This enjoyable bit of fantasy earns a solid 8.
A break in a stone wall along a quiet English town leads to another world, Stormhold. It is filled with princes, magic and the usual schtuff. The king has died after leaving his many sons a quest. The first son to return the magic ruby to its full redness will be the next king. Several of the princes have already been done in by their scheming brothers. They are unaware that their sister has had a son, Tristan, who grew up in the town in England. Tristan returns in search of a fallen star to prove his love to the ungrateful Victoria. In short order, everyone is trying to find the fallen star (Claire Danes) for their own devices.
The story line is charming and witty with regular doses of laughter and visual delights. Not finding the right adjective, I know that it is somewhere between whimsical and fantastical. The movie has character and heart. It moves right along and takes some interesting turns.
Claire Danes is gorgeous and charming as the fallen star. Her heart will bring immortality and can restore the ruby to its magical state. Her character has grace and poise. She reminds me of a young Cate Blanchett. Michelle Pfeiffer is outstanding as the witch, Lamia. She is wily and evil (and just a bit sexy…) and fills her role most excellently. Peter O’Toole puts in a cameo as the king, and Ian McKellen is the narrator (I thought he sounded like Patrick Stewart). Robert De Niro was priceless as Captain Shakespeare the pirate. He was definitely a show stopper.
The movie was well done and is great for anyone that loves fantasy or just a good, classic fairy tale.
~Elric the Damned