Jack the Giant Slayer 3D is the top new Blu-ray title this week, released by New Line Home Entertainment on June 18th, 2013.
This fantasy adventure film is based on the fairy tales Jack the Giant Killer and Jack and the Beanstalk.
The screenplay was written by Darren Lemke, Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Studney, and tells the story of Jack, a young farmhand who must rescue a princess from a race of giants after a magic beanstalk creates a gateway their world.
Jack the Giant Slayer 3D the Movie
The film opens in the Kingdom of Cloister, where a young farm boy Jack is fascinated by the legend of Erik.
Erik was an ancient king who defeated an army of invading giants from a land in the sky.
At the same time, a young Princess Isabelle is told the same legend.
Ten years later, Jack heads into town to sell his horse in order to support his uncle’s farm.
While there, Jack is distracted by a play of Erik’s legend, and sees Isabelle there.
After defending her honor from a group of drunks, he discovers her true identity.
Meanwhile, Princess Isabelle’s fiance Lord Roderick finds that his study has been burgled by a monk.
In an attempt to escape, the monk offers Jack some magic beans he stole from Roderick as collateral for Jack’s horse.
When Jack returns, his uncle scolds him for being losing the horse and throws the beans on the floor of the house.
Isabelle sneaks out of the castle and seeks shelter from the sudden rain in Jack’s house.
When the rain reaches one of the beans, it instantly takes root and grows into a massive beanstalk that carries the house and Isabelle into the sky, leaving Jack behind.
The next day, Jack, Lord Roderick, and the king’s knights climb the beanstalk in search of Isabelle.
It soon becomes clear that Roderick has plans other than to save the princess.
Can Jack and Elmont, the leader of the king’s knights, rescue the princess and keep the land safe from the rampaging giants?
Jack the Giant Slayer is a pretty solid new adaptation of the original Jack / beanstalk / giant stories.
There are many elements from the fairy tales rolled into the story, which is told through the advances of technology, mixing live action with motion capture computer generated characters.
It is clear that a lot of thought went into the characters, especially the giants, resulting in a technically solid movie.
While the story is pretty straight forward, some criticized it for being to simple and effects laden.
Personally I liked the film quite a lot, and while it does rely heavily on digital effects, for the most part it didn’t end up with one invincible entity fighting another, with wholesale destruction of everything in its path.
With a distinct physical disadvantage, the humans needed to be somewhat more cunning in their approach.
Nonetheless the film is in the ‘summer blockbuster’ genre, and as such it had to deliver on a certain level of mass demolition.
The cast features Nicholas Hoult and Eleanor Tomlinson in the leads, along with a solid supporting cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy and John Kassir.
The critical response to the movie was fairly middle of the road, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 52%, and an IMDb score of 6.4/10.
Jack the Giant Slayer 3D was no doubt a bit of a disappointment in the cinema, reaching just $65.2M at the US box office, with a global box office roughly matching its $200M budget.
Jack the Giant Slayer on Blu-ray 3D
The video on the disc is a stereo MVC 1080p encode at 24 Mbps, and is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1.
All in all the image quality on the movie is very good, and the look of the film plays well in the Blu-ray format.
The 3D effect is also solid throughout, and there is the occasional scene that takes advantage of the inherent depth it offers.
For full resolution PNG screen captures taken directly from the disc you can check the details page for Jack the Giant Slayer 3D.
The main audio is lossless DTS-HD Master Audio with 5.1 channels – 24 bits resolution at 48 kHz.
The disc is a dual layer BD50, with 42.4 GB used and is coded for All Regions.
Jack the Giant Slayer 3D on Blu-ray 3D – The Bonus Features
As with most Blu-ray 3D releases, you need to pop in the accompanying regular Blu-ray for the extras.
Warner has taken a bit of a different approach with this title, making it a bit of a challenge to see the behind the scenes featurettes.
There is a BD Java ‘game’ called Become a Giant Slayer where you have to negotiate the beanstalk in order to see the different segments.
Bad choices and lingering too long can cause you to reach a dead end or to restart at the beginning.
It is a little bit of fun but I would prefer if there was another way to access the features for less adventurous viewers!
The first segment is Know Your Enemy, which discusses the details for the design of the giant characters.
Here you also get to see the motion capture used and the blending of the scenes is discussed.
It was no doubt quite a challenge to merge so many motion capture characters into the live action, especially considering the scale differences between the two.
Suiting Up covers the wardrobe and costume design, for both the human and the giant characters.
The set design for the beanstalk scenes is the focus of The Magic of a Beanstalk.
This covers the beanstalk that takes over the house, as well as other scenes shot on the theoretically 5 mile high beanstalk structure.
How to Zip reveals the challenges of the zip line scene on the stalk.
Attack Tactics looks at the scenes where the giants are killed (definitely spoilers here – watch the movie first!).
More set design and the ins and outs of the kitchen scene are discussed in Giant’s Kitchen.
Saving the Princess zeroes in on the stunts and production of the escape scenes.
Lastly the final epic battle is covered in Defending Your Kingdom.
If you make it to the ‘top of the beanstalk’ you are rewarded with what appears to be an alternate opening featuring the Erik legend in somewhat of a different form from the one presented in the film.
Other supplements include a selection of deleted and extended scenes, some of which are not fully rendered.
The gag reel runs a few minutes and features bloopers and pranks on set.
This release also includes a DVD Copy for legacy players and an UltraViolet Digital Copy code.
Jack the Giant Slayer 3D on Blu-ray 3D – Final Thoughts
Jack the Giant Slayer 3D is in my view a fun film that deserved a better reception than it got in the cinema.
New Line Home Entertainment has put together a pretty solid Blu-ray 3D release with a novel game to navigate the supplements.
All formats are included, from Blu-ray 3D to UltraViolet Digital Copy.
The retail price is $44.95, though you can get it at Amazon for $27.99, saving 38%!
If you don’t want the 3D option, you can find the regular Blu-ray DVD UltraViolet Combo at Amazon for $22.99.
- Become a Giant Slayer – Know Your Enemy, Suiting Up, The Magic of a Bean Stalk, How to Zip, Attack Tactics, Giant’s Kitchen, Saving the Princess, Defending Your Kingdom, and Alternate Opening
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
- Gag reel
Jack the Giant Slayer tells the story of an ancient war that is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack, into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend… and gets the chance to become a legend himself.