In 2007, I started writing for 'Criticide,' a blog which aimed to turn the tables on film critics by reviewing film reviews. On Wednesday, August 15, 2007 (under the pseudonym Kid Licorice), I published "Eat My Stardust!" Enjoy...
Hello and welcome to the Criticide debut of your man, the undisputed champion of the people, Kid Licorice (K-Lic if it pleases you… but, under the advice of my lawyer, Kid Lic will henceforth be dismissed from the Kid Licorice lexicon). For my opening act here at Criticide, I’ve decided to reflect on the most recent in a long line of fantasy novel adaptations: Stardust.
And when I want to know anything about the mythology of fairytales, the wonder of fallen stars or the particulars of skull crackin' racism, I go to the source: Boston. While I’ve never been to Boston myself, thanks to the magic of cinema, I know as much as I’ll ever need to know about it (thanks again Good Will Hunting!).
The Boston Globe is where I’ve set my sights and the pen of Wesley Morris is where I shall begin (yes, the same Wesley Morris who played Guy #1 and Rasta Dude in two episodes of Dawson's Creek). Getting started at the beginning, here is the opening stanza of Mr. Morris’ Stardust review:
“Any movie that has Claire Danes playing a fallen star sounds too painful for words. The irony! ‘Terminator 3,’ ‘Stage Beauty,’ ‘The Family Stone,’ ‘Evening’: Neither her luminousness nor her intelligence has been put to particularly thrilling use. They haven’t, really, since she blazed through Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo + Juliet.’ For her sake, I'm embarrassed to remember how long ago that was. At this point even she seems over herself. The expression she wears in ‘Stardust,’ a romantic science-fiction fantasy with her as the aforementioned fallen star, breaks your heart. It seems stuck between a grimace and a cringe: It’s the face of a maiden caught taking out the garbage.”
An entire paragraph dedicated to cutting down Claire Danes at the knees? Even if your criticism of Miss Danes’ career is valid, Mr. Morris (and, please, don’t look for ol’ Kid Licorice to validate your poisonous prose), you still broke the bounds of context by only begrudgingly mentioning the film for which your article promised to review.
And even then, you take the opportunity to give Miss Danes one last shove, insuring her place under the bus. But it doesn't stop with her:
“This movie also happens to have parts for Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Peter O’Toole, Sienna Miller, Ricky Gervais, and others. So ‘Stardust’ is not just a nadir for Danes. It stinks for almost everybody. But Danes is the one person who seems to show it.”
Now, Wesley, I’m not ashamed to admit, I had to look up the word “nadir,” so kudos to you and your superior thesaurus. According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, "nadir" means either:
1: the point of the celestial sphere that is directly opposite the zenith and vertically downward from the observer
2: the lowest point
Because I didn’t have time to look up the word “zenith,” I’m going to assume your use of "nadir" refers to the second option, in which case, you, Wesley Morris, have just declared “the lowest point” in the careers of, among others, Robert De Niro and Peter O’Toole.
The depth of your nerve, sir, is surrpassed only by the size of your balls.
Oh, but wait. I'm not being fair. You do take a moment to praise the work of Mr. De Niro:
“The movie goes right exactly once: When De Niro shows up as a closet-case pirate for a series of daylight sequences aboard his floating ship. If ever there was an occasion for him to fax in a note saying the dog ate my performance, this would be it. But surrounded by the exuberant bunch of actors playing his crew, De Niro makes a macho-hammy-swishy mess of himself.”
Backhanded though it may be, it appears you’ve chosen to err on the side of respect by giving Mr. De Niro his just due. If only you had stopped there:
“He’s terrible, but he’s having, well, a gay old time.”
Funny, I was just thinking the same thing about you.
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Check out Stardust for yourself: