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Stardust - fantasy DVD / family DVD review
STARDUST rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 5 stars
Actors: Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sienna Miller
Director: Matthew Vaughn   Studio: Paramount
DVD release: 18 December 2007   Runtime: 127 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Audio tracks - English, French, Spanish (5.1 Surround, Dolby Digital), Subtitles (English, French, Spanish), "Good Omens: The Making of Stardust," Deleted Scenes, Bloopers, Theatrical Trailer

In the Victorian hamlet of Wall lives awkward shop boy Tristan (Charlie Cox). In his desire to woo Victoria (Sienna Miller) from the hands of another, Tristan promises to retrieve the fallen star they see one night. Victoria adds the condition that he must return in a week's time. The star has fallen in the kingdom of Stormhold, a magical realm just over the wall from the rest of the non-magical world in which Tristan and Victoria live. Tristan arrives quickly by magical means and discovers that the star is, in the magical world, a beautiful woman named Yvaine (Claire Danes). No matter; he intends to drag her back to Victoria to win her hand.

The fallen star has also attracted the attention of two other parties. Three witches (the twisted, haggy kind) led by Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) seek to use Yvaine's extracted heart to restore their youth and beauty. Three princes seek the star to determine who among them will be king; Yvaine was in fact knocked from the sky when the King of Stormhold (Peter O'Toole) cast the family ruby out the window in an effort to inspire his offspring to kill one another over the throne. He's not the family-values type, obviously.

Stardust offers a beautiful magic world that's not difficult to love. It doesn't spend a lot of time dwelling on the gee-whiz aspects of the witchcraft and wizardry, and that makes it more accessible. There's no learning curve to this film.

Robert DeNiro's Captain Shakespeare character is excellent. He's a sky pirate of sorts, capturing lightning in his blimp/ship, and I assure you that he's all man. His bartering with Ferdy the Fence (Ricky Gervais) is priceless.

There is some fantasy violence, the MPAA tells us, but no more than you'd find in Snow White or Pinnochio. I'd recommend this film for interested families as long as the young ones aren't too easily frightened. This new fairy tale takes its place beside The Princess Bride and will enjoy many a repeat viewing.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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