Stardust Matthew Vaughn

Stardust Matthew Vaughn
Rarely is a film capable of kindling such innocent delight and awe for magic and adventure. Rarer sill is the story that can explore many of the most cherished and familiar elements of fantasy lore and present them with originality and subversive moral humour. Matthew Vaughn does a great job of reverently rendering Neil Gaiman’s tale of the bumbling but brave Tristan (a geekishly charming Charlie Cox), citizen of the English town of Wall, and his misguided quest to win the heart of his dream bitch, the vapid Victoria (Sienna Miller), by retrieving a fallen star. Complications arise when Tristan discovers that nothing is what it seems in the magical land on the other side of the wall, and the fallen star he seeks turns out to be a beautiful young woman named Yvaine (Claire Danes), instead of a lump of space rock. Adding to the adventure is a coven of animal-gut divining witches led by the treacherous Lamia (a gleefully scene chewing Michelle Pheiffer), who seek the heart of the star for their own nefarious purposes, and a race for the throne of Stormhold, led by the murderous prince Septimus, and observed by the wisecracking ghosts of his dead brothers. Hilariously villainous as Septimus, Mark Strong turns in one of the film’s many memorable supporting roles, along with Robert DeNiro and Ricky Gervais. It would have been great to see more outtakes from their bartering scene improvising, especially since the cast and crew talk about how long the two veterans went on for in the excellent "making of” feature. Where most "making of” features digress into repetitive interviews and recycled footage, "Good Omens” doesn’t waste a moment in its extensive examination of the filmmaking process, including valuable input from writer Neil Gaimen. If there was a director’s commentary track, the special features accompanying Stardust would be among the best I’ve seen assembled on a single disc release. Deleted scenes, including an extended ending, are quality, and were likely cut because of length, and it’s hilarious to learn through the blooper reel that Claire Danes has a mouth that would put a sailor to shame. (Paramount)