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posted: 6/21/2013 11:30 AM

'Jack' slays giants on DVD

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By Jeff Tuckman
Daily Herald correspondent

"Jack the Giant Slayer" -- Director Bryan Singer has made an excellent film that mixes live action with CGI special effects. He has cleverly updated the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk" by making it more appealing for young adults.

Jack (Nicholas Hoult) is a young English farm boy who heard stories about legendary Erik the Great banishing very bad giants to a land in the sky. We learn about Erik and his magic crown and beans.

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Jack comes into possession of magic seeds and grows a huge beanstalk that goes up to the clouds and into the Kingdom of the Giants, Gantua.

King Bramwell (Ian McShane) rules the land below. His daughter Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) dreams of independence. Isabelle gets caught up in the vines of the growing beanstalk and is carried into the sky. Jack goes with her knighted protectors Elmont (Ewan McGregor) and Crawe (Eddie Marsan), and her husband-to-be Roderick (Stanley Tucci) to find her and bring her back.

Roderick has a magic crown that gives him control over the Giants, and they must obey his every command.

He gets the evil giant General Fallon (Bill Nighy) to do his dirty work for him while plotting to take over the world below. Jack, still on a mission of good, finds Isabelle and frees her.

There are dark and scary moments, but the movie is exciting and a lot of fun. The battle scenes will remind you of "The Lord of the Rings."

"Beach Boys: Good Vibrations Tour" -- The Beach Boys are one of the most successful American bands from the 1960s. They were our answer to the Beatles, selling millions of albums before they drifted apart.

In 1976, the Boys reunited for a new album and tour. Lorne Michaels produced this special that includes the group in concert, in the studio, interviews, and harmonizing with a gospel choir.

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd appear, too. These are the original Beach Boys together on film for the last time performing hits "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Be True to your School," "I Get Around," "God Only Knows," "Good Vibrations," "Surfin' USA," "California Girls," "Help Me Rhonda," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Rock n Roll Music and more.

"TCM Greatest Legends: Gene Kelley"-- Gene Kelley starred in many musicals in the 1940s and '50s. His career began on Broadway, which led him to the movies. He was often compared to Fred Astaire, considered the finest dancer of his era.

Kelly received an honorary Academy Award in appreciation of his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.

The four films in the collection are: "An American in Paris," "Anchors Aweigh," "Brigadoon" and "On the Town."

"TCM Greatest Legends: John Wayne" -- John Wayne is a Hollywood icon who appeared in over 200 films. He began his career in silent films as an extra, but became famous because of his westerns. He also starred in war films, action and adventure, dramas and detective tales.

He was nominated twice for Best Actor Academy Awards, and won his Oscar in 1970 for "True Grit." The four films in the collection are: "Cahill: United States Marshall," "Chisum," "Mc Q," and "The Train Robbers."

"TCM Greatest Legends: Paul Newman" -- Paul Newman's came from Broadway to television, and on to motion pictures. He has created some legendary characters.

He is considered an actor's actor and one of the finest performers to ever grace the silver screen. He won the Best Actor Academy award for "The Color of Money."

He started Newman's brands of food items and has donated more than $100 million to charities.

The four films in the collection are: "Cool Hand Luke," "Harper," "Mackintosh Man" and "Somebody Up There Likes Me."

Available next week -- "Best of Film Noir Vol.#2," "Best of Warner Bros. 50 Cartoon Collection," "Cesar Millan: Leader of the Pack," "Incredible Burt Wonderstone," "No," "Shoah (Criterion Collection," "TCM: Best of Romantic Affairs," and the thriller "The Call."

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