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Genre: Adventure/Fantasy
Rated: PG-13
Directed by:
Matthew Vaughn
Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Charlie Cox, Robert De Niro, Rupert Everett, Sienna Miller
Released by: Paramount

In Short: Witches, pirates and star-crossed lovers converge in this special-effects laden fantasy adventure best suited for the tweener set.

Catch a Falling Star
A Flight of Fancy for Fantasy Fans
by Jenny Peters

If scene-chewing witches, cross-dressing pirates and literally star-crossed lovers are your idea of fun at a film, then Stardust is the movie for you. This big-budget fantasy flick is certainly a bit predictable, and a tad corny, but it unfolds with such zest and pace that it is never boring. Plus, where else can you see Michelle Pfeiffer wreak havoc while transforming back and forth between a gorgeous young thing and a haggard old witch?

Claire Danes and Charlie Cox in Stardust
Robert De Niro as Captain Shakespeare

Stardust is filled with famous faces, from Peter O’Toole as the dying ruler of a magical kingdom located just across a protected stone wall in nineteenth-century England, to Robert De Niro as the fey pirate captain who commands a ship that sails through the clouds. Claire Danes glows as Yvaine, the star who falls to earth and becomes human as the story begins, and newcomer Charlie Cox is appropriately handsome as Tristan, the film’s leading man.

The flick is one part fantasy, one part romance and one part adventure as the pair race to escape the various bad guys (the witch, the pirates, the king’s sons who need her amulet to inherit the kingdom) who are out to capture and kill the star. It’s a chase filled with magical moments, chockablock with special effects, and the requisite damsel in distress finale, one that tweeners and teenage girls will most likely find stimulating and satisfying.


But for older, more seasoned filmgoers, the seen-it-all-before aspects of this oft-told tale will bring to mind past films (classics like The Princess Bride) that take this basic framework (star-crossed lovers, bad guys chasing them, extreme peril, happy fairy-tale ending) and do it better. Still, there’s enough good acting and fun moments to make Stardust an amusing way to spend a few hours in a cool, dark cinema, even if it isn’t one of Hollywood’s all-time-great movies.

(Updated: 08/10/07 LH)

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