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What to know: An adventurous movie that takes audience members back to the 1900s where farming and family values were the essence of life.
Recommended age 12-18
98 minutes
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TALL TALE (HDNET) cover image Click to play video trailer
Today I am reviewing this 1995 film Tall Tale. This film was an action-packed film with a positive message to believe in yourself. It is about a boy named Daniel Hackett (Nick Stahl, Terminator 3.) In this movie Daniel tries to save his family's farm from Stiles (Scott Glenn, Secretariat) a greedy business man. Throughout this film Daniel is helped by Pecos Bill (Patrick Swayze, Ghost and Dirty Dancing and many more great films.) Paul Bunyan (Oliver Platt, 2012, Xmen, and Dr. Doolittle) and John Henry (Roger Aaron Brown, House and Supernatural.) Together they help Daniel save not only his farm but all of Paradise Valley. They teach him that if you believe and have the guts you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

The director, Jeremiah S. Chechik (Chuck and Warehouse 13,) and the writers Steve Bloom (screenplays to Jack Frost and James and the Giant peach) and Robert Rodat (Falling Skies and Fly Away Home,) really do a great job with this film.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars. I believe this film is great for kids 7 to 14 and I hope they enjoy it as much as I did. Look for this classic family film on HDNet movies kid scene this month. Julianna Noone, age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

This movie kept me on the edge of my seat with the fight scenes and I found it enjoyable to see the culture of the Wild West.

"Tall Tale" is an adventurous movie that takes audience members back to the 1900s where farming and family values were the essence of life. Daniel Hackett (Nick Stahl) hates the farm and wishes to move away. Daniel's dad (Stephen Lang) is disappointed because he has put his sweat and blood into this farm so that Daniel would benefit and Daniel wants no part of it. An evil land baron wants to steal the farm and destroy their community and injures Daniel's dad. Daniel tries to flee the scene but falls asleep and wakes up in the "wild west." In the company of such "tall tale" legends as Pecos Bill (Patrick Swayze), Paul Bunyan (Oliver Platt,) and John Henry (Roger Aaron Brown,) Daniel realizes how to battle the villains he is facing in his real world.

"Tall Tale" is a well-rounded movie with lovely landscapes, great action sequences and a memorable theme. I adored the scenery in Tall Tale because I am a boy scout and really enjoy nature. From the mountains to the desert, the locations are all amazing. The western fight scenes with guns and fist fights are gripping and comedic at the same time because they yell funny quotes such as "Big as a redwood" or "Well, paint my toenails." I think those help make the audience appreciate the language and culture of the West. When Daniel realizes his mistakes and stands up to the bad guys, he teaches an important theme: "No matter how small you are, you can stand up against the biggest challenges." The one thing I didn't enjoy was the drinking scene in the bar. Even though Daniel was not drinking alcohol, it gives the wrong message.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Pecos Bill and Daniel because it is so touching to see their relationship build. My favorite character, Pecos Bill, is strong minded and physically. Patrick Swayze portrays his character so well that I did not recognize him as the slick dancer in "Dirty Dancing." Paul Bunyan is also so funny from having a blue ox to going crazy during action scenes. Both of these characters help Daniel on his task to overcome evil.

My favorite scene is at the end of the movie when Daniel tries pushes the train back but gets trapped under the train. Pecos Bill, John Henry, and Paul Bunyan come to rescue Daniel and successfully push the train back with the help if the village people. This moment is significant because the people stand up against the railroad company, thus keeping the land of Paradise Valley from its clutches.

I recommend "Tall Tale" for 10-years-old and up. It is a bit scary with chainsaws, fighting and drinking scenes. I give Tall Tale 5 out of 5 stars. Patrick Nguyen, age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

"Tall Tale" is about a family and their farm set in the early 1900's. The characters are based on American Folklore legends, Pecos Bill (Patrick Swayze), Paul Bunyan (Oliver Platt) and John Henry (Roger Aaron Brown.)

The story is about Daniel and his adventures with the legends, Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan and John Henry while trying to protect the land which can not protect itself. That is known as the code. At first Daniel didn't care about the farm but he later changes his mind.

I really enjoyed this movie and the way they mix together a great western tale with the folk heroes of the old west. It was a fun fast tale of extraordinary proportions. Much like what a Tall Tale should be.

My favorite character was John Henry because of his amazing strength. My favorite scene was Daniel getting saved by Pecos Bill from the log saw that he was trapped on.

Does Daniel save the farm? Does his dad live through the shooting? Does he have the guts to stand up to the evil land developer JP Stiles? Watch the movie and see.

The age range is 8 and up because little kids might have difficulty following the story and ask questions through the entire movie.

The story is a lot of fun and I give it 5 twinkling stars. Morgan Bertsch, age 8, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

Originally released in 1995. Screening throughout April 2013 on HDNet - kidScene.
While dreaming, a young boy battles villains with classic "tall tale" characters, including Pecos Bill and Pall Bunyan, giving him the strength to defeat his own enemies in the real world.
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