A Place At the Table wants you to think about what you eat. While not as hard hitting as similar food docs like Food Inc. there’s still a lot of info to take in, most of it high in healthy caloric substance. That’s not to say that every once in a while APATT slows down and feels more like rote information being shoved on a plate rather than an exciting exploration of fat and food.
But that’s sort of the point; I mean how exciting is the realization that everything we eat is wrong. Myself, I like to think I have the whole meat thing under control with high pH water, Himalayan salt, and high alkaline food. Yet each time a person eats at a restaurant, with few exceptions, you’re digesting the same copious amounts of sugar and iodized salt that eateries use to pad their meals.
A Place At the Table starts with, no pun intended, food deserts or places in America where people have to travel more than 30 miles to buy fresh vegetables and fruit. Very small towns where there’s plenty of cake and chips but the nearest grocery store (in one case a Piggly Wiggly) requires over $10 in gas for the round trip. Other subjects include a concise history of food programs in schools. Jeff Bridges narrates and damn if he doesn’t sound and look like The Dude in some scenes. A Place At the Table opens exclusively at the River Oaks Three.
Jack the Giant Slayer will no doubt be another stepping stone for Nicholas Hoult as the new It Boy of current movies. A child actor (About A Boy) Hough most recently appeared in Warm Bodies and has roles in upcoming films like Mad Max 4 and X-Men: Days of Future Past. (More about the latter in a sec.)
Obviously Jack is based on the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. The main criticism I’ve heard about Jack is how the giants look too CGI, but that misses the point of films like this. Think about it, the 1952 Abbott and Costello version, aptly titled Jack and the Beanstalk, has a really tall guy (Buddy Baer, Jethro’s father) standing on apple boxes and if you think that looks less fakey than CGI giants you’re wrong. Jack the Giant Slayer is for kids and that target audience won’t be disappointed.
Ewan McGregor channels Errol Flynn and Stanley Tucci wears a wig that makes him look like Chris Sarandon in Princess Bride. Eleanor Tomlinson plays the princess and looks the part. A coda to the film set in the Tower of London suggests a sequel could occur with descendants of Jack’s characters.
Director Bryan Singer will still be thought of as the Usual Suspects and X-Men guy and not as the director behind this effort. The 3D lensing suits Jack and hopefully Singer, helmer of next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, will work out his kinks in the stereovision and CGI department and get appropriately dark.
– Michael Bergeron