1 March 2013 6:28 AM, PST | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

(Photos: Warner Bros.)

As fairy tale movies go, Jack the Giant Slayer is pretty middle-of-the-beanstalk. While it may lack a key distinguishing feature that has made certain fairy tale flicks beloved classics (The Princess Bride's witty self-awareness; Legend's visual daring; Labyrinth's enchanting leading lady, David Bowie), it's a handsome, fast-paced, and nimble enough romp through one of bedtime lore's less complicated narratives. Moviegoers looking for a moving or truly awe-inspiring escape might be disappointed, but casual fans of well-staged action, decently-rendered CGI, and stature-indiscriminate sausage parties might want to check it out.

Wait, whah?

It's true: Jack the Giant Slayer may not be the funniest, cleverest, or most rapturous fairy tale movie around, but it is the manliest.

Let's start at the beginning (once upon a time, even), as young farmboy Jack is frightened by a storm and has to be comforted by his hulking but painfully adorable »

- brian

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