August 17, 2007

I rarely watch newer releases so it occurs to me that I should warn about potential spoilers, for those of you who haven’t seen the movie yet. I know paid reviewers can write a long review of a movie without revealing plot points, however when I like to pick at a movie it’s quite hard to do so without detailing specific parts.

Some of the comments my husband made about the movie as we left was that if it was like The Princess Bride, Tristan (Tristran?) would have ended up with Victoria instead. After all, The Princess Bride started out the same way. A poor boy in love with a beautiful girl above his station, so he sets out to get a fortune that would unite them in marriage. And Buttercup was an absolute bitch to him for most of the movie as well. Maybe the lesson was, Love doesn’t come easy, it takes a lot of work. He also mentioned that comic book stories Neil Gaiman writes don’t seem to translate to movies very well. It happened to Mirrormask too. The problem seems to be with the pacing. In the airship montage, it seems like months go by as the captain teaches them fencing, dancing, how to play piano, ect. But in reality the entire movie is just a week, and the montage ruins the whole timeline.

There was quite a bit of comedy throughout the movie, even in such tense scenes as the final showdown between Tristan and the evil witch. Again, it seemed a throwback to the fantasy style of The Princess Bride, except with fewer witty quotes. I think they might have gone a bit too far with it though, distracting from the escapism of a fantasy film.

I’m not quite sure if the plot points along the way were supposed to be a surprise or not. I figured out from the beginning that Tristan was the son of the lost princess, and in fairy-tale style he would become the next king. It kind of ruined it for me, to be so formulaic. I didn’t have to worry about the characters so much because I knew everything would turn out ok. It probably would have been better had Tristan’s mom not told his dad right away she was a princess, then it could have been a little bit more of a surprise.

Despite it’s various shortcomings and the difficulty the movie will have in getting out of the shadow of The Princess Bride, it’s definitely better than anything else out there right now. Harry Potter would be a much more enjoyable series to watch if it had the “magic” that Stardust had. I hope that further Neil Gaiman movie translations will continue to improve from here.


One comment

  1. Your reviews are great, I keep coming back to this blog to find new movies that I should go watch. I submitted it to digg so hopefully more people will be able to find this hidden internet gem:


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