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Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill Reviews

It's homespun homily time: TALL TALE may look like a rousing adventure story for the whole family, but it's really a vehicle for the kind of tiresome moral aphorisms that only William Bennett could love: "You can do anything at all, if you just believe." Young Daniel Hackett (Nick Stahl) must help save his family's farm from rapacious land-grabbers led by evil J.P. Stiles (Scott Glenn). He finds allies in Pecos Bill (Patrick Swayze), Calamity Jane (Catherine O'Hara), John Henry (Roger Aaron Brown), and Paul Bunyan (Oliver Platt), all of whom figure in the tall tales he's heard from his dad (Stephen Lang). Modern kids probably don't have the faintest idea who these folkloric legends are, and it's just as well, since the movie betrays no understanding of their cultural significance or historical meaning.