Friday, August 10, 2007

Review: 'Stardust' a 'Shrek' for grown-ups
This elaborate strain of fantasy meshes easily enough with a cheeky, Monty Pythonish sense of humor, even if the mild ribaldry makes it a questionable proposition for kids.
A fairy tale for everyone - Amy Biancolli 3.5 out of 4.
In a fit of unrequited pining for a haughty village girl (Sienna Miller), Tristran vows to retrieve a fallen star from beyond the wall in exchange for her hand in marriage. Off he skedaddles into that same magical realm, where he finds, at the base of a massive crater, a beautiful maiden (Claire Danes).

She's the star. Literally. And quite a droll star, too. When Tristran (whose name invokes the legendary Cornish lover) explains that sorry, he'll be chaining her up and hauling her back to Wall to prove his love, she barks: "Nothing says 'romance' like the gift of a kidnapped, injured woman."

Stardust is full of such mouthy backtalk. It's also full of moonstruck invention: heroes who travel by candlelight, pirates who travel by air (where a transgressive Robert De Niro atones for past roles) and a trio of scheming crones who plot to locate the star, cut out her beating heart and eat it to restore their youth.

The crone queen, played by Michelle Pfeiffer with yummy hellcat malevolence, uses black magic to feign youthful looks, but every now and then a clump of hair falls out or her cleavage sags with a "whoosh."
Rotten Tomatoes - 72% Fresh.

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