As soon as I started seeing billboards for this movie I knew it was going to flop hard. Splut. It friggin looked like they were marketing a new cheesy magic show in Vegas (or even Atlantic City). Stardust? Really? That's the title? And the TV ads made things even less good. Star heavy. Messy. Unnecessary Deniro-ing. Pfeiffer playing a witch... again. Yippee. Been there done that 3x. On top of it, I rarely dig movies like this at all. I don't like romantic fantasylands with brit accents. I sometimes have a physical reaction to them that can only be described as cinematic nausea. I see the sets. I see costumes and fake noses. I think about the actors getting all decked out. I get annoyed by the coincidences. They're not scary enough. I usually can't even follow them. On the totem poll of 'my kind of movie' this genre of flick falls pretty low down. Somewhere just above ephronic chick flicks and movies with live-action talking animals.
That being said, needless to say but I'll say anyway, I went in with fairly low expectations. After suffering through a series of awful awful previews that blurred out into some blah swarm of King Arthury/Beowolf/Swordfighter flicks that are on the way. (All those previews ran way too long and gave off the stink of fried money, flop sweat and ego.) This movie finally started up and I was immediately tortured. As soon as we panned up into the stars-- which formed the movie title "STARDUST" --in stars. I started to get very scared that I was going to be pummeled delirious with lame fairies, sparkly sprinkles, green fireballs, and cackling witchcrud. I considered the possibility of quickly skipping out into my own personal fantasyland-- called Asleep.
For the first 10 minutes I was pretty much staring at Stardust with my arms folder. Half-bored. Disliking all the actors. Nitpicking at the bad logic. (ex. An old man has been guarding a wall to a netherworld for 50 years. He's stationed next to a big gaping hole in the wall --but it never dawns on him to fix the hole?) Being a jerk to the movie basically. Shoving it around. But after 15 minutes went by, my arms started to relax. I let my guard down and got interested. I noticed the movie was moving at a good pace. Real-deal momentum. I cut slack for some stuff that usually bothers me and started building a respect for the imagination of it all. And not too far into it I found it difficult to bob and weave away from the fact that I was straight out liking this flick. It was winning. Hitting me with slappy girl punches-- and I didn't mind.
Sure, there's some stuff in there that I rolled my eyes at. A stretch of dialogue here and there that might as well have been a prolonged fart of fairy dust that smelt like grated cheese. And the rhythm was slightly off throughout where it just felt like it was going too long the whole time. But whatever! With friggin 30 minutes left I had to pee way bad but refused to make the dash. The movie was all wrapping up too nicely and I didn't want to miss a thing. I ignored the pee pressure as best I could and made it till the end. The second the credits rolled I ran to the bathroom and fumbled with my fly in a panic and peed what might have been the longest pee I ever peed in the history of all my pee pees. Must have been minutes! Seriously. It just kept going. I couldn't believe it.
It was almost..... magical.
Three Good Things about This Movie
- The dead brother ghosts.
- I dug the idea of a pirate ship that flies the skies catching lightning.
- It wrapped up realllly corny nice. I was sort of touched. And it has a good winky joke.
Three Bad Things about This Movie
- I thought Deniro (blessed be he) was an unfortunate miscast and distracting
- Claire Danes wasn't 'otherworldly' enough and her face looked weird alot.
- Not enough Ricky Gervais. Ever.
All and all, if you think there's nothing in the theater to see. There actually is! This movie is much better than it looks. I walked out feeling happy stunned about the fact that I really did dig it and understood it. But I was also angry at whoever marketed this flick because it really deserved much better than the half-assed dumptruck advertising it received. Marketing bastard ball droppers! You hucked handfuls of License to Wed glop in my face for months while ignoring this flick just because it's a hard sell? Dopes. Now you got two big fat flops on your hands. Happy now? Next time do your job...
PS. Thanks to my chickie friend who convinced me we should maybe see this flick-- and not Bourne (which I still do wanna see).