REVIEW: 44 INCH CHEST

Starring

Ray Winstone (Black Widow)
Ian McShane (John Wick)
John Hurt (Hellboy)
Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins)
Stephen Dillane (Zero Dark Thirty)
Joanne Whalley (Before You Go)
Melvil Poupaud (Golden Youth)
Steven Berkoff (North V South)
Edna Doré (Goodbye Charlie Bright)
Derek Lea (Jupiter Ascending)

Joanne Whalley in 44 Inch Chest (2009)Colin Diamond is a successful car salesman who, after discovering his wife Liz is having an affair, has an emotional breakdown. His friends convince him to kidnap his wife’s lover and then encourage him to torture and kill him.Melvil Poupaud and Ray Winstone in 44 Inch Chest (2009)Diamond’s partners in crime are suave homosexual gambler Meredith, crotchety and bigoted Old Man Peanut, the down to earth Archie and the combustible Mal, who by turns encourage Colin’s lust for revenge and sympathise with his situation, and conspire to emotionally and mentally torture Liz’s new boyfriend, Loverboy, a “Frog” waiter, first by locking him in a cupboard and threatening him, and tying him up and subjecting him to humiliating verbal and physical assault.Tom Wilkinson and Ray Winstone in 44 Inch Chest (2009)Parts of the story occur in flashback, with Colin discovering Liz’s infidelity and the after effects of it, which then affect the present, in which he tries to come to terms with the shame and torment that this brings to him. Parts of the story also appear to happen inside Colin’s mind, with him trying to reconcile with himself, using his friends as representations of his own turmoil, and his resolving of the situation.Joanne Whalley and Melvil Poupaud in 44 Inch Chest (2009)It is far from an action film, and if you want simple plot this is not the film for you, but it is a beautifully crafted set piece delivered by a very fine set of actors, performing a fine script and under subtle but powerful direction.

REVIEW: BABYLON 5: RIVER OF SOULS

Babylon 5: The River of Souls (1998)

Starring

Jerry Doyle (Open House)
Tracy Scoggins (Highlander: The Series)
Richard Biggs (Strong Medicine)
Jeff Conaway (Grease)
Ian McShane (Hercules)
Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now)
Jeff Doucette (Doctor Dolittle)
Joel Brooks (Six Feet Under)
Nikki Ziering (American Pie 3)

Tracy Scoggins in Babylon 5 (1993)There are many reasons why this standalone Babylon 5 “episode” put out by Turner the year after Babylon 5 ended it’s “five year mission” is the absolute best of the entire series and standalone “films “and other related Babylon 5 spinoffs, Martin Sheen is of course being the best reason, the reappearance of Michael Garibaldi is another. Other interesting things appear like Ian McShane as a thoroughly unstable scientist, and of course the best reason, Tracy Scroggins as a Lockley Hologram with less clothes on.Tracy Scoggins and Richard Biggs in Babylon 5: The River of Souls (1998)What this particular “episode” of Babylon 5 has got going for it, and this is something that has been part of Babylon 5 for a long time, is that we have a very dark and mysterious story intertwined with high comedic elements, and they work together here as well as they did during the series in general. This is just a point that I diffidently need to remind the other so-called Babylon 5 fans here, that comedy plus dark elements were part of the structure of the series from the very beginning, including “The Gathering”. And of course, after a disturbing “grave robbing” seen that involved McShane, we get into the comedy elements before we realize something else is not quite right: there is a “holobrothel” on Babylon 5, however, these are not at all like the holosuites owned by Quark on Deep Space Nine, which I am pretty sure that this is a reference and homage to in the first place- because of the fact that this holobrothel appears to be put together by scotch tape and paper clips, whereas in Deep Space nine they used cutlery and a metal ladle as conductive elements.Tracy Scoggins in Babylon 5: The River of Souls (1998)So we have this almost high comedy routine between Lockley and the crooked brothel owner “Jacob Mayhew” played by Joel Brooks, and even a triangle of sorts at that when you add in the antics of ambulance chasing lawyer “James Riley” played by Stuart Pankin, which is traditional comedy of the variety that we used to have in the 1930s pre-code films, and don’t forget the involvement of Zack (Grease’s Jeff Conway, rip). With this circus in place, in steps Dr. Robert Bryson (McShane), Who was being paid by Garibaldi’s former boss to look for eternal life, and you think he is going to add more comedy into this farce but instead he has something that used to belong to a race that we have only seen twice before: the Soul Hunters.Martin Sheen Tracy Scoggins River of SoulsThe only soul Hunter we had ever met previously was the one who was after Delenn- in the very second episode of the Babylon 5 series played by William Morgan Sheppard, an actor eccentric enough to portray that particular soul hunters instability. And it is surprising to find out that the soul hunter portrayed by Martin Sheen is not at all unstable. In fact he is a “young” soul hunter, he is very idealistic about the work that he does and he defends what the soul hunters do to Lockley in a very reasonable manner, although she has good arguments as to why souls should not be trapped and kept in dark whisper galleries. Many of the things that we previously knew about soul hunters were actually shown in this episode, including the violation of one of their sanctuaries for souls. So on one hand we have this farce including a holographic brothel and it’s faulty wiring and the owners scummy lawyer, and then we have this quite marvelous tale of the soul hunters and the fact that they may have made a certain prideful mistake.
515627What I liked mostly about this particular Babylon 5 “movie” is that it happens after the events of the television series and so there are no appearances by President Sheridan or Delenn, or Gkar and Londo, this is just life on Babylon 5 after the events of the series, life goes on, even though we know that there are Drakk milling about the galaxy waiting to pounce on Earth with one of the shadow Planet killers- which happens in another one of these made for TV by Turner Babylon 5 movies.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: CORALINE

CAST

Dakota Fanning (War of The Worlds)
Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark)
Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous)
Dawn French (The Vicar of Dibley)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Ian McShane (Hercules)

In the opening credits, hands made of sewing needles create a button-eyed doll to resemble a girl before sending it out into a void. The doll is of Coraline Jones, an 11-year-old who moves with her parents to Ashland into the Pink Palace Apartments. The other residents include retired actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible and eccentric Russian acrobat Mr. Bobinsky.Coraline’s parents neglect her, being busy working on a garden catalogue. She meets Wyborn “Wybie” Lovat, the grandson of the landlady, Mrs. Lovat, and also meets a black cat that follows him. While exploring, she is given a doll that resembles her by Wybie and finds a small brick-sealed door which can be unlocked only by a small black key with a button handle. That night, Coraline follows a mouse through the door, where she discovers the bricks gone, replaced by a corridor. Coraline goes through into the Other World, where doubles of the real-world residents have buttons for eyes. Her Other Mother and Father are more warm and attentive than her real parents. After dinner, she goes to sleep in her Other Bedroom. To her dismay, Coraline wakes up in her real bedroom and is unable to convince her parents that she visited the Other World.Despite vague warnings from her neighbors, Coraline frequents the Other World during night. She meets the mute Other Wybie, the Other Mr. Bobinsky, and the Other Misses Spink and Forcible, who are young and perform theatrical acts. When the Cat also enters the Other World, it is able to talk.On the third visit, the Other Mother invites Coraline to stay forever, but buttons must be sewn over her eyes. Horrified, Coraline attempts to flee. The Cat reveals to her the true sinister nature of the Other Mother and the Other World. She demands the Other Mother let her go home, but she transforms into a grotesque version of herself and imprisons Coraline in a dark chamber behind a mirror. Inside, Coraline meets the ghosts of the Other Mother’s previous victims, including Mrs. Lovat’s long-lost twin sister. The ghosts reveal that the Other Mother sent them rag dolls that resembled them in order to spy on them and find out what was wrong with their lives. The Other Mother then lured them into the Other World, where she promised them endless games and entertainment, but once they accepted her offer, she sewed buttons over their eyes and “ate up their lives”. To free their souls, their real eyes need to be retrieved. Coraline promises to find them.She is suddenly pulled out by the Other Wybie, whose mouth has been stitched shut. He helps her escape. Back in the real world, Coraline is led by the Cat to a mirror in which she sees her parents writing “HELP US”. She also discovers a rag doll that resembles them fused together, indicating that the Other Mother has kidnapped them. Coraline then burns the doll.Coraline returns to the Other World to propose a “game” to the Other Mother. If she cannot find her parents and the children’s eyes, she will stay forever. Coraline manages to retrieve the children’s eyes. The Other World gradually turns into grey stone and disintegrates, leaving only the living room in the Other Pink Palace. She confronts the Other Mother, who now has an arachnoid form, with sewing needles for hands. A ghost child warns her that the Other Mother will never let her go, even if she wins. Coraline finds and frees her parents from a snow globe and throws the Cat onto the Other Mother’s face; the Cat rips her button eyes out. Coraline escapes, slamming the door on the Other Mother’s hand, severing it. Her parents return home with no memory of what occurred.

The ghosts appear to Coraline in a dream to warn her that she must get rid of the key. As Coraline prepares to drop the key into a well, she is attacked by the Other Mother’s severed hand, but is saved by Wybie, who crushes it with a rock. Coraline throws the key and the pieces of the hand down the well. The next day, Coraline hosts a garden party for her neighbors and prepares to tell Mrs. Lovat about her sister.

Good and imaginative story, delighting visuals, creepiness from the beginning and a couple scary scenes make this an enjoyable film.

REVIEW: JOHN WICK – CHAPTER 3: PARABELLUM

Starring

Keanu Reeves (47 Ronin)
Ian McShane (Hercules)
Mark Dacascos (Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight)
Laurence Fishburne (Ant-Man and The Wasp)
Asia Kate Dillon (Billions)
Halle Berry (Darktide)
Lance Reddick (The Guest)
Anjelica Huston (The Addams Family)
Said Taghmaoui (Wonder Woman)
Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones)
Riccardo Scamarcio (First Light)
Jason Mantzoukas (The Good Place)
Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)
Susan Blommaert (The Double)
Roger Yuan (Skyfall)

 

Keanu Reeves and Anjelica Huston in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)Ten minutes after the conclusion of the previous film, former hitman John Wick is now a marked man and on the run in Manhattan. After the unsanctioned killing of crime lord and new member of the High Table Santino D’Antonio in the New York City Continental, John is declared “excommunicado” by his handlers at the High Table and placed under a $14 million bounty that rises each hour. On the run from assassins, John reaches the New York Public Library and recovers a crucifix necklace and a “marker” medallion from a secret cache in a book. He fights his way through numerous assassins until he reaches the Director, a woman from his past who used to raise him. She calls him by his real name – Jardani Jovanovich. She accepts the crucifix as a “ticket” for safe passage to Casablanca, Morocco, and has Wick branded to signify that he has used up his ticket.Halle Berry in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)Meanwhile, an Adjudicator with the High Table meets with Winston, the manager of the New York City Continental, and the Bowery King, the leader of a network of vagrant assassins. The Adjudicator admonishes both for helping John kill Santino, a new member of the high table, and both are given seven days to give up their offices or face serious consequences. The Adjudicator hires Zero, a Japanese assassin, afterwards to enforce the will of the High Table. They find the Director while she is watching her ballet students perform. The Director’s penance for helping Wick by putting the ticket above the rules of the High Table is by blood, therefore Zero uses his sword to make a cut through the center of both her hands.Keanu Reeves, Yayan Ruhian, and Cecep Arif Rahman in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)In Casablanca, John meets Sofia, a former friend and the manager of the Casablanca Continental. He presents his marker and asks Sofia to honor it by directing him to the Elder, the only person known to be above the High Table, so that he can ask to have his bounty waived. John has Sofia’s marker because he helped get her daughter out in the past. Sofia takes him to an assassin and her old boss named Berrada, who tells John that he may find the Elder by wandering through the desert until he cannot walk any longer. In exchange for this information, Berrada asks for one of Sofia’s dogs; when Sofia refuses, he shoots the dog (who was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time, so is ultimately unharmed). In retaliation, Sofia shoots Berrada, and the duo fight their way out of the kasbah and flee into the desert. Having fulfilled her marker, Sofia leaves John in the desert. Meanwhile, the Adjudicator uses Zero to accost the Bowery King because he did not agree to leave his position after 7 days. As penance the Bowery King is maimed.Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)John collapses from exhaustion in the desert but is found and brought to the Elder. John says he is desperate to live on to “earn” the memory of the love he once had with his wife. The Elder agrees to forgive John but only if he assassinates Winston and continues to work for the High Table until his death. To show his commitment, John severs his ring finger and gives his wedding ring to the Elder. John arrives back in New York City and is pursued by Zero’s men. Zero nearly kills John before his pursuit is halted as they arrive at the New York City Continental, under threat of being declared excommunicado. John meets with Winston, who encourages John not to die as a killer but as a man who loved, and was loved by, his wife.Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)The Adjudicator arrives, but Winston refuses to give up his office, and John refuses to kill Winston. As a consequence, the Adjudicator “deconsecrates” the New York City Continental, revoking its protected neutral ground status. The Adjudicator notifies Zero and sends two busloads of body-armored High Table enforcers as support. With the help of the hotel’s concierge, Charon, John defends the Continental from the enforcers. John is ambushed by Zero and his students. John kills all but the remaining two students, and then fatally wounds Zero.Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)The Adjudicator negotiates a parley with Winston, who explains the rebellion as a “show of strength” and offers penance to the High Table. John arrives, and when the Adjudicator identifies him as a threat to the negotiation, Winston shoots John repeatedly, causing John to fall off of the Continental’s roof. The New York City Continental returns to operation and is “reconsecrated”, but the Adjudicator informs Winston that John’s body has disappeared and that he remains a threat for both of them. Meanwhile, a wounded John Wick is delivered to the heavily-scarred Bowery King, who tells John he is angry with the High Table and will be fighting against them. He asks John if he also feels pissed off, and John responds with, “Yeah”.Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)All in all, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum isn’t much different from the previous two movies. It isn’t the world’s most intricate or intelligent thriller. However, with brilliant energy, dazzling visuals, stunning action and an invaluable sense of fun, absolutely none of that matters, and it instead proves a solidly entertaining, manic and dizzyingly joyful thriller throughout.

REVIEW: JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2

Starring

Keanu Reeves (47 Ronin)
Riccardo Scamarcio (Burnt)
Ian McShane (Hellboy)
Ruby Rose (Batwoman)
Common (Terminator: Salvation)
Claudia Gerini (THe Poison Rose)
Lance Reddick (Jonah Hex)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Tobias Segal (The Drop)
John Leguizamo (Spawn)
Bridget Moynahan (Battle: Los Angeles)
Thomas Sadoski (Wild)
Peter Stormare (Armageddon)
Peter Serafinowicz (The Tick)

Keanu Reeves and Common in John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)Four days after the events of the first film, former assassin John Wick retrieves his stolen 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 from a chop shop owned by Abram Tarasov, brother of Viggo and uncle of Iosef. John dispatches Tarasov’s men in a violent rampage that heavily damages the Mustang, but spares Tarasov under the auspices of peace and returns home, cementing his weapons into the ground once again.Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)After car shop owner Aurelio takes John’s Mustang for repairs, John is visited by Italian crime lord Santino D’Antonio. It is revealed that to complete his “impossible task”, which allowed him to retire and marry Helen, John asked Santino for help. As a form of contract, Santino swore John to a “marker”, an unbreakable promise symbolized by a “blood oath” medallion. Santino presents the medallion to demand services from John, who declines, claiming that he is retired. In retaliation, Santino destroys John’s home with a ARWEN 37 nonlethal launcher modified to shoot incendiary ammunition.Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)John travels to The Continental Hotel in New York City. Winston, the owner of the hotel, reminds John that if he rejects the marker, he will be violating one of the two unbreakable rules of the underworld: no blood on Continental grounds, and every marker must be honored. John reluctantly accepts his commitment and meets with Santino, who tasks him with assassinating his sister Gianna so he can claim her seat on the “High Table”, a council of high-level crime lords. Santino sends Ares, his mute personal bodyguard, to surveil John.Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)In Rome, Italy, John infiltrates Gianna’s coronation party and confronts her in her dressing room. Faced with certain death, Gianna chooses to take her own life by slitting her wrists. As Gianna dies, John holds her hand and shoots her in the head. Cassian, Gianna’s bodyguard, recognizes John and, after realizing that John was sent to kill Gianna, attacks him. John escapes to the catacombs, where he is ambushed by Santino’s henchmen, who intend to “tie up loose ends” by killing him. After killing most of the henchmen, John is pursued by Cassian. Their battle is halted when they crash into the reception area of the Rome Continental, which—like the New York Continental—prohibits any “business” on its grounds. As the two share a tense drink, Cassian vows revenge for Gianna’s death.Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)After John returns to New York City, Santino opens a $7 million contract for John’s death under the guise of avenging his sister, leading numerous assassins to unsuccessfully attack John. Eventually, Cassian confronts John once again in the subway. John wins the fight and badly wounds Cassian, but leaves him alive out of professional respect. Injured and desperate, John seeks help from an underground crime lord titled the Bowery King, whose subordinates treat John’s injuries and guide him to Santino’s location. John kills Santino’s bodyguards and defeats Ares in a knife fight, but Santino is able to escape to the Continental. Santino smugly makes it clear that he intends to remain indefinitely in its sanctuary. Despite Winston’s warnings, John shoots and kills Santino in the Continental lounge.Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)The next day, Winston sends for John and explains that, per the High Table, the contract on John has been doubled and offered globally. As a consequence of killing Santino on Continental grounds, Winston declares John “excommunicado” from the Continental, losing all access and privileges to the Continental’s underworld resources. However, Winston delays announcing John’s excommunication and global bounty by one hour to give him a head start, and provides him with a marker for future use. Before leaving, John advises Winston to make it known that whoever tries to come after him will be killed. As John and his dog run through the park, dozens of cellphones around him ring, signaling that the global contract is about to be posted and offered.Keanu Reeves and Ian McShane in John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)John Wick 2 is an exciting joy ride for action fans and hopes to see more from this. I recommend seeing it, which you would not be disappointed.

REVIEW: JOHN WICK

Starring

Keanu Reeves (47 Ronin)
Michael Nyqvist (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones)
Adrianne Palicki (The Orville)
Bridget Moynahan (Battle: Los Angeles)
Dean Winters (Terminator: TSCC)
Ian McShane (Hellboy)
John Leguizamo (Spawn)
Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man)
Bridget Regan (Agent Carter)
Lance Reddick (Jonah Hex)

Keanu Reeves in John Wick (2014)After John Wick loses his wife, Helen, to a terminal illness, he receives a beagle puppy named Daisy from his late wife to help him cope with his grief. Despite John’s stoic demeanor, he bonds with the puppy and they spend their day driving around in his vintage 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1. At a gas station, he encounters a trio of Russian gangsters whose leader, Iosef Tarasov, insists on buying his car, but John repeatedly states that it is not for sale. Angered, Iosef and his mobsters follow John to his home that night, knock him unconscious, steal his car, and kill Daisy.Keanu Reeves in John Wick (2014)Iosef takes the Mustang to a chop shop run by Aurelio to have the VIN changed. Aurelio recognizes the car and, upon learning that Iosef stole it from John, punches him before throwing him out of his shop. John visits Aurelio, who tells him Iosef is the son of Viggo Tarasov, the head of the Russian crime syndicate in New York City. Viggo, informed by Aurelio of Iosef’s activity with John, beats and berates Iosef before explaining to him who John Wick is: an assassin, formerly in Viggo’s employ, nicknamed “Baba Yaga” (translated in the film as Russian for “Boogeyman”) due to his lethal works. When John wanted to retire and marry Helen, Viggo gave him an “impossible task,” implied to involve multiple assassinations in a short period of time. John succeeded, and his efforts were key in establishing the Tarasov syndicate.Keanu Reeves and Alfie Allen in John Wick (2014)Viggo tries to talk John out of seeking retribution, but John silently refuses. Viggo then sends a thirteen-man hit squad to John’s house, but John kills them all and has the bodies professionally removed. An unsurprised Viggo places a $2 million bounty on John’s head and personally offers the contract to John’s mentor, Marcus. John seeks refuge at the Continental Hotel, which caters exclusively to the criminal underworld and permits no “business” on its premises. Viggo doubles the bounty for those willing to break the rules to kill John at the Continental.Keanu Reeves, Daniel Bernhardt, Michael Nyqvist, and Vladislav Koulikov in John Wick (2014)Winston, the Continental’s owner, tells John that Viggo has Iosef protected at his nightclub, the Red Circle. John enters the Red Circle and kills his way to Iosef, but Viggo’s henchman, Kirill, waylays John, allowing Iosef to escape. John retreats to the Continental to patch up his injuries. Ms. Perkins, an assassin and former acquaintance, sneaks into John’s room to kill him, but Marcus alerts John, allowing him to subdue Perkins. He forces Perkins to reveal the location of Viggo’s front, knocks her unconscious and leaves her with fellow assassin, Harry, to await punishment. However, Perkins frees herself and kills Harry.Keanu Reeves in John Wick (2014)John travels to the Little Russia church which serves as Viggo’s front and destroys Viggo’s cache of money and blackmail material. When Viggo and his team arrive, John ambushes them, but he is subdued and captured. Viggo taunts John for thinking he could leave his old life behind. Before John can be killed, Marcus intervenes again, allowing John to free himself, kill Kirill, and accost Viggo, who reveals Iosef’s location. John then travels to the safe house and kills Iosef and his bodyguards. Perkins learns that John and Marcus have been in contact and tells Viggo, who has Marcus beaten and tortured before executing him in his home. Viggo calls John to report this, planning to have Perkins ambush him. While waiting for John, Perkins is called to a meeting with Winston, who has her executed for killing Harry on Continental grounds.Keanu Reeves in John Wick (2014)Winston calls John to inform him that Viggo is planning to escape by helicopter. John races to the harbor helipad, where he kills Viggo’s remaining henchmen before engaging Viggo in a brutal brawl on the dock. Viggo pulls a knife, and John allows himself to be stabbed, surprising Viggo. John then disarms Viggo and fatally wounds him. John breaks into a waterfront animal clinic to treat his wound and releases a pit bull puppy scheduled to be euthanized. John and the dog walk home along the boardwalk where he had his last date with Helen.Keanu Reeves in John Wick (2014)What makes John Wick different from other shoot em’ up movies is that we’re provided with details of John’s former life, including old partners and a hotel front which leads the audience eager to wonder the many tales that can be told about John Wick. The movie is fast paced, never really a dull moment, and it always keeps you wondering what he’s going to do next and how.

REVIEW: JACK THE GIANT SLAYER

CAST

Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class)
Eleanor Tomlinson (The White Queen)
Stanley Tucci (The LVoely Bones)
Ian McShane (Hercules)
Bill Nighy (Underworld)
Ewan McGregor (Big Fish)
Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes)
Ewen Bremner (Wonder Woman)
Warwick Davis (Leprechaun)
Ralph Brown (Alien 3)
Steven Williams (Jason Goes To Hell)
Tandi Wright (Power Rangers SPD)

In the Kingdom of Cloister, Jack, a young farm boy, is fascinated by the legend of Erik, an ancient king who defeated an army of invading giants from a realm in the sky by controlling them with a magical crown. At the same time, Princess Isabelle becomes fascinated with the same legend.Ten years later, Jack goes into town to sell his horse to support his uncle’s farm. There, Jack spots Isabelle and becomes enamored with her after defending her honor from a group of hooligans. Meanwhile, Lord Roderick returns to his study, only to find that a monk has robbed him. The monk offers Jack some magic beans he stole from Roderick as collateral for Jack’s horse. Back at the castle, Isabelle quarrels with her father King Brahmwell as she wants to explore the kingdom, but he wants her to stay and marry Roderick. Likewise, Jack’s uncle scolds him for being foolish before throwing the beans on the floor and leaving the house.Determined to be free, Isabelle sneaks out of the castle and seeks shelter from the rain in Jack’s house. As it rains, one of the beans takes root and grows into a massive beanstalk that carries the house and Isabelle into the sky as Jack falls to the ground. Jack, Roderick, and Roderick’s attendant Wicke volunteer to join the king’s knights, led by Elmont and his second in-command, Crawe, and climb the beanstalk in search of Isabelle. As they climb, Roderick and Wicke cut the safety rope, intentionally killing some of the knights. At the top, they discover the giants’ realm and decide to split into two groups: one with Jack, Elmont, and Crawe, and the other including Roderick and Wicke, but not before Roderick forcibly takes the remaining beans from Jack (although Jack manages to save one for himself).Jack’s group is trapped by a giant, who takes everyone prisoner except Jack. Meanwhile, Roderick’s group encounters two other giants; one eats Wicke, but before the other can do the same to Roderick, Roderick dons the magic crown. Jack follows the giant to their stronghold, where the two-headed giant leader, Fallon, has killed Crawe. Jack finds Isabelle and Elmont imprisoned there. As the giants prepare to kill their remaining prisoners, Roderick walks in and enslaves the giants with the crown. He tells the giants they will attack Cloister at dawn and gives them permission to eat Isabelle and Elmont. Jack rescues Isabelle and Elmont as one of the giants prepares to cook Elmont as a pig-in-a-blanket. The trio makes for the beanstalk, where Jack causes the giant guarding the beanstalk to fall off the realm’s edge. Seeing the giant’s body, Brahmwell orders the beanstalk cut down to avoid an invasion by the giants.Jack and Isabelle head down the beanstalk, while Elmont stays to confront Roderick. Elmont kills Roderick, but Fallon takes the crown before Elmont can claim it, and Elmont is forced to escape down the beanstalk. Jack, Isabelle, and Elmont all survive the fall after the beanstalk is cut down. As everyone returns home, Jack warns that the giants are using Roderick’s beans to create beanstalks to descend down to Earth and attack Cloister. The giants chase Jack, Isabelle, and Brahmwell into the castle, where Elmont fills the moat with oil and sets it on fire. Fallon falls in the moat and breaks into the castle from below. As the siege continues, Fallon captures Jack and Isabelle, but Jack throws the final bean down Fallon’s throat, causing a beanstalk to rip apart his body. Jack takes the crown and sends the giants back to their realm. Jack and Isabelle marry and tell the story of the giants to their children. As time passes, the magic crown is crafted into St Edward’s Crown and is secured in the Tower of London.This was a lot better than I was expecting, so that was quite a pleasant surprise.  I was prepared to make an early exit from watching the retelling of another favourite fairy tale. But it was actually done very well, with a wonderfully impressive CGI beanstalk and superb giants. All in all, it was a very enjoyable film to watch.