Films aren't really made like this anymore. It's so hard to come by a big budgeted/genre film with a lighthearted tone and with this type of humor. You could see it on TV, or perhaps in the 1980's, but good fantasy films are so disappointingly rare these days. The closest could perhaps be something like the Kingsman movies (which Matthew Vaughn also directed), but even those could just be labeled as success due to comic-book background.
But the pure fantasy adventure is surely something cinema's could use a little bit more of these days. If movies can get actors like Robert De Niro to do some of the ridiculous things he does in this movie, then I think we have a winning formula. But in all seriousness, Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Michele Pfeiffer, Henry Cavill, De Niro, and Sienna Miller make for a fantastic ensemble cast of witches, Kings, a star (?), and one special prince to make for a thrilling adventure.
That really is an impressive feat, and in a way it could be argued that - much like in the film's source material - the engagement to be had wouldn't be there without the garish whit and personality brought by the sheer extent of almost-satyrical fantasy. In Vaughn's adaptation, the job is done silmontaneously with a bouyant and brilliant cast who bring their characters to life with a serious undertone and yet a bubbling madness, as well as hugely over-exaggerated yet equally wonderous visuals and humour that never fail to catch you off gaurd as much as they equally fascinate.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: There's no getting away from it - it's absolutely ridiculous. And whilst it should be (and thank god it doesn't take itself too seriously) that doesn't mean the film transcends particularly far to unlock proper emotion... or indeed much actual laughter.
VERDICT: 'Stardust' is just mad - mad that it engages, mad that it's so fun, and mad that it works. Basically then, in his second directorial attempt, Matthew Vaugh has done a very, very good job indeed.
I'm also not sure about Ricky Gervais role in the proceedings: felt he was shoe-horned in too much, just because of who he was. While I also know others who were, shall we say, less-than-impressed by the role Robert de Niro also played, I actually felt this was a good move on his part as it shows a less serious side to his chacacter.
if you like 'Princess Bride' or 'Time Bandits', I think you'd like this.