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Jack The Giant Slayer

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Jack The Giant Slayer - 18/3/2013 2:56:44 AM   
Empire Admin


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Really rather good - 18/3/2013 2:56:44 AM   


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Saw it this morning as part of a Sky Rewards early preview. The film is great fun for both adults and kids alike. The cgi giants are excellent with lots of humour. The review is correct in that the beginning is a bit hammy, but it quickly find it's feet and the action never stops after that.

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RE: Really rather good - 18/3/2013 11:54:21 PM   

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Saw it over the weekend. Definitely worth watching in IMAX 3D. Great check your mind at the door kind of movie. Right now it has 4 THEATER, 2 RENTS ratings at

Friends Don't Let Friends Pay Movie Ticket Prices For Rentals

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Post #: 3
RE: Jack The Giant Slayer - 22/3/2013 6:38:40 PM   


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Interviewed for the Metro newspaper, director Bryan Singer had stated that fairy tales have become the new superhero movies, due to the recent successful wave of fantasy flicks like last yearís Snow White and the Huntsman and early this year, Sam Raimiís Oz the Great and Powerful. Although Singer is still tackling the world of superheroes (with the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past), he takes a crack at the land of fairy tales with his CGI extravaganza version of Jack the Giant Killer.

During an unexpected visit from the runaway princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson), farm boy Jack (Nicholas Hoult) must join forces with the Kingís guardians to rescue the princess from a race of giants after inadvertently grown a beanstalk grown out his magic beans that lead to their world.

As a film thatís been in long development and under the direction of Bryan Singer, this was ambitious but is now considered a disappointment at the US Box Office. Itís fair to say that even with the involvement of The Usual Suspects screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, Jack the Giant Slayer is a fairly routine adventure where the narrative is very ABC. With a story that is essentially the young farmhand trying to save the princess from the clutches of gross-looking giants, Singer is simply telling a very traditional fairy tale that could exist in a Disney film, with a little bit of charm but without a level of personal substance from Singerís previous blockbusters.

Light on plot, heavy on spectacle as despite the half-decent use of 3D and impressive mo-cap giants, the film reminds you of the classic stop-motion films by Ray Harryhausen, including ironically the 1962 film Jack the Giant Killer. The film is at its best with the giants led by the two-headed Fallon (motion-captured by Bill Nighy and John Kassir) and once they make their stand against the Kingdom of Cloister, the third act is truly thrilling.

All the characters of this film are caricatured and despite the fine performances from people like Nicholas Hoult who has a nice chemistry with Eleanor Tomlinson, they donít bring anything fresh to these traditional fantasy roles. While Ian McShane isnít a stranger to this genre, but his golden-armoured king constantly reminded me of Lord Farquaad and there are moments of humour which seemed straight out of Shrek. On the other hand, Stanley Tucci is really having fun as the villainous Lord Roderick who is very pantomime and tongue-in-cheek.

While the script feels routine and corporate, Bryan Singer does a decent job at presenting such spectacle to a very traditional fairy tale that will entertain the whole family. Plus, itís got giants smashing up the place.

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Post #: 4
Great cure for insomnia - 23/3/2013 8:41:39 PM   


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This is really rather poor. OK, perhaps one shouldn't expect too much from a proposition like this, but the characters are paper thin, the story is lazy, the dialogue is naff, the special effects are ridiculously cartoonish, the pace is way off and the photography is dull.

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Post #: 5
mostly agree - 25/3/2013 12:46:45 AM   


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The final 3rd act does indeed save it. McGregor is ok - although he's character is, like, the worst foot-soldier ever! he basically fails at every task he's meant to - get the princess!, recover the beans!, get the crown back!

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Post #: 6
RE: mostly agree - 25/3/2013 8:36:26 AM   
Dr Lenera


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In the Kingdom of Cloister, both Jack, a young farm boy, and Princess Isabelle, are fascinated by the legend of Erik, an ancient king who defeated an army of invading giants from a realm in the sky. Ten years later, Jack goes into town to sell his horse to support his uncleís farm and defends Isabelleís honour from a group of thugs. Isabelleís father King Brahmwell wants her to marry Roderick against her will. A monk steals some magic beans he stole from Roderick as collateral for Jackís horse, but Jackís uncle throws them onto the ground. Yearning for some freedom, Isabelle sneaks out of her fatherís castle and seeks shelter from the rain in Jackís house. As it rains, one of the beans takes root and grows into a massive beanstalk that carries the house and Isabelle into the skyÖ.

When I first heard that they were remaking the 1962 movie Jack The Giant Killer [yes folks, the 1962 movie, which you may not know of considering the number of ignorant reviews that have failed to mention it], I had a good old moan, the moan I have whenever a film I am very fond of is about to be remade. Actually the original film is not quite a classic, though it remains a fun adventure very much in the vein of Ray Harryhausenís Sinbad and Greek mythological adventures, though the effects are generally not quite up to the Harryhausen standard.

Anyway, thatís enough of the old so letís get on with the new, though it seems ages ago when Jack The Giant Slayer began production. The fact that they changed Ďkillerí into Ďgiantí in a typical example of the misguided political correctness that is prevalent in these times was enough to make me want to hate this movie before Iíd seen a second of footage from it, and the general opinion seems to be that the film is not as bad as they expected, but actually itís a great deal better than that, an entertaining, old-fashioned romp, albeit one with a huge gaping flaw it is hard to overlook. Is it better than the original? Itís hard to say, because both films are actually very different. The original movie basically remade The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad in Medieval England, even using the same actors to play hero and villain. This version seems more like an elaborate variant of Jack And The Beanstalk, and if that sounds almost as silly, the fairytales of Jack The Giant Killer and Jack And The Beanstalk both have their basis in the same story.

Jack The Giant Slayer begins decently with both hero and heroine as children being read the same book, though the cheap-looking CGI animation used to visualise this doesnít really help and seems a bit out of place. Never mind, we fast-forward twenty years and the editing continues to link Jack and Princess Isabelle together in a quite clever though if truth be told slightly forced manner. The two then first see each other in a rather romantic little moment, and the scene soon after where they first talk is really sweet and innocent. One of the most appealing things about this movie is its total lack of cynicism, its charming feel which seems to look back to an earlier time in cinema when movie storytellers believed in the story they were telling and didnít feel they had to mock it, nor add all this dreary grit and darkness which is too common in fantasy and science-fiction films at the moment. And, by the way, I donít know why this film has a 12A rating: the tiny bit of bloody violence is negligible, and actually the original film was darker with its fluorescent witches and princess turned into an evil mirror image of herself.

The sequence where the beanstalk smashes through the house and sprouts into the sky is vividly done, even if the special effects are not too great, and it just looks very cool, like something out of a Japanese anime. The tension is considerable as our protagonists climb up and up it, and at this point it seems that Jack The Giant Slayer is going to be very good indeed. The story is simple but involving, the cast all do well, and there is just enough humour without turning everything into a pastiche. Sadly as soon as everyone reaches the land of the giants things drop somewhat when the giants are often laughably unconvincing, with rendering and even motion capture so poor that it sometimes just looks like a ten year old just dropped their Xbox into the film. All the effort to make them convincingly hideous and disgusting [one even swallows his own snot] is for nothing when half the time the giants donít even look like theyíre actually there. This kind of thing would be acceptable in a film from fifteen or even ten years ago, but not now. Though the beanstalk does convincingly collapse later, and the film gets more and more action-packed with more than a whiff of the third The Lord Of The Rings episode about it [thereís even a mission to go and light some beacons], over all itís hard to say where all the very huge budget for this movie went, though remember itís from a director who decided to cut a ten million dollar scene from Superman Returns.

Itís a real shame about many of the effects, because there is a lot to like elsewhere in Jack The Giant Slayer. The plot is straight-forward but is all the better for it. The love story, when thereís room for it in-between all those stupid giants, is cute, and unlike in the first film where he only kills one, Jack does actually slay quite a few giants here. The costumes look great with interesting diversity in the armour in particular, and the cast all do very well. The best is Stanley Tucci, one of those performers who would make an awful film worth watching because of his presence. His broad, pantomime villain is just perfect, and the actor manages to project such strength of personality that you are convinced he could order about a load of giants, anyone of whom could actually squish him with one foot. He has a funny double act with Ewen Bremner, who as usual is about as subtle as a brick. Nicholas Hoult is a bit of a bland hero, but itís often the case with films like this. The hero doesnít really need to be interesting, just likeable, while it is the stuff going on around him that is the interesting part.

Jack The Giant Slayer ends on a really bizarre and goofy note that would have probably killed off plans for a sequel even if the movie had been a disappointment, but itís still a decent watch for the whole family like Oz: The Great And Powerful, and is actually more fun than that film, even if I remain unconvinced that Bryan Singer is totally Ďrightí for fantastical material. I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would, even if the 1962 film will still probably be the one I will first turn to for some escapism. Thatís may very well be because I just saw it at the right age though. If I was that age now, itís possible I would feel the same way about this new film. Itís simple desire to entertain without irony is admirable and it has just enough feel of old myths and legends to make it far more likeable than, for instance, the horrible Immortals or the dreary Clash Of The Titans, both of which seem more representative of the way this kind of thing is usually done these days.

Rating: 7/10


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Post #: 7
RE: mostly agree - 26/3/2013 10:28:30 PM   


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I found it way better than expected! Empire's review describes it pretty well. For me it's a 3,5/5. Also, much more enjoyable than "Oz The Great and Powerful": less cheesy, less childish, much funnier.

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Post #: 8
All playa, no slaya... - 28/3/2013 10:25:42 PM   

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Joined: 28/4/2012
From: Oxford, UK
Ultimately, 'Jack The Giant Slayer' comes off as an Aldi-brand 'Lord of the Rings', and it's a real shame because the potential's there for so much more.
It's well intentioned, but it wastes a lot of time going down well-trodden pathways.


More reviews and rambling like that ^^^ at: >>> <<<

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Post #: 9
Enjoyable if you're under 10 years old - 5/4/2013 7:53:05 PM   

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A 'nice' little Easter holiday film that neither taxes the brain nor tires one's arse (see The Hobbit). It just never feels like it fully kicks-off. Even the fun final battle feels light. The cgi is pretty lame in this day'n'age too.

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Post #: 10
much better than I was expecting - 10/4/2013 11:51:47 PM   


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I enjoyed this far more then I expected to. A fun re-telling of the story with lots of nice moments. It didn't deserve to crash the way it appears to, I have seen a lot worse this year.

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Post #: 11
Jack the Giant Slayer - 8/6/2013 3:38:44 PM   

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Joined: 7/1/2013

Fairytale as a new genre looks like it’s going to have a short lifecycle. The marketers in Hollywood were clearly looking to cash in on the success of Peter Jackson’s Tolkien franchise. Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsmen, and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters have struggled to make the huge profit forecast against the budgets allocated. Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty) and Pan beckon but the disappointing opening weekend of Jack: The Giant Slayer directed by Bryan Singer must concern the accountants and marketers.

Well paced and old fashioned those looking for a Saturday matinee family entertainment will find mindless enjoyment. However at a budget of 200 million, there is not much depth here and clearly Rob Reiner/William Goldman’s The Princess Bride is an inspiration. Three writers are credited with the script including long-time collaborator Christopher McQuarrie. It’s full of quirky one liner’s and never takes itself too seriously but lacks the spark of Goldman’s classic. For the amount of money spent you expect more.

Nicholas Hoult is one of the reasons to see the film he has an effortless charm that works well with the material. Though his costume is quite bizarre, bathed in leather and a modern haircut clearly someone somewhere was concerned with the cut through of the character with modern audiences. Singer has surrounded him with strong performers most notably Stanley Tucci as the dastardly bad guy Roderick and Ian McShane as the King recalling Wallace Shawn from The Princess Bride or a Hobbit take your pick. McShane’s costume is as diverting as Hoult’s. Ewan McGregor and newcomer Eleanor Tomlinson (perfectly cast)round out the rest of the cast.

The plot involves Jack, the beans, giants and young love of a peasant boy to a feisty princess. The CGI is awe inspiring expertly bringing the giants and the beanstalk to life. Singer clearly enjoys working

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Post #: 12
RE: Jack the Giant Slayer - 27/7/2013 6:07:16 PM   

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I quite enjoyed this as a lazy afternoon flick. Not sure why Ewan McGregor had Beckham hair though.

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Post #: 13
RE: Jack the Giant Slayer - 9/10/2013 7:37:47 PM   

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From: Norwich
The biggest problem I found with this film is that Nicholas Holt didn't really have the chops for leading man and never set the screen even slightly alight when he was on it. For the size of the budget and for a film so reliant on CGI it was not really that well constructed with the giants never really being believable as actually being there. It is diverting enough but exceptionally mediocre. The best thing was Ewan McGregor hamming it up.


Nothing to see here.

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Post #: 14
RE: Jack the Giant Slayer - 10/10/2013 2:14:12 AM   

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Joined: 10/10/2013
Twas ok,decent family fare,if a bit scary for young kids.
Mc gregor in good form,agree leading role was wooden.


Film.Involve me,engage me,encapsulate me,make me feel.
Never disinterest me.

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RE: Jack the Giant Slayer - 10/10/2013 6:36:21 PM   

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ORIGINAL: CriticNumberOne
agree leading role was wooden.

I believe it is his cold, dead eyes which did it.


Nothing to see here.

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Post #: 16
RE: Jack the Giant Slayer - 11/10/2013 4:49:40 AM   

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Joined: 10/10/2013
Well it isn't his fault,but casting people-one word-Narnia.


Film.Involve me,engage me,encapsulate me,make me feel.
Never disinterest me.

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Post #: 17
HOMOGINISED PAP..... - 11/10/2013 4:40:53 PM   


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Bryan Singer seems to have lost his creative mojo – either that or he’s lost within the creative miasma that is modern Hollywood . This is just standard kiddie friendly CGI fare, designed to be enjoyed by one and all on a quiet Sunday afternoon in front of the TV. Unfortunately, Nicholas Hoult spends far too much time preening himself and comparing cheekbones with his leading lady to fully convince as Jack and Ewan McGregor seemed to be phoning it in although you get the impression that he would‘ve had some fun with his role if indeed the story and the director had let him. The producers probably baulked at the escalating budget, got cold feet at the millions of dollars being thrown away and decided to play safe. Tons of cartoon violence but very little blood. Nothing in here to offend the “mommies and their little angels”. A hammy prologue crudely stapled into the plot to explain everything before the opening credits and a couple of pretty looking young faces to pull in the prized teenage demographic. Jack The Giant Killer/slayer (or Jack and the Beanstalk to give it it’s proper name) wastes a classic fairytale fantasy scenario and leaves a pretty good cast of actors hamstrung by a lifeless, humourless script (… I can’t believe the usually brilliant Chris McQuarrie actually had a hand in writing this thing?????) that seems to have been cobbled together for five year olds. A leading man with all the brio and charisma of a dead shrew and video game SFX that wouldn’t convince even on an old PS2. As always, the studios seem to be jumping the gun in the mad rush to kick start a new franchise with an open ended climax cynically tagged on all ready and prepared for the inevitable sequel (dream on you suckers!!). I can’t really recommend wasting any money watching this as you’d get just as much fun and enjoyment watching the old sub Harryhausen Kerwin Matthews version if it’s on TV. But if I really was

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Post #: 18
"Son, those beans have the power to change the wor... - 15/11/2013 3:42:41 PM   


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More concerned with showy special effects than with plot or character development, Jack the Giant Slayer is little more than a contrived retelling of the classic fairy tale. An epic bore.

< Message edited by movienut707 -- 15/11/2013 3:47:55 PM >

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Post #: 19
RE: "Son, those beans have the power to change the... - 31/12/2013 11:54:34 AM   


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The movie feels so much like a video game that your fingers instinctively itch to do something, though a Jack video game isn't one we'd really want to play.

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Post #: 20
RE: "Son, those beans have the power to change the... - 28/1/2014 6:51:33 PM   

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Joined: 2/10/2005
Seems this didnt get a decent reception which I think is a shame. I felt it was the same kindof film a younger me would have loved. While I didnt love it, I did enjoy it. Doesnt avoid some of the cliches (Boy meets girl....) but its a fairy tale and they are full of them.

Great cast, everyone is having fun with it, not least Ewan McGregor who runs away with it. Shame the final battle ends so abruptly but where else was it going to go? Better than the Hobbit.


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