Rewatch Movie Review – Stardust – A Great Vintage Fantasy Film

“A philosopher once asked, “Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?” Pointless, really…”Do the stars gaze back?” Now that’s a question.”

And with those opening lines we are immediately enchanted by the world of “Stardust” (2007). And enchanting is exactly what we all would wish a fantasy movie would do for us every time we go to see one.

Now, I already had high hopes for Stardust because there were names in it like Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, Peter O’Toole, and Ian McKellan. But what I didn’t realize was how little these people had to do with this movie. Don’t get me wrong, the parts they played were very important, and the storyline would have limped horribly without them. (Especially DeNiro –- who somehow managed to pull off convincingly the part of a cross-dressing pirate as happy trying on lipstick as he was slitting the throats of his enemies –- truly bizarre.)

The Plot of Stardust

But the stars of this movie are the unassuming youngsters that make up the love triangle (square?) running the entire plot.

I realize you’re probably thinking, “this has been done before, and before, and before.” Except I doubt most of the love stories you’ve watched before has the young woman being wooed actually been a real-life star, fallen from the sky.

And to make her plight worse –- not only is there a young man trying to catch her to take her back to the first young lady he is in love with, but there are also 3 witches who wish to cut out her heart and eat it. Because apparently eating star’s hearts keeps one young and beautiful. (I see a big run on Hollywood surgical centers -– and me in jail for suggesting this.)

But if this all weren’t bad enough –- the King of this magical kingdom has just died, and left no named heir except three squabbling brothers (there were seven, but four of them have already been killed off by their siblings.) This is a blood-thirsty bunch we have here.

So across one side of the kingdom race 3 brothers for the King’s necklace, and across the other side races a witch and a very nice boy for a fallen star.

Need I say that all these racing entities run into each other? Oh, yeah – there was that cross-dressing pirate, too.

Why you need to see Stardust

I refuse to divulge anymore of the movie. I will however say, Stardust is one of the most refreshing films I have seen in many years. My entire family watched it – me, my husband, my 17 year old son, my 11 year old daughter, and my six year old son – and we all loved it. We pull it out when there is nothing on TV and we want something fun to watch.

Stardust is rated PG-13 for a little bit of fighting violence, with mostly swordplay and a little risqué humor which will go mostly over the kids’ heads (unless you have bright kids).

Definitely add this one to your family DVD cabinet!

Movie Grade: A

A Godzilla Newbie Watches King of the Monsters

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A Godzilla Newbie Watches King of the Monsters

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Rodan erupts in Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Having not seen any of the previous Godzilla movies, I’m not sure what I was expecting going in to see this 4th film. I had no notion what was coming, other than ‘large monsters destroying cities’. The beginning of the movie does a fair job filling the viewer in to what’s going on, but there could have been more, I thought. Once it got going, however, it was a nonstop thrill ride.

The sheer plethora of monsters was very satisfying. Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidora were joined by other unnamed monsters. These Titans, as they’re called, could be the Earth’s destruction or salvation.

It all depends on which scientist you ask. A corporation of scientists by the name of Monarch nominated itself the keeper of the monsters. However, the government wants the military to control this group.

Then a threat comes from an outside and unexpected source.

The special effects were fantastic. The Titans came alive on the screen. It reminded me of the first time I saw Jurassic Park. Those dinosaurs were believable, as are these monsters. The fight scenes are very satisfying. Add in the military’s weaponry and you have yourself a recipe for a spectacular bout.

The script is a bit rushed. It seems as though the producer really just wanted those Titan scenes, and everything else was a means to get there. Revelations are made, but the viewer is given no chance to digest the information before we are thrown into another battle. It’s all just treated as filler almost.

Which is sad, because the film has a great cast that are mostly overrun. The only two who leave a lasting impression are Ken Watanabe (Inception, The Last Samurai) as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa and Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) as Madison Russel. Even the “bad guys” are just blah.

Overall, the film is a fun ride if what you’re looking for is a good action movie with great monsters. Just don’t expect to come away with something intellectually thrilling.

Grade: B

Our Modern Godzilla – Grading Legendary’s Monsterverse (plus Godzilla 1998)

Movie Review – Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Movie Review of Kong – Skull Island

Virgin Movie Review – Godzilla (2014) – Not as bad as the last one

Rewatch Review – Godzilla (1998) – More overthinking than this film deserves

Review: Transformers – Revenge of the Fallen

 

Bumblebee is back
The gentle giant of the Transformers universe.

The sequel to the 2007 blockbuster “Transformers” is out and it is rockin!

When I see trailers for movies I decide (because of my ever-shrinking budget) whether it is going to be a “wait for the DVD” movie or “go see it in the theatre” movie. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was a “Go see it in the IMAX, baby!!!” And I am certainly glad I shelled out the extra bucks to do so. Getting caught up in the special effects and sound was worth it, because that is at least half of what make this movie so great! I am not saying it in the snide, put down way that “bite the hand that feeds you” Megan Fox did. (What the heck was she thinking?)

The movie critic “Movie Mom” said of the 1st Transformers “the robots are just so cool!” She was right then, and it hasn’t changed now. They’ve gotten even cooler with way more personality.

Let’s talk personality. Bumblebee – come on, that is one hot car and if he were human I would totally want to date him. Courageous, loyal, sensitive, strong – everything a woman wants. But there was one thing in the movie that confused me; what happened to his voice? They made a big deal out of giving him James Earl Jones’ voice at the end of the first movie and gave some lame excuse as to why it doesn’t work now. Don’t get me wrong, I adore him without the voice, he expresses way more through radio and song – but it was a little cheesy the way they glossed it over. And while I am pet peeving on this; James Earl Jones as the voice for a hot car like Bee? No way! JEJ has the voice for Kings and Gods, not a hottie like Bee. Let’s think along the lines of Samuel L. Jackson, or Ice T., or even Vin Diesel. That would be a tough voice!

I’ll go ahead and get my other problem with the movie out of the way. This is not quite a spoiler; but if you haven’t seen the movie yet, skip this paragraph. I could have thought of at least 3 different ways to help Sam in the desert without going all mystical like they did (OK, 1 and if I thought really, really hard I could come up with 2 others, but you get my point). It reminded me so much of the way The Matrix was ruined by trying to take it to some “higher purpose” when the purpose was already high enough! Come on guys, is uniting 2 alien races not enough for you? We can’t even get peace on one planet; I would think engendering trust between 2 planets is a huge deal. Why the great beyond stuff?

OK – spoiler part over, you can read again.

Things I adored;

Sam’s Mom: this woman is hilarious! Between crying over sending her only child to college and sampling some of the “special” brownies being sold at the bake sale – she will have you dying. Do not drink too much Coke, you will have to go to the bathroom from laughing so hard.

The Twins: they almost destroy as many things fighting each other as they do the Decepticons, but do not attack one of them. They are brothers, and you do not mess with brothers.

Transformers hiding: just like in the first movie, the Transformers attempt to hide. I have no idea why I find this so funny, but I do. It reminds me of my 6 year old standing up straight as he can behind the tree in hopes I won’t kill him for using my china for flying saucers.

Sam: he is just great. Every tiny expression is perfect. You can tell just how nuts he thinks his roommates are to just how devastated he is by a great loss he experiences, and how much guilt he feels over this loss.

Bumblebee: I love this car, I want this car. I will even take the old beat-up version of this car as long as I get one that cries when I say I am going to leave him behind. Oh and that comes out shooting military grade bombs at any adversaries. I think he would be great in Atlanta traffic.

The plot was not great in this movie. There were some pretty Swiss cheese type holes. But the acting and the special effects more than made up for it in my opinion. Michael Bay was not going for Drama of the year or an Oscar with this film, he was looking to give us all a good time – and he succeeded with that spectacularly.

Can I have my Bumblebee now, please?

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material, and brief drug material. The twins’ language is particularly “street” foul language. I would definitely pay attention to the “13” part of it. Your 5 and 6 year olds are going to beg to see this because it looks so cool, but unless you want to spend the entire movie going “don’t repeat that” – then you will probably want to hold off until the DVD version.

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

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