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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Comedy > Stardust (HD-DVD & DVD-Video)

Stardust (HD-DVD & DVD-Video)


Picture: B+/B-     Sound: B+/B-     Extras: C-     Film: D



The overblown Fantasy genre continues to go into spectacular decline and at great expense.  This time, it is Matthew Vaughn, returning from obscurity after Layer Cake (reviewed elsewhere on this site) was followed up by several abandoned projects and controversies about if he was even working on some projects.  Stardust is the remarkably boring story about a young man Charles Cox who goes on a quest (oh no, not again!!!) to bring a beautiful young lady (we will not argue over Sienna Miller) a falling star.


Too bad he did not find a good script.


The otherwise clever Neil Gaiman actually wrote the original novel this film is based on, but you can tell it has been Hollywoodized, revised, gutted, sanded down and made into a dippy, silly, infantile comedy and co-adapted by Vaughn.  Though I still wish he directed X-Men 3 over who finally did, this reminds me he might still have an uneven film.  The budget has the room for sets, digital effects, Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfieffer, Claire Danes, Rupert Everett and a once-again-wasted Peter O’Toole in his worst role since Caligula.  Saddest of all, the Bob Guccione disaster (also reviewed on this site) was more watchable, XXX garbage aside.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was actually shot in real anamorphic Panavision by Ben Davis, but is too often too plastered with digital effects to notice.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD look good for its 480-line limit, but both do benefit in parts simply by not being shot in lesser Super 35mm film.  The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix on the HD and regular Dolby 5.1 on the DVD can be lively and are what you would expect form a big budget production, but nothing more and nothing memorable.  Ilan Eshkeri’s score is not memorable either.


Extras include blooper reel, deleted scenes, making of featurette and trailer, which is HD on the HD-DVD.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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