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Jack the Giant Slayer

By JOHN LOCANTHI
Jack and the Beanstalk is one of the few English folktales Americans know by heart. A peasant boy sells his abusive guardian’s livestock for some beans, the beans get wet, a beanstalk grows, and off he goes to rescue a princess from a bread-crazed giant in the sky. Combining that G-rated Beanstalk yarn with all the decapitations and anus-stabbing of the true Arthurian legend, Jack the Giant Slayer is a grimy retelling of the children’s tale…in 3-D. The titular Jack, played by Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, Warm Bodies), is an awkward farm boy who has grown up obsessed with this children’s tale, as has Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson). Alas, the princess is unhappily betrothed to an ambitious nobleman (Stanley Tucci, in the thankless role of a cartoonish bad guy who does evil things to advance the plot). Given the history of this tale, it’s surprising it took until 2013 for a major studio to tackle the rapidly growing beanstalk with CGI. It’s a spectacle unto itself as the sinewy tendrils rip through the ground, out of the cabin and into the sky. In an equally impressive CGI feat, a giant picks his nose while wrapping Ewan McGregor in a pancake. The story isn’t particularly important, and the film can’t decide whether it wants to be serious or tongue-in-cheek. No, Jack the Giant Slayer is focused on moving from one epic fantasy scene to another, whether it’s McGregor shouting, “Tally ho!” as he zip-lines across the beanstalk or a two-headed giant (Bill Nighy) bursting through a tiled floor. And to that end, it’s a great deal of fun.
 
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy
  • Running Time: 115 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, March 22, 2013
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 [ Brief Language, Intense Action Violence, Intense Fantasy Violence, Some Frightening Images ]
  • Critic's Score: B
  • Starring: Nicholas Hoult [Jack], Eleanor Tomlinson [Princess Isabelle], Ewan McGregor [Elmont], Stanley Tucci [Roderick], Eddie Marsan [Crawe], Ewen Bremner [Wicke], Ian McShane [King Brahmwell], Bill Nighy [General Fallon], Christopher Fairbank [Uncle], Simon Lowe [Monk], Mingus Johnston [Bald], Ralph Brown [General Entin], Joy McBrinn [Old Maid], Chris Brailsford [Blacksmith], Warwick Davis [Old Hamm], Craig Salisbury [Panto Erik the Great], Peter Bonner [Panto Monk]
  • Directed by: Bryan Singer [Director], Darren Lemke [Screenwriter], Christopher McQuarrie [Screenwriter], Dan Studney [Screenwriter], Neal H. Moritz [Producer], David Dobkin [Producer], Bryan Singer [Producer], Patrick McCormick [Producer], Ori Marmur [Producer], Thomas Tull [Executive Producer], Jon Jashni [Executive Producer], Alex Garcia [Executive Producer], Toby Emmerich [Executive Producer], Richard Brener [Executive Producer], Michael Disco [Executive Producer], John Rickard [Executive Producer], Newton Thomas Sigel [Cinematographer], John Ottman [Film Editor], Bob Ducsay [Film Editor], Gavin Bocquet [Production Design], John Ottman [Original Music], Joanna Johnston [Costume Designer], Nina Gold [Casting], Roger Mussenden [Casting], Jeremy Rich [Casting], Peter Russell [Supervising Art Direction], Peter James [Art Director], Gary Tomkins [Art Director], Rod McLean [Art Director], Phil Harvey [Art Director], Sophie Hervieu [Art Director], Richard Roberts [Set Decoration]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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