July 22, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I, II, III & IV • Page 15 Movie and TV stars appear in classic fairy tales by Dennis Seuling The stories are old and revered. We’ve had them read to us, read them to our own kids, and seen animated movies based on them. Though their popularity has been sustained through the years, fairy tales are not represented much in live-action features. Two new DVDs collect some of the best episodes of ”Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre” (E1 Entertainment), a TV series produced by the actress (“Popeye,” “The Shining”), who was known at the time for her roles in several Robert Altman films. While filming “Popeye,” Duvall conceived the idea for “Faerie Tale Theatre.” She was reading “The Frog Prince” and asked co-star Robin Williams what he thought of the story. Subsequently, Williams would star in an adaptation of that tale, the series pilot. “Faerie Tale Theatre aired from 1982 to 1987. Duvall produced, narrated, and occasionally starred in the episodes. The “Tales From Hans Christian Andersen” disc contains “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (Alan Arkin, Art Carney), “The Nightingale” (Mick Jagger), “The Snow Queen” (Lee Remick, Melissa Gilbert), and “Thumbelina” (Carrie Fisher). The “Princess Tales” disc contains “Cinderella” (Jennifer Beals, Eve Arden, Matthew Broderick, Jean Stapleton), one of the best episodes. Stapleton’s Fairy Godmother is a far cry from her Edith Bunker, and she looks glamorous and magical. Jane Alden and Edie McClurg are terrific as the stepsisters, and Beals and Broderick have nice screen chemistry as the title character and the Prince. Eve Arden is the icing on the cake as the wicked stepmother. Other episodes are based on “The Little Mermaid” (Pam Dawber), “The Dancing Princesses” (Roy Dotrice), and “The Princess and the Pea” (Liza Minnelli). “Watchmen” (Warner Home Video) is adapted from a graphic novel highly regarded by fans of the genre. More ambitious than the usual comic tale, “Watchmen” is a dark, thought-provoking look at an alternate America. The Watchmen are a group of costumed superheroes who no longer fight crime now that the government has outlawed masked vigilantism. One night, someone murders one of their number, an aging superhero known as The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). A detective, Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), realizes that the Watchmen are being targeted for elimination and attempts to warn the surviving masked crusaders. The individual superheroes are interesting. There is Ozmandias (Matthew Goode), the world’s smartest man; Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), a bright blue, cold version of Superman with a penchant for prancing around naked; Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson), an elaborately cloaked figure given strength and daring by his costume; and Silk Spectre (Malin Ackerman), a second-generation hero not thrilled to be following in the family business. There is a heaviness to this film that takes the fun out of it. The original work is not a barrel of chuckles, but the deadly serious tone of the film often makes it look pretentiously arty. “Watchmen” is available on DVD and in a three-disc Blu-ray edition containing several documentaries, a music video, a digital copy of the theatrical version, and a 186minute director’s cut. “Midnight Express” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) is new on Blu-ray. This unforgettable film tells the story of Billy Hayes (Brad Davis), an American caught trying to smuggle two kilograms of hash aboard a flight in Istanbul in 1970. Sentenced to a four-year term for drug possession, he is confined in a Turkish prison that resembles a dungeon more than a modern jail. His sentence is later extended and he suffers brutality and torture until he escapes five years later. This is a tough movie to take. Director Alan Parker holds nothing back in showing the inhumane treatment and (continued on Crossword page) Shelley Duvall, producer, narrator, and occasional star of ‘Faerie Tale Theatre.’ K A S S C H AU MEMORIAL SHELL ������������������������� ������������������������������� 51 Years of Free Summer Entertainment Under the Stars ������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������� � ���������������������������������� � ���������������������������������������������� �������� ����������������� � ������������������������� � ������������������������������������� 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 ����������������� � ������������������������������ � ������������������� � ���������������� Now Serving Cocktails, Espresso & Cappuccino ����������������� � ������������������� � ������������������������� � ���������� $ 00 �������������������������������������������������������� ������������������ � �������������������������� � ����������� � �������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ ��������������������������� On $10.00 and over. 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