I can honestly say the last role I can remember
her in was as Mindy on "The Simpsons" (1993). She's at the top of her form
as Lamia. Her version of a witch isn't a cackling hag, though makeup and
visual effects make her look like one. Pfeiffer, once she's transformed into
her normal self, is seductive and charming. De Niro is pretty funny as the
scary Captain Shakespeare. He seems to be having a good time playing against
his own type. Cox and Danes also put in good performances. Peter O'Toole
shows up for a short performance as a king, and his sons are funny. I won't
spoil the plot on why they're funny.
The way "Stardust" looks on the DVD cover, one might be inclined to pick
this film up for little children. This may be a little misleading. I only
mention this because the story and most of the movie is mostly family
friendly. But there are some very short, yet violent parts of the film that
are part of the story's plot. The rating is "PG-13," after all. Older kids
won't mind the violence, but smaller children probably will. And Pfeiffer's
turn as a witch is frightening for little kids. I thought that if those
scenes were done differently and with less violence, the film might've been
more appealing to children with a "PG" rating.
"Stardust" will find its way into the hearts and minds of some viewers. In
fact, in may find a new audience on DVD. I look at it as one of those
"guilty pleasure" movies. Not bad, not great, it's at the very least a
Special thanks to Click Communications
Photos: © Paramount. All rights reserved.
Enjoyable fantasy, though not perfect
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Sienna
Miller, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro
Making of doc, bloopers
Picture: Very Good
Sound: Very Good
Michelle, where have you been all these years?
Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD RELEASE DATE
December 18, 2007