Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

In the franchise world in which we now live, movie studios are always looking for the next big thing that will ensure fans come flocking to the theater. The role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons has gotten a pop cultural boost in recent years thanks to the Netflix show Stranger Things, and now – just shy of its 50th anniversary – it’s getting its own blockbuster movie, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

Michelle Rodriguez and Chris Pine in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Michelle Rodriguez and Chris Pine in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

The somewhat complex story centers on two of the titular thieves, Edgin (Chris Pine) and Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), who lead a group of rogues who make a living by stealing, but only from those who deserve it. One such altruistic mission, a relic that can bring back the dead, leads to the pair getting caught and put in jail, separating Edgin from his daughter, Kira (Chloe Coleman).

Fellow thief Forge (Hugh Grant) agrees to look after her, but after a daring escape, Edgin and Holga discover that Forge is even more of a scoundrel than they thought, rising to the title of Lord in their absence with the help of the sorceress Sofina (Daisy Head), and poisoning Kira’s mind against them. They must gather the rest of the team, including Simon (Justice Smith) and Doric (Sophia Lillis), to try to take him down and recover the relic once and for all.

Written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, with help from co-writer Michael Gilio, the film has the unenviable task of turning the famously dense game into something that pleases both fanatics and those unfamiliar with its many characters, creatures, and locations. It’s clear the filmmakers are trying to strike a balance between the two, loading the story with terms they barely attempt to explain while at the same time making the movie as goofy as possible.

Only the second of those two approaches truly works. The problem the filmmakers run into is that this is an introductory film that barely seems to care about introducing its characters. A lengthy speech by Edgin at the beginning attempts to do that, but is staged in such a way that the humor of sequence takes precedence over the details of the people. The only reason the characters wind up likable is because of the sheer amount of time spent with them and the actors’ performances.

Well, that and the comedy sprinkled throughout the film. If Daley, Goldstein, and Gilio do anything right, it’s not taking the material too seriously. The world has already seen Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, so adding in funny elements like the wise-cracking Edgin, a supremely fat dragon, and more keeps the film from getting lost in its own minutiae. Not all the jokes land, but 75-80 percent of them do, which is enough to keep the film buoyant.

Pine, as he’s shown in the recent Star Trek and Wonder Woman films, has charm to spare. He occupies this particular role extremely well, and so even if you can’t remember his character’s name, his performance carries the film. Rodriguez is an acquired taste, but her surly demeanor and physical prowess works for her here. The supporting actors shine at times, but the film doesn’t showcase them enough to make them stand out.

While miles better than the reviled 2000 Dungeons & Dragons, Honor Among Thieves is a merely okay beginning for a possible new franchise. There’s some excitement to be had and it stays light on its feet thanks to the comedy, but more attention paid to the story is warranted if they decide to make sequels.


Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves opens in theaters on March 31.

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These are the 14 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

Another big weekend across Dallas will feature a wide variety of events. Music lovers will appreciate a piano competition, a three-day festival-style event, and two big concerts. Theater lovers will get three new local productions. Dance lovers have three events from which to choose, including the national tour of an iconic show. Throw in an Oscar winner, a fan event with big celebrities, and a unique visual experience, and this weekend has something for everybody.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, June 8

Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition
Through four rounds of competition, including a final round with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, elite young artists will showcase their virtuosity and touch hearts with their musicality during the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition. There will be two rounds of concerts over four days at Caruth Auditorium on the SMU campus this weekend, followed by the semifinal and final rounds next week. There will also be a free public concert at NorthPark Center on Sunday.

Events with Oscar winner Roger Deakins
One of the most acclaimed cinematographers of all time, Roger Deakins will be in town this weekend for a series of events. On Thursday will be a Byways Book Signing with Roger & James Deakins, at which Deakins and his longtime collaborator and wife, James, will talk about their new book and career, followed by a screening of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Other Deakins films to be screened include Sicario on Friday, No Country for Old Men on Saturday, and Blade Runner 2049 on Sunday, the latter of which will include Q&A with Roger and James Deakins. All events will be at Texas Theatre.

AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Hubblo Immersive Cinema Dome Experiences
The Hubblo Immersive Cinema Dome uses cutting-edge 360° film technology to create a fully immersive experience. Audiences recline comfortably as 4k films surround them during an hour-long journey of light and sound. There are three different experiences to enjoy, including the Family 360° Film Experience, Music Lovers 360° Film Experience, and Explorer’s 360° Film Experience. The event will take place daily through July 9 at Wyly Theatre.

Broadway Dallas presents Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show
Riverdance's 25th anniversary show is a powerful and stirring reinvention of the beloved favorite, celebrated the world over for its Grammy award‐winning score and the thrilling energy and passion of its Irish and international dance. The ground-breaking show has been completely reimagined with innovative lighting, projection, stage, and costume designs. After playing on Tuesday and Wednesday, there will be one final show on Thursday at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

Rover Dramawerks presents Lobby Hero
Jeff is a young security guard trying to get his life together after being thrown out of the navy. But he is drawn into a local murder investigation involving his supervisor, a tightly wound young man called upon to bear witness against his troubled brother, and an overzealous rookie cop who finds she must stand up to her unscrupulous, seasoned partner. Truth becomes elusive and justice proves costly. The production runs through June 24 at Cox Playhouse in Plano.

Kitchen Dog Theater presents 25th Annual New Works Festival
The 25th annual New Works Festival from Kitchen Dog Theater will be headlined by the mainstage production, The Last Truck Stop. The world premiere production centers on a tenacious trucker-turned-truck-stop-owner and her poetic, gun-toting postal carrier, who debate staying or going when their desert town becomes a no-go zone. The production runs through June 25 at Trinity River Arts Center The festival also includes PUP Fest on June 10 at Booker T. Washington High School, and a Staged Reading Series at Trinity River Arts Center (June 17 and 24).

Shakespeare Dallas presents Shakespeare in the Park: Much Ado About Nothing
For some in Much Ado About Nothing, love begins at first sight. For others, love has been forsworn. The war is over. Pedro Prince of Aragon, with his followers Benedick and Claudio, visits Leonato, Duke of Messina, father of Hero and uncle of Beatrice. Claudio who fights for his love for Hero, and Benedick, who has forsworn women until his friends make him believe that he has caught the eye of Lady Beatrice. Much Ado About Nothing will play in repertory with Two Gentlemen of Verona (opening June 14) through July 16 at Samuell-Grand Amphitheater.

Friday, June 9

Fan Expo Dallas
Fan Expo Dallas is the largest sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming event in Texas, featuring family-friendly attractions, events, and celebrities. Celebrity guests will includehttps://dallas.culturemap.com/news/entertainment/fan-expo-lampoons-stranger-things/ Zachary Levi from Shazam!; Hayden Christensen from Star Wars; Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Christie Brinkley, and Randy Quaid from National Lampoon's Vacation; Carrie-Anne Moss from The Matrix; Rosario Dawson from Ahsoka; Jon Bernthal from The Punisher; Christina Ricci from Wednesday and Yellowjackets; Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, and other actors from Clerks; and more. The event goes through Sunday at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

AEG presents Re:SET
Re:SET, a fresh take on the multi-artist outdoor concert, is coming to the grounds of Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie, featuring headliners boygenius, Steve Lacy and LCD Soundsystem. The concert series creates a unique, localized experience for fans, with each headliner curating the lineup for their respective day. On Thursday, boygenius will be bringing along indie standouts Clairo, Dijon, and Bartees Strange. On Friday, Steve Lacy will feature James Blake, Toro y Moi, and Fousheé. Travelling with LCD Soundsystem on Sunday are Jamie xx, IDLES, Big Freedia, and more.

TITAS / Dance Unbound presents Ballet BC
Bold, innovative, and uniquely great, Ballet British Columbia is an internationally acclaimed Canadian contemporary dance company. The program includes Crystal Pite’s The Statement, as well as Garden by Medhi Walerski and Bedroom Folk by Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar. The performance takes place at Winspear Opera House.

Saturday, June 10

Duran Duran in concert
English new wave band Duran Duran - which was named after a character from the movie Barbarella, of all things - has endured for over 40 years, much longer than most '80s bands. Though their biggest hits - "Hungry Like the Wolf," "A View to a Kill," "Ordinary World" - all come from the '80s and '90s, they have continued to evolve their sound so that they remain relevant amid much younger bands. They'll play at American Airlines Center in support of their 2021 album, Future Past, joined by Bastille and Nile Rodgers & Chic.

Parker McCollum in concert
Country singer and Texas native Parker McCollum has been a fixture on the local festival scene since releasing his debut album in 2015, but in 2021 he skipped over all the smaller venues in the area and went straight to Dos Equis Pavilion. Now playing there for his third year in a row. McCollum is touring in support of his just-released fourth album, Never Enough.

Bruce Wood Dance presents Grace
Bruce Wood Dance will close its 22-23 season with Grace, featuring the world premiere of Ghost by Emmy Award-winning choreographer Ben Needham-Wood. Artistic director Joy Bollinger premieres And Heaven and Nature, a look at the seemingly divine design of planet Earth. The reprise of Bruce Wood’s jazzy blockbuster, Rhapsody in Blue, closes the innovative mixed bill. There will be performances on both Saturday and Sunday at Moody Performance Hall.

Duran Duran
Photo by Stephanie Pistel

Duran Duran will play at American Airlines Center on June 10.

3 Dallas restaurants appoint new chefs, while another chef gets on TV

Chef news

It's a big week for big chef news in the Dallas restaurant world.

Three high-profile restaurants have made major new chef appointments. There's also a celebrity Dallas chef who will appear on TV this week.

Here's all the Dallas chef news you need to know:

Adolphus Hotel
Chef Rolf J. Weithofer has been appointed Executive Chef of culinary operations at the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas, where he'll oversee restaurant, bar, and catering including Rodeo Bar, City Hall Bistro, Otto’s, in-room dining, and banquets. (The hotel's acclaimed French Room has still not fully reopened post-pandemic, although it is open for tea Wednesday-Sunday, 11 am-3 pm.)

Weithofer has 22-plus years of experience, most recently as Executive Chef at Stone Harbor Golf Club in New Jersey, where he led two restaurants and banquets. Prior to that, he worked at restaurants and hotels in New York, Maui, Germany, Japan, Los Angeles, Venezuela, Miami, and Puerto Rico, including Maxim’s de Paris in New York. Weithofer has also racked up awards including a Gold Medal in the Culinary Olympics.

Ocean Prime Dallas
Charlie Tkacik has been appointed Executive Chef at Ocean Prime Dallas, the upscale seafood and steakhouse from Cameron Mitchell Restaurant (CMR) which opened in Uptown in 2009.

Tkacik was born in Rhode Island and the Northeast is his major influence, particularly in preparation of seafood such as the restaurant's Texas redfish. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, he interned at Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York, and has more than a decade of experience at upscale restaurants across New England, including a four-year stint at the iconic Boston Grill 23 & Bar. He joined Cameron Mitchell Restaurant several years ago and was most recently Executive Sous Chef at Ocean Prime Boston.

Mexican Test Kitchen
Matt McCallister is executive chef at Mexican Test Kitchen, a new pop-up restaurant at the West Village in Dallas from Local Favorite Restaurants, the group from restaurateur Mike Karns that also encompasses El Fenix, Snuffer's, Meso Maya, Taqueria La Ventana, Tulum, Village Burger Bar, Jalisco Norte, and Twisted Root. Mexican Test Kitchen took over the former Honest Taco space and is an interim concept to be replaced by a new restaurant in the fall. McCallister is now working with Local Favorite Restaurants full time.

A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, McCallister began his Dallas career at Stephan Pyles, where he served as executive chef and had his own tasting room. In 2012, he opened FT33 in the Dallas Design District, which earned accolades locally and nationally in magazines such as Bon Appétit and Food & Wine. In 2019, he opened Homewood on Oak Lawn Avenue which had its own on-site garden. The restaurant made Texas Monthly's Best New Restaurant list in 2020, and Best New Restaurant in CultureMap's 2020 Tastemaker Awards.

Fox TV MasterChef
Tiffany Derry joins Fox TV series MasterChef as a guest judge, appearing on an episode on Wednesday, June 14, airing at 8 pm.

Derry, who owns Roots Southern Table, appears on United Tastes of America in an episode called "Regional Auditions - The South." Contestants have 45 minutes to prepare a dish that will secure them one of five remaining spots in the top 20. The show is hosted by Gordon Ramsay, with judges Aarón Sánchez and Joe Bastianich. Derry will be the week's Guest Judge.

Dallas nails ranking as No. 1 U.S. market for new built-to-rent homes in 2022


With the increasing demand for housing and rising popularity of constructing homes for rent, Dallas has topped the charts as the metro area with the highest number of single-family rentals built for all of 2022.

Nearly 2,800 build-to-rent homes were completed in Dallas in 2022, which is a 10-year high, according to a new study by RentCafe.

The study also found the number of rental homes skyrocketed five times higher last year than in 2021, when only 500 rentals were completed and Dallas ranked No. 3 in the nation.

The study analyzed build-to-rent data from RentCafe's sister site, Yardi Matrix, for communities that had at least 50 single-family rental units.

Phoenix (which outpaced Dallas last year) ranked No. 2 in the latest findings with only 1,527 units completed last year. After Phoenix, single-family rentals in other American metro areas only went into the triple digits, with Atlanta, Georgia (No. 3) at 808, Greenville, South Carolina (No. 4) at 584, and Charlotte, North Carolina rounding out the top five with 475 units completed.

Dallas also had the second highest number of single-family rentals completed in the country within the last five years, totaling 3,955 units. The city ranked higher than every other Texas metro area. Phoenix took the No. 1 spot with over 6,000 build-to-rent homes completed in the same time period.

Other Texas metros that appeared in the top 10 with the highest number of build-to-rent units between 2018 to 2022 include Houston (No. 4), Austin (No. 7), and San Antonio (No. 8).

The study's findings support a growing demand for flexibility among renters who may not want the high cost and maintenance associated with home ownership, RentCafe says.

“More and more people are deciding they want the best of both worlds: the flexible lifestyle of the renter, with no maintenance commitments and costs, and the comfort and privacy offered by living in a house,” the study’s author wrote. “In this case, build-to-rent homes check all of the boxes, while high home prices and rising interest rates make them even more appealing.”

The number of single-family rentals is expected to continue rising dramatically in 2023. Currently, 4,350 units are under construction in Dallas, second only to Phoenix (again) which has nearly 5,500 units underway.

Overall, there are 44,700 build-to-rent homes being built this year throughout the nation; three times more than the number of completed homes in all of 2022, the study says.