DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES was fun, growing more compelling and interesting as it went along. There was nothing particularly original about it. I laughed a handful of times, especially during the scenes in the graveyard, where the group of flawed, likable heroes talked to animated corpses. On occasion, the vibe was a little reminiscent of Monty Python, which I appreciated.

The CGI quality was uneven, but much of the scenery and sets were exquisite. I did enjoy some of the fantastical creatures, while others looked quite hokey. Because I played Dungeons and Dragons a few times over the summer of 1982 when I was a teenager, I recognized a few creatures and magical beings in the movie, which evoked a mild sense of nostalgia for me.

The cast was excellent, with everyone’s acting somewhat compensating for the predictable, often seemingly hack-written script. I was especially impressed with the fairly brief screen presence of the strikingly handsome and regal Rege-Jean Page, who stars in the Netflix series BRIDGERTON. The way he walked and carried himself was both fluid and stately, an alchemy of strong, gentle, graceful, sexy. We viewers will likely see more of him in movies to come.

This production was a silly romp, pleasantly campy at times, and just what I needed for a Thursday night, now that my weekly TV shows are on hiatus for the summer and possibly beyond due to the WGA strike.

Mini Movie Review: BEDAZZLED (from 1967)

I finally watched the original BEDAZZLED (1967). What a hilarious romp of color, camp, whimsy, and even clever moments. At the end of the day, I wanted to screen some light fun and got exactly that with this comedy. The two musical numbers especially had me laughing, hard— those and a sequence in a convent towards the end. Dudley Moore and Peter Cook were handsome young men in their day. And Raquel Welch is always lovely to watch.

Dudley Moore plays Stanley Moon, a young bachelor who works as a cook in a greasy spoon diner in London, England. A shy man with low self esteem, he is in love with his waitress coworker Margaret (Eleanor Bron). One day after Stanley attempts suicide, the Devil shows up at his apartment in the form of a young man named George Spiggott (Peter Cook). Hilarity ensues after this meeting as Mr. Spiggott grants Stanley seven wishes. Each wish results in a different life situation for Stanley where he is somehow closely involved with Margaret. However, due to Mr. Spiggott’s/Satan’s trickery, some aspect ends up not quite being right for him in each scenario. Along the way, Stanley and George engage in funny but thoughtful conversations about deep matters, such as sex and relationships.

The overall message of finding value in the life one already has comes through in this creative, somewhat dated, somewhat timeless production. What is particularly impressive is that Peter Cook wrote the script and Dudley Moore composed all of the music. These talented men were in their late twenties and early thirties, respectively. For those, like myself, who enjoy 1960s music and fashions and British humor thumbing its nose at uptight establishment mores and Christianity, this is a particularly delightful watch.