Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Week of Love

Stardust, by Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman, based off the novel by Neil Gaiman: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Tristan Thorn lives in the English town of Wall, named for the long wall that runs along the village separating it from the fantasy world that is said to be on the other side.  When he sets to win the heart of the local girl, Victoria, he cannot seem to do anything more than blunder every attempt to do so.  Suddenly he is struck with an idea to win her hand in marriage.  Cross the wall and retrieve a star the pair has seen fall from the sky…which may be easier said than done.

On the other side of the Wall lies the kingdom of Stormhold where a dying king’s seven sons are competing to decide who will reign after his death.  Unfortunately for them it is either the throne or death themselves…but when they cannot seem to defeat each other for the title the king sends out his ruby necklace to be restored by his one true surviving heir.  Which ends up knocking a star out of the sky and to earth.  The same star seen by Tristan and Victoria that fateful night.

But Tristan is not the only one who sees the star fall from the sky.  A trio of witches is also after her heart to make themselves young again and extend their life for another 400 years.

As Tristan crosses the wall in an effort to find the fallen star he meets a host of characters from a swashbuckling pirate, to the deadly prince Septimus, insane witches, and even the fallen star herself…what he could never imagine was the adventure that he would embark on…as soon as he can get past the old man that guards the hole in the Wall.

General Information:

-Genre: Romantic Fantasy Adventure

-Creator: Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman, based off the novel by Neil Gaiman

-Length: 128 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for mild implied sex and nudity, moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, moderate intense scenes including fighting and magic elements)

-Where to Watch: Netflix (with subscription), Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Rickey Gervais, Jason Flemyng, Rupert Evertt, Peter O’Toole, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro

-Page of Reference in RP1:

Review (contains spoilers):

I really enjoy this film but be warned I have not read the book at the time of writing this review so I cannot compare the two. 

The story is quite unique to what I have seen in the past.  But that is to be expected from the mind of Neil Gaiman.  Between the adventures through the land of faerie, the cruel princes trying to gain their father’s throne, and witches trying to get ahold of a fallen star, the story is varied with the depth of a fully imagined world.

When I first heard of all of the different stories that go on during the course of the film, I thought it would be quite confusing to keep everything straight but the filmmakers did an exquisite job interweaving everything a way that makes it easy to follow and incredibly enjoyable.

The characters are bright and bold both in their portrayal and their writing.  The costuming is lovely… a perfect mix of historically accurate Victorian styles with fantasy elements. The settings are beautiful.  Just an incredibly done film. 

I love the world that Gaiman created and this film brought to life.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Read Me, Week of Love

The Princess Bride, by William Goldman: a Novel review

Synopsis:

From the back cover:

“As Florin and Gilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini- the criminal philosopher who’ll so anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik- the gentle giant; Inigo- the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen-the evil mastermind behind it all.  Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.”

General Information:

-Genre: Romantic Fantasy Action

-Author: William Goldman

-Number of Pages:

-Main Characters: Westley, Buttercup, Humperdinck, The Six-Fingered Man, Vicinni, Fessik, Iniego Montoya

-Where to Read: support local booksellers (many can order items that may not be in stock) or look for it at your local library!

-Page of Reference in RP1: 38

Review (contains spoilers):

I read this book long after I had first seen the movie.  In fact I didn’t realize it was a book until many, many years after my introduction to the film.

I enjoyed the book overall, though I do enjoy the film more.  It seems to do better in a format with visuals more than in novel form.  But that isn’t to say that the book isn’t down right hilarious and I do appreciate the addition of the short story Buttercup’s Baby that is at the end of the novel.

The characters are about the same as they are in the movie, fleshed out and realistic.  Yet there is a beautiful film of fantasy woven throughout the whole thing.  The descriptions of the world are comprehensive yet not overly dry or longwinded as they are in some other fantasy novels (I’m looking at you Outlander).  The action is vibrant and the story is relatable…even though we don’t live in a medival time period with a stunning farm boy fighting his way across the high seas to rescue us.

A wonderful read that I highly recommend particularly to people who enjoy stories of action, intrique, wit and true love.

Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Week of Love

The Princess Bride, based off the novel The Princess Bride by William Goldman: a Film Review

Synopsis:

When one of his grandchildren is home sick a kind grandfather comes over to read him a story.  The story, told through the film, is one of intrigue full of swordfights, pirates, revenge, escapes….true love!

A beautiful young lady, Buttercup, living on a farm is wooed by their farm boy, Westley.  For the time they know each other he simply answers each of her requests with “As you wish” which she comes to realize is his way of saying “I love you.”  And she comes to love him in return. 

When Westley leaves to make his fortune on the high seas the vessel his is on is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who leaves no one alive in his raids.

Five years later, Buttercup is forced into an engagement to the Prince of Florin, Humperdink.  Just weeks before the wedding she is kidnapped by three outlaws who are charged with killing her to start a war between Florin and their greatest enemy, Gildur. 

When a man dressed in solid black catches up to the group they grow concerned and one by one attempt to take him out before he can steal the princess.

Who is the man in black? Could he be the Dread Pirate Roberts that everyone so fears…or is he merely another outlaw set on taking what is not his?

General Information:

-Genre Fantasy Adventure Comedy

-Creator: William Goldman (based on his book)

-Length: 98 minutes

-Rating: PG (kissing, mild violence and gore, one mild instance of language, drinking, mild frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), Disney+ (with subscription), , DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Peter Cook, Mel Smith

-Page of Reference in RP1: 38

Review (contains spoilers):

Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant film.  Literally one of my top ten films of all time.

William Goldman wrote both the book (which is just as snarky and witty as the movie….see our review of that here) and then adapted it to the screen.

The characters are real. Witty, snarky, sarcastic and funny.  Each of them have their own quirks and personalities which come out with grace and beauty throughout the film.  It is incredibly quotable (which is one of many things I look for when I watch comedies) and has some of the greatest lines in romantic comedies in my opinion.

The costumes and locations are cheesy in the “maybe-this-is-a-renassiance-faire” sort of way that goes so well with it being a story imagined by a kid as his grandfather reads to him.

I just can’t speak highly enough of this film.  Just go and watch it.  Its totally worth the hour and a half of your life.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.