November 5, 2007
Reviews: Micheal Clayton, Stardust
I've had the chance to see some pretty good movies lately.
You can tell that writer/director Tony Gilroy has benefited from his experience writing the screenplays for the Bourne trilogy. Michael Clayton is intense from the absurd opening monologue to the climactic ending. The big difference between Clayton and Bourne is the absence of action sequences and violence, which Gilroy has proven is unnecessary to create a grippingly suspenseful movie. As with Bourne, the stakes involved are very high. One of the ways I can tell I'm watching something good is when the bad guys are just as complex and believable as the good guys. Too often the protagonist is given all the spotlight. But the bad guys are well established so that by the end it's difficult not to care if justice will prevail.
I've enjoyed several of Neil Gaiman's novels. So I was interested to see a trailer a while back for a movie adaptation of one of his stories I've not read. Gaiman's stories tend to present a more grown-up perspective on the fantasy genre; they tend to convey both a clever and dark sense of humor, as well as a unique way of depicting reality that becomes drastically skewed as the story goes on.
Stardust (the movie) is much more of a typical fairy tail. Its more focused on romantic love than other of Gaiman stories I've read or seen, but still maintains some themes characteristic of Gaiman's stories: The main character passes from a normal world to a fantastic world where the heart of the story takes place; Also, the protagonist, in this case a young man, is a character who has less ability than heart necessary to prevail against the antagonists.
While not the story of Gaiman's that I'd most like to see as a film, I understand why Stardust has movie appeal. I hope the sucess of this film leads to some of his other stories going to theaters.