August 19, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I, II, III & IV • Page 19 Charming fantasy film is favorite with young viewers by Dennis Seuling “Pete’s Dragon” (Walt Disney Home Entertainment), not among the studio’s classics, is nonetheless a charming fantasy with all the elements to make it a favorite with young viewers: comedy, a goofy monster, music, and a kid as the central character. This partly animated, partly live-action 1977 film is a variation on the boy-and-his-dog film. However, instead of a high-IQ Lassie or heart-wrenching Old Yeller, Elliot, a 12-foot animated dragon with the capacity to make himself invisible, stars as the companion for Pete (Sean Marshall), who looks to Elliot as refuge from his abusive adoptive family in the seaside town of Passamaquoddy, Maine. After Elliot causes havoc with the local residents and Pete is blamed, Nora (Helen Reddy) sympathizes with the boy’s dilemma and takes him to live with her and her father, Lampie (Mickey Rooney) -- no stranger to the bottle -- in the town’s lighthouse. The movie follows a formula Disney established in the 1970s, before “The Little Mermaid” ushered in a latter-day era of animated classics. Viewed today, it seems quaint, with Rooney mugging away and motives spelled out in black and white. There is little subtlety, but the blend of animation and live action, a technique mastered by Disney in “Mary Poppins,” is fun. Reddy had 14 U.S. Top 40 singles between 1971 and 1978, including the women’s movement anthem, “I Am Woman.” She was at the peak of her career when she starred in “Pete’s Dragon.” She has an easy charm and a likable personality and comes off warm and motherly, exactly the way Nora should be. Her version of “Candle on the Water” was nominated for a Best Song Academy Award. The other songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn are appropriately bouncy. The supporting cast includes Jim Dale, Red Buttons, Shelley Winters, and Jim Backus. Charlie Callas is the voice of Elliot. DVD extras include a storyboard sequence deleted from the final film, a feature on the history of Disney’s mix of live action and animation, demo song recordings, and the promotional recording of four pop versions of those songs. “Repulsion” (Criterion Collection), newly available in the Bluray format, is Roman Polanski’s disturbing look at a woman (Catherine Deneuve) who is gradually going mad. Polanski takes viewers into the mind of Carol Ledoux, a French manicurist working in London. In the streets outside the beauty salon is a world where leering men send her into a panic. Each night, she waits, petrified, until her sister (Yvonne Furneaux) and her married lover come home to the apartment next door. When the lovers leave for a holiday in Italy, Carol descends into madness as her sexual repression triggers hallucinations that drive her to murder. Simple objects become dreaded portents, and silence is broken by buzzing flies, dripping water, and a ticking clock. Soon, she imagines that someone is in the apartment. Polanski is adept at using the claustrophobic apartment as breeding ground for Carol’s myriad escalating fears and visions. Polanski would later go on to direct “The Tenant,” a movie with a similar theme, and the hugely popular “Rosemary’s Baby.” “Repulsion” is an atypical horror film, since the terror is all in Carol’s mind, and viewers are witnessing events through a frightened, paranoid woman’s eyes. Deneuve is superb in a chilling role. Bluray extras include audio commentary featuring Polanski and Deneuve, the 2003 featurette “A British (continued on Crossword page) Helen Reddy, Sean Marshall, and Mickey Rooney in ‘Pete’s Dragon.’ Calling All Crafters! Come be a part of the State Line 375 State Highway 17 North, Mahwah Open 24 Hours, 7 Days Join Us For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner The Best Got Better! Diner - Restaurant 201-529-3353 Sponsored by Allendale Chamber of Commerce Platinum Sponsor: The Allendale Community for Mature Living Town decorations donated by: Rohsler’s Allendale Nursery & Florist Allendale Festival Day 17th Annual Now Serving Cocktails, Espresso & Cappuccino $ 00 Saturday, October 3rd 10am - 4pm Contact Adrienne at Jumbleiah Memorabilia 201-825-2077 or check the Chamber Website at On $10.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 1 $ 00 VT On $20.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 2 VT