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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Movies: Stardust

I took in an advanced screening of this movie last night, and I must say that it was everything that I expected it would be. I won't go so far as to call it a "rip-off," though there are a couple of threads on the IMDb boards that do just that.
A boy (Charlie Cox) with a mysterious background wants to impress a girl (Sienna Miller) by retrieving a fallen star for here from a magical land. The star is, in fact, a beautiful young woman (Claire Danes), and she is also pursued by a witch (Michelle Pfeiffer) who wants to cut out her heart to achieve immortality.
By most movie standards, this is an unconventional plot, but for those of us into sci-fi and fantasy, it's a bit of the "same ol', same old."

However, I should also point out that this movie was also considerably more than I expected.
It is immeasurably clever in its dialogue and sight gags. It avoids melodrama and hokeyness. It even dodges most cliches, and, in so doing, elicits quite a few solid belly laughs.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I think Stardust just might be the next Princess Bride. (And from me, that's really saying something.) There's no "Inigo Montoya" speech, but there are a few one-liners you'll be repeating to your friends afterwards.
In a summer sea of "so-so" adventure movies, this one is a breed apart. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to see it for free, but I'd pay to see it again.
Pulled the old "bait-and-switch" on you, didn't I? Well, it keeps me entertained, so I make no apologies.
For the still confused among you: I am recommending this movie. It opens this Friday. Go see it. It would be better, though, if you see a matinee show so that you can still squeeze in an evening performance of one of the currently running live theatrical shows here in town.
Among them:
PHAMALy's Urinetown: The Musical
The Avenue's I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
NextStage's Assassins
Paragon's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Okay, pork chops. All for now. Support local theatre.

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