Movie Renter's Guide Number 153 - December, 2007 - Part III

ARTICLE INDEX

"Stardust" (HD DVD)

StardustSynopsis

In hopes of wooing a beautiful girl, Tristan 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. When an old witch Lamia attempts to steal Yvaine's youth, Tristan must protect her at all costs, in this magical family adventure that will make you fall in love over and over again.

Specifications

    • Paramount Pictures
      2007, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hr 7 min
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • 1080p
    • English/French/Spanish DD+ 5.1
    • Directed by Matthew Vaughn
    • Starring Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Ricky Gervais, Jason Flemyng, Rupert Everett, Peter O'Toole, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

It is rare that we actually get truly original fantasy films these days. Writer Neil Gaiman delivers a pretty solid one here that reminded me just the slightest bit of The Princess Bride with a dash of Time Bandits. But this one stands pretty well on its own. The production is quite good for the most part with only some of the CG effects coming off a little weak. I loved the cast and the departures for some characters (DeNiro is quite funny). If you didn't have the chance to see this in theaters, it is definitely worth a look on HD DVD.

Technical

This is a bit of a mixed bag transfer. I loved the color reproduction and the bold tones, and the image has a nice film like quality to it. Contrast can be lacking at times though, and blacks are clearly elevated. Depth of image varies a bit, with some moments having a gorgeous three dimensional quality and others coming up a bit flat. Detail is the same way. If the transfer were just a bit more consistent in quality, this could have been quite the presentation.

The audio presentation is good, but not great. It just never seemed to deliver the goods as much as most of the other films I've been seeing lately. Presence was a bit on the weaker side, and the surround soundstage was slightly lacking. Dialogue sounds natural though, with no obvious signs of strain. Imaging in the main soundstage is good, and there are moments with decent dynamics, but with the fantasy theme going on, I was hoping for a bit more inventiveness with the sound design.


Extras

Extras include a production featurette delivered in HD, a blooper reel, deleted scenes, and the trailer in HD.