DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS – Honour among Thieves **1/2
This whole theme of medieval adventure and humour was originally an interactive game. Hugely popular, it has been turned into another blockbuster franchise to draw in the young crowd. It is mostly innocent fantasy escapades, with all sorts of tricks and strange creatures – something between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings – if that is your kind of entertainment.
Chris Pine is a wise-cracking, somewhat-hero along with his tough-cookie partner, Michelle Rodriguez, and Hugh Grant plays his usual charming, crooked snake of a friend. (He had better watch out with this serial typecasting, not unlike his early years of continually playing pretty boys. Too much of anything tends to be too much.) But enjoy the wild antics – it’s boisterous fun.
LES ÂMES SOEURS **1/2 (vo French)
More French than this, tu meurs… but then it’s an André Téchiné film with his matter-of-fact look at all the possibilities in life.
This time it’s about a young man who is severely wounded while on duty as a soldier, and his return to France in a state of complete amnesia. His sister comes to take care of him during his long convalescence and they end up living together again. Because he looks at her as just another woman, he begins to have feelings for her that should not be. It’s an interesting concept that the French know how to handle with acceptance. Well acted and directed, it’s an intriguing situation treated without judgement.
LES COMPLICES **1/2 (Vo French)
Here’s a quirky film about an assassin who suddenly becomes redundant, since he has started to faint at the first sight of blood. Now that’s not going to work in his type of employment! Half thriller, half psychological satire, it stars the very droll Belgian actor François Damiens, and Vanessa Paradis as his estranged wife.
Trying to figure out what to do with his now useless life, he ends up with a young couple who become involuntarily involved in his murky business. It’s a slow-burning black comedy that feels like a more lackadaisical turn from a Quentin Tarantino movie. Strange, touching fun à la Belge.
10 JOURS (ENCORE) SANS MAMAN * (vo French)
There’s a word in French that perfectly defines this supposed comedy – débile. It basically means moronic, but more nuanced, as is the French language.
Anyway, it seems France keeps churning out these pointless films that have no redeeming quality (maybe just to keep their artists and unions working, since much of their film industry is well-subsidised), and it’s the audience that ends up being duped.
This one is a tiresome tale of a family whose father (Franck Dubosc) has recently lost his executive job. When his lawyer wife is offered an important, urgent case, he ends up taking their four children on a long-planned skiing holiday in the exclusive resort of Courchevel, all on his own.
The rest is the nerve-wracking ordeal of that holiday, with the obvious débile outcome…
DO NOT MISS the important documentary festival in NYON – VISIONS DE RÉEL – 21 -30 April
There will be hundreds of films about real life as we have never seen, along with the presence of the filmmakers, discussions and masterclasses. Info on their site: visionsdureel.ch
And there is still time to catch the sublime documentary on Leonard Cohen at the Grütli cinemas – HALLELUJAH – along with an unmissable retrospective on the films of the great JEANNE MOREAU. Info on their site: www.cinemas-du-grutli.ch.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.