Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Jack the Giant Slayer

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense scenes of fantasy action violence, some frightening images, and brief language
Profanity:Brief strong language
Nudity/Sex:Kissing
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Extended fantasy and action violence, characters in peril, injured, and killed, some graphic and disturbing images, monsters
Diversity Issues:Class issues, strong female character
Movie Release Date:March 1, 2013
DVD Release Date:June 17, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense scenes of fantasy action violence, some frightening images, and brief language
Profanity: Brief strong language
Nudity/Sex: Kissing
Alcohol/Drugs: None
Violence/Scariness: Extended fantasy and action violence, characters in peril, injured, and killed, some graphic and disturbing images, monsters
Diversity Issues: Class issues, strong female character
Movie Release Date: March 1, 2013
DVD Release Date: June 17, 2013

More action, more romance, more spectacle, a brave princess who wears armor and does not wait to be rescued, and lots more giants — this is a grand bedtime story 21st century-style.  As a boy, Jack (“Warm Bodies” Nicholas Hoult) loved to hear the stories about the time that giants ruled the earth and the magical crown that keeps them confined to their home above the clouds.  It turns out they were more than stories.

Advertisement

As a young man, Jack lives with his uncle, who sends him to town to sell their horse.  The movie Jack is a bit less credulous than the one in the story.  He does end up with magic beans, but not because he believes a story about them. He is given them by a man desperate to keep them from being used to bring the giants back to earth.

Jack is warned not to let the beans anywhere near water, but you know what happens.  Pretty soon a beanstalk grows five miles up into the sky, taking Jack’s house with it.  And, since Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) happened to stop by Jack’s house to get out of the rain, she is up the beanstalk, too.  The king sends a rescue squad after her led by Roderick, his highest-ranking courtier and — despite her objections — Isabelle’s fiancé.  Also making the climb are a group of soldiers led by Elmont (a gallant but under-used Ewan McGregor), and a volunteer — Jack.

Advertisement

And they find a big community of giants — all male, which may explain some of their anger issues as well as a disturbing lack of attention to personal hygiene.  Production designer Gavin Bocquet and costume designer Joanna Johnston have created an eye-filling world that feels fairy tale fantastic but not musty or old-fashioned.  Aside from a few clunkers in the dialog (in no fairy tale is it ever appropriate for a character to say “okay” or “pissed off”), it remains inventive and entertaining.  The giants are imaginatively designed, with the leader a motion capture performance by Bill Nighy (as at least one of the two heads).  Tucci clearly enjoys himself as the ruthlessly ambitious courtier and it is a nice twist to have the real bad guy be someone more close to home than the giants.  Jack and Isabelle have a sweet and almost immediate connection, wasting little time on the usual back-and-forth of learning to trust themselves and each other.  And that makes the idea of a happily ever after ending even more satisfying.

Advertisement

Parents should know that this movie includes a great deal of fantasy/action violence, with characters injured and killed and some scary monsters and disturbing images like skeletons and skulls and an eye that pops out — plus some giant nose-picking.  There is also some gross/crude humor and brief strong language.

Family discussion: What is Roderick’s plan?  How does he show that he cannot be trusted?  What does Jack to to earn the respect of Elmont and Isabelle?  What does Roderick mean by saying that they all think of themselves as the hero of the story?

If you like this, try: Disney’s “Mickey and the Beanstalk” and “A Knight’s Tale”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment grok87

    Just saw this and liked it. The movie is very visually appealing and well done. Their is a lot of clever interplay in the dialogue, especially in drawing the parallels between Jack and Isabelle early on.
    While I enjoyed the movie, I felt i dragged a little bit toward the end. But largely I think they pulled off the combination of a big special effect type movie with some wit and heart.
    cheers,

    • Nell Minow

      Agreed, grok87! Thanks!

Previous Posts

Vacation
I didn't like the first one. I didn't like the sequels. Keep that in mind when I tell you that I really did not like this latest in the ...

posted 6:44:58pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Bugs Bunny Turns 75
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHpXle4NqWI A fascinating look at what made Warner Brothers cartoons work. Surprisingly, within these anarchic worlds, there were a lot of rules. This video has some very thoughtful commentary, including ...

posted 3:21:10pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

4 Family DVD Giveaway! A Little Game, Horse Camp, Justin and the Knights of Valor, and An Evergreen Christmas
This is a great time of year for families to share wonderful movies, and I am thrilled to have a terrific prize package of four great family movies to give away. To enter, send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with FOUR in the subject line ...

posted 12:00:12pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Nicole Kidman Plays Gertrude Bell in "Queen of the Desert"
Nicole Kidman plays Gertrude Bell, the first woman to earn top honors in history at Oxford, fluent in six languages, and one of the great adventurers and scholars of the 20th century. Her spiritual home was the Middle East, where she became a ...

posted 8:00:34am Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Mississippi Grind with Ryan Reynolds
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ooca5idaNSk?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0" frameborder="0"] Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn star in "Mississippi Grind," about two gamblers, one successful, one not, ...

posted 8:00:11am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.