August 13, 2007

Stardust is a Fairy Tale for 2007

I saw Neil Gaiman's Stardust this weekend, and I really, really liked it. No, I didn't read the book (blasphemy!), so here's my take based on not reading the book, and not how they left this in and left this out, etc..

Stardust is an all-out fantasy fairy tale. It has a hero, a heroine in distress (or two), a wicked witch, pirates, and a unicorn thrown in for good measure. It's the perfect summer movie to watch if you want to feel good and not think too much. That may lead you to believe that it's for kids - well it is. But it's also for adults. And the silliness is truly kept in check with smart dialogue and funny exchanges.

Charlie Cox was solid and likeable, Michelle Pfeiffer was nice and evil (I don't know how you make this look sexy, but she did), and Claire Danes got better and more relatable over the course of the movie. Robert DeNiro's pirate captain Shakespeare could have been over the top and silly, but the director and the rest of the cast kept the character within the context of the movie.

Really the only bad part was the (too long) commercials and trailers before the movie. Some movie with Robin Williams (blech), Spiderwick Chronicles, Seeker (actually looked good to me). The best thing was the commercial for Journey Man on TV this fall.

In all, this movie's comparisons to The Princess Bride are apt, if in genre alone. Stardust isn't quite as comedic as Princess Bride, but has a lot more pretty special effects (and the special effects are nice and do further the story). This is great summer fare, and a perfect movie to see with the parents or relatives.

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