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Live Blog Let's Watch: Stardust
Korval2011-03-27 22:36:14

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Introduction and Backstory

An adaptation of a Neil Gaimon novel of the same name, Stardust was one of those post-Lord of the Rings fantasy movies like Eragon. I've never read the novel, and after watching the movie, I don't really plan to.

The film starts off with narration by Ian McKellen, because God knows you can't have a credible fantasy movie without him in it. He starts off with something that will be of absolutely no relevance to the plot. I'm not kidding; he talks about a mysterious letter to the English astronomy community, but nothing ever comes of it. This serves as a poor segue, not into talking about who receives the letter, but into who sent it.

There's this village called Wall. No, really, that's its name. It's call that because it has a long, 5-foot high wall on it. This wall doesn't surround the village, but acts as the division between the normal world of England (maybe 16th-17th Century) and the magical world of Stormhold.

Yes, a five-foot high wall is all that separates the real world from a magical dimension where freshly captured lightning is a commodity item and witchcraft is common. No, really.

Eventually, we get through to something actually happening. See, there's a break in the wall, so the wall has to be guarded to prevent people from getting into Stormhold. What prevents the people from Stormhold getting into England? Or what prevents people from just climbing over the 5 foot wall? Your guess is as good as mine, because this movie certainly isn't going to bother with that one.

I could have accepted that the break in the wall was a portal, and that going over the wall would mean just going into an empty field. But no, that's not how it's portrayed. As we will see, the plot only works if you can see over the wall. Because you know, it's only five feet high!

Anyway, one of the villagers, Dunstan, wants to get through the wall. The guard, a doddering old man, forbids it and turns him away. But Dunstan slips past him anyway, running by while the guard has his back turned.

Dunstan eventually makes his way into a city, where some kind of fair is happening. He sees a woman in blue, and they eye each other. My first thought that she was a prostitute. Oddly, I wasn't far off the mark. She offers him a flower, and takes payment in the form of a kiss. Which then leads to sex. No, I'm not kidding; she takes him back into a carriage and they get it on.

Oh, but first it's established that she's an enslaved princess. Both of these are important; the princess part for reasons that a 5-year-old can guess, and the slave part because she has a cord tied to her ankle. The cord is enchanted; when Dunstan tries to cut it, it magically re-attaches itself, though he also gets a piece of it.

After they get done screwing, Dunstan leaves Stormhold. No, really. He's seen evidence of actual, real magic, and after screwing the first woman he sees, takes absolutely no interest in this world. Or oddly enough, of ever seeing the woman he just banged ever again. Maybe she wasn't that good.

9 months pass, and the Wall guard comes by to deliver Dunstan's child, Tristan. See, the story isn't about Dunstan; it's about his boy Tristan. God, how I wish this were about Dunstan.


Mar 27th 2011 at 10:39:33 PM
Note: if this sounds familiar, then that means you read the original version from the TGWTG's site. I realized that I had written it in a very live-blog/Agony Booth-recap style, and it seemed appropriate for Liveblogginations.
Mar 29th 2011 at 12:25:52 PM
The book/illustrated novel is far superior to the film. Don't let the film put you off trying it if you can find it at a library.
Feb 13th 2012 at 2:58:56 PM
I agree with hollow49. Don't pass the book up just because it had a less than stellar adaptation. It would be like passing up Avatar The Last Airbender due to the live-action film. The book is very different and a decent read.