In Which The Princess Bride Part Two Unfurls Itself On Our Young Glommed Over Eyes


dir Matthew Vaughn, 128 minutes 

We are not exactly Neil Gaiman fanboys here at This Recording, although to be honest we confused him with Neal Stephenson for the longest time, that being exactly how long it took us to read Neal Stephenson. (The Diamond Age is the best.)

But we like Gaiman. He’s a capable writer, and we enjoy the world he came out of–he wrote the official fanboy guide to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, for example. Also, he posted this picture of himself on his website. Thanks for that.

Neil’s extremely interesting website is here. He and Roger Avary wrote the Robert Zemeckis Beowulf movie, which is done with digital enhancement and works in 3-D and looks absolutely fabulous, and I fully acknowledged that I may have dissed this project before.

Where Neil gets his ideas.

“The Circle” — Robert Forster (mp3)

Dusted review.

“Beyond Their Law” — Robert Forster (mp3)

The biggest obstacle to my enjoyment of Stardust was Claire Danes. Is there something appealing about this young woman that I am missing? She looks like she fell out of bed and hit the ugly tree on every branch.

Mark Strong has a nice role as an heir to the throne also seeking Claire’s character, and the scene in which Michelle Pfeiffer treats him as a voodoo doll is the most inventine in the movie.

Michelle Pfeiffer plays this queen-witch, and it’s good casting, as she looks like the girl from The Ring these days. I can’t believe I’m about to quote from an interview she did with Parade.

Parade: But you weren’t timid about looking grotesque. You were game for the frightful looks of extreme aging.

Michelle Pfeiffer: I liked sort of poking fun at searching for eternal youth and the lengths to which women will go to get it and the sort of desperate need to hold onto it.  Looking for the comedy in it was a big selling point for me. But I admit, the makeup process was not fun.

Parade: And then there were those glances in the mirror at your horrifying wrinkles and sagging cheeks—ouch!

Michelle Pfeiffer: [laughs] I even had breasts that had mechanisms that could make them droop. It was a shock in the beginning. Talk about special effects! To be honest, it was upsetting, but I got over it pretty quickly.  I never really got used to the half-age sort of, you know, my face and then the other half was the aged face.  That was freaky to me—even more freakish than the oldest makeup.  

It’s good that Pfeiffer can poke fun at herself, even though she looks like a plastic mannequin outside of this film. Why do these women think it’s flattering to look like a pancake?

“I Can Do” — Robert Forster (mp3)

Her cameo is not the funniest in the movie, as that honor belongs to one Bob De Niro, in his 386th film. (Ricky Gervais also puts in an appearance, but as per usual he only serves to make you feel bad for him.) 

Stardust has a few nice cameos in it, which it needed as the film doesn’t have much of a mythological base. There’s a narrator–his time they actually did use Ian McKellen–but for the most part, it’s witches and warlocks and kings and the usual crap. Instead they should have started in Fred Savage’s bedroom. I guess they’d have to pay William Goldman.

The real problem with Stardust is that there is no problem with it. It’s constantly inventive, it’s funny as hell, and I could do a rewatch right now and not get too bored. But it is for kids, and it’s funny that they were like, let’s market this for adults.

Stardust is about to beget  five decades’ worth of fantasy and science fiction, because Hollywood is bereft of ideas. This will make me extremely happy–if I had to see Denzel cast in a cops and robbers drama with Russell Crowe with the word American in the title I was going to gag on my own vomit.

Get over yourself, betch. And grow up. 

“I’ve Been Looking for Somebody” — Robert Forster (mp3)

The male lead is played by Charlie Cox, who is as vanilla as you might expect, and can look forward to playing Alicia Silverstone’s stalker.

He lives in a village called Wall that borders a magical land called Stormhold. At least I think, I was trying not to groan during McKellen’s voiceover. 

Meanwhile a king dies and leaves the search for a falling star to his prospective successors. There is plenty of fun had in this storyline, and that’s typical of Stardust; when it’s not falling all over its face to win you over. This next phase of fantasy films, as I elluded to earlier, has to realize that there’s a magic in this stuff. I am tired of fucking Fanny McPhee or whatever that crapfest was called or even these law few Harry Potters. They might as well be Die Hard sequels, as they take the fantastical parameters of their world as a solid givens as, “John McClane is a bad mofo.” “I’m a cop goddamnit.” Etc.

Every freakin’ kids movie looks like Jumanji and every movie for adults….oh yeah, what exactly are they making for adults these days? I mean, I haven’t seen Sunshine, but I guarantee I will hate this thing. Sure, Pitch Black had its charms, but much of the source material of this crap is taking science fiction back to the 30s, instead of into the 00s.

Thumbs up on Stardust, though.

Alex Carnevale is mad as hell and he’s converting to Linux and he’s probably never going to the movies again.


I do more blow than Lindsay, I don’t know why that betch gets caught.

3 thoughts on “In Which The Princess Bride Part Two Unfurls Itself On Our Young Glommed Over Eyes

  1. Yo Alex, Stardust actually was a huge bomb and will probably spell the end of studios trying to launch some the more outlandish fantasy franchises, because they’re too goddamn expensive to make, even with CGI. LOTHAR begat the trend, and Stardust is, if not the last death throe, certainly the sign that the trend for all things magickal is on its way out. Also I’ve decided I’m finally going to watch LOTHAR. I really liked the books as a kid. I will probably love it. If you move to Los Angeles you will find yourself becoming unexpectedly open to everything. Especially things you thought you hated. Magick!

  2. Neil Gaiman came to speak at my University many moons ago. He and Tori Amos are long-time friends. His character Delirium was based on her. Tori also mentions Neil in several of her songs (Carbon, Horses, Space Dog, Tear In Your Hand, others?). Fun stuff.

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