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MOVIE REVIEW: Gulliver’s Travels

A goofy spin on the classic tale

Jack Black as Lemuel Gulliver in "Gulliver's Travels."

Jack Black as Lemuel Gulliver in "Gulliver's Travels."

  • Jack Black as Lemuel Gulliver in "Gulliver's Travels."
  • Jack Black as Lemuel Gulliver in "Gulliver's Travels."
  • Jack Black as Lemuel Gulliver in "Gulliver's Travels."
  • Gulliver's Travels
  • Jason Segal as Horatio and Emily Blunt as Princess Mary in "Gulliver's Travels."
  • Jack Black as Lemuel Gulliver in "Gulliver's Travels."
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I’ve compared Jack Black to John Belushi before. Not just because they have the coolest initials ever – but because both are extremely talented, funny guys. Yet each of them has a majority of films that aren’t great.

Put them in an interview or sketch comedy show – it’s gold. On the big screen, with their big guts, you’d think that would be gold, too. They make money at the box office, but they are seldom great movies.

Everyone knows the classic Jonathan Swift story of Gulliver’s Travels, right? Well, I think he’s swiftly spinning in his grave at this version. This is like Bill & Ted’s take on the classic novel.

Black works in the mailroom of a newspaper and has a crush on Amanda Peet. When he loses his nerve and doesn’t ask her out, he pretends he showed up in her office to try his hand at writing.

This leads to him getting a travel assignment in Bermuda, where he gets in a shipwreck and ends up tied to the ground by little people. Not little people that are dwarves. Liliputians, who are only six inches tall, and like to speak with “eth” at the end of their sentences.

The cast is rounded out by Jason Segel as the schlub who befriends Black.

There’s a cute scene where a Cyrano de Bergerac moment takes place, and as Black is feeding him lines to say to the princess (Emily Blunt), it ends up become a Prince song.

Billy Connolly, an amazing Scottish comedian, is great as the king. I wish he was in more movies.

When he asks someone in his army -- “Whyeth musteth we always speaketh with all these eths?” -- you can’t help but smile. But even if Connolly wasn’t speaking in some Medieval Pig Latin, we’d probably still smile. He just has one of those voices.

My friend brought his 7-year-old son, who loved this movie. I was asked, “Why do you think this movie was done in 3D? It didn’t even utilize the 3D.”

It was a great point.

When cannonballs are shot at his belly or he snaps ropes – if you’re already doing a kids movie, why not have us ducking in the theatres and objects coming towards us?

Now, the 3D three-minute short that ran before this movie, was excellent.

I can’t say this is a good movie, because it really wasn’t. Yet, my friend and I weren’t bored. And his son loved it.

It reminds me of the Thanksgiving that The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons came out. I had some family in town and we all went to see it. Some loved it, some hated it. I was somewhere in between. One thing, though…we all enjoyed the time we spent watching it.

And this is one of those types of movies. You can bring the family during the holiday week, and if you can deal with the potty humor and juvenile antics (and special effects that aren’t great), you’ll laugh a handful of times; and the kids will laugh all through it.

You may later even try to download the version of War that Jack Black sings.

I’m giving the movie a D+ for adults.

For kids between the ages of 7 and 14, it gets a B+.