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Stardust (DVD)

Starring: Claire Danes (the vet from Terminator 3), Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Sienna Miller & Ricky Gervais.

Rated: PG.

Story: In a small Victorian-esque town, Tristran (Cox) attempts to win the heart of the love of his life (Miller) by tracking down a fallen star and bringing back a piece. This leads him into the magical kingdom of Stormhold which is hiding through a gap in a dry-stone wall.

Before long, he's competing with evil witches, murderous princes and gender-confused pirates to claim the prize.

Comments: This is a great fairy tale for the whole family. There are some lessons on identity, ambition and dreams but the film never takes itself too seriously. Whimsical humour mixes with beautiful scenery, restrained special effects, decent action and a whole load of imagination.

Apart from a handful of minor imperfections, the film is superb from beginning to end. Claire Danes over-emotes on occasion in an annoying, head-bobbing kind of way. Also Tristran turns from zero to hero rather unconvincingly - it's too fast to be believable but not over-played enough to quite work as parody. Oh, and Ricky Gervais is in it. (Fortunately, he only turns up for a couple of scenes before coming to a sticky end but you'll still want to slap him.)

These niggles are only really apparent because the rest of the film is so fantastic, however. Go watch Stardust now.

Conclusion: Almost as good as a sequel to The Princess Bride.

Explosions: Only one but a host of other effects compensate.
Michelle Pfeiffer's make-up: Thick.
Suitable for the wife?: Definitely.
Suitable for the kids?: Probably. (Slapstick and magic will keep them entertained but under-fives will need a cuddle in the scary bits.)
Suitable for inhabitants of Ipswich?: Maybe... although they might take one bit a little personally...

Rating: 5/5.


MD said...

Hmmm... Maybe I should watch this. Many sci-fi fans talk about the Neil Gaiman "Stardust" book as one of great sci-fi books, but I wasn't impressed when I read it. The story was there, but there was too much action and not enough description/characterization. I remember thinking that it might do better as a movie script than as a book.

DadsDinner said...

Yep, there's not much characterisation in the film either. It's more a fast-paced succession of interesting events and encounters. (A bit like Gaiman's Neverwhere actually.)

Don't expect anything hugely deep. It's just a lot of fun :-)