21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical!
This is one of those few occasions where I have to say that I preferred the film to the book. The film really enhances the basic story of the book and turns it into a really enjoyable film. When you try to explain the plot - a clumsy, geeky, naive boy (Charlie Cox) crosses a wall into a fantasy land to catch a falling star, (who happens to be a person played by Claire...
Published on 29 Dec 2008 by Another Weasley
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Add to your collection.
New fairytales are surely dangerous territory for big film studio's to venture into. Stardust has overcome that hurdle by recruiting an 'A' list cast.
Having taken that leap of faith, a production of great merit is the result. The triumph of which must be the understated, tongue in cheek delivery by the principles, even the Americans. Robert De Niro way out of his...
Published on 3 Oct 2008 by Observer
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical!,
This is one of those few occasions where I have to say that I preferred the film to the book. The film really enhances the basic story of the book and turns it into a really enjoyable film. When you try to explain the plot - a clumsy, geeky, naive boy (Charlie Cox) crosses a wall into a fantasy land to catch a falling star, (who happens to be a person played by Claire Danes) avoid crazy old witches and power thirsty princes, meet some sky pirates and return the star to a spoilt brat (in the form of Sienna Miller) so she will marry him - it sounds confusing, but it all makes sense when watching it and you find yourself following the plot easily.
The scenery is fantastic and the special effects are amazing - especially the final half hour or so.
It's not going to change the world, but it doesn't aim to! Its funny, light entertainment and should be viewed as such. Adults and children will both enjoy it. Plus any film that manages to silence Ricky Gervais has to be given 5 stars!!!
159 of 168 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Faery fantasy. Not hugely original but some nice tweaks,
Neil Gaiman, who wrote Stardust, is a treasure of modern storytelling. This film of his novel is superbly realised and absolutely worth watching. It improves with repeated viewings, in fact.
Gaiman wanted to write an old-fashioned Edwardian fairy-story, full of flying ships and unicorns and evil witches, beautiful maidens and handsome young men coming of age and falling in love. So he crammed all of that and more into the story, and the film absolutely sparkles with the threads of the story and the characters. You may find many of the themes familar, but that's because it is supposed to be a traditional fairy tale. The fun is all in the polish and the performances.
It's a two hour film, which might be a bit long for younger children to sit through, and there are a couple of points where the action slows down (when the love affair develops) which kids will find fidgity. However the majority of the movie absolutely romps along, following the young hero on his quest to find a fallen star and bring it (her!) back to impress his girlfriend.
There are also some scream-aloud funny bits. Kids will love the boy-transformed-into-girl moment; adults will crease up at the sight of Robert de Niro doing the can-can. There's a sly wit about the whole film; look out for the bit about the drooping boobs...
Unlike many fantasy films you don't have to sit through endless trudging across hillsides in the rain. The quest is the backbone of the story but the joy of Stardust is the sheer creativity and richness of each scene. You can relax and leave the plot to get on with itself, and sit back and enjoy the superb performances (Michelle Pfeiffer is particularly good as the beautiful-evil old crone) and each sparkling scene.
Definitely worth watching several times, because you'll see much more of the detail with each viewing. If you didn't catch Stardust at the movies then that's a shame, because some of the dazzling quality of the effects will be lost at home. So watch it on the biggest screen you can -- and in HD if you've got it. This is one film that's definitely worth it.
Excellent entertainment for adults; young children might need a break halfway through. Afterwards, it's a film which will leave you feeling happy, uplifted. Not too many of them around, so make the most of it!
87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most breathtaking film I have seen for years,
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I've just watched this film four times in three days. It is, quite simply, the most breathtaking film I have seen for years.
Based on -- and improved upon -- Neil Gaiman's book of the same name, Stardust is the ultimate fantasy-adventure for the entire family.
There are three really great things about this film, two of which are extensions of what is in the book, and one was developed by Gaiman and his co-workers for the film after the book was finished.
The first great thing is the depth and originality of the magical world he creates. Gaiman's Faerie is as rich and detailed -- and exuberant -- as Hogwarts, though it's a darker place. The film brings to life the wealth of detail which was in the book. Despite being laced with special effects, this does not come across as a special effects movie, because every magical transformation is demanded by the plot and flows instinctively from what was there before: a wonderful example of Aristotle's 'likely impossible' being better than an 'unlikely possible'.
The second great thing is the depth of characterisation. It's unusual in a fantasy film to have the level of bickering and banter that we get in this film. It's unusual in any genre to have an exquisitely observed romance develop before our eyes, against the wishes of both main protagonists. The film builds new characters, such as Robert de Niro's gay pirate Captain Shakespeare and Ricky Gervais's wheeler-dealer fence, which add additional resonance (and humour). It also nicely develops the characters of all seven sons of Stormhold, and nicely polishes the ghosts.
The third great thing, which is not in the book, is that Stardust the film has a very, very exciting plotline. Gaiman wisely omitted a number of details, and simplified the rather complex relationships. This created the space to focus on the real action, to introduce the pirate interlude, and to replace the entire ending with the most gripping and thrilling magical battle I have ever seen in a film. The last twenty minutes is all new material, making the story infinitely stronger and more satisfying. This is neatly underlined by the reprise of all the surviving characters in the coronation scene at the end -- a very nice touch indeed.
Fairy tales need to be told and retold, and improved as they go. Gaiman has seized the rare opportunity of telling his tale better the second time around -- though the original novel was nothing to be sniffed at -- and he and his co-workers have created a masterpiece.
I loved this film, and would recommend it to anyone -- something helped by the removal of the sometimes explicit references which occasionally crop up in the book.
This is not a 'great' film, in the sense of Dr Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia or The Great Escape. It does not attempt to solve the great questions of human existence, or to plumb the depths of tragedy. But it is the finest film of its kind I have ever seen.
One more thing: both in the film and the book, there are elements which have obviously been 'inspired' by other fantasy writers. With becoming modesty, Gaiman, in the epilogue to the book, acknowledges these. The references are not plagiarism, but tributes. The film is all the stronger for them.
Blu Ray update: We now have the Blu Ray version of this. The picture is sharper, more vivid, and much more detailed, especially in the market town scenes. The dynamic range of the soundtrack is also rather greater: the loud is very loud, and the quiet is really very quiet. This is great for a evening's home cinema, not so great for watching with the sound down when everyone else has gone to bed.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb,
Released in 2007 and based on Neil Gaiman's 1998 novel, Stardust is an unexpected gem among recent SF and fantasy films, a fairytale with some interesting and modern twists delivered by a cast on fine form.
The movie opens with young Englishman Dunstan Thorn crossing the forbidden wall near his village to investigate the magical kingdom that is said to lie beyond. There he has an amorous encounter with a young woman claiming to be a captive princess. Nine months later, after Dunstan's return home, a baby is deposited outside his house. Dunstan raises Tristan (Charlie Cox) to become a fine and adventurous young man, who becomes besotted with the most beautiful girl in the village, Victoria (Sienna Miller). After they see a shooting star fall beyond the wall one night, Tristan vows to find the fallen star and give it as a gift to Victoria to prove his worthiness.
Unfortunately for Tristan, the shooting star is the result of a scheme by the late King of Stormhold (Peter O'Toole), who has hurled his amulet from his bedchamber and decreed that whoever of his surviving sons who finds the amulet will be worthy to succeed him. The amulet's return to Earth has knocked a star named Yvaine (Claire Danes) out of the sky, forcing her to take human form. Tristan swiftly locates her and decides to fulfil his promise to Victoria, but their return to the wall is strewn with obstacles, not least in the form of the witch Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) who wishes to find the star and consume it to restore youth and long life to herself and her sisters. The King's squabbling sons are also searching for the star as well. The result is a road movie taking in an airship commanded by a fearsome pirate (Robert De Niro) who harbours a secret, a magically-created inn, a unicorn and lots more as well.
Stardust is a tremendously good movie. The number of fantasy films (excluding Lord of the Rings) that have really worked in the last few years is pretty low, and you arguably have to go back to The Princess Bride to find the last undisputed classic in the genre (although no doubt some would speak up in favour of The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth). Stardust works because it has excellent pacing, fantastic acting, great dialogue and a strong script which shoots down inconsistencies and plot holes whenever they show up. Charlie Cox and especially Claire Danes make for appealing protagonists and De Niro gives his all in a gift of a role with the self-contradictory Captain Shakespeare. Pfeiffer's excellent turn makes you ponder why she doesn't seem to crop up very often in movies any more. Ricky Gervais is less successful in a minor cameo, but luckily (despite his appearance on the DVD cover) he is in the movie for barely two minutes, so that isn't an issue. The story takes some highly unexpected twists and turns before an impressive showdown is reached, and the ending, whilst a happy one, isn't exactly saccharine (the body count needed to get there is quite high).
It's difficult to think of any negatives with this movie. It's light, breezy, fresh and fun but not shallow. A great story with intelligent characters it is laugh-out-loud funny in many places, but with some real moments of pathos and emotional intensity elsewhere. Fantasy movies as good as this don't come along very often these days, so check it out.
Stardust (*****) is available now in DVD in the UK and USA.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dazzling,
Quite frankly, I adore this movie. I adore it. I love it. I have not enough words to sing its praises. Adults and children alike will love it.
Neil Gaiman is a fantastic and inventive story teller and his imaginative tales lend themselves well to the big screen - so long as handled correctly. Happily, this film not only handles it correctly but I feel in places even adds to the book. The screen writers have done that rare thing - they have successfully made alterations to a book to make it fit for the big screen while still absolutely capturing the essence and joy of the story. I don't think anybody who's read the book can complain about how the movie's been realised even though they have departed from the story in various places.
Captain Shakespeare is a particularly perfect addition - Robert DeNiro can do comedy just as well as drama and is probably the funniest character in the film. Fresh face Charlie Cox makes a winning and instantly likable hero, Claire Danes as ever puts in a great turn, and Michelle Pfeiffer makes an absolutely fabulous villain. The whole cast are clearly having a ball and everything from the sets to the costumes is on point - the whole thing is beautifully shot. The jokes are swift and funny, the story compelling, and as per the tag line this is definitely the fairy tale that won't behave.
Quite frankly, I can't see it would be possible to dislike this movie. It's great family fun but with a lot for the adults too - even people who don't have kids will enjoy watching this
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neil Gaiman's Stardust...and Ricky Gervais!,
Right, well as far as I can recall I collected the original comic book mini-series that this film is based on, back in 1998 (I think?!), and I loved it then, I also have the Graphic Novel, so you already know I absoluletly LOVE this story.
The film was not disappointing either, although I thought in certain parts it wasn't as good as it could be...like the part played by Ricky Gervais, which ISN'T in the original story, and to be honest, makes the film drag a bit. I like Ricky Gervais - sort of...he is funny, sometimes.
It's a good film though, the main character, Tristan Thorne (Charlie Cox) sets off one day in search of a Fallen Star, which he finds, and it turns out to be a girl. A remarkably beautiful girl (Clare Danes[Romeo & Juliet]) which he decides to take back to the Village of Wall, to claim another girl as his bride. Anyway, Tristan and the Star eventually fall in love, but on the way, a wicked witch called Lamia (Michelle Pfeifer), who is part of a coven of evil witches, tries to capture the star, so she can harness the star's strength and power. It's nice seeing Pfeifer play a witch again, remember 'The Witches of Eastwick'?
Anyway, the graphic novel is amazing, and a story that all children should hear at some point, because it's fun, and amazing, and there is truth in it too, so why not?
Robert De Niro plays the part of a cross-dressing, can-can dancing, sky pirate ship's captain. And it's well played.
Go on, treat yourself, it's only a fiver!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating fantasy with a stellar cast,
Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sienna Miller and Clare Danes lead the impressive cast in this superb fantasy from director Matthew Vaughn. Impressive newcomer Charlie Cox plays young Tristan, a shop boy who is really a prince and who yearns for a better life and the hand of imperious local girl Victoria. When he gets the opportunity to escape to the magical land of his birth he takes it and soon becomes caught up with a fallen star (Danes), a gay pirate (De Niro), a wicked witch pursuing eternal youth (Pfeiffer), and a host of other characters including Ricky Gervais' lightning seller, and a murderous prince who seeks the star for his own devious ends. Ian McKellen's narrator and Sienna Miller's enslaved princess ensures that the entire package is of the highest quality, and with support from the likes of Green Wing's Julian Rhind-Ttutt and Spaced's Mark Heap, this is simply brilliant - witty, charming and utterly spellbinding throughout.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - Fantastic film and it is great for boys as well.,
My male dominated family loved this and as the only female, so did I, there was one really romantic bit in the film that made me go all girly, but there was lots for everyone to enjoy, there was sword fights, pirates, witches, magic, good v evil, and a happy ending - this is the sort of thing that Disney used to do so well, but has not done for a long time.
I agree that this is a film to watch and watch again. Buy it and you will not regret it.
Good clean family fun.
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For grown-ups, too!,
This is destined to be a favourite "watch" for any rainy afternoon, for me! At just over two hours long, it might be thought to be a bit much, but it's worth factoring-in to your life. The usual fairy-tale basics are there - and a few refreshing tweaks, too. I loved Robert De Niro's gay pirate Captain, and his lambs-in-wolf's clothing crew!
There's a bit of violence, but it's very well handled - not too scary for little 'uns. Altogether, a great afternoon's family entertainment.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars light up the skies,
a movie adaptation of a book by writer neil gaiman and illustrator charles vess that was a modern fairy tale. Set in england of a century or so ago, the story tells of tristan, a young man who lives in a village near a wall. through a gap in the wall lies the fantasy kingdom of stronghold, with witches and other magical creatures. on a quest to find a fallen star to prove his love for a girl, he finds the star is actually in the form of a person. They have to journey back to wall. but evil forces are after them. can they survive? and will tristan find true love? and who with?
a wonderful, lovely, enjoyable fantasy movie. very well directed and featuring an excellent cast, plus a wonderfully nasty performance from michelle pfeiffer as an evil witch, this is pure entertainment throughout and should have you with a smile on your face and a tingle in your fingers at the end. there is some mild violence and slight innuedo so it's not possibly suitable for the very young.
The dvd is a bit sparse.
direct scene access.
subtitles in english.
and the sole extra is a commentary from the writer and the director.
But I give it five anyway, because the film is so great.
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Stardust [HD DVD]  [US Import] by Matthew Vaughn (HD DVD - 2007)