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Stardust

October 9, 2007

From the trailers of this season’s fantasy blockbuster Stardust, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a bit twee. A bit blah, a bit run-of-the-mill. Indeed, from all the press about it recently, you’d also be forgiven for thinking that the makers know they’re onto a stinker and are desperately pushing it at every opportunity (even GMTV for gawd’s sake!). But you’d be wrong.

Stardust is ace. It’s part Princess Bride (although not as self-aware), part Labyrinth (without the bulge and puppets), part Pirates Of The Caribbean (sans annoying pouty Knightley) and it’s even Python-esque in places. But mostly, it’s out and out Gaiman. Although the book was adapted by Jonathan Ross’ missus (and huge Gaiman fan) Jane Goldman, the celebrated Graphic Novelist’s stamp is all over every setting, every character, every utterance of this slick fantasy adventure. Yes, it’s a fairytale, and so it’s essentially a girly prissy love story (and you can also see the ending coming a mile off) but it’s witty, quirky, sharp and as well-rounded and ‘3D’ as you’d expect from anything dreamt up in Gaiman’s mind.

I can’t urge you guys enough to go see it. I’m not sure the non-fantasy-liking blokes out there will like it (apologies for the sexism). Mr Badger’s attention seemed to drift a bit just after De Niro’s closet scene. And that’s the only downer in this fast-paced, galloping tale. But hey, every adventure needs a slightly boring motif showing the central character’s learning to sword fight and er… dance (because that’s what stars do, right…?) but apart from that one teeny tiny lull in interest, the rest is fab. Oh and Gervais is incredibly annoying, playing (as he always does) his usual himself/Brent hybrid. But the less said about him in this the better (and the quicker filmmakers realise that he’s a one-trick pony – when it comes to acting anyway – the better).

De Niro is obviously great as a notorious ‘pirate’ type, Captain Shakespeare who keeps a secret from his crew, kudos to Pfeiffer for her portrayal of the aging witch, desperate to get her looks back – I love it when beauties take on roles where the part requires them to look crap, so well done to her. Even Claire Danes isn’t as annoying as I worried she’d be (from the trailers she seems the weakest in this). But she’s charming, innocent, sarcastic and strong all at the same time – and all the while in a very convincing British accent. In fact, most of the cast (De Niro aside – no one forces him to go Brit) perfects the English delivery with not a hint of Van Dyke among them (which made me wonder why they didn’t just use British actors. But hey, Names are Names…).

And if you’re feeling slightly girly when you see it, you might just squeeze out a few teardrops at the end. Not that I did. Oh no. I’m hard I am. Grrrr. No pink boas for me, no siree. Deffo one for the DVD list.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Clair permalink
    October 9, 2007 9:13 pm

    Glad you like it. My mate plays Bernard’s mum…

  2. Badger Madge permalink
    October 9, 2007 10:04 pm

    the ginger goat fellow? marvellous! she was ace too. much better than that gervais *cringe*

  3. Dikte permalink
    October 10, 2007 7:47 am

    Absolute favorite movie!:D

  4. BPP permalink
    October 12, 2007 2:12 pm

    I don’t want to sound like a seething sourpuss, but I watched this on your recommendation and thought it was rubbish. By my reckoning, you owe me money.

  5. Badger Madge permalink
    October 12, 2007 3:18 pm

    Really? You hated it? What can I say, I apologise, there’s no accounting for taste. As for the refund, I *did* say some blokes wouldn’t like it, so there’s my disclaimer (I should have said miserable, seething sourpusses admitedly).

  6. Paul permalink
    October 14, 2007 8:41 pm

    I’ve been looking forward to this for ages. I’m a huge Gaiman fan and have been for MANY years. Going to see this on Wednesday 🙂

  7. Paul permalink
    October 18, 2007 8:18 am

    Saw it last night and loved it. A few liberties taken with the book but nothing that really upset the Gaiman fanboy within me.

    I am now officially in love with Claire Danes…

  8. BPP permalink
    October 23, 2007 11:52 am

    To be fair to you Badger, my favourite movies tend to involve mercenaries killing people or cops blowing shit up despite having gotten too old for this kinda shit, so I wasn’t likely to enjoy it. If it had had Ving Raimes blowing De Niro’s head off with a pump action shotgun, it would have been a much better film. And tits – films are so much better when there’s a healthy smattering of tits knocking around. In fact, if it had been more like a violent Porky’s or Police Academy it would have been a cracking film. Perhaps they should think on that for the sequel?

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