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Jack The Giant Slayer: THE HTF 3D ADDICT REVIEW

Warner 3D Blu-ray

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#1 of 6 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 09 2013 - 02:57 AM

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[color=rgb(0,0,255);]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.[/color]



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Jack The Giant Slayer


Studio: Warner Bros.

Product Release: June 18, 2013

Ratio: 2.4:1

Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Dolby Digital French & Spanish 5.1
Running Time: 114 minutes

Rating: PG-13


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[color=rgb(0,0,205);]On A Scale 0-5[/color]


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.


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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 effectsJack 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.


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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.  


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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. 





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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

for children.


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. 



[color=rgb(128,0,0);]Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc. [/color]


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner


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#2 of 6 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 09 2013 - 05:31 AM

Last winter, I had a blast watching this film at IMAX as it was a fun time as I remembered the audience having a good time too.  I'm definitely buying this on BD with the 3-D presentation, but will patiently wait for a more reasonable price.  Thank you for the BD review. 



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#3 of 6 OFFLINE   TonyD


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Posted June 09 2013 - 10:12 AM

I enjoyed it on imax too.

Fun movie.


btw where are the Giant Woman?


#4 of 6 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 09 2013 - 10:17 AM

I enjoyed it on imax too.

Fun movie.


btw where are the Giant Woman?

Good question as how did those big dudes get born?



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#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Tino



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Posted June 09 2013 - 04:22 PM

A greatly underrated fun film. Suffered from a poor marketing campaign and a unfortunate release date. Hopefully it will find the audience it deserves on home video. Definitely picking up the 3D version.
It's gonna be a hell of a ride. I'm ready. .

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Tino



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Posted June 21 2013 - 03:14 AM

Good question as how did those big dudes get born?

In the original screenplay, there were giant men women and families and the giants were not as evil and in the end were redeemed. When Singer, Mcquarrie and Studney took over, they decided to make the giants neither man nor woman as they were created from earth so while they all look like male giants they are not.
It's gonna be a hell of a ride. I'm ready. .

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