Directed by Matthew Vaughn.
Written by Matthew Vaughn.
Starring Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert
Release Year: 2007
Review Date: 8/1/07
Although I have not even seen a trailer for
"Stardust", I was walking out of a theater in Gaithersburg recently
and saw the poster for this film...and, it looked so awful that when
the DC Film Society said they were doing a free screening downtown
tonight, I was all over it like white on rice because this puppy
looked like "Highlander 8: Bad Fucking Idea" right down to the bad
makeup job on the actors in the poster.
I'm disappointed to report that "Stardust"
was just bad, not total dogshit. As such, only one thing saves
"Stardust" from the bottom of the barrel--Robert De Niro, and I
still have no idea why he is in this movie. Early on, we meet
Tristan (Charlie Cox), an 18-year-old with a crush on local hottie
Victoria (Sienna Miller). Victoria kinda likes Tristan but has
another suitor she is more interested in...but one night, while
sipping champagne with Tristan in their quiet English town 150 years
ago, the twosome see a shooting star land somewhere many miles east
of town. Tristan asks for the chance to marry Victoria, and
Victoria agrees to give him a week to find the star and bring it
back to her to win her hand in marriage.
So, Tristan goes off looking for the
star...who just happens to be a girl named Yvaine (Claire
Danes)...and, the twosome make their way back to the small English
town with many others on their tail, like a couple of princes
looking for a ruby that dangles around Yvaine's neck, and a witch
(Michelle Pfeiffer) who seeks the fountain of youth, something
Yvaine's heart can provide. Adventure ensues, but nothing
interesting ever really happens.
"Stardust" is big and dumb, occasionally
comical, star-laden but poorly acted. I can't believe this
many big stars showed up--Peter O'Toole, De Niro, Pfeiffer, Rupert
Everett, Ricky Gervais (from the British version of "The Office"),
Ian McKellan (the film's narrator), and Miller. But, part of
this must be the fact that Matthew Vaughn directed "Stardust"; he
hit the jackpot with the incredibly good
"Layer Cake" a
few years back and I'm sure folks were lining up to be in his next
movie. The movie's pacing and tone just don't feel right,
attempting to channel some mix of fantasy, straight comedy and some
action/adventure elements...plus, the cross-dressing De Niro
character and baddies who get mauled by wolves. Yeah, it's
that kind of (PG-13) movie, and more often than not, it doesn't work
and it feels shockingly familiar if you've seen any of the "Teenage
Boy Saves the World" movies of the last couple of years like
Chronicles of Narnia", "Zathura", the upcoming "The Golden
Compass" and "The Dark is Rising" and other films like it.
Even the soundtrack sounded warbly tonight, but maybe that was just
the theater's sound system.
I would say you should avoid "Stardust", but
maybe kids will enjoy the fantastical tale...or, maybe they won't.
But, if you've got half a brain in you, skip this one at least until
it starts airing incessantly on TNT or your local FOX affiliate.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard