Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

Rated PG-13. Our ratings: V -;4 L -;1 S/N -.1 Running time: 1 hour 54 min.

Our heores prepare to battle the giants.

2013 New Line Cinema

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;

let me never be put to shame.

In your righteousness dhttp://www.visualparables.net/free/eliver me and rescue me;

incline your ear to me and save me.

Be to me a rock of refuge,

a strong fortress,* to save me,

for you are my rock and my fortress.

Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,

from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.

Psalm 71:1-4

Here is still another fairy tale retold for a teen and young adult audience. The orphaned Jack is far more grown up

in this version when he is sent off to sell the family horse and purchase some roofing thatch. When he returns

with just a handful of beans given him by a monk, his uncle is very upset, throwing the beans away. Then Princess Isabelle (Elanor Tomlinson), whom Jack had met earlier, seeks shelter, having run away from home—both to escape a loveless marriage to Lord Roderick (Stanley Tucci) and to seek out adventure. That night, in a sequence that would make a great ad for Miracle Grow, the beans quickly sprout so that by the next day a number of huge entangled vines have sprung up, lifting the cottage high up to the land of the giants.

Jack is left below but Isabelle is still in the cottage. He joins the rescue party from the castle, one that includes the wily Lord Rodrick and the noble knight Elmont (Ewan McGreggor). There follows a delightful adventure that involves treachery, courage, and sacrifice. The CGI-created giants are well integrated into the action with the actors. There is quite a bit of bloodshed, including the popping out of a giant’s eye, so parents should see this before taking any pre-school child. All in all, this is far better than the Hansel and Gretel re-invented film. Again, save your money and watch it in 2-D.

For Reflection & Discussion

1. What do you think of the opening scenes showing a parent reading the story to an 8 year-old farm boy in a cottage and the queen to her daughter in a castle?

2. In the usual fairy tale which of the two, Jack or Elmont, would be the hero?

3. What signs of bravery are shown? (Even the fear of heights!)?

4. What do you think of the humor at various points? Do you think children will get the joke in which the giants are eating “pigs in a blanket” ?

5. How has feminism shaped the way in which Isabelle is portrayed? A good thing for girls in the audience?