Flutterby™! : Stardust

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2007-08-13 02:41:40.092172+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

Just went to see the latest Neil Gaiman[Wiki] written movie: Stardust[Wiki]. I don't know how to write a longer piece on its flaws without all sorts of spoilers, but... it had its cute moments, and somewhat likeable characters, but the last half fell into predictable and the ending was a total ewok dance.

Didn't, alas, hold a candle to Mirrormask[Wiki]. Also saw previews to Boewulf[Wiki], and I'm definitely not a fan of the "mid-way between effects and animated movie" genre, and based on how disappointed I was with Stardust[Wiki] that one isn't on my list. Damn.

[ related topics: Animation Movies Neil Gaiman ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: screenshot made: 2007-08-13 05:43:41.488254+00 by: Hanan Cohen

Take a look at the screenshot of my feed reader. This post it there too. I thought it was funny.


#Comment Re: Stardust made: 2007-08-13 08:42:12.227842+00 by: Tom Negrino

On the other hand, we loved it. A lot.

Maybe it's because you're just so darned jaded and cynical, Dan.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-13 10:30:43.86044+00 by: meuon

I've learned that Dan reviews honestly from his point of view. And while I respect it, I sure don't use it as a barometer to see a movie or not. Dan's looking for art, execution and has a trained eye and a perspective gained from being on the edge of the industry. Often I'm looking for "mental floss", a quick escape or alternative reality. To me: "Talladega Nights" was a great ride. "MirrorMask" was a wonderful peek into those twisted mental images lurking on my peripheral subconscious, and "Little Miss Sunshine" a completely enjoyable road trip.

I often think of Dan's reviews after I've seen a movie he's talked about, and think "Yes, I can see why Dan said that... and I got my moneys worth and had fun". But then, we have yet to see "Shrek III" or "Transformers".. been too busy.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-13 15:26:34.735324+00 by: Dan Lyke

Warning: I'm trying to avoid spoilers, but...

I could buy the "jaded and cynical" part. When Yvaine was headed towards the wall, Charlene leaned over to me and said "I'm so over this sort of story", and I had to agree. She had, at that point, really done nothing more than Victoria to create any sort of impression of why she was the right person for Tristran. We'd seen something of his transformation, but she was still just cute arm candy, misinterpreting words in the worst possible codependent way in order to heighten the dramatic tension.

At least that's my jaded and cynical take.

However, in the final showdown with Lamia there were giggles and laughter in the theater because the drama of the characters just wasn't carrying. The audience I was watching the film with had acknowledged that we knew how this was going to end, but, yes, we had to have one more extension of the fight, except that because this character had been played for laughs previously that extension was melodrama rather than drama.

I think Gaiman is at his best when he's doing dark introspection. Neither Tristran nor Yvaine was dark. Una could have been, but she was, at best, a prop. Even Dunstan had no real depth to him.

And perhaps it's that I grew up on the original Grimm's, and maybe it's that I'm a cynic, but I far prefer "...and if they have not died, they are still alive" to "happily ever after" when my fairy tales end. It just fits my experience of the world better.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-13 19:23:54.585444+00 by: topspin

Maybe I'm missing something, Dan, but if I went to a fairy tale movie like Stardust (which I most likely won't,) I'd be rather pissed (or worried about myself) if it DID fit my experience of the world.

Fairy tales, even Grimm's bloody originals, are mostly "happily ever after" suspensions of reality. Characters, as I recall, are drawn like soap-opera foils.... good or evil.... and the only transformation that occurs is the bad guy gets killed (and sometimes, if you're lucky, tortured.)

Ya know, Rapunzel lets folks climb her hair and has magical tears. I gotta take LOTS of 'shrooms to meet a woman like that around here....

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-13 20:17:30.691536+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, but the stories only have meaning to me if I can map their responses back on to my own, if I can empathize with the characters. I can care what happens to a talking rat as long as that rat's experience of his world echoes my own, if the rat has drive and purpose and has reactions to situations that I'd like to have. Tales of inherited wealth, bumbling luck, and romantic love based on little more than physical proximity fall flat.

In defense of Stardust[Wiki], though, I also loathe Romeo & Juliet[Wiki] as the tale of two hormone driven teenagers who were too stupid to live, so there are many classic love stories with which I do not connect.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-14 06:29:05.922766+00 by: topspin

Dan, I'm with you on not feeling it for Shakespeare's teen lovers. Perhaps you can get into Lou Reed's take on the concept of star crossed lovers in a war zone.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-14 14:10:57.107356+00 by: Dan Lyke

Giggle. So down at the bottom of that, the Google ad read:

Falling In Love

How to make someone fall in love with you immediately? Try this.