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Jack Robinson is a wealthy business man with no time for anything but work. However, a family curse is looming over him - no man in the Robinson line ever lives past the age of thirty. With his upcoming birthday appears the remains of literally giant skeleton and a mysterious woman who claims to have once known the giant. Jack decides to go with her to another world where all is revealed to him along with the story of his ancestor, the original Jack and the Beanstalk. In order to save his own life and the world of the giants, Jack must right the wrongs of the past and return the magical harp and goose that lays the golden eggs to their rightful home. Written by
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Corporate head Jack Robinson is about to discover that fairytales are very real in this revisionist take on `Jack and the Beanstalk'.
The film starts off well, with Jack (Matthew Modine) discovering that life isn't as straightforward as he thought. A nice atmosphere is created as a mysterious woman, Ondine (Mia Sara looking very cute), appears dropping dire hints as to his family's secret. Eventually Jack discovers the truth behind his wealth, and finds out that it is up to him to put things right.
The `real world' segments of this movie tend to work best, as Jack struggles to come to terms with his discovery that fairy tales are true, with the `fantasy land' segments - mainly due to some variable effects - actually detracting from the sense of wonder. While most of the performances are fine (though Modine occasionally seems to be playing Scott Bakula), the guy playing the original Jack is fairly dire.
What really makes the story work is the idea that fairy tales are history dressed up to be palatable to us (and of course not necessarily reliably related history), and the way that we might exploit magic if it were available to us.
Well worth a watch for fantasy/fairy tale fans, or if you liked the superior `The 10th Kingdom'.
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