Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story (Widescreen)
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This ambitious miniseries begins with Jack's descendant (Matthew Modine) and works its way backward to the story of the original young man and the beanstalk. Because the first Jack used that towering vine to steal a giant's magic goose and harp, an entire world was reduced to poverty and a bloodline was cursed--all Robinson men die in their 40s, and the modern-day Jack is around that age. Fortunately, Ondine (Mia Sara), a visitor from the giant's alternative reality, has a plan. If she and Jack can recover the stolen items in time, they may be able to solve both problems. The made-for-TV movie boasts top stars (including Vanessa Redgrave and Jon Voight) and Jim Henson's Creature Shop's nifty special effects. Although children younger than 10 may find the complex narrative confusing and the implied violence scary, Jack and the Beanstalk is an inventive retelling that adds new life to an old story. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Top Customer Reviews
The visual effects are outstanding..some of the best I have seen ... and incredible for a shoot that was only 11 1/2 weeks long (source: special features-behind the scenes- on DVD) .
The actors did an outstanding job, with John Voigt pulling in a comedic performance that is a total surprise and very refreshing indeed!! Matthew Modine is, as always the best at his craft. He speaks with his eyes and face when he acts.... He is terrific. Darryl Hannah, Richard Attenborough, Mia Sara and Vanessa Redgrave round out the cast with equally well done characters. The role of Thunderdell is completely believeable in "both" roles..You will have to watch that to know what I mean... and is just outstanding.
Buy this movie with confidence!! It is a wonderful rainy night, sit down with a bowl of popcorn and escape movie!! Enjoy!!
Just because something is made by Hensen, and just becasue it is is based on an old fairy tale doesn't mean it is automatically for children.
Parents stop blaming the film makers and pay attention to the what the film says on its packaging!
Aside from that this film is wonderful, not at all boring as some think, but and interesting intelectual twist on a fairy tale. It was a delight to see this well acted, well filmed TV movie that truly had some heart and good storytelling to boot!
Mia Sara was excellent and the lovely twist at the end was well done and hard to see coming. I'm talking about the "True" story of Jack and his mother, not the actually ending of the film. Which was a little cliched but I belive that cliches, if done well are not always a bad thing. And the cliches in this story have more to do with the parallels to the original fable and so are not a bad thing at all.
As I stated before, during the first half hour a seemingly interesting plot was set up. Strange nightmares plagued Jack, his forefathers all died at the age of forty, no one really knew where his wealth came from, and a mysterious person posing as a reporter was following him around. Sounds interesting right? I thought so, but it takes a ridiculously long time for things to progress from this point. The audience will undoubtedly ascertain the answers to all of these "mysteries" long before the movie presents the answers. It makes for tough viewing when the only people who don't know what's going are the characters in the film.
Anyway, back to the plot: The movie essentially tries to throw a new spin on an old fairy tale, which is fine by me. I enjoy retellings, alternative outcomes, and differing perspectives. So they make Jack bad, and the giants good. Not exactly a blockbuster concept, but it could work. That is if the movie could make it half-way believable. But totally absurd plot holes (I think if you were to pull a seven story skeleton out of your backyard and kill two people in the process I think the neighbors might notice) and cheesy special effects (pretty much on par with a power-rangers episode) make this movie not only un-watchable but painful as well.Read more ›
My annoyance with Jack was largely because of the potential, talent and money it squanders.It's a clumsy, predictable and heavy-handed morality play which, not trusting its characters (for good reason), resorts to narrating its lessons.
The screenplay wanders from cliché to inanity to convenience and seems to have been introduced in the editing suite. The acting ranges from wooden to exploitive, with some particularly gifted players managing both qualities at once. Musical flourishes announce each revelation and instruct us on the appropriate response, just in case we hadn't seen it coming from a mile off. Convenient emotional touch-points are provided for people whose hearts might become lost in the meandering script.
There are procedural and plot holes you can literally drop a giant through (e.g. despite porous security and dozens of witnesses, the giant's skeleton is excavated in complete secrecy). In a story that challenges us to believe in the impossible, such gaping wounds oblige us to abandon all hope. Retellings should add depth and scope to classic tales. Henson serves up confetti and cream-of-wheat.
Most recent customer reviews
I first saw this movie when it was aired on TV, as a two part series. I am, and always have been, a fan of "the other side of the coin" type tales, stories that challenge popular... Read morePublished on Feb. 17 2009 by Jennifer Bennett
Whether you prefer the classic or this new version, it doesn't make any difference. The classic Jack and the magic Beanstalk is not suitable for kids anyway,Why? Read morePublished on June 3 2004
"Jack and the Beanstalk" was my favorite fairy tale when I was a child; and I had great hopes when I heard about this television adaptation that Hollywood would finally... Read morePublished on April 20 2004 by Gloria Clothier
I've shown this movie for three years now in a creative writing class for kids. I continue to be amazed at how intricately it weaves its story -- I discover something new on each... Read morePublished on March 20 2004
Nice Story, good actors and the butler is perfect!
So I think this movie is very good, and nice to see it.
Greez Lex Moneyshot
I highly recommend this movie...especially for children.
We watched this movie as a family movie and my children, ages 4 - 11 loved it from beginning to end. Read more
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