Michelle Pfeiffer might be the hottest
evil witch ever in Stardust.
Me and my BFF Julie got together last Sunday night. We caught some good
music at one of our local festivals here, ate some strawberry shortcake,
and then headed over to the theater to see Stardust (2007).
Julie told me that there had been a lot of comparisons between Stardust
and The Princess Bride. Having now seen both, I can tell readers that while
Stardust may not be The Princess Bride, that The Princess Bride isn't Stardust
either. The new movie has some good comedy bits in it, but in the main
it is a fairly serious fairy tale. Whereas The Princess Bride is anything but
serious from start to finish. In any case, Stardust is certainly better than
the strangely vacuous attempt that was The Brothers Grimm.
The movie stars Claire Danes, whose name was familiar to me but who I
had never seen in anything prior to this one. The lead male role is
played by Charlie Cox, who was totally unknown to me. The movie also
stars the much more familiar names of Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert
DeNiro. It has a large supporting cast, all of whom are good.
Here's the set-up. A young man named Tristan (Cox) in a village in
England is in love with a local girl who basically is just stringing him
along for her own amusement. Nevertheless he is in love with her, and so
when they witness a falling star one night he takes off in pursuit of
it hoping that it will win her over. He goes to the edge of a local
place called Wall, which features a wall that protects an enchanted land.
Crossing over the wall he then stumbles (quite literally) upon the fallen
star, who has turned into a young woman named Yvain (Danes). He binds
the woman with a magic cord to take her back to his village. But things
go awry (as things often do) and over the course of their adventures the
two fall in love with each other.
Yvain (Danes) and Tristan (Cox).
But Tristan isn't the only person who has witnessed the falling star.
When a dying king (Peter O'Toole) leaves his throne to whichever of his
four remaining sons can find the star, they go in pursuit also. Added to
this mix are three evil witches, all sisters, who want to find the star
and cut out her heart to give them back their youth. They choose amongst
themselves, and one of them, Larnia (Michelle Pfeiffer) sets out to find
the star too.
But if they have enemies, Tristan and Yvain also meet up with some
friends along the way in the persons of a rather eccentric sky-pirate
and Tristan's natural mother.
Danes and Cox are likeable in the lead roles. But it is Pfeiffer and
DeNiro who really steal this one. Pfeiffer is at the top of her craft
these days, and every little eye or hand gesture and every smile add to
her character. And DeNiro is wonderfully offbeat as the "poofy" sky-
pirate Captain Shakespeare, who discovers by the end of the movie that
your true friends are those who accept you just the way you are.
One final note. Although the special effects in this movie don't
predominate, they are what you might call "big screen" special effects.
This movie wouldn't be quite the same seen on a small television on DVD.
So unless you are lucky enough to have a big-ass plasma television in
your home, I recommend that you try to catch this one at theater while
you have the chance. And if you're in the mood, you might even want to
make it a "double feature" and stop for some strawberry shortcake before
you go. The two make a good combination.
Robert DeNiro as Captain Shakespeare.
P.M.P.I. Rating (Out of 5)