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Paramount Pictures
Opens Friday, 10 August in cinemas nationwide

Fantasy films are back and better than ever. There has been a resurgence of late, be it Harry Potter mania, or the ongoing war (which always drives creative folks towards the spectacular), or perhaps its just the cultural timeline coming around the bend. The mid to late ‘80s was a time for exquisitely imagined stories on-screen. We had “Labyrinth,” “The Princess Bride,” “The Dark Crystal,” “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen,” and more. I’m happy to say that “Stardust” is well worth a spot on the same shelf as all the rest. A young shop boy (Charlie Cox) in the tiny English village of Wall is pining for the affections of the bitchy, pretty girl down the road (played by Sienna Miller). One night, while enjoying a luxurious picnic by the stone wall (where the human and magical realms collide), they witness a falling star. The star later turns out to be Claire Danes, who is essentially the trophy for a whole slew of characters who need to snatch her up for their own selfish gain. There’s a set of princes who need to nab her in order to take their dead father’s crown, there’s a trio of fugly witches who need to eat her heart to gain eternal life, and then there’s the young boy who wants to bring her back to the snooty girl from town so he can win her hand in marriage. There are bundles of adventure, a sweeping, epic score, funny one-liners and a great cast including Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro and Ricky Gervais. “Stardust” is the perfect summer treat because it’s the kind of movie that inspires trading cards, action figures, maybe a theme park ride somewhere down the line. There are gabillions of special effects, which can be heavy-handed at times. Too bad they didn’t use models and Muppets a bit more. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles, my friends. It’s still a cookie, and it’s full of sweet, delicious morsels, so enjoy.