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Thompson on Hollywood

Why 'Jack the Giant Slayer' Flopped

The dwarfish $28 million domestic that Warner Bros.' “Jack the Giant Slayer” grossed over the weekend was what? A surprise? That the wheel-spinning Bryan Singer would make a soulless 3-D disaster film out of a timeless children’s story was hardly a shock. But the film’s anemic showing was indicative of something that has nothing to do with art and everything to do with commercial malpractice: No one – including audiences, ultimately -- knew who this big lumbering movie was for.
  • By John Anderson
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  • March 4, 2013 1:56 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Hollywood's New Fractured Fairy Tales

"For a story truly to hold a child’s attention, it must entertain him and arouse his curiosity. But to enrich his life, it must stimulate his imagination; help him to develop his intellect and to clarify his emotions; be attuned to his anxieties and aspirations; give full recognition to his difficulties, while at the same time suggesting solutions to the problems which perturb him….In all these and many other respects….nothing can be as enriching and satisfying to child and adult alike as the folk fairy tale." --Bruno Bettelheim
  • By Carrie Rickey
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  • March 4, 2013 11:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Preview: 'War Witch' Bewitches, 'Stoker' a Mixed Bag, 'Jack the Giant' Not Slaying Critics

It's a good weekend for limited release films. Canada's Oscar-nominated foreign entry "War Witch," a harrowing yet poignant tale of a young Congolese girl's survival and first love, is scoring top marks with critics. Meanwhile, documentaries "Leviathan" and "A Place at the Table"...
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 1, 2013 2:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Review Roundup: 'Jack the Giant Slayer,' from Fee-Fi to Ho-Hum, End of Fairy Tale Rainbow?

Critics are divided on Bryan Singer's "Jack the Giant Slayer," starring Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci and Eleanor Tomlinson. Some bluntly call it "pretty dumb" and label it as yet another Hollywood cash-in on the fairytale trend, while others find Singer's direction admirable -- "smart, thrilling and a whole lot of fun." Roundup below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 27, 2013 12:40 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Recap: 'Only God Forgives' Teaser, Naomi Watts as Princess Di, Twenty-Somethings on 'Girls,' and HBO/Hulu Changes

Film Comment posted the "50 Best Undistributed Films of 2012," beginning with "Our Children" (Joachim Lafosse, Belgium/Luxembourg/France/Switzerland), followed by "Memories Look at Me" (Song Fang, China) and "First Cousin Once Removed" (Alan Berliner, U.S.). Read their full list here.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • January 7, 2013 3:08 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Hoult & McGregor Head Up the Beanstalk in 'Jack the Giant Slayer' -- Fee Fi Fo Fum

Check out the new trailer for Bryan Singer's "Jack the Giant Slayer," which stars Ewan McGregor, Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci and Eleanor Tomlinson. It's the latest entry on Hollywood's ever-growing beanstalk of fairytale reinventions.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 26, 2012 1:58 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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