Gael Morel’s “Three Dancing Slaves,” originally titled more appropriately “Le Clan,” focuses on three brothers living in a beautiful but boring countryside community outside Annecy, France, coping with the loss of their mother. Released from prison, eldest brother Christophe (Stephane Rideau) is determined to make the most of a less-than-thrilling job salting pork; middle brother Marc (Nicholas Cazale) is a rebel heading for trouble; and youngest brother Olivier (Thomas Dumerchez), 17, is experiencing first love with his pal Hicham (Salim Kechiouche).
Openly gay Morel, who costarred with Rideau in Andre Techine’s landmark 1993 “Wild Reeds,” brings to his film an intense homoeroticism, emphasizing the physicality and musculature of young men. Although graceful and dynamic, “Three Dancing Slaves” is none too substantial or original, lacking the edge or complexity of Morel’s impressive debut film, “Full Speed.”
-- Kevin Thomas
“Three Dancing Slaves,” Unrated. Sex, nudity, some drugs, violence. Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes. At Laemmle’s Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-3500.
‘Daltry Calhoun’ fails to take root
In the parlance of “The Player,” Katrina Holden Bronson’s “Daltry Calhoun” would be pitched as “Because of Winn-Dixie” meets “Napoleon Dynamite,” and that is definitely not a good thing. This aimless satire stars Johnny Knoxville as the title character, a ne’er-do-well who abandons his girlfriend, May (Elizabeth Banks), and their infant child, then inexplicably becomes a sod mogul by developing a successful cannabis-based turf for golf courses. Years later, when May shows up with 14-year-old daughter June (Sophie Traub), a music prodigy with designs on getting into Juilliard, Daltry’s business is tanking due to an aberration in his seed.
Bronson attempts to wring some unearned emotional redemption from her dimwitted characters, but the faux-Southern sincerity and June’s incessant voice-over prove too annoying. The film benefits from an eclectic alt-country soundtrack that includes, over the end credits, an intriguing mash-up of Marty Robbins’ “Utah Carol” and the Wu-Tang Clan’s “A Better Tomorrow.”
-- Kevin Crust
“Daltry Calhoun,” PG-13 for sexual content, drug material and language. Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes. At the ArcLight Cinemas, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 464-4226.
‘Dirty Love’ is a cinematic low
Attention, Razzie voters.
As arbiters of the awful in the cinematic realm, it is your solemn duty to subject yourselves to the inept, execrable comedy “Dirty Love.” It will surely yield nominations for worst picture, director (John Asher), screenplay (Jenny McCarthy), actress (McCarthy, again), supporting actress (Kam Heskin and Carmen Electra) and supporting actor (Victor Webster). McCarthy continues her one-woman crusade to prove that former Playboy playmates can be just as unfunny as nonsurgically enhanced women, starring as a photographer bent on revenge against her cheating boyfriend.
It’s a sad state of affairs when you feel sorry for Eddie Kaye Thomas (the “American Pie” quartet) because he’s working in material that is beneath him.
“Dirty Love,” R for strong sexuality, crude humor, language and some drug use. Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes. In general release.