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pleasant surprise
spiffarriffic19 July 2007
I went to a small advance screening of this movie on July 19th, knowing no more than the names of a few of the actors and that it was a fantasy/adventure quest of some sort.

The plot line really is nothing like I have seen, and a unique story is certainly appreciated with everything else that is currently in or coming soon to theaters. In spite of what first impressions may give, it isn't cheesy, corny, tacky, or ridiculous, and is actually highly entertaining and funny. The flow is quite well done, nothing seems rushed or dragged out. The soundtrack, for lack of better words, is magical and adds much to the film, as opposed to simply filling the silence as often happens in movies or TV. And even though I might have known what was coming at points, I still couldn't bear to stop watching the screen; to my knowledge, not a single person left the theater during the entire movie.

My one gripe is that there seems to be almost no marketing for this film, and as brilliant as it is I can't figure out why.
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Previews do no justice...
songbrd4272 August 2007
Why are the previews so blah for a movie that is so awesome!! Everyone should know what an excellent movie this is. It is engaging and funny from moment one, original, and well-acted. I wish the movie was doing itself as good press as it deserves!

For anyone that loved The Princess Bride, Labyrinth, and other truly funny and original fantasy adventure, this is one of the great ones. Robert DeNiro is hysterical. Relative newcomer Charlie Cox is an incredible leading man. Claire Danes is fantastic as always. Michelle Pfiefer is making quite a splash with her recent returns to the screen. There are also a lot of wonderful moments from minor characters...even down to facial expressions.
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Provides more fun than all of the summer blockbusters put together
zetes12 August 2007
The 14 year-old in me is immensely happy that they're now able to make really good looking fantasy movies, and that they're all the rage, what with Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia making loads of cash at the box office. This year will see (and already has seen) several more, most notably The Golden Compass, which has the most exciting trailer I've seen this year. Stardust, based on a novel by Neil Gaiman, showed up in theaters this week with little more than a peep. I saw no previews for it, only a couple of commercials. The critical reaction is kind of blah. I wouldn't even have seen it if not for the fact that I have to wait on a friend to see The Bourne Ultimatum, and that nothing else interesting opened this weekend. Well, if you'll forgive the horrible pun, the stars must have been rightly aligned, because I went to see Stardust, and I loved it. It's not a huge movie like Lord of the Rings. The plot line is your very basic fantasy quest (the hero sets out to look for a fallen star) filled with obstacles. But within that basic outline, the story is lively and imaginative. It's simply aiming to be a lot of fun, and a charming little romance. And it succeeds wonderfully. There were a lot of big films this summer, but none of them were nearly as fun as this one. There's a lot going on, but the story is told well and is almost entirely coherent. It isn't a masterpiece, but it definitely can occupy the same kind of ground that something like The Princess Bride has (though I don't like it quite as much as the earlier film). A lot of fun to be had here if you're a fan of the genre.
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A magic that isn't puerile . . .
Chris_Docker26 August 2007
The power to dream is a wonderful thing. There's a saying, "Not all dreamers achieve, but all achievers dream." By exploring our imagination we shape our own futures. Or build empires. Perhaps overcome our fears, limitations and obstacles. Gain wisdom and benefit mankind. Or (put simply) just find our way to true love and happiness. Freud might express such things in symbols. The language of fantasy.

Tristan ventures out of a rather twee English village called Wall. He goes through a break in the wall. A portal. In search of something that will prove his love to Victoria (Sienna Miller). Victoria doesn't take him very seriously. So he pledges to bring back a falling star.

Stormhold is the world outside the wall. He discovers the fallen star has taken the form of a beautiful girl, Yvaine (Claire Danes). To complicate matters, three evil witches want to get hold of Yvaine. If they can eat her heart, it will replenish their youth. (One of the witches is played by Michelle Pfeiffer, who does fabulous young-old transformations of looks and manner.) The 'good guy' they meet on their way is Captain Shakespeare (Robert de Niro). He has a fierce, swashbuckling pirate exterior but is a sweetie closet queen underneath. Heirs of Stormhold meanwhile are engaged in a pitched battle over inheriting the Kingdom. Ricky Gervais is an added extras. A buffoon trader throwing in standard Gervais-type gags well. Tristan's purity of spirit arouses the love of Yvaine, so there is a nice little triangle going. Till he achieves the maturity to discern pedestal divas from real women.

Stardust is a full-on, large scale fantasy that does credit to its myriad stars. Wholly positive, and written with a clarity that makes it more worthy of psychoanalysis that a coven full of Harry Potter romps. Production values rival Hollywood, and the storyline is free of the racial stereotyping, misogyny, religious or class agendas than shape and pervert so many large scale fantasies.

That is not to say that Stardust is without its faults. Plot and dialogue have many predictable elements, and the fairytale quality may be too saccharine for some audiences. But if you want an excuse to let your heart fly, this film may well provide it.

As a boy, I remember listening in wonder to albums by the Moody Blues (who practiced in a house not far from where I lived). They made records with names like "In Search of the Lost Chord," and wrote lyrics like, "Thinking is the best way to travel." I would fill my head with books on magic and mystery, from Timothy Leary to Aleister Crowley. Shaping dreams. Learning to make them real. Nowadays people might talk of NLP or positive thinking. Adults that remember how to dream with the force of youth but with the vision and application of maturity. Do you still enjoy that feeling?

You are advised not to wait for Stardust on DVD. See it on the biggest cinema screen you can find. And Dolby Digital Surround Sound if you can get it. The actors look like they had a ball. Maybe you will too.
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A wonderful fantasy tale of action, adventure, and love!
derjager7625 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I was one of about 200 people that was lucky enough to see an early sneak of this film.

Stardust follows Tristan a young man on a quest to find a fallen star and bring it back to the woman he loves in order to prove his love for her. The only catch is that the star has fallen on the other side of the wall, a doorway between England and a magical kingdom known as Stormhold.

This film was just a joy to watch, it has something in it for everyone, all of the action scenes are played out beautifully and the comedy is spread out through the film making it funny without being corny. If I had to compare the likes to another film it would probably have to be The Princess Bride, a classic.

All the performances are outstanding, the beautiful Claire Danes makes you love her in her portrayal of Yvaine the trusting naive star and under rated Michelle Pfeiffer delivers a stellar over the top performance as Larnia...but the performance to talk about is Robert De Niro...In every scene that he is in hands down he steals the show...

If you are in the mood for a funny fantasy love story this is the film. Guys don't get turned off by the description there is enough action comedy and not to mention lots of eye candy with Claire Danes and Michelle Pfeiffer to keep you entertained throughout. The cinematography is dead on and keeps with the feel of the film...nothing about the film seems forced.
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My Fantasy Fix
eincline25 July 2007
This movie has everything a fantasy movie should have, romance, clever witticisms, great acting and a fair dose of magic.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and was drawn to its original plot (based on the Neil Gaiman novel which I am now looking to read) and colorful characters.

One of the most striking things to me actually was how self contained the story is. Unlike so many sci-fi fantasy movies out there right now which leave open-endings and such this was a pure fairy-tale, satisfying in and of itself with no need for a sequel.

Original. Fun. Feel-good Fantasy.
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If you liked Princess Bride
markshark-29 August 2007
This movie is a lot of fun. The actors really make the movie go the distance though. Without giving away the plot, I would describe it as a new Princess Bride cult favorite that should stand the test of time. You get to see a whole different side to Robert DeNiro in this movie! (Worth the price of admission just for that!) All the elements are there from adventure to romance, and well placed comedy.

People of all ages will enjoy it. (My parents even did!) Good special effects, may be scary for the little ones. Good date movie. Great for some escapism.

Deserves an A. (Hope it does well at the box office)
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Stardust -- Another Guarded Review
rancorrblackmane18 July 2007
Stardust Another Guarded Review (originally written June 15, 2007)

The marketing machine has only just begun for this one (no site yet? wth?), so I doubt most of you have heard about it. In truth, I hadn't either (sort of). When I got the posting, I thought it was another code name and was actually worried it was Transformers, one of the movies I wanted to see when not working so I can enjoy it 100% as a mere mortal movie-goer. Turns out, it wasn't Transformers and I had been aware of this movie way back when as 'that Neil Gaiman movie'.

What is it about? Well, in short, it's a Gaiman fairy tale about a boy and a fallen star. Any more than that and I'd be giving away plot info which is (a) a breach of contract, and (b) spoiling your fun. If you really want to know what it's about, go buy the book. Rumour has it, Gaiman might be something of a writer.

Not knowing what to expect in a movie can be so pleasant if the surprise is worthwhile. And for this one, it certainly was. This screening was 'special' in that it included not just film critics, but also exhibitors (they rarely have a mixed screening) and local sci-fi/fantasy folks. So, you know the expected audience, right? I mean, with this crowd and the title of Stardust, I knew what to expect.

Oh how sweetly wrong I was.

Yes, it is a fairy tale written by an author famed in comic bookdom (and even books without pictures, if those truly exist). But it was not Lord of Rings. It was not even another Lord of the Rings wannabe (ahem, Eragon). It was much more intimate than all that.

But, like Lord of the Rings, it was the, well, humanism of the film which sells the fantastical qualities. It's surely a romantic tale, but with generous splashes of humour. Not slapstick Shrekian humour. It's more along the lines of dramedy than comedy. Before I go on, let's do this movie review thing.

Acting is, in the very least, good. It's always hard to say more than that for fantasy films but I do believe there were significant superbly acted roles. Michelle Pfieffer is not, sadly, one of those. She plays a villain, and she does the job. Nothing special. Rupert Everett, though, he was a real jerk. That is, a great villain. Peter O'Toole is, well, Peter frickin' O'Toole -- which is marvellous. Ricky Gervais is perfectly cast and shows why. Robert De Niro seemed to be having too much fun for the most part. When he wanted to deliver the goods, though, he did. And Charlie Cox (who?) as the lead character was fine surprise from a guy I ain't never heard of.

Claire Danes. Claire Danes. Claire Danes. I've always been of mixed opinion with her. She can be great, and then she can seem to miss the mark. In this, she's the former. And she is, quite literally, the star of this film. Sure, her accent stumbles here and there. And, yes, she's not as good as she can be when Cox isn't in the scene. However ... well, see for yourself.

Special effects are muted yet accomplished, and only significant where they should be. Best flying ship yet -- sorry Potter. Direction is light-hearted and flows nicely. Cinematography could have been better but not everyone films in New Zealand. All else is top bracket.

And now that that's done...

...the writing. Oh, the writing! Neil, you devil. It's hard in today's climate to do anything original and, at first, you begin to wonder. A kingdom, a dying King, a boy out to prove his own worth, witches, ghosts, a quest (or three) -- what's new? But Gaiman's story draws you in with its surface familiarity only to subvert it all into a sweetly original tale of a boy and his heart. And, though you suspect how it's all going to turn out, you begin to wonder in the third act and -- if you're me -- find yourself pulled into the rousing climactic confrontation and hoping for the best. In the end, you'll find this story, this movie, is what all fairy tales should be but all too often are not. Fantastical and real.

(I wish I could talk about Septimus vs Tristan but I won't ruin it for you. For those who read the book, rest assured, it's done properly.)

Those I spoke to afterwards had the same impression I did. A great film for all ages to enjoy, and the new {WITHHELD} for this generation. The blank gets filled-in only after the movie is in wide release because, well, you might be expecting it. You'll know when you walk out, anyway. I sincerely hope Stardust doesn't get lost among the tentpoles. Even if it does, it'll be my pleasure to push into the hands of everyone I know.


Forgot to add the {WITHHELD} reveal. I'm a few years late, but ... "A great film for all ages to enjoy, and the new THE PRINCESS BRIDE for this generation."

Perhaps a bit lofty an assessment but I'm still confident that years from now, there will be the same "Oh, I love that movie," response to this as there is now for The Princess Bride.

(Edited for grammar and stuff. Still rather spastic in tone and flow. I am not Gaiman. Duh.)
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I thought all the good fairy tales had already been told.
Zanahade27 July 2007
OK here is how I do this. I grade movies on 10 components. Each component will inherently start with 5 points. It can then lose or gain 5 points for a possible 10 or 0.

Mood: Action, Romance, Comedy, Drama, Suspense - I give this component 10 points. It had a perfect balance of all five aspects. The Action was fun and exiting. The Romance was not overdone, but still very emotional and moving. I laughed hard and long throughout the movie and still I was captivated by the fantastic drama, and riveting suspense.

Plot - I give this component 10 points. I thought all the good fairy tales had already been told. I found my self, sitting in the theatre, returned to my childhood, and in that instant I again believed in unicorns, wicked witches, and falling stars that make dreams come true.

Cinema Photography - I give this component 8 points. While the movie captured the story very well in the majority of the angles, I found my self more than once trying to figure out what happened just off camera.

FX - I give this component 10 points. I love that they used C.G.I. sparingly. The epic scenes were believable. The magical powers were frighteningly realistic. All in all less is more, and this had it ALL! Cast - I give this component 10 points. No names and seasoned actors alike, the cast was amazing! Michelle Pfeiffer was wonderfully wicked, Charlie Cox made Tristan come to life, Claire Danes gave emotion to the stars, and I will never look and Robert De Niro the same again.

Acting - I give this component 10 points. Even the newbie actors played their rolls to perfection. Once again, I will NEVER look and Robert De Niro the same again.

Character development - I give this component 9 points. This felt a little rushed and I think if the movie had been a bit longer they could have done the characters a little better justice.

Dialogue - I give this component 10 points. The dialogue was smart, witty, fun… even the mush had good dialogue.

Score - I give this component 7 points. I can honestly remember only one small piece of music from the entire movie. I am not complaining beyond the fact that the music could be more memorable.

Ending - I give this component 9 points. Almost perfect ending! I feel that certain aspects of the ending should have been more pronounced, while others could have been more subdued, but no threads were left untied.

Total: 93% Buy the DVD? HEL YES! See it in the Theatre? Most definitely! Bottom Line: Excellent movie for everyone! EPIC! I strongly recommend seeing it in the theatre, I know I'll be going back for seconds!
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Great Movie!!
dmurray-339 August 2007
I was not expecting much from this movie. I was given a ticket for an advanced screening. I had just gotten off of work. It was hot and I was tired. I had to wait in the movie line for 40 minutes and there seemed not to be any cool air flowing through the hallways of the theater complex.

Once seated in the theater, tired and frustrated, the movie started, I did not recognize any of the actors in the beginning, but the flow of the movie was perfect. Right from the beginning I became consumed with the movie, getting more and more excited with each minute passing. I think this movie is destined to be a fantasy/fairytale classic. The actors were fabulous, the pace was perfect, and the ending was magical.
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Overwhelming adventure full of fantasy , a love story and pirates
ma-cortes25 February 2009
This fantastic picture concerns a Tristan (Charlie Cox) , a young living in an English village rounded by a wall . But a breach surveyed by a keeper (David Kelly) is the walk for a world fantasy named Stronhold . Tristan trespasses the breach looking for a fallen star (which results to be Ivaine : Claire Danes) to demonstrate his love for a beautiful girl (Sienna Miller). But also a nasty witch (Michelle Pfeiffer) and the King's (Peter O'Toole) heirs (Mark Strong , Rupert Everett) are looking for Ivaine and the jewel she holds . Meanwhile , Tristan and Ivaine get away and aboard a flying vessel full of pirates (Dexter Fletcher , Fogerty) and commanded by a sympathetic captain (Robert De Niro).

This exciting motion picture displays derring-do adventure , romance , fairy tale , spectacular fighting and fence and with phenomenal outdoors . The flick gets lots of bombastic special effects including supernatural transformations , flying ships , stars explosions and numerous images have you on the edge of your seat . Riveting set pieces illuminate the full-blown adventures blending witchcraft , wizardry , necromancy and turns out to be extremely amusing . Casting is frankly extraordinary , Michelle Pfeiffer plays magnificently a shamelessly villain-witch and Robert De Niro as the likable gay pirate steals the show . Ideal cast is completed by awesome US and British actors . The movie packs a sensational production design by Gavin Bouquet (Star wars). Mesmerizing photography with wonderful , marvelous landscapes by Ben Davis . Emotive soundtrack appropriately adequate to fantasy by Eshkeri . The pic was brilliantly directed by Matthew Vaughn . He's a good writer, producer (Guy Ritchie movies) and director, though only made one film titled ¨Layer Cake¨ (with Daniel Craig) which achieved big time . Rating : Better than average. Essential and indispensable watching.
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I hate you Neil Gaiman
Rasilio9 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This afternoon we took the kids to the movies and saw Neil Gaimans Stardust and all I can say is Wow.

It is rare that I am completely taken aback by anything but this is quite possibly the greatest fantasy movie I have ever seen, maybe even the best movie of any kind and it is all Neil Gaiman's fault.

Sure, I could have been sucked in by the wonderful dialog which was smart, flowed smoothly,and made the characters completely believable.

I could go on for days about the spectacular acting, Charlie Cox is perfect as Tristan, Claire Daines is Brilliant as Yvaine, and Robert Di Nero almost steals the movie as the Deeply in the Closet Pirate Captian Shakespeare.

The pure joy brought about by the humor which managed to be Laugh our Loud funny, Intelligent enough to make the first Shrek look like an 80's Sitcom, and blend in perfectly with the rest of the movie alone would have made this a great movie.

Special Effects were near perfect, true this was no LOTR or Star Wars SF Extravaganza but where they were use they were exactly what was called for, not too much to distract you from the movie itself and blended into the story perfectly.

Then there is the story? What can I say. How often do you come across a story containing all of the classic fairytale formula components that doesn't just come off as another cheap Princess Bride knockoff. It manages to be Familiar and comfortable and yet completely new and refreshing at the same time.

Any one of those things would have made this a good movie, all of them combined make it a great movie but they pale in comparison to the rich enchanting world that those elements combine to bring to life well. Once again Neil Gaiman has done it, he has driven another dagger into my heart by creating a world of fantasy that is so beautiful and enchanting that I would do almost anything to live in it and only given me a short glimpse into it. I didn't want it to end, I wanted to be sucked through a vortex to the land of Stormhold and get to meet Tristan and Yvaine in person, to travel it's fields and valleys, Stroll through it's marketplaces and meet it's residents both dangerous and friendly and stay there forever. It is a feeling that I have noticed whenever I have read anything by Gaiman, The Sandman, American Gods, Coraline all left me with a deep sense of sadness when I finished reading them because it was over, I could not see anything more into the worlds he had created which seemed to be so much more vibrant and alive than the one I am forced to live in and watching Stardust was no different.

In the end I'm sure that Neil's writing and this movie won't have the same effect on everyone but trust me when I say you will not regret the time or money spent watching this movie, it is easily one of the top 5 movies I have ever seen and I can guarantee that anyone at all with a soul will at least like it.
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Don't judge a book by its cover here.
Michael M.10 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The summer has been so full of Blockbusters and comebacks of films, and not to mention some of the disappointments of those comebacks, that I was woe to find a film I could just sit down and enjoy.

In case you don't want to read further down the page (there aren't any spoilers), I'll sum it up here: It's more mature than Ella Enchanted (there are some questionably violent parts, plenty of death, and a handful of scenes with a little blood, not for small children), but doesn't try to be overly corny or overstep its bounds. Think of it as a bit more serious, bit more magical Princess Bride, and you'll be close.


I am, perhaps, not as prodigious a movie goer as others... Maybe once or twice a month, if I feel active. I'm also a huge Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan. I get bored of remade repetitive story lines and films with more flash than filling faster than you can count to 10, and this film is the diamond in the rough.

By the end here (August), I was tired enough of fractured expectations from the big hits that I averted seeing Bourne Ultimatum in favor of Stardust. Having had my hopes thoroughly muddied by Transformers for my Fiction addiction, the previews of Stardust seemed appealing, but I was certainly wary.

As many others here, I was utterly surprised. I had gone in thinking to see another generic fantasy movie clichéd from here to breakfast. Don't be fooled, it is most definitely a fairy-tale, and it does indeed have witches, magic, and utterly requires suspension of disbelief... But the most refreshing thing I found, is that it's NOT based on anything I've seen or read in the past 15 years, and it's actually a really good movie.

((Unlike 90% of the other movies which seem to persistently re-appear like thorns in a side, perhaps a sign that Hollywood is running out of ideas? I could read a book this year, and in two years the movie would be out as another "Epic fantasy tale, the likes of LotR and the rest" so says the NYT and such and such no doubt.))

Stardust didn't have me bolted to my seat because of jam-packed action at every turn, nor was I sweating bullets because of plot-hook after plot-hook threatening to tear the dramatic tension apart and echo throughout the theater in a loud boom. It didn't even use enormous blasts of sound to grab my attention to what's happening on screen (Transformers, I'm looking at you). It's not trying to show off the latest CGI techniques, nor did it offend my intelligence with dimwitted dialogs and story lines that are simple enough I could've figured them out in 3rd grade (boy I hate those).

I just... watched. Watched, and enjoyed a refreshingly CREATIVE storyline unfold before my eyes. Sure, I may have known what was going to happen throughout most of the film, but it makes you forget that. It even made my heart twinge at some parts, but the most important aspect I noticed is that I left the theater feeling better than when I'd gone in.

It truly is a gem. After so much slush this summer with so many remakes and films that fell short of my expectations, this was like a cold sweet cup of tea to cap off all the hard work I'd done sitting through the others trying to come out of them with my money's worth.

It's probably not for everyone, but do yourself a favor; If you enjoy fantasy films that stand the test of time alone (Princess Bride, Black Cauldron, The Dark Crystal, etc.) then you should really see this movie. This little diamond is finding its way into my DVD collection the moment it hits stores, you can trust me on this.

Simply wonderful.
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Sweetly Funny, a Classic in the Making
Sho Mac12 November 2007
As a massive fan of fantasy in general, and of the works of Neil Gaiman *in particular*, I've been looking forward to this film so avidly, so hungrily and with such a bittersweet mixture of anticipation and fear of disappointment that I can scarcely believe it's finally here. And you know what? I needn't have feared, the film version is bl**dy awesome. Different from the book, but in a good way - less whimsical, more comical, still deeply sweet and enchanting.

The special effects are absolutely spot-on, and make magic feel a natural and proper part of the world of Wall without being overtly spectacular and intrusive.

Proper attention has been paid to storytelling and pacing, and the casting in the main is a triumph, with the ghostly Princes (whose roll-call read almost as a "Who's Who" of currently cool British comedy - Rupert Everett, David Walliams of Little Britain fame, two of the blokes from Green Wing etc) stealing most of the best lines and pretty much all of the films' funniest moments, which exist in abundance.

In fact, the one minor criticism I have at all of the film is that sometimes the comedy elements become a little OTT, subtlety goes out of the window to the detraction of the main story.... Ricky Gervais' cameo, for example, was far too much just "Ricky Gervais doing his usual David Brent from the Office comedy persona" for my liking, and in my opinion, created an unwelcome and jolting break from the magical spell of the progressing story (though in fairness, from memory I believe the Ferdy character in the original book WAS pretty "Ricky Gervais"-esquire when I think back on it)....

But this is a minor quibble in an otherwise immaculately cast and scripted fairytale with a good mixture of action and romance. Charlie Cox, as the protagonist Tristan, captures the correct mixture of naivety, subtle comedy and self-realisation required for a story like this where a "humble young boy embarks on life-changing quest"; Claire Danes as Yvaine is beautiful, feisty and just ever so slightly alien or ethereal, a perfect interpretation of her stellar role; Robert De Niro, in the cameo every reviewer is talking about, is indeed deserving of praise, rollicking good fun (looks like he's having a ball, too)... and Michelle Pfeiffer is triumphantly cool and nasty as wicked witch Lamia, my favourite performance of the film overall. If you enjoyed her deliciously b!tchy performance in the recent "Hairspray" then you will thoroughly enjoy her in this, too.

So to round off this review: you will laugh, for sure, you will smile, and you may even cry - Stardust is a beautiful, heart-warming fairytale for all the family, with a heart of gold and more sass 'n smarts than is immediately apparent. One of my all-time favourite films is the absolutely fantastic Princess Bride, and Stardust is being readily likened to this with good reason as it is a very similar type of film exploring similar themes and territory.... and just as The Princess Bride remains fresh, smart and funny twenty years after its initial release, I believe that the delicious tongue-in-cheek sweetness of Stardust will be showing up as a family favourite on our televisions (or equivalent future device!) for many years to come.
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Magical and fantastical
bulletproofclod20 August 2007
There are not many movies around that have given me a feeling like Stardust did all throughout the course of the film. As magically fairy-tale-like as The Princess Bride, Stardust is most definitely the most wonderful fantasy spectacle of the 2000's as well as the 1990's. Exciting, hilarious and equipped with wonderful imagery as well as unforgettable characters, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert DeNiro's especially, I challenge anyone to watch this movie without a smile. From the first ten minutes of the film you know perfectly well how it will end, but it is the journey and not the destination that enthralls the viewer from start to finish.

Ten stars, and not a decimal less.
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Worthy unconventional fairy tale that should have been closer to the book
Quebec_Dragon24 May 2009
Let's start by saying I loved the book by Neil Gaiman and recommended it often. Stardust was a very good fantasy movie in the vein of the Princess Bride with its whimsical tone and romantic aspects. Deniro was great fun in his pirate role that wasn't even in the book! As a matter of fact, all the actors were excellent. I wish that they had more fantastical creatures (like the book) and especially that they had not changed the ending of the book, it would have made it much more memorable. A few tweaks here and there, closer adherence to the original source material and it would have been a great classic for the ages. Tim Burton would have been perfect to direct this as I'm sure the original book would have appealed very much to his sensibilities. However, it was a worthy effort nevertheless. It's definitely worth a rental and a purchase if you like fantasy movies with romantic overtones.

Rating: 7 out of 10
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As magical as childhood
CountVladDracula28 September 2007
The beautiful story of Stardust is written by by Neil Gaiman (writer of MirrorMask) and it's really a good story. I think it would appeal to any Labyrinth, Princess Bride or 10th Kingdom fan and yet it's totally unique and stands up on it's own. And I feel the film adaptation of this story has a far better ending than what was presented in the original novel by Neil Gaiman. I won't spoil it for you.

The main character, Tristan (Tristran in the novel), is the son of a mortal and a faerie slave kept by a witch in the realm of faerie. The story begins in a town near a wall that separates the magical world from the human world. When there is a falling star Tristan promises to retrieve it for a girl he is infatuated with. He is unaware that the star has taken the form of a girl in the fairy world and that there are others after her too. Three elderly witches who want to use her heart to become young again, and some bickering princes.

It's a really good story. It has humor and magic and beautiful, surreal scenes and visuals. It's charming and I feel it can be watched by children and adults of all ages. It's simply magical. It's a true classic fairy tale, the likes of which I haven't seen in cinema since the 1980s.
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Charming fantasy chase film but has an in-joke feel that feels incongruous therefore taints the appeal of the overall film
fantasyescapist13 March 2010
I was lucky to see this at the cinema and I watched it again on telly as it was shown on Channel 4 this evening.

Acting: Cox is likeably endearing as the naive protagonist Tristan, who goes through a transformation from boy to man. Danes is a good match as the understandably annoyed fallen star Yvaine as she has genuine chemistry with Tristan.

Kelly is amusing as the guard of the wall to Stormhold. Magowan is alluring as Una. Pfeiffer is obviously relishing her theatrical type role as the witch Lamia, De Niro is OTT camp and unconvincing and and Miller's alright as Tristan's crush Victoria, if the role is underwritten. Gervais' annoying and unfunny shtick is anachronistic in a late eighteenth century world. Thankfully it's brief.

Plot and Pacing: They've clearly gone for the in-joke feel of The Princess Bride here, which is a bizarre decision, seeing as this is a straightforward fairy tale whereas The Princess Bride is clearly a spoof.

Not only is the tongue-in-cheek tone incongruous but it never truly feels like a true fantasy world for what I think is due to numerous references and locations.

The plot is the standard chase film. The pacing is slightly off in the sense that we don't get a real sense of the passing of time, as Tristan has a limited period to bring the fallen star to his beloved Victoria.

However, the film doesn't feel overlong as a whole. There are also a handful of laughs here and there.

Cinematography and SFX: There's a lot of camera whooshing used to show different places in Wall and Stormhold and the CGI (mainly green screen) can look very obvious here. But, for the most part the SFX are fine, if nothing special. The general palette of the film is colourful and fitting.

There's a lack of iconic location shots, though and some very LoTR looking scenes too.

Score: The generic heroic soundtrack is used and it's sounds vaguely familiar(if you've seen fantasy films of the last decade, you know what cues and leitmotifs I mean). It's nothing new for this genre from composer Ilan Eshkeri.

The standout easily is Take That's song Rule The World that plays in the end credits, capturing the warm romantic theme with aplomb.

Overall: An entertaining romantic fantasy adventure that has charm and some good performances to help overlook it's lack of identity and inherent flaws. A good, if not great effort, mainly down to aforementioned unnecessary in-joke tone.
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Stardust is an underrated humorous fairy tale of the summer movie season
tavm7 September 2007
While I don't consider myself a big fan of fairy tale movies, Stardust intrigued me based on seeing Michelle Pfeiffer in the trailers as a villain (especially since I was about to see her as the bossy Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray). Boy, is she so convincingly evil here as a witch, especially with her age-ugly makeup in the beginning and end! Robert De Niro is also great as the pirate captain who's forced to hide "in the closet" to protect his "reputation"! Just about all the actors like Claire Danes, Rupert Everett, Ricky Gervais, Peter O'Toole and many others do fine work here. While Danes and Pfeiffer are classic beauties, there's also stunning faces of Sienna Miller, Olivia Grant (as Girl Bernard), and Kate Magowan especially when we first meet her. Newcomer Charlie Cox is fine as the lead Tristan and he looked so much like his father Dunstan as a young man that I thought that was him in early scenes with Magowan (actually Ben Barnes). Many comments have compared this to The Princess Bride and while I can see some resemblances, the main difference was that with PB, you always knew it was just an imaginary tale as told by an old man to his grandson. Stardust makes you believe, for the most part, that what you're seeing and hearing could have actually happened even with all the hilarity that happens throughout. So on that note, I highly recommended Stardust.
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The most fantastical adventure of the year!
Dave Wright12 November 2007
I went into this film with modest hopes, the director had pedigree, I had seen Charlie Cox in Casanova and was impressed, and literally EVERYONE had been raving about it. As the story started to unfold I was introduced to Victorian England on one side of a mysterious Wall, and on the other a magical land, Stormhold. The actual plot weaves together many strands and I don't want to ruin the surprises for anyone, but at the barest it is the simple tale of a young man (Charlie Cox) in love with the village beauty (Sienna Miller). To win her love he tells her he will fetch back a fallen star from the other side of the Wall. Howver when he arrives at the star he finds not a lump of astral metal as he expected but a beautiful woman (Claire Danes). As the two journey back to the wall they find themselves in the adventure of a lifetime. The visuals are brilliant, England looks stunning, in a similar fashion to New Zealand in LOTR, and it s full of wonderful little flourishes, such as the way that the star shines when she is happy, a very simple effect, but one that looks radiant. As well as this the acting good, especially from the leads and Robert DeNiro, whose turn as the captain of an airship is incredibly memorable. This film is THE perfect date movie, it is romantic without being a "chick flick", funny and full of wonderful action pieces that will satisfy any action film fan. All in all it is a truly magical experience from beginning to end, and I now Im raving about it to EVERYONE!
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A Surprisingly Sweet Movie
AngelOfRoses13 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I anticipated this movie to be decent and possibly cliché, but I was completely wrong! Charlie Cox (I had never heard of him until now) played an incredibly good leading man; he was so earnest and romantic, me and my friend that saw the movie with me totally fell in love with him.

Claire Danes, who I did like before (LOVED her in Romeo and Juliet), made me enjoy her even more. Her acting was fantastic, I couldn't even tell that she was American. The chemistry between her and Charlie Cox was extremely good, the casting was quite perfect.

Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer were equally well-casted; DeNiro as that gay pirate...priceless, priceless. I laughed so hard at that one scene where Septimus comes on the ship...oh my god, wow. Pfeiffer played a decent villain, I liked her as the snippy mother in Hairspray. But she had the right amount of melodrama and snide comments throughout the movie.

Overall, it was funny (but not slap-stick at all!), romantic, the special effects weren't totally frequent but when they were, they were great; the cameos from Ricky Gervais and Peter O'Toole were also well-placed.

I totally recommend this movie to anyone who likes fantasy movies like the Princess Bride or even Lord of the Rings. It kept my interest the entire time and I will be buying the DVD when it comes out!
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Shop Boy, fetch me that Star
David Ferguson26 August 2007
Greetings again from the darkness. This one will be compared to "The Princess Bride" and although it doesn't measure up to that classic, it is extremely entertaining and well made in its own right. The story line is a bit odd and the whole wall thing is never really explained, but the execution is fine, even building up strong suspense.

Charlie Cox plays Tristan, who falls for the wrong girl (Sienna Miller), and agrees to fetch her a fallen star ... who happens to be played by the stunning Claire Danes. Not much suspense on what happens with these two, but the suspenseful part comes in with the wicked witch played by Michelle Pfeiffer and the prince son of King Peter O'Toole looking to reclaim the ruby necklace our "star" is wearing. Lots of bad chasing the good.

Along the way, an encounter with the strangest pirate you will see (including any from the Carribbean). Robert Deniro plays Captain Shakespeare - tough on the inside, and shall we say in touch with his feminine side. Another encounter involves the brilliant Ricky Gervais as a fast talking trader and that is good for a couple of laughs.

Not your typical chase, coming of age, or fantasy film, but director Matthew Vaughn's ("Layer Cake") effort deserves an audience. Sadly the poor marketing campaign will probably prevent it from making any money. My guess it will find big success on video.
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Indirect comedy
bsdooley14 August 2007
The reason I say indirect because this movie actually has a purpose besides just being funny. As well the humor is never just over the top but simple and in the correct places.

The combination of the entire story makes this a movie for pretty much anyone not just a certain group of movie goers. With just enough special effects actions while not over doing it, each part of the experience actually compliments itself. From what I could remember there wasn't anything but good acting within the movie. Not that you couldn't expect much less from Robert Deniro or Michelle Phieffer. But the rest of the cast and even the small parts were written and accomplished well.

This could be probably the best attempt I have seen to repeat the greatness of one of the most underrated movies of all time. The Princess Bride.
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A simple fairytale-style fantasy film done exceptionally well.
dark_stalions27 October 2007
Somehow a fair few of films that I really enjoy have had some part of their advertising which made me expect the worst of them. The original Shrek was one of these, with the images of goofy characters grinning stupidly at me from each and every poster there was no way on earth that I was going to see such a film. However when my sister brought it home on video and played it over and over again I was gradually sucked into it, drawn by it's satirical humour and great characters.

This is another film that I did not find particularly appealing from the advertising. The pictures I had seen made it look similar to the poorly done "Eragon" and the trailers hinted at a dull, hackneyed story-line, so I approached this film with low expectations.

It turns out that the story of the film (which I won't delve into) *is* relatively simple and uses plenty of well established fantasy ideas, but this doesn't detract from it in the least. It feels complete with no irritatingly blatant attempts to leave room for a sequel. I know that this is adapted from a book, but have not read it, so can not comment on how closely it sticks to the original. However it comes across as a fairy-tale of the type you are read when you are young, done in the epic style (see LotR and what Eragon was trying to be) which is generally associated with the fantasy genre. In no way is this forced, and the clean simplicity and predictability of the storyline mean that the wit of the production is lost on few without seeming pointlessly trivial. The setting is beautifully rendered with interesting characters who develop nicely (if predictably) and works well as a continuation of the genre which LotR proved to be financially feasible.

The music is a mixture of LotR and PotC 3 in style, with hints of Harry Potter. Occasionally it is over the top, though, when the dramatic context did not require it to such an extent. That is one of my few problems with this film. Despite this the majority of the music is compelling, engaging and fitting to the style of the rest of the production. It also utilises some well-known classical music, applied to humerus effect. (I bought the sound track, it's that good.)

One other problem I had was with the casting of Ricky Gervais. This is purely a personal problem which not everyone will agree with as I do not find his style of comedy particularly amusing, rather the opposite in fact. However this was mitigated by the small amount of screen time and what happens to the character. Otherwise the casting was sound, each played their part to near perfection. I absolutely loved the witches, often finding myself cackling along with them. Michelle Pfeiffer was perfect as the leading witch (she had a title, but I forget it).

Overall a wonderfully rendered fairy-tale style film with few flaws with an epic score that will draw you into it's world and leave you with a sense of deep satisfaction and warmth.

Hooray for decently made fantasy films!
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Charmingly flawed; just don't expect the novel.
janshi311 August 2007
Barring a largely inappropriate soundtrack, rather tedious tracking shots and some poor choices in CGI, this is the summer's most charming movie.

And I do mean charming. This movie doesn't ooze charm - it tickles the cockles of your heart with it, though. Claire Danes and Charlie Cox as the protagonists Yvaine and Tristan are entirely appropriately cast, and by the end of the movie you will fall pretty much in love. The rest of the cast perform admirably, with especial kudos to Robert Di Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Just don't expect the book. Vaughn has made some pretty drastic changes stylistically. Just think of it as an adaptation, with its own unique charm, and you'll enjoy it just as much, if not more so, as I did.
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