I’ve already discussed my thoughts on the story and overall film when it first hit theaters. After viewing it again, my opinions have largely remained unchanged. Suffice it to say, it’s a fun adventure story, but that’s about as deep as it goes. It has a definite storybook feel to it, supported by its visuals. If you go in looking more for a fairytale, rather than an epic fantasy, you’ll have quite a bit of fun with it.
That’s not to say it’s bad, but there’s no overall message or deeper meaning you’re going to find from watching it. I’ll let you check out my full review of the film where I go a little more in depth, but on the whole it’s a story that all ages can get a kick out of.
The Blu-Ray Transfer
While some of the CG effects may be a little cartoony at times, the film really stands out in its blu-ray transfer. The bright color palette and distinctive fairy tale style of the film, shines and pops out on the disc. Everything is sharp and crisp, with some deep blacks that help everything else look as dynamic as possible.
The film was shot entirely with digital HD cameras, and that becomes beautifully obvious as you watch the film. The sound is crisp as well, and you can feel every boom and thoom of the giants, without losing any of the dialogue audio.
Jack the Giant Slayer has a unique style to it, and the blu-ray does an excellent job of highlighting it. There’s virtually no loss here, and while it’s been a few months since I saw it in theaters, I dare say it looks a little better and sharper on the blu-ray than it did in theaters.
The Special Features
The blu-ray comes with a few special features:
* Become a Giant Slayer (HD): This interactive feature sends users up a beanstalk — literally — in search of behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Know Your Enemy
The Magic of a Beanstalk
How to Zip
Saving the Princess
Defending Your Kingdom
* Deleted Scenes (HD, 8 minutes): Five deleted/alternate scenes, none of which feature final VFX.
* Gag Reel (HD, 3 minutes): Uneventful outtakes all around.
The special features on this blu-ray were handled in a unique way, in which you’re tasked with climbing the beanstalk in a sort of interactive game. As you climb upwards you ‘find’ the various featurettes and can watch them. However, you can also ‘fall’ down the beanstalk and have to start climbing all over again. While it’s an interesting idea (and seems designed more for younger kids), it can also be incredibly frustrating when all you want to do is sit back and watch the featurettes.
Once you get to them, they’re fairly entertaining and provide some insight into the behind-the-scenes of the film. Even so, the offerings for the special features, considering all you have to go through to watch them, feels kind of light. I wanted a little more meat to them.
Jack the Giant Slayer caught some flak when it released in theaters, but personally, I enjoyed the fairytale and thought it was a fun (if shallow) adventure story, with enough to it for young and old alike to walk away happy. The film looks gorgeous in blu-ray and almost makes up for it’s frustrating, and light, bonus features.
Jack the Giant Slayer (on DVD/Blu-ray and Digital Download on 6/18/2013) gets a 7.5 out of 10. It’s worth clearing a spot on your shelf for it.