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"STARDUST"
(2007) (Charlie Cox, Claire Danes) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Moderate Extreme *Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Extreme None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Mild Moderate *Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Adventure/Fantasy: Various characters try to find a fallen star, that's taken the form of a human woman, and use her for their own purposes.
PLOT:
Long ago, a young villager by the name of Dunstan (NATHANIEL PARKER) snuck across the barrier separating his home of Wall from a mythical place known as Stormhold. There, he discovered a menagerie of exotic peoples and creatures, including a witch by the name of Ditchwater Sal (MELANIE HILL) who's enslaved Princess Una (KATE McGOWAN) as her servant. A one-night stand between her and Dustan results in a baby. Eighteen years later, young Tristran (CHARLIE COX) lives in Wall and is enamored with Victoria (SIENNA MILLER), but she's likely to marry Humphrey (HENRY CAVILL). That is, unless he can retrieve a recently fallen star and return it to her, in which case she'll be his.

Accordingly, he cross the same barrier his father did so many years ago, and eventually finds the star, now in the human form of Yvaine (CLAIRE DANES). She's reluctant to return with him, particularly because she's just a romantic bounty to him, but little do they realize others are after her as well.

With the King of Stormhold (PETER O'TOOLE) having recently died, his opportunistic sons -- including Primus (JASON FLEMYNG) and Septimus (MARK STRONG) -- are in search of a special ruby that knocked Yvaine from the sky. Whoever ends up possessing it will ascend to the throne, and they figure that if they find the fallen star, they'll find it. Yet, with all of them inheriting their father's ruthless way of dispatching sibling rivals, it's anyone's guess as to who will end up with it.

At the same time, old sisterly witches Lamie (MICHELLE PFEIFFER), Empusa (SARAH ALEXANDER), and Mormo (JOANNA SCANLAN) have learned of the fallen star, and know that if they cut out and eat her heart, they'll have eternal youth and beauty. Accordingly, Lamie sets out to find Yvaine, and will do anything in her arsenal of power to capture her.

With all of that in play, Tristran finds himself torn as he begins to be attracted to Yvaine. But as he tries to figure out which woman is his true love, he must not only contend with the others who are also after the fallen star, but also Captain Shakespeare (ROBERT DE NIRO) and his motley crew of an old rigger that flies through the sky, capturing lightning for resale to the likes of shady trader Ferdy the Fence (RICKY GERVAIS).

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into fantasy-based films, or are fans of anyone in the cast, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some fantasy violence and risqué humor.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CHARLIE COX plays a young villager who so wants Victoria to be his that he promises her a fallen star. He then finds Yvaine and tries to return her to his would-be love, but must overcome various obstacles along the way, including him falling for Yvaine (with whom it's implied he has sex).
  • CLAIRE DANES plays the fallen star, now in human form, who initially doesn't want to go along with him, mainly because he sees her as just a means to get Victoria. She eventually changes her mind to the point of presumably having sex with him.
  • ROBERT DE NIRO plays a sky pirate with a reputation for being rough and mean, but that really hides his closeted effeminacy, including his desire to dress like a cancan dancer. He captures and then sells electricity for a living, and helps Tristran and Yvaine in their quest.
  • MICHELLE PFEIFFER plays an old and unattractive witch who will do anything in her magical powers to get the fallen star that will ensure her eternal youth and beauty.
  • MARK STRONG plays a ruthless prince who will do anything to get the ruby that Yvaine possesses, as it will mean his ascension to the throne.
  • JASON FLEMYNG plays his brother who's after the same thing for the same reason.
  • SIENNA MILLER plays the object of Tristran's affection who gives him a short amount of time to bring her the fallen star lest she marry Humphrey.
  • HENRY CAVILL plays her suitor, a conceited bully who torments Tristran.
  • PETER O'TOOLE plays the dying King of Stormhold.
  • MELANIE HILL plays the witch who's enslaved Una and treats her badly.
  • NATHANIEL PARKER plays Tristran's father who, many years ago, had a one-night stand with Una.
  • KATE McGOWAN plays the princess enslaved by Ditchwater Sal who had casual sex with Dustan back then and then left the resultant baby for him to raise.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this fantasy/adventure film that's been rated PG-13. A handful of minor expletives are uttered, as are some colorful phrases, while non-explicit, but sexually related dialogue is present. Several sexual encounters occur off camera (one resulting in a baby), varying amounts of cleavage are seen, a male ghost is seen fully nude (but objects and camera angles prevent full frontal nudity), and a woman's full nudity occurs just off camera. A rugged and masculine ship captain turns out to be a closet cross-dresser and his sexual orientation is in question.

    Violence includes characters killing (by various means) or otherwise fighting and striking others, and some of that has bloody results (mostly played for comedy), while various animals are sacrificed for magical means, and some of the resultant meat and organs are seen. Some of that, other moments of peril, and some visuals might be unsettling, suspenseful or maybe even scary to younger viewers, but probably few if any others.

    Some of the action and other behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate, and various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Some characters drink, and various members of different families die, but the selfish survivors don't seem too upset by that.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there are flashes of that from lightning.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some shaky camerawork when witch powers are enacted, while other bouncy camera movement also occurs.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Ditchwater Sal says she's off to Slaughter a Prince (a pub) "for a pint."
  • Tristran and Victoria have champagne, and then more.
  • A bishop and the King of Stormhold's three remaining sons have a toast with something that's presumably alcoholic. The bishop then keels over dead from poison, as do two of the brothers, but one then shows that he was just faking it.
  • We see Tristran with a bottle, but don't know the contents.
  • Lamie offers wine to Primus, but he says he drinks none but his own (for fearing of being poisoned by others working for his brother).
  • Miscellaneous people drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Prompted by the King of Stormhold, one of his sons pushes another out the castle window. We see him falling a long distance, and we hear but don't see the impact. We do, however, then see his ghost with windblown hair and half of his face slightly smashed. We then see his murdered brothers' ghosts, one with an ax still stuck in his head, while another's face has bad looking scars and missing skin on it (all pale, and all played for comedy).
  • Lamie and her witch sisters grab and cut open a ferret (we don't see the impact) and then pull out its organs to look for signs of a magical message (there's a little bit of blood associated with that, including the witches stating what organs they hold, such as Lamie with the small heart).
  • We see a grilled rabbit that's then chopped in half for food.
  • Lamie's sisters stab into an alligator as part of a magical sacrifice and remove organs and such. We don't see the actual impact, but do see some sinewy but non-bloody guts pulled out from it.
  • Lamie slices a man's neck in a tub, and we then see his partially transparent ghost with a bloody line along his neck and some lines of blood down from that.
  • We see a man, dead in a tub with blue blood around his neck (from Lamie earlier slicing his neck).
  • Lamie accidentally pulls out a large clump of her own hair, as she starts aging again.
  • We see dead animals strung up in Captain Shakespeare's ship.
  • Captain Shakespeare has a bloody nose after Septimus attacks him.
  • Yvaine tells a person that they smell of pee and look like the wrong end of a dog.
  • Lamie battles another, weaker witch with magic vs. magic. We then see the other witch, now sans her head (with flames in its place), as her body bumps into a wall, falls, and then instantly burns up into nothingness, leaving a black mark in the grass.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Those opposed to the thought or use of magic should note that it's present here.
  • Ditchwater Sal has Una enslaved as her servant.
  • Humphrey has a bad and condescending attitude toward Tristran.
  • Victoria butts in line (in front of other customers) at the shop where Tristran works.
  • There's talk that the King of Stormhold killed all of his siblings in order to get that throne, while his sons act the same way.
  • The witches kill and gut various animals for magical signs they believe are contained within them.
  • Tristran puts a magical chain on Yvaine's wrist to try to make her (against her wishes) accompany him back to Victoria.
  • Lamie uses her witch powers to turn a teen farm boy into a goat to help pull her cart.
  • Lamie wants Yvaine's heart in order to have eternal life.
  • After Tristran tells Yvaine to think of home as they use a magic candle to escape from Lamie, they end up floating in the sky (half way between his home and hers). As a result, he says to her, "You stupid cow."
  • After seemingly disposing of Tristran, Captain Shakespeare takes Yvaine to his cabin, faking heterosexuality for his crew while calling Yvaine a "wench" and acting like he's going to have his way with her.
  • We see Captain Shakespeare dancing and prancing about in a cancan dress. When Septimus sees him that way, he says, "Alright, twinkle-toes." Later, Captain Shakespeare's crew sees him that way, with one saying not to worry as "We always knew you were a whoopsy."
  • Ditchwater Sal turns Tristran into a rodent.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed here as well as under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers, but probably few if any others.
  • Dunstan ends up in a magical land on the other side of the village wall, where mini elephants are in cages, and a jar contains eyeballs that are "alive" (and look at him).
  • The sight of Lamie and her similarly old and wrinkled sisters might be unsettling for some younger viewers.
  • Chained to a tree at night, Yvaine is frightened when she hears sounds off in the woods, but it turns out to be a unicorn.
  • We see an artsy flashback to one of Lamie's sisters stabbing and killing the last star (a young woman). We don't see the impact, but do hear her echoey scream.
  • Lamie prepares to grab a wooden knife beneath a bathtub (to use on Yvaine), but a knock at the door interrupts her plan.
  • Lamie slices a man's neck in a tub, and we then see his partially transparent ghost with a bloody line along his neck and some lines of blood down from that.
  • Lamie uses some sort of green tinted magic field to stop Tristran and Yvaine, but they use a magic candle to escape just as Lamie stabs a dagger at them (and hits the wall right after they disappear).
  • Captain Shakespeare holds a knife to Tristran's throat, and we then see an overhead shot from the ship of Tristran's body flying out of the ship and falling to his presumed death. Later, however, we see Tristran alive, and Captain Shakespeare indicates he threw a mannequin out to fool his crew.
  • We see sword fighting, kicking and hitting occurring as Septimus and Captain Shakespeare's crews battle each other. Meanwhile, Septimus has Captain Shakespeare (with a bloody nose) pinned to a desk with a knife raised above him, but then flees and jumps out of the ship when Captain Shakespeare's crew arrives.
  • Tristran runs to stop Yvaine from crossing his village's wall, an act on her part that could lead to her death.
  • Lamie battles another, weaker witch with magic vs. magic. We then see the other witch, now sans her head (with flames in its place), as her body bumps into a wall, falls, and then instantly burns up into nothingness, leaving a black mark in the grass.
  • We see that Lamie sisters have Yvaine and Una.
  • We see that Lamie and her sisters have Yvaine strapped to a table to kill her for promised immortality.
  • Lamie carries a glass cleaver in a menacing fashion.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Knives/Swords/Glass cleaver: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound, or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Lamie prepares to grab a wooden knife beneath a bathtub (to use on Yvaine), but a knock at the door interrupts her plan.
  • Captain Shakespeare and Tristran spar (as training for the latter) with swords.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "That's poppycock," "Cretins," "A magical flying moron," "Oh do shut up," "You idiot," "What the hell /did you do/is this?" "You stupid cow," "Sonny boy," "It's share and share alike," "You impertinent little pup," "You wench," "Hold on, cuddles," "Pond scum," "Oh my word," "Touché," "You two-faced dog," "Brilliant," "What a freak," "We always knew you were a whoopsy" (gay or effeminate man) and "Good riddance to you."
  • Lamie uses her magic to try to act like an innkeeper, including turning a goat into her "husband" (he still has goat tendencies and behavior - and kids may imitate that).
  • Captain Shakespeare acts effeminate about clothes.
  • Captain Shakespeare and Tristran spar (as training for the latter) with swords.
  • Captain Shakespeare has tattoos (or drawings he's put on himself).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful, adventurous, and dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 damns, 2 hells, 3 uses of "Oh my God," 2 of "My God" and 1 use each of "God" and "Godforsaken."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A princess, Una, who claims she's a slave to a witch, passionately kisses Dunstan. When he asks what she wants of him, she leads him back into her carriage and closes the doors. We then hear that nine months later he got a "souvenir" (the infant Tristran) of his visit to her village.
  • Victoria shows a little cleavage.
  • Lamie eats the last remaining bit of a star and suddenly turns into a young beauty. She drops her robe, presumably to full nudity, causing one sister to roll her eyes as Lamie eyes herself in the mirror, apparently liking how her bare butt now looks (we can tell she's nude, but can't see anything explicit).
  • Lamie shows some cleavage.
  • Lamie turns a man into a woman, with the first thing we see being "her" new jiggly breasts in close-up (partially clothed, with cleavage viewable). That "girl" then looks at "her" own cleavage, including touching the upper exposed parts of "her" breasts.
  • Acting like an innkeeper, Lamie invites a soaking wet Yvaine into her lair. She then says they should get Yvaine out of those wet clothes, with the young "woman" there (really a man who Lamie earlier turned into a female) approaching close and smiling over the thought of undressing Yvaine. We don't see that occur, but do see her in a bath (nothing explicit).
  • We see Primus' bare chest as he soaks in a tub. While talking to Yvaine about something else being the largest in the land, he slyly points to the area of water above his crotch (which isn't seen).
  • We see Primus's nude ghost, but just from the torso up.
  • About Yvaine (and feigning heterosexuality), Captain Shakespeare states, "It's share and share alike."
  • After seemingly disposing of Tristran, Captain Shakespeare takes Yvaine to his cabin, faking heterosexuality for his crew while calling Yvaine a "wench" and acting like he's going to have his way with her.
  • When Tristran and Yvaine leave Captain Shakespeare's boat (and to fool his crew), Captain Shakespeare fakes a line to Tristran, "Mind you, don't wear that wench out, Captain Tristran."
  • After using more magic, Lamie's clothed breasts suddenly droop (played for comedy, meaning she's suddenly getting old).
  • To prevent them from being spotted, Tristran suddenly pins Yvaine to the ground (both are clothed, with him on top of her). She then asks if he's tempted, he asks by what, and she replies immortality.
  • Ditchwater Sal shows some cleavage.
  • Yvaine shows some cleavage.
  • We see Yvaine in a tub, but don't see any nudity. We then see her in a towel, which is when she and Tristran passionately kiss. A ghost tells his brothers they have to see that, but the others don't go. We later see Tristran and Yvaine in bed, presumably post sex, with her asleep (we see her bare back).
  • We see Primus's fully nude ghost again (an overhead and straight-on view), but due to the positioning of his body, we don't see any ghostly genitals.
  • Captain Shakespeare winks at Humphrey (presumably in a homosexual fashion based on previous behavior).
  • Una shows a little cleavage.
  • SMOKING
  • Tristran has a pipe as part of his disguise to fool Captain Shakespeare's crew that he's someone else.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear and then see that the King of Stormhold is on his deathbed, but his sons don't care as that means they'll soon be competing for his position. We then see him slip away into death.
  • Lamie seems ready to let Tristran and Yvaine go from the grief over her sisters' deaths, but then shows that she's just faking that sentiment.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Using others for one's own purposes.
  • Casual sex.
  • Magic.
  • Captain Shakespeare acting tough and masculine in front of his crew to hide his effeminate ways from them. .
  • VIOLENCE
  • Most of the following is played in a light fantasy and/or comedy fashion, thus lessening the severity of much of it, particularly the fatal material.
  • Humphrey knocks flowers from Tristran's hand (for Victoria) with a staff of sorts, and then uses that to poke Tristran before sparring with him (whacking him), and then tripping him to the ground.
  • Prompted by the King of Stormhold, one of his sons pushes another out the castle window. We see him falling a long distance, and we hear but don't see the impact. We do, however, then see his ghost with windblown hair and half of his face slightly smashed. We then see his murdered brothers' ghosts, one with an ax still stuck in his head, while another's face has bad looking scars and missing skin on it (all pale, and all played for comedy).
  • We see damage in the woods (a big hole, burned and knocked down trees, etc.) from a small star that crashed there.
  • Lamie and her witch sisters grab and cut open a ferret (we don't see the impact) and then pull out its organs to look for signs of a magical message (there's a little bit of blood associated with that, including the witches stating what organs they hold, such as Lamie with the small heart).
  • As Tristran tries to cross the village wall, the elderly wall-keeper easily stops him, delivering various blows and kicks to Tristran, eventually knocking him to the ground.
  • Riding a light beam, Tristran inadvertently lands on top of Yvaine who's lying (clothed) on the ground.
  • A bishop and the King of Stormhold's three remaining sons have a toast with something that's presumably alcoholic. The bishop then keels over dead from poison, as do two of the brothers, but one then shows that he was just faking it.
  • Septimus stabs a prophet in the chest, killing him (no blood).
  • Lamie's sisters stab into an alligator as part of a magical sacrifice and remove organs and such. We don't see the actual impact, but do see some sinewy but non-bloody guts pulled out from it.
  • We see an artsy flashback to one of Lamie's sisters stabbing and killing the last star (a young woman). We don't see the impact, but do hear her echoey scream.
  • Tristran runs and bounces off Primus's carriage, with Primus holding a sword on him until he realizes he's no threat.
  • A unicorn knocks down Tristran and then blasts a man back to a wall, turning him back into his original form of a billy goat.
  • Lamie slices a man's neck in a tub, and we then see his partially transparent ghost with a bloody line along his neck and some lines of blood down from that.
  • Lamie uses some sort of green tinted magic field to stop Tristran and Yvaine, but they use a magic candle to escape just as Lamie stabs a dagger at them (and hits the wall right after they disappear).
  • A net fired from Captain Shakespeare's flying ship captures Tristran and Yvaine. We the see the two bound together.
  • Septimus holds a knife to a man's throat.
  • Captain Shakespeare holds a knife to Tristran's throat, and we then see an overhead shot from the ship of Tristran's body flying out of the ship and falling to his presumed death. Later, however, we see Tristran alive, and Captain Shakespeare indicates he threw a mannequin out to fool his crew.
  • After Lamie gives a barterer a bird voice, Septimus is perturbed with what he thinks are mocking answers, and thus stabs him to death (no blood).
  • We see sword fighting, kicking and hitting occurring as Septimus and Captain Shakespeare's crews battle each other. Meanwhile, Septimus has Captain Shakespeare (with a bloody nose) pinned to a desk with a knife raised above him, but then flees and jumps out of the ship when Captain Shakespeare's crew arrives.
  • Septimus grabs and throws a guy from the latter's horse.
  • Tristran purposefully drops Victoria to the ground from a dipped embrace.
  • As Una takes Ditchwater Sal's carriage, the witch is tossed about inside the carriage that nearly overturns.
  • Ditchwater Sal pulls Una along the ground via a chain around her.
  • Lamie battles another, weaker witch with magic vs. magic. We then see the other witch, now sans her head (with flames in its place), as her body bumps into a wall, falls, and then instantly burns up into nothingness, leaving a black mark in the grass.
  • Septimus suddenly holds a knife to Tristran, and we then see that Tristran has his knife on Septimus.
  • Lamie uses magic to set Septimus on fire twice, but he puts out the flames both times.
  • Septimus throws a sword that lands in one witch, killing her (no blood).
  • Lamie uses a voodoo doll to break a man's arm and leg. She then drops the doll in water, thus causing him to float in the room as if underwater, and he eventually drowns that way.
  • Ferrets and coyotes are let loose from their cages and attack a witch, killing her.
  • Lamie uses magic to throw a huge vase into Tristran, followed by him unleashing previously captured lightning back at her.
  • Lamie uses a voodoo doll to make a dead man battle Tristran with a sword. Tristran slices and runs the man through with a sword, but since he's already dead, it doesn't stop him. Tristran then slices a rope holding a chandelier, causing it to fall and crash onto that body. Swinging on that rope, Tristran knocks down Lamie, but she then holds a glass cleaver on him, with the two sparring with those objects (glass cleaver vs. sword).
  • Lamie uses magic to cause many glass windows to shatter and send glass at Tristran and Yvaine. Yvaine then shines as a star, causing Lamie to explode.



  • Reviewed June 12, 2007 / Posted August 10, 2007

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