Recommended Fantasies

My recent discoveries in the fantasy realm include two movies, "Enchanted" and "The Golden Compass," both now in theaters, and one television series, "Stargate Atlantis," now on DVD:
  • "Enchanted" is about a fairy tale princess who falls into modern-day New York City. The traditional princess-and-the-prince themes are delightfully updated, yet still faithful to the source material.
  • "The Golden Compass" is the first of Philip Pullman's three-book series about two children on a voyage through a parallel world. The film is marred by a too-fast pace, intrusive score and truncated dialogue, but is still enjoyable and essentially faithful to the original. Nicole Kidman is terrific as the bewitching Mrs. Coulter, and yes, that IS Derek Jacoby as the head of the Magisterium.
  • "Stargate Atlantis" is about a crew of explorers and scientists who find a lost city that was inhabited 10,000 years ago by a philosophically and technologically advanced civilization known as the Ancients. Some of the story lines are too militaristic for the small screen, but the dialogue is clever, the characters are compelling and the universal themes are thoughtfully presented.