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post #1 of 7 Old 06-30-10, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Jack and the Beanstalk - DVD Review

Title: Jack and the Beanstalk
Starring: Christopher Lloyd, Katey Sagal, Chloe Moretz, Chevy Chase, James Earl Jones (voice of)
Directed by: Gary J. Tunnicliffe
Written by: Flip Kobler & Cindy Marcus (screenplay)
Studio: Screen Media Films
Rated: G
Runtime: 94 minutes
Release Date: June 22, 2010


Most of us all know the story of Jack and Beanstalk. A kid learns what it means to become a hero by planting beans, only to find that the beans grow to be a sky scrapping beanstalk, and he must climb to the top of it where he faces his greatest danger ever.

Jack (Colin Ford) is a young boy in a town of all the fairy tales you can think of; Little red riding hood, Cinderella's step sisters, sleeping beauty, etc. In school each student's homework is to do what they are meant to do. For example, sleeping beauty is meant to sleep, so her homework is to sleep, and so on. Jack has only figured out that he is to be a hero, but he doesn't know how, and he is teacher (Lloyd) tells him he has the weekend to finish his homework, be a hero, with proof or he will fail the class.

Jack starts to ask around town what it means to be a hero, the mayor tells him that true heroes make great sacrifices. But Jack did not know what it meant to sacrifice, until he is told it is when you give up your greatest possession to help someone else. Across the street is a pawnshop, Jack figures this is the best place to make his sacrifice. Begging the store owner not to give him what his item is worth, and to trade for something less valuable, Jack receives three beans. After coming home to tell his mom that he made a sacrifice, he finds his mother is without a job, and the only way to support his mother and him would be to sell his possession he had that he just traded for beans. Angry about his decision he gets ride of the beans by throwing them out the window, where the family goose sneaks a bite of one of the three beans. Hours later, Jack is awoken by the family goose, Grayson (Gilbert Gottfried) who is now human height, with a human head, and thumbs, which Grayson is very excited about.

Jack and Grayson make their journey to the top of the beanstalk, only to find out that Jack's heroic act is to happen up there. They find out that the evil giant (Jones) kidnapped an old man's granddaughter and turned her into a harp! Jack and Grayson start to make their way through a maze before the giant's castle, but quickly face many trials. This is when Jillian makes an appearance and rescues the two from some of the protectors. Jillian helps Jack and Grayson as they finally arrive to the castle, only to find out though that Jillian had tricked them. She wasn't there to help them, she was there to trick them, and was working for the giant all along.

But Jack and Grayson aren't the only ones who were tricked, Jillian was tricked by the giant and is thrown into a holding cell with Jack. Grayson at this point learns he can lay golden eggs, so the giant takes him to his own quarters to make it rich from Grayson. Jack and Jillian work out their differences and decide it's time that both of them be heroes, save the harp, who is actually a girl under a spell, and get out of there. The pair work together courageously to save the harp, as well as saving Grayson in the process.


Movie is rated G, and is great fun for the entire family!


While this movie was a low budget film, the visuals were actually quite impressive. And of course it is geared towards kids, but even so, I thought they did a great job of portraying a more old fashioned feel as well as delivering a great quality looking film. Obviously this was not blu-ray quality, but even for a dvd formatted film, quality was great, except for just a couple scenes that involved the beanstalk. Because I'm older and don't have my childhood imagination anymore, some of the scenes taking place when the beanstalk falls, and when the two are climbing up it, I thought it looked a little too fake. But again, this movie is geared towards kids, and they would not notice.


All I can say is, nothing is creepier than James Earl Jones saying Fee Fi Fo Fum. I thought the audio was great. Because alot of the props on set were probably very cheap quality materials sound effects were a huge part of this film, everything from the eggs sounding like solid metal on the floor the the girl as a harp singing, but yet sounding like a harp still. Sound was quite impressive, and I can't stress enough, even though it's a kids movie, hearing Darth Vader was awesome!


There were not any special features.


Overall, I think this was a very enjoyable film. I am 23, and I actually liked the movie. Would I watch it again, probably not, only because I am not a little kid, but if I had a family with small kids, this would definitely be a hit film! A lot of movies I watch that are geared towards kids has so much dialogue in it, dialogue that doesn't even have a meaning. But a lot of Jack and the Beanstalk is visual. Which I think this will make it even more enjoyable for children.

Aside from the visual aspect of it though, the movie has an incredible meaning behind it, and this is what I almost found to be the best part. Obviously the movie follows Jack, whose job is to be a hero. So throughout the entire film, many people are telling Jack what a hero really means, describing one to be someone who makes sacrifices, helps others at all costs, and putting others before yourself. I thought this was a great message film for younger kids. And receiving 4 out of 5 doves proves that.

The acting however is kind of a different story. Now a lot of these bigger name actors I have seen in more adult films where their acting is quite impressive, and I know they are acting goofy because it is a kids movie, but I almost thought the acting was kind of silly, and again, maybe my lack of childhood imagination gets in the way here, but I wasn't too impressed with the acting.

All in all, this is a great family film. I would recommend this to families with children who are young, but yet old enough to understand meanings of movies, and to get the message that is being told all the while being entertained as well.

Steffen Harris
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-30-10, 07:10 AM
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk - DVD Review

Great review Steffen! My kids are older so I may have to invite some friends over to watch it with their younger kiddo's but it seems like a fun little movie. They have a pretty good cast as well which should only lend positively to the movie as a whole. Thanks for the review!

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post #3 of 7 Old 06-30-10, 04:39 PM
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk - DVD Review

I just received this email... to my surprise...

Thank you for the very fair and complete review of "Jack and the Beanstalk". I am the producer of the film and sincerely appreciate your comments. We tried very hard to make a film that would be entertaining, suitable for all audiences, and offered something meaningful to young members of the audience. I appreciate that you took the time to point things out that have been missed in most reviews.

We are hard at work on the next film, and we take criticism very well. It is some of the best insight for making each film a little better. Please know that you have contributed to our future projects already and for that we are grateful.

Best regards,

Gary DePew
Avalon Family Entertainment

Cedar Creek Cinema

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post #4 of 7 Old 06-30-10, 04:48 PM
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk - DVD Review

Well thats something to be proud about! I will have to give this move a look as some of my kids are still young and will enjoy it I am sure.

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Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

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Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #5 of 7 Old 06-30-10, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk - DVD Review

Wow! Glad to see that. I'm honored that they feel that way.

Steffen Harris
"A photograph is like the recipe - a memory the finished dish"
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-01-10, 08:01 AM
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk - DVD Review

Awesome! I might just give this movie a go based on the fact that the producer went out of his way to to personally make a friendly comment towards your review- Character like that is hard to find these days and says a lot about what goes into the feature he is representing

Oh, and congrats on the warm reception Steffen
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-01-10, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Jack and the Beanstalk - DVD Review

Thanks spud. I agree, the fact that he took time from a busy schedule to do this means a lot. And it shows that he is sincere about it. I really appreciate his kind words, and it inspires me to do better reviews.

Steffen Harris
"A photograph is like the recipe - a memory the finished dish"
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