directed by Matthew Vaughn
USA 2007

 

Everything but the enchanted kitchen sink shows up in the sprawling fairy tale Stardust, including evil witches, airborne pirate ships, double-parked unicorns, and Robert De Niro as a cross-dressing sea captain. Sprinkled with tongue-in-cheek humor, fairly adult jokes, and some well-known faces acting very silly, this adventure story should have particular appeal to fans of The Princess Bride, but in any event will never be mistaken for a strictly-for-kids movie.

One of the opening scenes (there are several) involves the dubious conception of our hero, Tristan Thorne (Charlie Cox) -- the collaborative effort of a witch’s slave (Kate Magowan) and Tristan’s wall-jumping father (Ben Barnes). They live in Wall, which separates England from the supernatural kingdom of Stormhold. There, a battle for succession to the throne of the ailing king (Peter O’Toole) rages among seven princes, only three of whom are left alive as the story begins.

There’s a lot going on -- at times, perhaps too much -- in Stardust, which is based on the novel written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Charles Vess. The royal rivalries are raging; the dead princes, who appear in black-and-white, are a hilarious Greek chorus, providing play-by-play on the homicidal antics of their surviving brothers. Meanwhile, the young, inept Tristan is wooing the fair Victoria (Sienna Miller) by telling her he’ll bring her the fallen star they’ve seen pass over their heads. Then there’s Yvaine (Claire Danes), who is the fallen star.

And then there’s Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer), the evil witch who wants to cut out Yvaine’s still-beating heart and eat it with her horrid sisters so they can prolong their already unnatural youth. The best thing in the film, Pfeiffer shows great comedic timing, and her metamorphoses -- as Lamia careens from flourishing beauty to horrible crone -- show considerable courage, as the actress manages to be funny regardless of what state of decrepitude she’s in. It’s not a very admirable character, after all: Lamia turns people into goats and goats into people, and she and her sisters foretell the future by hacking up animals and reading their entrails. They’re not the most in-demand dinner guests.

Pic saves itself through a lot of incidental humor. Pfeiffer delivers elaborate, well-timed eye-rolls when things like eternal youth don’t go her way. De Niro, whose Capt. Shakespeare is so swishy it’s amazing he doesn’t go overboard (although he does, in a sense), does a “Can-Can” fan dance that, in terms of incongruous collisions of actor and role, is equal to De Niro’s performance of “I Feel Pretty” in Analyze That. The act doesn’t have much to do with the Stardust story, but it’s as engrossing as a car crash.

Excerpt from John Anderson's review at, Variety HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 9 August 2007, Russia

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Yunda Eddie Feng for the Review!

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Distribution

Paramount

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 127 min
Video

2.40:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.69 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio DD 5.1 English, DD 5.1 French, DD 5.1 Spanish
Subtitles Optional English, French, Spanish
Features Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.40:1

Edition Details:
• Good Omens: The Making of Stardust
• deleted scenes
• bloopers
• theatrical trailer
• previews for other movies

DVD Release Date: December 18th, 2007
keepcase

Chapters 18

 

Comments:

Video:
The 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer compares favorably to Harry Potter 5. This is a very clean, bright transfer with plenty of detail for standard definition. Some outdoors shots are a bit soft, which may be explained by the bitrate.

Audio:
The DD 5.1 English track is very robust during the action scenes, but this is not a dynamic track during quiet/talky moments. When there isn’t a battle, the sound mix mostly collapses to the center channel.

You can also watch the movie with a DD 5.1 French or a DD 5.1 Spanish dub. Optional English, French, and Spanish subtitles as well as optional English closed captions support the audio.

Extras:
Upon loading, the disc plays previews for other movies.

“Good Omens: The Making of Stardust” is a run-of-the-mill promotional featurette. There are some deleted scenes and bloopers. Finally, you also get the theatrical trailer.

 - Yunda Eddie Feng

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Paramount

Region 1 - NTSC




 

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