le 3 octobre 2015
STARDUST  [Blu-ray] [US Release] Downright Magical! Truly Original! A Lot of Fun!
Scheming princes wicked witches flying pirates celestial love a pure-hearted hero all in a magical land. “What more do you want?” raves Today's Gene Shalit for ‘STARDUST,’ an epic adventure starring Claire Danes with Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro.
In hopes of wooing a beautiful girl [Sienna Miller] Tristan [Charlie Cox] promises to bring her a falling star. But he's in for the adventure of his life when he discovers the star is actually a celestial beauty named Yvaine [Claire Danes].
When an old witch Lamia [Michelle Pfeiffer] attempts to steal Yvaine's youth and Tristan must protect her at all costs. This magical fairy-tale like no other, will make you laugh out loud and believe in love again. Narrator Sir Ian McKellen.
FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: 2007 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards: Won: Overlooked Film Of The Year: ‘STARDUST.’ 2008 34th Annual Saturn Awards: Nominated: Best Fantasy Film for ‘STARDUST.’ Nominated: Best Supporting Actress for Michelle Pfeiffer. Nominated: Best Costume for Sammy Sheldon. 2008 Empire Awards: Won: Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy for ‘STARDUST.’ 2008 GLAAD Media Awards: Won: Outstanding Film for Wide Release for ‘STARDUST.’ 2008 Hugo Awards: Won: Best Dramatic Presentation in Long Form for Jane Goldman (screenplay), Matthew Vaughn (screenplay/director), Neil Gaiman (based on the novel), Charles Vess (illustrator).
Cast: Sir Ian McKellen (Narrator voice), Bimbo Hart, Alastair MacIntosh, David Kelly, Ben Barnes, Kate Magowan, Melanie Hill, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Henry Cavill, Nathaniel Parker, Darby Hawker, Frank Ellis, Peter O'Toole, Mark Strong, Jason Flemyng, Mark Heap, Struan Rodger, Rupert Everett, David Walliams, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Adam Buxton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Sarah Alexander, Joanna Scanlan, George Innes, Jake Curran, Grant Burgin, Mark Williams, Olivia Grant, Coco Sumner, Dexter Fletcher, Robert De Niro, Terry Murphy, Ricky Gervais, Geoff Bell, Mark Burns, Rab Affleck, Elwin 'Chopper' David, Adam Fogerty, Jordan Long, Spencer Wilding, Lasco Atkins (uncredited), James Fiddy (uncredited), Philip Harvey (uncredited), Phil Mulryne (uncredited), and Fuschia Sumner (uncredited)
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Producers: Chantal Feghali, David Womark, Kris Thykier, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Matthew Vaughn, Michael Dreyer, Neil Gaiman, Peter Morton, Stephen Marks and Tarquin Pack
Screenplay: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn and Neil Gaiman (novel)
Composer: Ilan Eshkeri
Cinematography: Ben Davis
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 5.1 Dolby Digital, German: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Italian: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Running Time: 127 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: Outside the English village of Wall, there's a portal that leads to a magical kingdom known as Stormhold. In this world of the fantastical, the king is on his deathbed. Although he's had no less than seven sons to ensure the continuation of his royal bloodline, they've all been raised to be as ruthless as necessary in their quest to claim the throne... up to and not excluding murdering their brothers. As a result, only two have survived the test of time and luck, but the king insists that the once “conventional” methods of climbing to the top will no longer be necessary, as he has a different test in mind for them. Using the last bit of strength he has, the king sends a ruby deep into the night sky and informs his sons that the first to recover the ruby will be the new king. It collides with a star and sends it crashing to the Earth in a magnificent show of light.
Unfortunately for the royal brothers charged with the quest, this quickly gains the attention of others, making this a bigger hassle than even their father had anticipated it to be. A trio of old and decrepit witches enter the race and Michelle Pfeifer the most notable of the bunch, but they seek not the ruby, just the star itself. Devouring the heart of a star promises youth and rejuvenated power, so they'll stop at nothing to get to it first. Meanwhile in the plain and magic free village of Wall, a young man by the name of Tristan Thorne [Charlie Cox] also sees the star fall from the sky. In an attempt to win the heart of a girl he so desperately loves, Tristan Thorne promises to retrieve the star in time for her birthday. Little does he know that the star he's set out to find is not only a living being, but a very beautiful girl that would introduce herself as Yvaine, the fallen star [Claire Danes]. Despite the surprise awaiting Tristan in the impact crater however, he's still determined to bring his 'true love' in Wall the star for her birthday. Needless to say, Yvaine isn't thrilled about being used as a trinket in a love game, but once she learns there are others out there that wish to extinguish her life for their own personal gain, her outlook on the situation changes drastically.
However, the central plot is only part of what makes 'STARDUST' such a fun-filled fantasy flick. For example, did you ever imagine Robert De Niro would ever take the role of Captain Shakespeare, the man in charge of commanding a flying pirate ship? That's humorous enough, but there's more to Captain Shakespeare than meets the eye. His rough and tough exterior is only a façade to hold the respect of his crew, but there's a secret he's hiding that you're just going to have to see to believe. I guarantee you'll bust a gut laughing once you do, because you've never seen Robert De Niro like this!
Ricky Gervais also makes a few brief appearances to add a little more comical spice to the mix. I could go on, but all that really needs to be said is this 'Stardust' has it all. Adventure, fantasy, drama, comedy, suspense, you name it. The real joy of 'STARDUST' however, lies within its romantically driven coming of age story. Tristan may have left the village of Wall thinking he knew what it meant to love, but stepping into the Kingdom of Stormhold and finding a beautiful woman named Yvaine, the fallen star [Claire Danes] at the bottom of a charred crater changes everything.
Wit, honour, and courage are tested at every turn, and the true meaning of love begins to reveal itself in the place he least expected to find it. I know this sounds like it's just another exhaustive story element on top of everything else, but this is the anchor of the film as a whole. The 'coming of age' does seem a little quick considering most of the movie takes place over the course of a week, but the budding relationship between Tristan Thorn [Charlie Cox] and Yvaine, the fallen star [Claire Danes] is as natural as they come and makes this film a great choice for your next date night.
There were plenty of great films in 2007 that deserved the acclaim they got, but for my money, ‘STARDUST’ has the best replay value of them all. The film isn't without some pacing issues in the first half hour or so, but once the stage is set, every remaining minute of ‘STARDUST’ consistently remains one of the best around and make sure you see ‘STARDUST’ at some point in the very near future as it will be well worth it.
Blu-ray Video Quality – 'STARDUST' falls onto the Blu-ray disc with a handsome and sturdy, but not jaw-dropping, 1080p transfer. It's hard to find a glaring weakness in the image, even if, at times, blacks become a bit too absorbing, colours tend towards the warm end of the spectrum, noise flutters around the background, a few elements go a bit too soft, and some scenes take on something of an unnatural digital sheen. Generally, though, Paramount Pictures transfer captures a nicely filmic image; Stardust's depth of field is impressive, it retains a layer of film grain, and it never appears riddled with unsightly debris or print damage. Detailing is moderately strong across the board as seen in woven clothing, the texturing of skin, and a pebbly dirt road, among other elements seen throughout the film. Colours are strong, appearing vibrant but neutral during bright daytime scenes and more subdued but still natural and pleasant when lit only by candle, campfire, or moonlight. The 1080p transfer brings out a few warts in the special effects, notably in Captain Shakespeare's flying pirate ship, but the benefits of the high definition presentation far outweigh any such negatives. Fans should be pleased with Paramount's effort on Stardust, but it's not quite up to the same level of excellence as the studio's best efforts.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – 'STARDUST' debuts on Blu-ray with a high quality 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. There's little to this track at first, surround effects are minimal and music doesn't play with much vigour, but as the adventure gains steam, so too does the soundtrack. The score plays as incredibly large and spacious, even without an aggressive back-channel support element. Bass is oftentimes heavy and potent but not lacking in precision; Shakespeare's ship rumbles through the soundstage with plenty of heft in tow. The track does capture some distinctive surround elements that are delivered with pinpoint placement and help open up the soundstage to capture the sheer magnitude of the picture's scope and sense of adventure. The final action sequence is demo-worthy all the way, combining all of the track's positives into one extended listen that's sure to please both the most ardent Stardust fan and the most demanding audiophile alike. Rounded out by clean, precise, and centre-focused dialogue, Paramount's Stardust soundtrack is a worthy companion to a grand Fantasy/Adventure Fairy Tale.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Audio Commentary: Commentary is with Mathew Vaughn and his co-writer and frequent collaborator Jane Goldman: Jane Goldman co-wrote 'Kick-Ass' and 'X-Men: First Class' and I really loved the track. Interesting titbits, especially how they had to digitally add a shirt to a character, since if they were shirtless it would be too suggestive for a PG-13 and it should be said the effect is pretty seamless; the trick of turning blood different colours; and how they had to replace their original closing credits song "Starman" by David Bowie and with an original song from the group Take That. Anyway, this commentary is highly recommended.
Special Feature: Crossing the Wall: The Making of STARDUST:  [1080p] This exhaustive documentary you can watch all at once or, more smartly, you can break it down into individual sections and watch it that way. There's “The Quest for the Stone” [5:25] This is about the initial task and it really is a task of translating Neil Gaiman's illustrated novel into some sort of semi-coherent script form; “A Portal to Another World” [9:02] This looks at the more nuts-and-bolts problems that came with launching the production for the big screen; “What Do Stars Do?” [15:24] This is about casting, yawn; “A Quest of Enormous Importance...” [9:20] This looks at the on-location shooting and there's a great bit filmed near a glacier somewhere; and “Have You Seen a Fallen Star?” [16:17] This is about the film's often complicated special effects. This stuff is all, pardon the pun, stellar, and worth watching either piecemeal or in one big gulp.
Special Feature: Nothing Is True  [1080p] [10:00] In this brief 10 minute documentary, Neil Gaiman and his illustrator, Charles Vess, prowls through a studio back lot while lamenting about elements of the book that were understandably cut. Five minutes of deleted scenes include an odd alternate ending featuring Charley Cox in old age makeup and more mugging from the ghostly Greek chorus.
Deleted Scenes  [5:32] We have five in total presented to us. They are pretty funny, entertaining and totally well worth watching.
Special Feature: Blooper Reel  [1080p] [5:25] This is pretty much your average roll of outtakes except This is an absolute treat and they even end things by showings us they somehow managed to destroy a camera by crashing into a tree and this one is actually hilarious. The biggest missed opportunity on this disc is the all-too-brief blooper reel, which should have included the complete unedited outtakes from the improvised routine between Robert De Niro and Ricky Gervais, which offers ample evidence that they may very well be the next great comic duo. Martin Scorsese, I hope you are listening? TOTALLY CLASSIC!
Theatrical Trailer  [1080p] [2:29] This is the Original Theatrical Trailer for ‘STARDUST’ in glorious high definition.
Finally, Other than some pacing issues in the first hour, 'STARDUST' proves itself a success of storytelling even considering its recycled plot elements. The film is flat-out fun; it is big, adventurous, and plays with a nice mixture of humour, a lot of heart, and heroics antics. The special effects are fine, the acting is good even if the characters are a bit one-dimensional, and Matthew Vaughn's direction is effectively steady. 'STARDUST' is a modern-day fan favourite, and while it may not be destined to nestle up against some of the best Fantasy/Adventure/Fairy Tale pictures of all time, it's a fine movie in its own right and is well worth a watch. 'STARDUST' on Blu-ray yields strong picture and sound qualities and a fair assortment of extra content and that is why I am so glad I have added this to my ever increasing Blu-ray Collection. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
le 5 avril 2013
Avant les (anti-)héros de Kick-Ass ou les mutants d'X-Men, Matthew Vaughn s'attaquait aux contes avec Stardust, un roman de Neil Gaiman.
Stardust, comme tout conte qui se respecte, c'est avant tout une formidable aventure sous forme de voyage initiatique ; Ou comment Tristan Thorn (la révélation Charlie Cox), un jeune paysan, se met en tête de ramener une étoile tombée du ciel pour les beaux yeux de la vaniteuse Victoria (Sienna Miller - excellente en garce manipulatrice), hélas déjà promise à un autre. Mais, évidemment, les choses ne sont pas si simples et l'étoile en question a pris forme humaine en arrivant sur Terre, sous les traits de la belle Yvaine (Claire Danes, qui tient son meilleur rôle depuis Stage Beauty, en 2004). Les voilà tous deux embarqués dans un monde fantastique, celui de Stormhold, où la magie et le danger sont omniprésents.
Porté par une pléiade d'acteurs talentueux, effets spéciaux grandioses, paysages et décors somptueux, ce récit d'aventures merveilleuses s'inscrit donc dans la grande tradition des films féeriques... La grande force de Stardust est avant tout de parler tout aussi bien à ses jeunes spectateurs qu'aux adultes, en partie grâce à son humour et son sens de l'autodérision, omniprésents sans pour autant entraver la progression de l'histoire. Car le voyage de Tristan et Yvaine, s'il se révèle riche en rebondissement, est aussi prétexte à une foule de personnages atypiques mais réussis, surtout lorsque certains acteurs se plaisent à jouer des rôles à contremploi : on pense surtout à Robert de Niro en Capitaine Shakespeare (pirate et travesti à ses heures perdues) ou à Michelle Pfeiffer en vieille sorcière obnubilée par sa jeunesse passée - un sujet plus que jamais d'actualité dans des sociétés où l'apparence physique prime avant toute chose. Du côté de Mur/Wall, le village où Tristan a grandi, Sienna Miller en pimbêche imbue d'elle-même fait des merveilles et l'apparition d'Henry Cavill en noble à la blonde chevelure - à faire pâlir d'envie le Prince Charmant de Shrek - est tout juste reconnaissable !
Sublimé par une BO irréprochable, des magnifiques compositions d'Ilan Eshkeri à la ballade de Take That « Rule the World » en passant par l'utilisation du « cancan » de Jacques Offenbach, Stardust, pour toutes ces raisons et bien plus encore, est sûrement l'adaptation la plus enchanteresse que nous aies offert les années 2000 - et la plus complète, du même coup.
Ignoré à sa sortie en salle, aujourd'hui méconnu, Stardust reste l'un des plus beaux conte de fées jamais transposé sur grand écran, un hommage au rêve et à la fantasy tel que l'avait voulu Neil Gaiman. Réussi de bout en bout, sans la moindre fausse note, Matthew Vaughn signe, avec ce deuxième film, un chef d'aeuvre inouï, savant mélange de poésie, d'humour, de romance et de féérie.