First! Much love to parsnip_chan, aiffe, and the_firefly, who sent me Skip Beat, various anime (Simoun, Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito, & Death Note) on cd, and Last Exile, respectively. My heart swells with love, srsly. ♥
Yesterday, I had to run a check to the bank (hooray, overdraft fees?!) and then randomly decided I should see Stardust since I was in the neighborhood. Then also figured, hey, might as well see The Simpsons Movie while I'm at it! I meant to do my write-up of Stardust, especially, last night, but this was not to be, as a pretty hardcore thunderstorm started just after I got home, which not only slowed my dial-up connection speed to a crawl, but later completely knocked out all power for several hours! Instead, I read Diana Wynne Jones by candlelight until I fell asleep, which was pleasant, and somewhat nostalgic for reasons I won't get into right now.
Anyway, here are my mildly spoilery thoughts on Stardust. First, I should probably say I adore the book. So much so that it's really impossible for me to write up my thoughts on the movie without comparing it to the novel. I've read it so many times I've lost count, and it's actually probably my favorite of Gaiman's novel-length prose, and I am a COMPLETE WHORE for Charles Vess. (I also know that there is a text-only version of the book out, but I've not read it. I guess I just don't know why you would want to? Since the original work included the illustrations, and they add so much, and...as far as I know, the text is the same in both versions [correct me if I'm wrong?]--it just seems weird to willingly read an incomplete version, I guess.
So, what I'm getting at here was I didn't expect the film to be as good as the book. And...it wasn't. I'm pretty sure that would be impossible, at least from my perspective, because I love the book so much--but it was very, very good. There were things changed, things expanded, things cut...and pretty much all of it this was a really wonderful example of how to adapt a book to film well, so that it becomes its own entity without raping the original work up the ass. ♥, film producers.
I won't get much into the plot, since I assume anyone reading this is already familiar with either the book, the film, or both. The whole affair had such a delightful air of whimsy to it, by which I mean the film in general. There were things that were tweaked slightly to push that, and while there was danger present in the movie, one never lost the sense of a tongue being held firmly in cheek. Among these expansions/embellishments, the princes of Stormhold were particularly hilarious (I especially enjoyed the random state of perpetual nudity for Primus and Rupert Everett showing up all noble and such, just to be killed off immediately), as was Robert De Niro's Captain Shakespeare.
The ending I was initially iffy on, admittedly. Once I saw it begin to veer off from the original, I felt skeptical at first, then a little worried, then puzzled, but...ultimately okay with it. I prefer the book ending, but I also think it would feel rather anti-climactic on film, as well as not match with the aforementioned perpetual whimsy, and it did an interesting thing where it kind of redeemed itself while I was watching it.
The one change that troubles me the most (and, admittedly, "the most" is very relative because I'm really not that bothered by it) was making Victoria into more of a one-dimensional "bad guy." Here she becomes much more of a conniving gold-digger type, and one of the things I always liked a lot about her character in the book was...she wasn't a horrible person. She may have been immature and a bit thoughtless, but her only crime was really...she didn't love Tristan even though he thought he loved her. That kind of thing happens all the time, yet it's kind of rare to see a sympathetic treatment of a "love rival" character. Even this was change was forgiven, though, because the sight of Shakespeare flirting with Humphrey at Tristan's coronation made it allllll better. XD
Anyway, if anyone else's seen it, I'd love to get discussy in the comments. *thumbs up*
(Small note on The Simpson's Movie: I stopped watching the show at least five years ago. It started to suck, so I stopped watching; very simple. The movie, however, was good, though it started to drag a bit at the end. It really only makes me much more impatient for the Futurama OVAs to drop, honestly. >.>)