Monday, June 25, 2007

Review: Stardust

But, let's get back to Stardust.

I've been excited to see Stardust since I saw the trailer. I haven't read the book in a long time to the point where I barely remembered it. In fact, I couldn't even begin to discuss the differences between the book and the movie. I was planning on reading it again before I saw the movie but Harry managed to dash all of those hopes. I thought I had a good two-month lead-time to get it done but I had another think coming.

Stardust is the best of everything that '80s fantasy movies were. This film felt so much like Spielberg directing a Terry Gilliam script it was great. This is the kind of movie I want my kids growing up with.

It was simple and it was sweet and it's the kind of movie that you want to watch with a girl. In fact, that was the only thing the film was missing and it was my fault because I didn't bring one with me. It was the perfect date movie. It had plenty of swashbuckling, true-love, fantasy action, bad-ass dudes charging on horses, magic, revenge, etc. In fact, you remember the way Peter Falk described the novel "The Princess Bride" in the film? That's what Stardust is. ("Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...")

But this makes me think that Stardust might have the same problems finding an audience that Princess Bride did. No one saw that movie in the theatres because it truly had something for everybody and they had no idea how the hell to market it. And I have to say, I've showed people the trailer and the reactions are always mixed. And I've tried to convince them that the film would be good despite their misgivings about the trailer ("It's Neil Gaiman," usually works) but there's still apprehension.

Princess Bride found its audience much later on video and I would hate to see the same fate befall Stardust.

Now, I'm going to bust out a spoiler here, so don't read this if you want to enjoy what's probably the best moment in the movie and worth the price of admission hands down.

DeNiro in drag.

That's right. DeNiro has a dance number in a skirt and then gets discovered and has his ass beat by a Prince.

He's a gruff pirate named Shakespeare, but is actually a gay guy, literally living in the closet for the sake of his reputation.

It's really good stuff. The film has the fairly standard fable/myth/star-wars type formula but it's done right here.

Yes, there's some cheesy moments, but by the end of the film, you're so sucked in that I thought I might explode if it didn't end the way it did. Seriously, if Michelle Pfeifer would have been able to cut out Claire Danes' heart I would have seriously formed a posse to go hunt her down with people from the screening, the whole audience felt that into the film.

There really isn't much left to say about the film that you aren't going to hear from everyone else. The acting was all at the very least capable, the effects were great, the story charming, etc….

But I'm certainly going to drag my kids to see this movie the second I can and not a second too soon, if you ask me.

So, I guess you can't get more positive of a review than that.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe that you got to see this already. I am so jealous. I have been waiting and waiting for this movie to come out. I absolutly loved the book and how can you go wrong with Neil Gaiman.

Lindsie Bird

zoetree said...

I saw the trailer for this film a few months back and immediately suspected I would want to see it. I had not read any of the Gaiman books, so I got the pleasure of reading a few in the interim. Stardust, Neverwhere, and Bad Omens which he wrote with Terry Pratchett. Great sense of humor and FaerieLand knowledge and storytelling genius. I even rented Mirror Mask which was arty cool. So I'm new on the Gaiman scene and looking forward to this movie. There will probably be quite a few changes, as always; I don't mind that as long as they do a good job of what they do and get the spirit of the story. Looking forward to it. Thanks for the review!

Sandy said...

I loved the book. The movie was very disappionting. The acting was bad in some spots and the story was hacked to pieces, the entire beginning was taken out and things seem to happen without reason. Chunks of the story were missing and it seemed like someone was fast forwarding the movie, rushing to get to the end. Then you have characters who are literally the exact opposite of their counterparts from the book. Deniro was really bad especially acting gay for the sake of comic relief. Awful. People were moaning in the theatre. There was several vain attempts at comedy in this movie also and they all fell flat because they usually were sexual jokes either about breasts or genitalia, or the jokes were completely lame. I'm not sure how this story was twisted so badly into this awful script but this was probably the worst film I've seen so far this year.
2 out of 10