Posts Tagged ‘STARDUST’


Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including the animated stone age family flick “The Croods: A New Age,” the slice-of-David-Bowie’s-life movie “Stardust” on VOD and “Belushi,” the Crave doc about the rise and fall of the beloved “Saturday Night Live” comedian.

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 19:26)


Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the animated comedy “The Croods: A New Age” (theatrical), the David Bowie biopic “Stardust” (In theatres and digital and on-demand platforms), a pair of docs, “Belushi” (Crave) and “Zappa” (Apple TV app and everywhere you rent movies), the new one from Mel Gibson “Fatman” (VOD) and a remake of “Black Beauty” (Disney+).

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the animated comedy “The Croods: A New Age” (theatrical), the David Bowie biopic “Stardust” (In theatres and digital and on-demand platforms), the new one from Mel Gibson “Fatman” (VOD) and a remake of “Black Beauty” (Disney+).

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the animated comedy “The Croods: A New Age” (theatrical), the David Bowie biopic “Stardust” (In theatres and digital and on-demand platforms), a pair of docs, “Belushi” (Crave) and “Zappa” (Apple TV app and everywhere you rent movies), the new one from Mel Gibson “Fatman” (VOD) and a remake of “Black Beauty” (Disney+).

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

STARDUST: 2 STARS. “generic rock and roll coming-of-age story.”

There is music in “Stardust,” the new David Bowie biopic starring Johnny Flynn, in theaters and digital and on-demand platforms. Unfortunately, none of it is David Bowie’s music.

The year is 1971, a year before David Bowie (Flynn) achieved superstardom with “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” He’s a one hit wonder with little support from his record label and a new record languishing on the charts. “I need you to give me a song I can sell,” says manager Tony Defries (Julian Richings). “If you can’t do that, I need you to give me a person I can sell.”

Sent on a low-budget promo tour of the United State, the singer arrives with a suitcase filled with stage wear—“That’s a man’s dress actually,” he tells a nosy customs official—but no work visa. “With the paperwork you have all you can do is talk,” he’s told by his American contact, Mercury Records publicist Ron Oberman (Marc Maron) as they hop into Oberman’s wood panel station wagon and head off to try and create a buzz for an obscure artist who thinks of himself as filling “the gap between Elvis and Dylan.”

Oberman skirts the rules and finds the odd (emphasis on odd) gig for his client. In one of the film’s desperate attempts to avoid playing Bowie’s music, Oberman arranges a show at a vacuum cleaner sales conference. In front of a disinterested crowd the singer strums “Good Ol’ Jane,” a Velvet Underground sound-a-like song written for the film.

The odd couple stay the course, crisscrossing the country. Between shows, arguments and the occasional press interview Bowie formulates his breakthrough image, the androgynous glam rock star Ziggy Stardust.

“Stardust” isn’t a terrible movie but it also isn’t, as advertised, a David Bowie biopic. The first words we see on screen are “What follows is mostly fiction,” and while I realize that biographies must take liberties, I thought the movie lacked the thing that was at the core of Bowie’s life and work, and that’s originality. “Stardust” is a startlingly conventional movie about a man who was anything but. The film is a generic artist coming-of-age story with dialogue that feels borrowed from other show biz flicks—”I think you’re going to be the biggest star in America,” Oberman gushes at one point.—and music that in no way hints at the revolutionary sounds percolating in Bowie’s head. You wonder why director Gabriel Range, who co-wrote the script with Christopher Bell didn’t fictionalize the story à la “Velvet Goldmine,” and create a whole new world to explore.

With no access to Bowie’s music—the musician’s estate denied Range the rights to the tunes—“Stardust” attempts to recreate the era with covers the real Bowie performed around this time, like “I Wish You Would” by the Yardbirds and Jacques Brel’s “My Death.” This approach has worked before in films like “Backbeat,” the story of the early days of The Beatles and the Jimi Hendrix biopic “Jimi: All Is by My Side,” but here the absence of Bowie songs is deafening.



still-of-claire-danes,-robert-de-niro-and-ricky-gervais-in-stardustStardust, a new movie starring Claire Danes and Robert De Niro evokes the fantasy films of the 1980s. Movies with titles like Labyrinth and The Princess Bride were sweeping whimsical epics that combined flights of the imagination with, as Peter Falk says in the latter, “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…” Stardust, based on a graphic novel by fantasy superstar Neil Gaiman, breathes the same air and is a welcome blast of originality in a summer of remakes and sequels.

The story begins with a young man named Tristran (Charlie Cox) who sets out to win the heart of the beautiful, but shallow Victoria (Sienna Miller). He promises to fetch her a fallen star as a sign of the lengths to which he will go to prove his love. To do so he must cross The Wall, a barrier separating his sleepy village from the strange, supernatural land that lies beyond. To his shock he discovers that the fallen star has assumed human form. Named Yvaine (Claire Danes) she is beautiful, feisty and completely unaware of the trouble she is in.

She is sought after by not only the King’s (Peter O’Toole) ruthless sons, who need her secret power to secure the throne, but also by a powerful witch (Michelle Pfeiffer) who needs the star’s youthful vitality to restore her beauty and achieve eternal youth.

When Yvaine’s cosmic countenance takes a more earthly turn she falls in love with Tristan and as their adventures deepen and become more perilous—they meet a flamboyant pirate captain (Robert De Niro) and shifty merchant (Ricky Gervais)—the young man and former heavenly body discover the true meaning of love and their real destiny.

Usually this kind of thing puts me to sleep before the opening credits have finished. The first mention of forbidden lands or evil witches and I’m out, but Stardust has more going for it than the run-of-the-mill fantasy. It’s quite funny, a welcome change from a genre that often takes itself a little too seriously and has a top-flight cast that includes superstars Ian McKellen, De Niro, O’Toole, Pfeiffer and Gervais in concert with up-and-comers like Claire Danes and Charlie Cox.

Each play to their strengths but it is De Niro who really makes an impression as a cross-dressing pirate. That’s right, he wears a dress and minces across the screen in a way that we have never seen before from the tough-guy actor. He’s made comedies before, but usually playing a riff on his well-established heavy characters. This time out he shakes it up and it is great to see him have some fun on screen in a role that is a polar opposite from the kind of thing he usually does.

Stardust is a beautifully realized fantasy that takes many of the standard features of the genre, dying Kings, a quest to find true love and evil witches and throws them together in a way that avoids cliché. It’s magical and fun, and best of all, it ain’t Rush Hour 3.