Stardust (Blu-ray)

Make a wish…

As anticipation for his latest movie Kick Ass reaches fever pitch, Matthew Vaughn’s 2007 Stardust finds a home on Blu-ray – and what a perfect use of the high definition format it is. The sumptuous visuals are a large part of its magical charm, although its fantastical story and wonderful cast of characters also go some way to explain its huge appeal.

Be warned; the film’s premise may sound off putting, particularly to those not enamoured by the fantasy genre, but rest assured that this is a film that transcends both genre and expectation. In 1800s England, Tristan (Charlie Cox) ventures through the gap in the stone wall near his home into the fantasy land of Stormhold in search of a star with which to prove his love for the local beauty. But the star is not a rock, rather it’s the lovely Yvaine (Clarie Danes). She is being pursued by three old crones who want her heart to make them young, and the sons of the dead king need the ruby she holds to take the crown. As Tristan helps her make her escape, will he finally find true love?

Adapted from the graphic novel by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess, Stardust is a true masterclass in cinema as escapism. It isn’t high art, it doesn’t profess to impart any important social or political commentary – it is entertainment, pure and simple. All but the most cynical will find it impossible not to get caught up in the magic of the story, and that’s thanks largely to the colourful cast of characters who inhabit the screen. Cox and Danes have genuine, old-fashioned chemistry, while Michelle Pfieffer and Robert De Niro are clearly having a blast playing against type as a haggard witch and a camp pirate respectively.

True, it doesn’t have the tightest of narratives, and its casual nature causes the story to meander in places, but that’s no bad thing given its fantastical premise. Bright, breezy and utterly charming, with some stunning details that make it come alive on Blu-ray, is destined to become a family classic all over again. 4 stars

Extra Features
There’s a spirited commentary from Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman, plus a great making of and the usual role call of bloopers and deleted scenes. Original graphic novelists Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess also host a look behind the scenes. 3 stars

Stars Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Robert De Niro
Director Matthew Vaughn
Distributor Paramount
Format Blu-ray (Also available on DVD)
Released Out Now