Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Charlie Cox, David Kelly, Kate Magowan, Sienna Miller, Peter O'Toole, Mark Strong,
Jason Flemying, Rupert Everett, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, and Robert DeNiro

Rated: PG-13 fantasy violence and some risque humor
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: August 10, 2007 Released by: Paramount Pictures Corporation

The fantasy world Tristran (Charlie Cox) finds himself in takes us from stardust to stardust, involving many points of view and characters all chasing what is expected to be longer or everlasting life of one sort or another.

It's Tristran's father Dustan Thorn (Nathaniel Parker) who first passes through the forbidden wall guarded by a very nimble David Kelly who was the grandfather in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. While on the other side he meets Una, a slave girl, (a very interesting Kate Magowan) in a blue dress or as a blue jay; the meeting produces Tristran who arrives on his father's doorstep nine months after the trip. An everlasting flower is also passed on for a kiss.

But young Tristran is smitten by Victoria a sexy selfish Sienna Miller who wants things which young Tristran can not supply. Even worst he loses his job when he pays too much attention to Victoria and not other customers; we begin to wonder if she is out of his reach but this is a fantasy.

Meanwhile the King (Peter O'Toole) is on his death bed and each of his surviving sons being watched by the ghosts of their already dead brothers, plot to get rid of each other and become king. The dominant brothers Primus (Jason Flemyng) and Secundus (Rupert Everett) lead the violent selfish but clumsy and comical bunch. But the true king will only be known when he restores the ruby from clear to red status.

Michelle Pfeiffer's Lamia leads her two sisters in their witch like activities striving to retrieve the heart of a star which will bring back their youth and beauty. Pfeiffer is beguiling, alluring and sexy but spends most of the film in makeup which creates the illusion of ugly and very old but she acts effectively through her eyes.

So Tristran's venture past the guard on the wall, though more difficult than his father's brings him into contact with an entirely new world, when a star falls from the heavens to the ground in the form of Clair Danes' Yvaine. The two carry on an adventure which draws the would be kings and the witches all into one focus to secure either Yvaine's heart or the ruby.

Director Matthew Vaughn twists the variety of characters in their quests with a background soundtrack that pulsates perfectly in concert with the action atmosphere of each scene. He also brings a constant stream of comedy, the most impressive being the scenes with Robert DiNiro's Captain Shakespeare - the master of a flying ship that harvests lightning strikes. It's filled with tough pirates which he dominates with expected toughness. His secret is that he has a dominant feminine side which Yvaine and Tristran bring out. He has the audience falling from their seats when he dances to music from Can-Can while in ladies underwear. We see Danes professing love to a mouse and Billy (Mark Williams) who is a goat turned into a bumbling man. Jake Curran's Bernard is quite happy to be changed into a maiden who helps Danes into her bath.

Danes has an aura around her as a fallen star, she also radiates as a young woman on the screen and Pfeiffer is a delight, even when covered with warts, bumps and falling hair.

The fantasy mixed with mild horror, humor, adventure and romance leaves us with the understanding that we all eventually become stardust even in a fairy tale.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Stardust B+ B+     B B   B+
A Top Ten for 2007
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