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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Stardust

Posted on Thu, Aug 9, 2007 at 4:00 AM

***1/2
Stardust
Studio: Paramount
Rated: PG
Cast: Robert De Niro, Sienna Miller
Director: Matthew Vaughn
WorkNameSort: Stardust
Our Rating: 3.50
I wasn't sure about this one at first. From the opening narration, spoken with Ian McKellen's booming British lilt, Stardust has an air of majestic self-importance. A few out-of-left-field moments later and you'll be wondering just how seriously this seemingly dramatic fantasy is taking itself. And then Robert De Niro appears, and the movie officially comes out. As a deceptively macho air pirate, De Niro plays his role of Captain Shakespeare with such flamboyant faggery that Harvey Fierstein would deem it over-the-top. Prancing around in pink feathered boas and painting his signature cheek mole into a heart symbol, De Niro's presence is a giant wink at the audience, and if you still don't get that it's a comedy, wait a few minutes and you'll get a cameo from certified comic genius Ricky Gervais. I was sold at that point, ready to enjoy this raucous Neil Gaiman-penned roller coaster despite its cornball deficiencies, namely a standard romantic-comedy love progression between protagonist Tristan (Charlie Cox) and fallen star Yvaine (Claire Danes). You'll get a lot of traditional fantasy tropes ' animals turning into people, wicked witches, a death-defying quest for an all-powerful inanimate object ' but Stardust succeeds in gloriously celebrating them in sumptuous colors. It's a fantasy for people who wished their fantasies were more like Willow and The Princess Bride and less like The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter

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