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It's pretty much a guarantee that if you grew up with fairy tales, you
would certainly know the story of Jack and The Beanstalk. I know I
have; when I was a kid, this story was everywhere. I saw it played out
by Mickey Mouse in the "Fun and Fancy Free," by Snoopy in "The Charlie
Brown and Snoopy Show," and by Bugs Bunny in "Jack Wabbit and The
Beanstalk." The tale is a timeless child's fantasy story, and for that
alone, this movie mostly succeeds.
After the opening credits, the film opens with an introduction of our two main characters: Jack (played by Nicholas Hoult, fresh off his role in last month's "Warm Bodies") and princess Isabelle (played by Elanor Tomlinson). Just like in the original fairy tale, Jack is a poor farm hand who is tricked into trading valuable livestock (in this movie it's a horse rather than a cow) for supposed "magic beans." Princess Isabelle, however is pretty much the textbook definition of a Disney princess. Her mother is dead, her father is an over-protective king who wants her to marry someone she doesn't like, she's tired of her boring life in the palace and dreams of adventure. When I first came across this character, I immediately planned on chastising her as extremely clichéd in this review. However, once I began watching this in the context of a kids movie, I found this to be much more tolerable. Though in a 2013-released film, it still feels kind of dated.
Those expecting another "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" will be disappointed. This movie is pretty family-friendly overall and has a light hearted attitude throughout. Despite this film's hefty body count, the characters consistently joke around and get themselves into shenanigans. It could very well be irritating to those expecting a more mature fantasy based on the rating and advertising, as it does admittedly feel too silly at times. However, as a family film, the combination of violence and silliness makes it somewhat a fusion of the family films of the 80's and 90's respectively.
The rest of the characters are decently developed, including the sinister Lord Roderick (played by Stanley Tucci) and the noble knight Elmont (played by Ewan McGreggor). No character was given that much development, which I actually didn't really mind. I knew enough about each character, and in a fast-paced fairy tale like this, keeping the plot moving and interesting were the most important aspects.
The giants were pretty interesting too. In a way, they reminded me of the trolls in last year's "The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey," as they are excessively gross, uncivilized and high-tempered. I'm certain that kids will get a laugh out of their flatulent, booger-eating ways. I was initially concerned that this film would just portray them as unstoppable villains with no personality. Instead, the film fleshes them out a bit and gives them a motive for their actions. I certainly wouldn't mind a prequel film giving more meat to their hatred for mankind.
The cast gives their all, especially Nicholas Hoult. Here he brings to Jack the same charm and timidity he gave to R in "Warm Bodies." I feel that he he has the capability and likability to carry a movie as the lead role, and I look forward to his future endeavors next year.
"Jack The Giant Slayer" will reasonably divide critics and audiences, but if I had kids, I would have no problem taking them to see this. It's a fun little adventure that kids and open-minded adults will get a kick out of.
As I left the theater after watching this movie I tried to put my finger on the reason why I felt so underwhelmed by what I had just watched. Perhaps it was the overly simplistic video game plot (save the princess), the lack of a well defined villain, or the lackluster development of any of the characters. In the end I couldn't precisely point to any single issue that derailed my ability to really enjoy this viewing. What this movie really lacked was the ability to engage the audience on any meaningful level whether it be emotional, mental or otherwise. In short, it's soulless. I don't know exactly what gives a movie its soul but I know when it's missing and this movie, unfortunately, was quite lacking.
In this retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, the title character and a
runaway princess are thrust into the sky when vines sprouting from the
magic beans vault Jack's cabin into the sky. A race of giants exiled
there by the power of a magic crown plots to return below and recapture
the human kingdom. The King sends a rescue party of his knights and the
princess's evil fiancé to rescue the princess, and the evil prince uses
the magical crown in an attempt to seize the power of the giants to
take over the kingdom.
It was refreshing to find a non ironic, non meta straightforward telling of this story, with some elements of charm and humor. The 3D is fairly unspectacular, although there are great sequences, such as the collapse of the vine which causes catastrophic damage below. The body count, for a family film, is quite high, surpassing some of the later Harry Potter movies. It is also notable that there are virtually no females in either the giants' or human's realm. The cast is fine, and Nicholas Hoult makes a fine Jack, and brings more life and personality to the role than he did earlier this year with "Warm Bodies."
Most elements of the film work quite well and it has the potential to work alongside dark family fare like "The Never Ending Story" or "The Dark Crystal."
So what was everyone expecting with this film to give it such harsh reviews and ratings? We do remember this is a children's bedtime story right? I thought that the movie was great. The giants are a little scary, depending on the child this may not be the movie for them as the giants are somewhat gruesome beasts. All the nerds out there complaining about the CGI and poor quality of the giants, go get a girlfriend, watch some sports and stop being such a geek. Special effects and CGI are fine in this movie, again this is a movie about a fairy tale so imagination should be something needed for a film about flesh hungry giants that live in the sky. Most of us know the ending to this movie without watching it, but the extra story line added in to extend the movie are entertaining and do not spoil the film or change the classic story we all know. I recommend this movie, but please watch it with an open mind and remember that your watching a film of a child fantasy story. I give this film a 9....more of a 7-8 but I threw it an extra point or two just cause all the dorks who are highly critical of such non sense regarding a film about a kids bed time story ha ha.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After my friend made me watch Red Riding Hood. I was almost convinced that fairytale adaptations could never be great. I was wrong. Jack and the beanstalk was a suitable fairytale to be adapted on the big screen. It had giants, heights, and monstrous plants. The whole theater was laughing nonstop, and below are the reasons why. 1. The parallels between Jack and Isabel (the most clichéd name for a girl, btw. Remember Twilight?) when they were young children and then grown-ups.it showed that people who come from different backgrounds can be similar, and that they didn't just end up together because they went through some adventures, they were fated from the beginning. 2. I like the tie-in from every random scene. Etc when Jack was giving a pompous speech and everyone kneeled down and he said, "there's someone behind me, right?", it wasn't just some random thing, but it was repeated later to show how Jack had grown from a commoner to a prince. 3. The action! The movie isn't afraid to be gory and scary, what with human torture, murder, the last stand, and giants. 4. They purposely made the bad guys ugly and stupid, easy to hate. Especially the sidekick who died such an ironic death. 5. I like how Jack was portrayed as a brave and smart guy. He didn't just trade a horse for 5 beans--he was supposed to exchange the beans for 10 copper coins! He figured out how to kill giant in an ingenious way. Also he is nice to everyone, and handsome to boot. 6. And I love how the movie ends up being related to the modern world, shows how smart is film is. It doesn't need to be in a "fantasy" because it makes sense and is realistic! Just don't go in with low expectations, you will be pleasantly surprised!
Unlike many of Hollywood's reimaginings of fairy tales, this film is
actually decent. One can let children watch this in the same manner our
grandparents were reading the original stories. It has morals, it is
pretty, actors play well and, most of all, it is not condescendingly
stupid. Instead, one can actually enjoy this on almost all levels.
It was funny to see actors Ewan McGregor and Ewen Bremner play in a film together again (Rents and Spud), but they had no real interaction. Nicholas Hoult was OK as the hero of the story and Stanley Tucci, as usual, a great villain. The one that was rather disappointing was the princess, clearly a role that was not really thought out much more than "cute damsel in distress, ready for the rescue". Her father wasn't much either, but at least he had lines. Also, for a movie "made in USA" a great many English actors. Even the story was set in England, as we see in the end.
Bottom line: while not the best movie ever, it was certainly an entertaining blockbuster that retained a lot of the feel and plot of the original fairy tale. It also manages to have an insane body count without actually showing any blood. The US rating system is idiotic for sure. Anyway, the movie was fun. I can recommend it for an easy watch.
I wasn't blown away by this flick, but I did enjoy it. And I also
1. No potty humor 2. No overt sexuality 3. No inappropriate language 4. No seemingly random 3D FX 5. No politically correct messages or characters 6. No strutting egotism
In short, it's not a Follywood movie and you can actually let your kids watch it without worrying too much. There is some violence, but...
The script is well written, the acting is better than good, and it moves along at a pretty lively pace. Not a classic, but good. It might have been better a little shorter, but that can be said of most movies these days.
I was surprised to hear so many complaints.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wow - very cool. A good retelling of an old story without any smarmy adult jokes or insinuations, although I must say some moderately rough visual moments. But nothing my 7 year old couldn't handle. Commoner Hoult finds himself helping out princess Tomlinson on more than one occasion, the most serious being when she's held or chased by giants. Of all the actors McGregor charmed me the most in a calmly confident role as head of the king's Guardians. Hoult and McGregor battle the giants in the clouds and then engage in round two when the giants come to earth. Tucci is good, as always, in this case playing the villain. The special effects are well done but not overdone (as is so often the case nowadays). The story is pretty much told straight, without a lot of fluff, although the running time of about two hours was probably more than it needed to be. Somewhat derivative but very enjoyable nonetheless, it's recommended.
Or A new take on Jack and the beanstalk. "Jack the giant slayer"
takes a classic tale and breaths new life into it. So many try and fail
at this, but this flick moderately succeeds. Despite a troubled
Film sees Jack. A young farmers son, sell his horse for some magic beans, which end up growing into a massive beanstalk. This beanstalk leads too a legendary land in the clouds, where the promised giants off the title roam. Sounds familiar? That's because it is. But its been delved into further, with more characters, some extra imagination, and many action set pieces thrown in, to make it a damn good feature length family movie.
Its not perfect. For everyone loving the fact its action packed, there will be those who find it seriously over heavy on the cartoony CGI. There are some cheesy moments, and some bad gags. But these are not overwhelming, in a film that is over all good fun.
In the kingdom of Cloister, in Albion, there is a legend about giants
that came from the realm of Gantua, between Earth and Heaven, using a
large beam stalk and were defeated by King Eric that was wearing a
The eighteen year-old day-dreamer farmer Jack (Nicholas Hoult) has been fascinated by this tale since he was a boy. When he goes to the market to sell his uncle's horse and cart to buy material to repair the farmhouse roof, he defends the honor of Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson), who is also fan of the legend and is secretly in town, and Jack has a crush on her. Then he stumbles with a monk that has stolen magic beams from the evil Roderick (Stanley Tucci), who is engaged with Isabelle, and he offers the beams to Jack to have his horse and escape from the soldiers that are chasing him. When Jack shows the beams to his uncle, he throws them on the floor, angry with the naivety of his nephew.
Meanwhile Isabelle flees from the castle to have her own adventure but she finds a storm and seeks shelter coincidently at Jack's farmhouse. But one of the beams is watered and a huge beam stalk grows, taking Jack's house with the princess trapped inside. When King Brahmwell (Ian McShane) arrives in Jack's land with his knights, he sends a team of the princess's guardians to seek out Isabelle. Jack volunteers to go with them, led by the knights Elmont (Ewan McGregor), Crawe (Eddie Marsan) and Bald (Mingus Johnston). Roderick and his right-arm Wicke (Ewen Bremner) cut the rope and most of the knights falls from the sky and dies. Soon they find the land of Gantua and learn that the giants are not legend. Will they succeed to rescue Princess Isabelle? And what are the evil intentions of Roderick and Wicke?
"Jack the Giant Slayer" is a great family entertainment with a funny and full of action story. The special effects are top-notch and as usual, professional critics, pretentious intellectuals and imbeciles do not like this type of movie, but they insist on watching it to write bad reviews. Bryan Singer again makes a great movie and the only but would be Nicholas Hoult in the role of an eighteen year-old teenager. The character could be a little older in the story. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Jack - O Caçador de Gigantes" ("Jack The Giants Hunter")
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