Jack the Vampire Slayer (I mean Buffy the Giant Slayer)…something like that.

I got tickets to Jack the Giant Slayer last night and decided to chance it. It stars that cute kid from About a Boy, but (surprise!) he’s all grown up. It also stars Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci. What’s not to love? Well, as it turns out, there’s plenty to not love, but there’s also plenty to like, and I left the theatre generally satisfied.

To give a brief summary: Jack is a great family film, showcasing a young David battling a team of Goliaths, a true rags-to-riches story, and cliché cliché cliché. It really is everything you would expect. The plot follows a poor farm boy who accidentally sells his horse for beans. MAGIC beans. Then there’s a princess, some giants, and the happiest of endings. It draws direct inspiration from the famed fable of Jack and the beanstalk, but instead of imparting a useful moral like “If you’re greedy and steal the golden egg, a giant lady will attack you,” the movie leads with “Dream big and you’ll get all of your heart’s desires”. Not a bad moral, but one you’ve seen a million times.

However, I really did enjoy the movie, and I think kids will love it. There’s a good deal of action, a smattering of quotable lines, and a dash of romance. To make it simple, let me just list the worst and the best.

WORST: The plot. It’s a bit too contrived. Not bad, but not great, and the middle ground can often be the worst place to be. ALSO, the bathroom jokes. I never enjoy them, but I suspect that kids will love them.

BEST: Ewan McGregor’s hair. Really, it’s fantastic. And so is he. As a whole, the cast does well. Nicholas Hoult as Jack also further cements his standing as Hollywood’s new “It” boy.

Really. Look at that hair.

Really. Look at that hair. Fantastic.

The clever ending (mini-twist, if you will) is also interesting. It doesn’t quite make up for how obvious the rest of the film plays, but you leave the theatre in a fun spirit.

So kudos to filmmakers for making a fun, family movie. Don’t spend money on the 3D version –the extra dimension doesn’t add much. Take your little cousins, siblings, children as an outing (not TOO little – maybe 9 and above). If you’re a grown-up yourself, wait till the DVD.

For Jack, I would pay a total of $4. Interpret as you will.

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Free Movies for Those Who Seek Them

I’ve been meaning to do it. I really have! But every time I think about it, something stands in my way – usually my procrastination. I wanted to wait for the right time or the right movie. Or I wanted to wait until I perfected the design of this blog (HA – like I would every get around to that). So tonight, I’m pulling through. I’m going to write my first blog post.

I guess this is just a “hello!” post. I don’t know if anyone will read this.  But if no one does, perhaps that’s for the better. I’m happy to have an excuse to write more regularly, especially about film, since I love it all.

What you need to know about me: I live in Boston, and I go see a ton of free movies. A TON.  I guess I can no longer claim the title of “recent” grad, but I’m recent enough to get paid very little, and free movies are my catnip.  In another post I’ll talk about how I get tickets to these movies, but today let’s focus on the purpose of this blog.

I started attending these free screenings last May. Most of them I see with my pal, Maeve, and we created the idea of this blog together, so she should be posting regularly, too! (if we get our act together). Something important to note is that these screenings are also advance screenings. In other words, we get to see the movie before it opens to the general public. We’re not particularly special – there are often hundreds of people sharing the theatre with us. We’re just thrifty and film savvy!

So like I mentioned earlier, we’ve been seeing these movies for months, and since I see them before opening night, I’ve had plenty of friends ask for my opinion.  And finally, I get to the point of the blog – we’re here to share our reviews. And perhaps we’ll share some friendly advice on whether or not it’s worth spending your money, since we didn’t spend any.

So to all of you (if “you” do exist) thanks for reading so far! Feel free to leave any and all comments. I encourage you to voice contrary opinions. Be critical but not insensitive. If you’re mean, I’ll erase you. I swear I’ll do it. Just you watch me.

Cinephilia,

Megan

IMPORTANT NOTE: We have a nontraditional rating system. Since we’re not paying anything to see the movie, we’re rating it on how much we’d be willing to pay!