The Stars my Dustination… heh.

These are my thoughts on Stardust. They’re not really all that spoilery, but cut anyways, because it is not a gushing review:


I saw it on Friday, and again today (Sunday).

I liked it. I liked it better on a second viewing. I didn’t *love* it, but I liked it well enough. I thought the book’s ending was *much* stronger, and that the big, Hollywood-Villain ending they went with was inane and didn’t hold up to even cursory examination. I thought the music was overdone. It was like a huge, rococco engagement ring on a delicate hand — too much for the simplicity of the tale.

Other than that, I loved Michelle Pfeiffer, who can look stunningly beautiful even in age makeup. I hate Sienna Miller, who can look like an over-tanned beach hag even when she’s supposed to be done up pretty. You’re supposed to dislike Victoria. I get that. What I don’t get is what *anyone* saw in her, because Miller did such a terrible job making her the least bit anything other than a Victorian sorostitute. I thought DiNero was somewhat amusing, but overrated, and that Ben Barnes (who played young Dunston) was much cuter than Charlie Cox. I would have loved to see him play Tristan, but Charlie Cox did a fine job. I *adored* Claire Daines, even though I never would have thought to cast her as Yvaine. She’s not pretty. She’s regal and weird and fey, and a perfect casting for a star. When she shines, she really shines.

Overall, though, I think the true weakness for me came down to the language. Vaughn went for an everyday, conversational feel, rather than a more elevated poetics. It robbed the movie of that numinous, fairy-tale quality that the book got from Gaiman’s prose coupled with Vess’s artwork. That’s really the sad thing for me. I can barely get a glimpse of what makes Gaiman one of my favorite writers, and Vess’s Rackham-esque sensibility isn’t to be found anywhere.

Also. No offence. I’ve seen The Princess Bride. The Princess Bride is an old favorite of mine. This was no Princess Bride.

EDIT: I just discovered that Ben Barnes is to play Caspian in the next two Narnia movies.

Hugggnnnhhhhhgguuurrrhggghhh (*drools and feels like a dirty old woman*)

Voyage of the Dawn Treader = First favorite fantasy book
King Caspian = First crush

Hugggnnnhhhhhgguuurrrhggghhh (*still drooling and feeling like a dirty old woman*)

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5 thoughts on “The Stars my Dustination… heh.

  1. I saw it on Saturday and I feel very much the same. I prefer the book, particularily for the ending. I do feel like I need to see it again to really enjoy it. I *did* enjoy DeNiro, though.

    My husband LOVED the movie, though. Of course, he didn’t read the book.

    • Heh. That’s such a perfect icon for how I felt about the movie.

      Most of the people I know really loved it, and I’m just having trouble understanding why (some, but not all of them, have read the book). I went to see a matinee of Labyrinth just before seeing Stardust, and it really heightened how not-very-magical Stardust was in comparison. Labyrinth had cheesy 80’s synth-pop and the infamous David Bowie pants, but it had the heart and the sense of wonder that Stardust rather lacked. I walked out of the theater ruminating on the who and how and why of Jareth, wheras the final half-hour of Stardust left me…indifferent.

      • ruminating on the who and how and why of Jareth

        I love you for that comment.

        Yeah, I totally see what you’re saying. There was a depth lacking to the movie, perhaps. A depth that I certainly see in the book. The book has more meat to the whys and hows than the movie.

        I don’t know. I think it’s something I’ll continue to enjoy on DVD, but not as much as the book.

  2. Finally got to the movies this weekend, and was so terribly disappointed in the movie. There was just so much that seemed changed for no good reason at all. It was like the scriptwriter had read the book ten years ago and wrote from memory.

    I do not like that Dunstan was made out to be a rebel who crossed the wall for curiosity. I do not like the insert of “babylon candles are dark magic” bit that never got followed through on. I also hated (HATED) that Tristran got the slave-chain from his dad, who took it from Una. WTF?

    And don’t even get me started on the pointles elimination of the beauty of the May/December Monday romance that got replaced by a flouncy pretty boy. Grrr.

    Bry loved it, but then, has not read the book. Me? I though tit was pretty, but I found myself distracted by the differences. Maybe you’re right: a second viewing might just be in order.

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