A dragonslayer and a slumdog: this week’s movies

ADVENTURES OF A TEENAGE DRAGONSLAYER (2010) is a fantasy comedy that rarely rises above a mediocre Disney Channel kids’ sitcom. The protagonist is a fan of a fantasy card-game who along with his friends has to convince Mom Lea Thompson and evil teacher Wendy Malick that their town has a troll and a dragon living in the sewer. The only detail of interest is that this reunites Thompson with several of her Caroline in the City co-stars. “This is strictly a G-rated date, understand?”

 

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (2008) is one of those films that doesn’t entertain quite as much when I know how it all turns out (the dogs being ultra-needy while I was watching didn’t help). Even so, the quirky story of how a Mumbai street urchin turned “chai wallah” is seemingly able to answer every question on India’s version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? is still good viewing. As we work through the question list, it turns out that every answer lies buried in the kid’s personal life (“If not for Shiva, my mother would still be alive.”). Is he cheating? A genius? Or is it written? “A picture of three lions is seen in the national emblem of India. What is written underneath it?”

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