Jack the Giant Slayer (Blu-ray)

June 17, 2013 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I never thought I’d say this about a movie studio, but I actually kind of feel bad for Warner Brothers.  You see now that the Harry Potter and Batman franchises have run their course, whatever are they going to do in regard to profit?  I jest, of course, as Warner has been probably the top studio in Hollywood for years, but there is an element of truth there.  Now that Harry Potter has finally killed Voldermort and the streets of Gotham have their caped crusader (and all is presumably well), that’s a lot of money that potential moviegoers will be looking to spend.  What’s a movie studio to do?  Disney found success a few years back when they gave us a live-action version of Alice in Wonderland and more recently with Oz: The Great and Powerful.  So Warner, taking a cue from the mouse, went back to the books and we’re now presented with Jack the Giant Slayer – a somewhat stylized version of the popular children’s tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. The man behind the camera is Bryan Singer, director of The Usual Suspects and a few of the X-Men films. Warner invested quite a bit of change in this adaptation, did it work?

We all know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk and as I mentioned, this isn’t the literal adaption, but the general premise is still the same.  Jack (Nicholas Hoult) is sent to the local market to sell a prized possession – a horse.  They’ll use the money to buy a new roof.  Along the way, Jack meets, Jack meets Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) and manages to save her from a few less than desirable folks. When he returns home, he only has a handful of beans that were claimed to be magical by a monk.  His uncle, not believing this claim, tosses them aside. The princess, meanwhile, has sought out refuge under Jack’s house as she was trying to escape her wedding to Roderick (Stanley Tucci).  And as we all know, the beans spout leading both Jack and Isabelle to the magical land filled with giants (not all of which are nice). Can Jack save the princess and avoid getting killed himself by the giants?

There’s both good and bad here.  The good is that Singer has managed to sculpt a rather interesting adaptation of this classic fairytale here and, all kidding aside, it’s really not as bad as I thought it would be.  The bad, and this is more along the lines of a studio standpoint, I just don’t see how they’ll turn this into anything.  Are we really going to anxiously await the next installment of Jack and the Giant Slayer the way we did with the next Harry Potter movie?  I kind of doubt it.  Then again Warner has given us a remake of Clash of the Titans and a sequel to that, so anything’s possible.  The film is entertaining, features a star-studded cast and who’d have thought the kid from About a Boy would grow up to be an action movie star?

Video: How does it look?

Regardless of how you feel about the film, I can say without a doubt that Warner’s 2.40:1 AVC HD transfer for the film is, literally, perfect.  Every aspect (pardon the pun) of this feature simply reeks of perfection.  The colors are spot on when they need to be, the detail is simply amazing showcasing some of the finest nuances that I could pick up on and contrast and black levels play off one another on so well.  Granted, some of the CGI isn’t the best out there (we’ve seen far better), but the picture is so vivid and crisp that it’s easy for us to point out what doesn’t look so great.  My jaw did drop in a few scenes, so suffice it to say that if you’re looking for a good-looking image – look no further.

Audio: How does it sound?

I’ll sound like a broken record here, but the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is also the embodiment of perfection.  Let me get this out of the way first, this movie is LOUD!  Vocals resonate through the center channel, the surrounds are active in essentially every scene and my subwoofer hasn’t gotten this much of a workout in quite some time.  I would imagine that in a movie with giants as the main nemesis that there be a lot of action on the LFE front and this does deliver.  This dynamic mix had my head turning this way and that and I’m really running out of things to say.  Let’s just say that you will not be disappointed when listening to this film.  It’s perfect.

Supplements: What are the extras?

We don’t find a whole lot of supplements here, but we’re forced to literally climb up a beanstalk to view the included eight featurettes that are included with this Blu-ray. While not ground-breaking, these do give us a sense of the scope of the film and some insight on the visual effects, the history of the story and what it took to bring it to screen.  Warner usually gives us a picture-in-picture experience for this sort of thing, but not this time around.  Also included are eight minutes of deleted scenes and a gag reel.  In addition to the Blu-ray, we also get an UltraViolet copy of the film as well as a DVD to boot.

Own Jack the Giant Slayer on June 18 from Warner Brothers!

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