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4.3 out of 5 stars395
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 5 August 2013
One of the latest new trends in Hollywood is to take age old fairy tales and turn them into big blustering blockbusters. So far the results have been a little lacklustre. Alice in Wonderland was a hollow, boring example of lazy filmaking and the recent Hanzel and Gretel also hasnt done much to pursuade the general public that all of this is a good idea.

So it is with some pleasure and a little surprise that Jack The Giant Slayer is actually good! Okay, so not a classic by any means and if you want a little brain with your brawn you are definately in the wrong place, but for a bit of fun for a couple of hours you could do a lot worse.

We all know the story of Jack and The Beanstalk so there is no point re-treading old ground. This version takes things a step further by adding a whole array of giants and getting them into a war with the human world.

When Jack's house is lifted into the sky by the fast growing weed taking the kingdom's princess with it, he springs into action. Or, more accurately, climbs into action. He and a bunch of hapless knights head into the clouds to find themselves at the mercy of the giants.

The giants have been waiting a long time for their chance to enter the human world again, so they waste no time in waging war.

The giants themselves are rendered well and given some nice personality traits. If anything it would have been good to spend a little more time with them on their turf, but this film is not about to waste time on bulding character and worlds.

Generally the action is good but a bit more would have been welcome. The final battle starts off great and watching the giants tear apart an army and lay siege on the castle is great fun, but it ends rather suddenly. Just as it feels like it is going to get even bigger it stops, almost as if the money dried up!

Nicholas Hoult and Ewan McGregor are good for the money and seem to be having fun with this. However this is firmly all about the giants and they steal the show. Whilst the film is fun it just felt like there could have been more of everything. If ever a film was screaming for some sort of sequel this woud be it. It would be good to venture back into the giants domain and explore their world a litle further.

For a bit of light fun, this really does the job.
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on 28 February 2014
Hollywood loves a well-known IP and especially one that is out of copyright; hence the influx of Bible, Shakespeare etc. films released every few years. Add to this the fairy tale. No one owns the rights to ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ so you can pretty much do as you wish with it. Bryan Singer has chosen to create an old fashioned feeling adventure film starring Nicholas Hoult called ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’. The movie follows the basic fairy tale; magic beans, giant stalk etc. but adds flesh to the bones by trying to give the characters more depth.

Jack is a country lad looking for adventure and it comes his way one day in the form of Princess Isabelle. She ends up at the top of the beanstalk so Jack goes along with the king’s royal guards to search for her. As a visual feast the film looks great. There is defiantly something magical about CGI used well like it is here. There is a great sense of scale, not only in the height of the beanstalk, but the giants themselves. Although they are obviously animated, it is done well, bringing to life creatures not unlike the BFG, but with a penchant for human flesh.

Where the film is lacking is in clear narrative structure. There is an enthusiasm as the film bounds forwards, but seems to have no clear direction. I liked the characters of Jack and company, but Singer fails to flesh them out like all the characterisation was meant to do. There is a cartoonish feel to ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ that means it remains empty headed and never becomes anything more than a fairy tale. It lacks the heart, or the laughs, of something like ‘The Princess Bride’ a film is feels like it was trying to emulate. However, despite its flaws the film was perfectly watchable.

The CGI in ‘Jack’ is a little iffy at times, but impressive enough overall that the BluRay should be the option if you get the choice. On the BluRay I saw there was a cumbersome way of accessing some middling behind the scenes featurettes and a gag reel.
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on 11 March 2016
VIDEO 3D:

Jack The Giant Slayer 3D arrives on blu ray with MPEG-4 MVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. The 3D picture was photographed with the Panavision Genesis HD Camera system using Red Epic cameras. Colour fidelity is nicely saturated with warm, rich and vibrant hues. The texture is filmic and refined. Contrast is balanced with deep, solid blacks. Detail is outstanding too. Edges are sharp enough to split hairs. The 3D dimensionality is terrific, with natural perspective and depth perception. The 3D effectively puts the viewer in the scene up close, as an invisible observer. Some of the scenes are absolutely breathtaking in dimensional scope. Resolution exhibits fine details throughout, especially during close-ups of facial features, skin, hair, clothing and object textures. This is a visually spectacular and stunning 3D presentation that is thoroughly visually engaging. (5/5)

VIDEO 2D:

Jack The Giant Slayer 2D arrives on blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. The transfer boasts a beautiful and evocative stormy-storybook palette, with hearth-fire colours, rich primaries, lovely fleshtones and deep, cavernous blacks. Detail is outstanding, with excellent resolution. The scale of the production design, costumes, and overall magnitude of the sets are stunning. Personally, I prefer the more immersive 3D experience. (4.5/5)

AUDIO (3D & 2D):

The giants stomp and roar their way unto blu ray with a reference quality DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio soundtrack that creates all sorts of mayhem and destruction. The soundtrack is a thrusting, deep-bass sonic experience that enhances the action of men against creatures a hundred times their size. Rain storms, thunder, surging water, earth-splitting bean stalks, giant footsteps, horses, war machines, and all sorts of other atmospherics and sound effects are enhanced with very deep bass. Surround immersion is dimensionally aggressive, with lots of panned effects. John Ottman’s orchestral music score is dynamic and strongly rhythmic, with a strong surround presence and wide and deep soundstage. Dialogue remains crisp and clear throughout as well, never succumbing to the power and presence of the film's soundscape and music. This is a well-crafted immersive audio experience. (5/5)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Although I was initially skeptical about this movie, after watching it (especially in 3D), I found that the movie delivers in the entertainment department on a grand scale, full of wild and often exciting spectacle that totally satisfies. If you have a 3D set, I would recommend you buy the 3D version. It is definitely a more immersive, exciting experience with lots of fun for the whole family.
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VINE VOICEon 10 April 2013
Not one of director Bryan Singer's best films and after a somewhat slow start, Jack The Giant Slayer does turn into a fun family fantasy adventure film with a good cast and impressive effects. The plot is basically the classic fairy tale Jack And The Beanstalk with farm boy Jack trading in a horse for some magic beans which ends up becoming a giant beanstalk after a thunderstorm and Jack climbs up the beanstalk along with a group of knights to rescue a princess and ends up fighting an army of giants. The film is basically a panto on the big screen. The mostly British cast are all good and hamming it up for all its worth and having fun. Nicholas Hoult is good as Jack though it's Ewan Mcgregor who gives the best performance as a knight and Stanley Tucci chews the scenery as a villain you want to boo at and Ian Mcshane is good as the king. The giants look very impressive on screen lead by Bill Nighy and while it might be a bit scary for young children it is a fun film the whole family can enjoy.
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on 4 October 2015
I saw Jack The Giant Slayer on board a transatlantic flight to the U.S.A two years ago and even in this pan and scan version I thought it was terrific. So when I purchased a 3D tv one of the first Blu-Ray 3D movies I purchased was the above title.

The special effects are vg and even though the story is familiar the alterations to the tale in my humble opinion improve it, and with widescreen and stereoscopic (3D) views it is superb entertainment for all ages.

PS The lead giant (two head) is voiced to my amazement by Bill Nighy who I have always associated with sophisticated smooth roles.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 March 2013
I liked this film and together with my 12 years old daughter we spend a nice moment watching it. It is however definitely not recommended to little children, like 11 and younger. This review contains limited SPOILERS.

This retelling of old tale of Jack and the Beanstalk is pretty well done, with many key ingredients of fairy tales well in place. There is a brave and clever farm boy (Jack), a cute and quite likeable damsel in distress, a noble king, his brave knights, a vilainous treacherous scoundrel, powerful magic items, a really REALLY BAD alpha (and beta) giant and a whole batallion of other giants, almost as dangerous as their two-headed leader.

Past the first 10 minutes, the film is rather quick paced and visually it is very pleasant: the sky domain of giants, the giant beanstalks and the mighty royal fortress are really impressive. The desperate fight of royal army against the giants besieging the great royal castle is a particularly well done thing - I certainly appreciated that both humans and giants fight in a rather logical way and human army is definitely not a push-over...

The best character in the film and a scene stealer is Elmont, a sarcastic noble knight commanding royal guard, played very VERY convincingly by Ewan McGregor who seizes this occasion to remind the public, that he once played Obi-wan Kenobi and that after all he killed Darth Maul and General Grievous and defeated and mutilated Darth Vader... Frankly, I almost expected Elmont to finally use his light-saber and I was very surprised when he didn't...

Stanley Tucci who plays the main villain Roderick is another scene stealer, with his quasi Monty Pythonesque style - it is clear he had tons of fun playing in this film. Ewan Bremer, who plays his slightly deranged murderous sidekick Wicke, is another delight to watch.

Compared to those three characters and to all the gallery of giants, both Jack and the Princess seem a little pale - this is the reason I give this film only four stars instead of five.

Children younger than 11 can find this film TOO SCARY, as there are numerous scenes when giants EAT PEOPLE - and even if there is no gore and everything is shown fast and from some distance, the scenes are explicit enough to leave no doubt that a character had just his head and shoulders ripped of the rest of his body and swallowed by a enormous, ugly, very strong, very fast and very agressive monster.

But bottom line, I liked this film and I spend a good moment watching it - and I think I will buy the DVD when it is available. Although not a masterpiece, this is a nice, easy, visually very impressive film.
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on 4 March 2016
Fantastic exploration of the theme! Yes, there were a few minor flaws in this, but overall it was great. I liked the way the seeds worked, the story with the crown, the floating land up in the sky. I particularly liked the various ways Jack succeeds in doing the impossible - killing giants. The kitchen scene in the giant's castle was hilarious and exciting. The little tidbits of humor spread throughout were great too!

It's not a serious film, it's almost a family fun, light-hearted adventure, but I think it's probably too scary for my 5 and 8 year olds. I won't mind watching it a second time in a few years time though!
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on 9 August 2015
Yes, it's a big blockbuster of a well known fairy tale but it was missing bite and to be honest, I felt the need to skip a few chucks of "character building" at the beginning. At no point was it edge-of-my-seat stuff but at the same time towards the end I did feel it drag me along for the ride. There were also moments of humour which helped loads. If they had played it completely straight, I would have hit the stop button before halfway. Something to watch in the background whilst doing mundane-but-important-tasks.
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on 19 May 2016
I had doubts but was happily surprised. A pretty good film, well acted, good special effects and it moved at a good pace. At last, a fairy story put on film that worked. Admittedly, I was a bit uncertain about the "kingly crown" and its very central role in the whole story. It did feel that it was being shoe-horned into the plot (and I think the Princess should have taken it at the vey end) but that is really just nit-picking when the film is itself pretty damn good.
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Watchable and good fun too. Giants are a bit scary. Graphics are very good and quite believable - I couldn't sleep after watching it! The giants all have Irish accents and everything is very green... Is this a joke about the 'little people'? Whatever, give it a go.

Edit: this seems to be a reference to the Giant's Cuaeway in Northern Ireland and the legend which accompanies it - a bit like the Jack and the Beanstalk tale which itself is some 5000 years old.
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