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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Comedy > British > Literature > Computer Animation > Jack The Giant Slayer (2013/Warner Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray + DVD)

Jack The Giant Slayer (2013/Warner Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray + DVD)


3D Picture: B-     2D Picture: B-/C     Sound: B+/B-     Extras: C     Film: C



The fantasy genre is so played out outside of all-CG features that only The Hobbit films are likely to make any money, with few exceptions at this point, but the studios are so enamored with mindless distractions disguised as entertainment that could make Rings/Hobbit type money that they still greenlight so many such big budget fiascos that no one should be surprised when they are box office duds.  Bryan Singer’s Jack The Giant Slayer (2013) was originally titled Jack The Giant Killer as several previous versions of the story had been, but political correctness and a sense of boredom and lameness that helped do it in at the box office.


Of course, it has a few qualities about it that points to possibilities it could have been better like the ill-fated and more celebrated bomb version of John Carter (reviewed elsewhere on this site by someone who liked it) whose extra scenes show a better film was there.  That is the case here too, but again, silliness and an endless series of trite distractions that add up to again insulting the audience despite a decent cast.


Jack (Nicholas Hoult) is the one who gets the supposedly magic beans and then plants them with serious repercussions, but thanks to generic digital visual effects aka CGI, the makers are hell bent on overdoing that aspect of the story to ridiculous proportions that the film becomes a spoof of itself despite being too jokey throughout to begin with and it is also practically a British production, so that is supposed to make us feel more at home with this mythical past, but that never works either.


This is the most fantasy-oriented film the once serious filmmaker Singer has made after three Superhero films and some superior thrillers, but when he tries to do things out of his range, including imitate Lucas and Spielberg, the film falls flat every time and when all the mistakes and flaws add up, the film is a pointless B-movie its budget and talent should not have produced.  The giants are no better than the lamely animated CG figures in Zemeckis’ Beowulf (also reviewed elsewhere on this site) that are just more natural moving (versus too slow of the older release) and never, ever manage to convincingly mesh with the live action work.


Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Eddie Marsan, Warwick Davis and Bill Nighy all give it their old school best, but old school is what this would-be epic is missing and it never knows if it wants to be a family film, a fanboy film or just throws anything and everything up there to appeal top anyone who will watch.  Instead, it is such a mish-mash that it lands up not being appealing at all and now stands as the nadir of Singer’s usually impressive career.



The 2.35 X 1, 1080p full HD MVC-encoded 3-D – Full Resolution digital High Definition image was shot with no less than 3 HD cameras: the RED EPIC, Arri Alexa and even the older Panavision Genesis Singer and his longtime Director of Photography Newton Thomas Sigel used on their mixed Superman Returns seven years before.  You would think that would give the film (it was issued in IMAX and 35mm film) a more diverse look with more character, but instead, we just get a more extensive generic look that is not very memorable and to top that off, the 3D is inconsistent including dark scenes where it is not that good at all.  Have they learned nothing from the Clash Of The Titans remake?

The 1080p 2D digital High Definition image presentation is therefore equal to the 3D and also has more than its share of fake shots, dated CGI on arrival and other minor picture issues like detail and odd color (intended and not) that do not offer any real demo shots or any memorable images.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD image is much softer and very hard to watch.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is the default highlight of this wreck, with terrific sound design, enveloping sound field and superior sonic fidelity down to the so-so John Ottman score.  Too bad the rest of the production was not up to these high standards and the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD is not match for that mix, but is as good as it can get for that old codec.


Extras include Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes-oriented devices, while the Blu-ray adds Gag Reel (they were certainly having more fun than we were), Deleted Scenes and interactive Become A Giant Slayer function that has you find various behind the scenes clips as you watch the film.  Hoult hosts it, but it might have been better if it were a ‘giant killer’ feature.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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