What can I say? I love 3D! From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content. I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite. That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT. I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky. However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation. These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves. I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum. My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released. As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.
Jack The Giant Slayer
Studio: Warner Bros.
Product Release: June 18, 2013
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Dolby Digital French & Spanish 5.1
Running Time: 114 minutes
On A Scale 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 3
3D Separation: 3
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 2
As someone who reviews new releases for HTF, I sometimes have
to sit through films that I otherwise would not have purchased on my
own. When I recently received a screener of Jack The Giant Slayer,
I sort of rolled my eyes and sighed in disgust. On face value alone, I
was not looking forward to watching what I thought would be yet another
mindless action/fantasy film that the studio decided to squeeze into their
winter lineup prior to the Spring blockbuster releases. Oh, I was determined
not to like Jack The Giant Slayer. For the film's first half hour I sat with
my arms crossed, grumbling that there was still 90 minutes of my time left
to be wasted.
We all know the story...or at least we think we know it. Jack The Giant
Slayer is loosely based on the fairy tale that all of us grew up with. I say
loosely, as the film suggests that this is the original story from which other
variations grew from. Oh, don't worry, all the basic elements are still firmly
in place here. We have the young, adolescent farm boy Jack (Nicholas Hoult),
who goes to town to sell his horse. Instead of bringing home money to pay for
needed repairs on his uncle's roof, he returns with a pouch filled with magic
beans. One of the beans gets wet, and from it, a monstrous beanstalk sends
him into into the clouds to a land where Giants roam. Jack The Giant Slayer
introduces some original twists to the story by adding several new characters.
There's a beautiful Princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) who gets kidnapped by the
giants, a King (Ian McShane) longing for the return of his daughter, and his
most trusted knight (Ewan McGregor) sent to the top of the beanstalk to rescue
her. Of course, every story like this must have a villain (if the Giants weren't
exactly enough), and Stanley Tucci seems to fit that role rather perfectly playing
Roderick, the King's advisor.
I suppose from the start, I should have put a little more faith into Director Bryan
Singer (X-MEN, The Usual Suspects) who knows a little something about how to
effectively tell a story. By the time our hero reaches atop the beanstalk, the film
suddenly shifts into something incredibly epic. Filled with immense set pieces and
outstanding visual effects, Jack The Giant Slayer begins to look and feel like
something out of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. I couldn't believe how much I found
myself enjoying what was suddenly evolving before me.
How does the 3D fare? Well, things don't start off very promising. In fact, while
I was watching the story unfold, I questioned whether the studio's decision to film
Jack The Giant Slayer in native 3D was simply a money-making scheme. Most of
what I was viewing looked mostly flat and uninspiring. A few camera angles from
below and above briefly provided some sense of depth, and the abundant usage
of rain provided some interesting outward effects as particles of water sprayed
forward. Once again, it pays to be patient. Once Jack arrives to the land of Giants,
everything suddenly begins to make sense as the process greatly enhances the
breathtaking production design and marvelous, often dazzling special effect work.
Most of all, the 3D effectively conveys proper size, scale and proportion of the men
against the monstrous unfamiliar world around them. For those like myself who
enjoy the "In Yo' Face" gimmickry, there isn't much to be had here sans a few
surprising moments. For instance, a buzzing bee quickly flies out of screen as it
harasses a giant that resembles boxing promoter Don King. In another scene, a
giant breaks through the castle floor sending small pieces of foundation hurdling
towards the viewer.
The Blu-ray presentation is immaculate and effectively delivers the film's rich color
scheme, perfectly saturated throughout. Filmed with the latest motion-capture
technology, the 25 foot tall CGI characters come across more digital than life-like,
but nonetheless, their grisly qualities are effectively conveyed in a transfer that is
always sharp and well detailed.
You need not wait to feel the impact of the film's robust 5.1 DTS-MA soundtrack.
From the opening moments, filled with claps of thunder, you can sense the presence
of low-end bass. However, consider it a mere tease for things to come. Be prepared
for 22 minutes later, when a sprouting beanstalk gives your system one of the
hardest workouts it ever has endured. If you dare, turn it up loud. Yes, folks, this
is a hard-hitting soundtrack where every giant step is reinforced with LFE reverb.
Surrounds provide excellent panning and placement for the film's multitude of effect
work as well as threatening dialogue from giants that travel from one channel to
another. I am certain you will agree that this is an amazing audio experience.
Jack The Giant Slayer arrives as a combo pack that contains a 3D Blu-ray, 2D
Blu-ray and a single DVD which contains UltraViolet content for download.
I particularly like the outer lenticular cardboard sleeve artwork that contains
a giant hand reaching towards Jack. Extra features on the Blu-ray include a
"Become a Giant Slayer" Interactive Experience; Deleted scenes and a gag reel.
The DVD contains the same features minus the Interactive Experience.
Theatrically released in the winter during a time when most studios try and
push their least-likable fare --- and going up against Disney's Oz The Great
and Powerful --- it seems as if Jack The Giant Slayer could have benefited
from better release placement. It is my guess and hope that this film receives
a rousing second chance on home screens. For adults, it's a highly energized
adventure/action film that is miles ahead of Oz in entertainment value (though
the 3D is inferior). Be aware that it's overall intensity may not make it suited
Is it worth spending $10 more for the 3D combo pack over the 2D counterpart?
I can only say, "perhaps." This is not close to the best 3D presentation I have
ever viewed, but the process does lend to heightening the film's incredible visuals.
Don't underestimate this title as I did. Definitely worthy of a watch.
Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc.