VIDEO: Stardust (2007)

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This week, Ursa discusses Movie!Tristan, Boring Normal Guy Heroes, fantastical characters, and why Tristan fails as our Harry Potter-esque Everyman With A Destiny. Also, Robert DeNiro wears some really interesting dresses.

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  • Jonathan Campbell


    I’ve not seen this movie all the way through but I’ve seen bits and pieces and…honestly, I think the whole thing is kind of generic.

    Yes, the other characters are more interesting than the hero, but I didn’t find them that interesting in the first place. They all seemed very much like archetypes (evil prince; evil witches- who are of course not at all like the witches out of Hocus Pocus, nosiree-; sky captain- crossdressing does not make him interesting, it just makes the story…mildly progressive). The hero is the Everyman through and through, with little to add.

    Part of the difference between Tristan and the likes of Harry Potter is that Harry had seven books to develop over; the fact that Tristan went from ordinary Joe to “turns out he’s the king” over the course of a single book just highlights that this is…just another fantasy story, following a pretty standard formula, with maybe a couple of minor twists and a bit of humour.

    I don’t think an of the cast really turned in that great of a performance, something I would put down to dialogue and story and script, given the cast involved. Maybe it does have a few good lines here and there, but from my (admittedly pitiful) recollection, nothing stands out. It was all kind of bland comedy that elicited zero laughs from me. And when I first saw the trailer for this movie, I was interested, but when I finally saw it on TV it quickly lost my interest.

    Really, I found the whole thing just kind of….average.

    And I think it was almost intentional- an attempt to make A Stock Fantasy Movie.

    I dunno- maybe the book is better. But from my memory…yes, Tristan was probably the blandest- what doesn’t help him is that the actor is simply less famous / talented than Clare Danes, Mark Strong, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert de Niro- which, to me, just highlights how stock character everyone is, that the most interesting thing about them is that they are played by famous and talented people….oh, and Ricky Gervais (rimshot) – but, I don’t think ANY character stood out for me.

    I think if I came for anyone it was probably Michelle Pfeiffer, since from the trailers she looked like she was having fun and I hadn’t seen her in movies in a while- but honestly, seeing the movie, even she was just ever…okay.

    The movie is….only ever okay.

    In my humble opinion.

    • Thomas Stockel

      The movie isn’t bad, IMO, but I recommend you read the book. Neil Gaiman is an awesome author.

      • Jonathan Campbell


        And watch for that matter. And do.

        Oh why oh why do I procrastinate so?

  • MichaelANovelli

    DeNiro in a dress alone is worth the cost of admission!

  • MalteseLizzieMcGee

    Good points. Yeah, you’re right: I do not watch this film for Tristan. He doesn’t really achieve his position as king, an he isn’t that interesting. But luckily there’s so much else to enjoy about this film, so it’s a favourite of mine

  • Pratchettgaiman

    I remember Tristran being a bit more interesting in the book. However, I thought Tristan was fine in the movie and the whole scene where he severely outclasses Victoria’s suitor in fencing is as distinct a scene as any other in the movie.

  • Thomas Stockel

    I don’t deny Tristian is a pretty bland character, but that seems to be the case with most POV characters it seems. Harry Potter always came across as more boring than Hermione and Ron. Same goes for Luke Skywalker, who always seemed eclipsed by the characters around him. The reason why I classify Tristian as a POV character is we’re largely learning about this bizarre fantasy world largely through his eyes.

    • Sofie Liv

      Well, there are always exceptions.

      Like “Rincewind.” in Disc world whom is a hillarious character in the midst of a freakish world, actually most of Terry Pratchetts main characters are surprisingly entertaining X)

      Most Anime characters tend to have pretty big personalities.

      But yeah, in here, Tristan mostly just served his function of being the innocent hero going on a heroes journey to become a man, a very archetypical character whom can be very likeable but is rarely the most interesting thing in the story.
      It’s fine though, as long as the story is fine and there’s a reason for the character to be like that, going on a heroes journey and stuff. I’m cool with it.

      I highly enjoy this movie simply for it to be a classical fairytale movie not trying to be a parody or anything, but just a straight up fairytale movie going for it one hundred percent :)

      • Jonathan Campbell

        It might not have been a parody “per say”, but it definitely had some self-referential humour in it, and made fun of some traditional tropes. I wouldn’t say it was just a straight fairy tale.

        From my very, very vague memories of it, anyway.