Stardust (2007)

(In theaters, August 2007) Now here’s a charming little film that will fly under most people’s radar. A hybrid of romance, fantasy and adventure (call it a fairy tale for grown-ups), Stardust takes a while to get going and isn’t without dumb plot contrivances regarding walls, distances and magic, but it keeps building as it goes on, and eventually starts hitting all of its targets. The dialogue is amusing, the actors generally go well (although Michelle Pfeiffer gets all of the attention with a rare alluring role for a woman on the verge of fifty), the special effects do their job and the entire film is powered on charm. The final act is where it all comes together, with enough swash-buckling and romance to satisfy everyone. It would have been better had it been shorter, but it’s decent enough and should reach its intended audience once it hits the DVD market. In the meantime, fantasy audiences and Neil Gaiman fans won’t regret seeing this adaptation.

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