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Stardust – A problematic disappointment with a few nice touches - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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August 17th, 2007

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02:36 pm - Stardust – A problematic disappointment with a few nice touches
teaotter and I saw Stardust yesterday. Neither of us have read the book, nor am I inclined to after seeing the film, especially since I've heard more than one person say that the film was better than the book. On the positive side, it was nicely flashy and Robert DeNiro did an absolutely astounding job as Captain Shakespeare. He utterly steals the show, and his entire crew was almost as good. However, the rest of the film was astoundingly formulaic and at times a bit dull. In addition, one of the many ways in which DeNiro's character stood out was that Captain Shakespeare was the only major character with actual motivations or any degree of complexity. Every other character was utterly wooden. Tristan started out the film an utter doormat and remained that way throughout, and the film's gender attitudes were impressively regressive. Young women are mostly helpless captives, older women are all ugly and evil, and both Una and Yvaine are almost completely helpless throughout the entire film. At absolute best, it's light and enjoyable fluff and only if you can utterly ignore the gender attitudes. In this way I'm reminded of Ratatouille, which was also fun fluff (and was both better done and more complex than Stardust), that included highly regressive gender attitudes, ranging from Alfredo referring to Colette as his muse instead of some more active and accurate term, to the complete absence of female rats.

In any case, if you feel like utterly turning off your brain and want to see Robert DeNiro do an amazingly brilliant job as a closeted sissy/transvestite pirate, and look at some nifty scenery, including an impressively done flying ship, I recommend it. However, otherwise it's not particularly worth the trouble to see.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 17th, 2007 09:39 pm (UTC)
Are they saying it was better than the book,or the graphic novel? The latter is stunning, with Charles Vess' artwork all throughout.
[User Picture]
Date:August 17th, 2007 10:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the "graphic novel" (heavily illustrated novelette) is probably my favorite Gaiman piece. The movie trailer did nothing to make me think they were anywhere near the tone of the book.
[User Picture]
Date:August 18th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
Dropping by to say hello, long time, no see, how are you and Wow, now I REALLY don't want to see that movie.

[User Picture]
Date:August 24th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)


Yes, man, but what about the cinematography? Is it visually stunning? That's all I want out of it.
[User Picture]
Date:August 24th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)

Re: Pretty?

On the ship of the air pirates, yes, but that was only perhaps 1/3 of the film, the rest of it was well done, but definitely not stunning.
[User Picture]
Date:August 29th, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)
I'd say the book (original 4 issues, in my case) was better, not to mention rather different in many ways. A friend disagreed, but then she didn't like the original in the first place, nor Neverwhere.

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