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Jack the Giant Slayer Blu-ray + DVD Review

Jack the Giant Slayer Blu-ray + DVD Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Jun 18, 2013
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

Fairy tale adventure “Jack the Giant Slayer” comes to home video and Kidzworld checks it out.

By: Lynn Barker

Farm boy hooks up with rich princess. Yeah? Never happen. It does in the fun adventure/fantasy film Jack the Giant Slayer, which brings the classic fairy tale of “Jack and the Beanstalk” to life.

Jack climbs the giant beanstalkJack climbs the giant beanstalk

Story Goes:  

Farmboy Jack (Nicholas Hoult) remembers an ancient tale of a band of man-eating giants banished to a land high above the Earth by a good king. At the same time, a queen tells her small princess daughter Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) that she can grow up to make a huge difference for her people.

Jack (Nicholas) and Isabelle (Eleanor) share a tender momentJack (Nicholas) and Isabelle (Eleanor) share a tender moment

Ten years later, now orphaned Jack is 18 and lives in poverty with an uncle who sends him to town to sell a horse and cart.  While there, Jack saves a pretty girl from ruffians, realizing later that she was the princess Isabelle. The cart is stolen and he trades the horse to a monk escaping from evil royal advisor Roderick (Stanley Tucci). As payment, the monk leaves Jack a sack of beans telling him they are priceless. The bad guys capture and kill the monk when he won’t reveal where the beans are.

Jack vs. the giantsJack vs. the giants

At home again, Jack drops a bean which rolls under the cottage. The rain causes it to grow very, very quickly. Doomed to marry the awful Roderick, Isabelle runs away and takes refuge in the storm at Jack’s small cottage. The magic beanstalk grows huge and bursts through the floor taking the entire house and Isabelle with it and knocking Jack to the ground below.

Evil Roderick (Stanley Tucci) and sidekickEvil Roderick (Stanley Tucci) and sidekick

Isabelle’s father the king (Ian McShane) sends Jack, along with dashing Elmont (Ewan McGregor) the captain of his royal guards and some of his men, climbing up the giant stalk to rescue the princess.  Also along is Roderick who secretly has found a magic ancient crown to control the giants.

Isabelle's father the king (Ian McShane)Isabelle's father the king (Ian McShane)

Once in the giants’ stronghold Gantua, the humans tangle with 25 foot tall giants and Jack tracks the princess to the giants’ meeting hall/prison.  Roderick uses the magic crown and the giants are now his to control.  Jack rescues Elmont and Isabelle and heads down the original beanstalk with her while Elmont stays behind to stop Roderick and get the crown back.

The stalk carries Isabelle awayThe stalk carries Isabelle away

Roderick orders the giants to attack the land below via several giant beanstalks that grow when he plants the beans he got from Jack. The king, thinking his daughter is already dead, starts chopping down the original stalk. Isabelle and Jack manage to survive its crash. The giants attack the castle. Will the good guys win?

The scary land of GantuaThe scary land of Gantua

Special Features

Become a Giant Slayer – The big “making of” extra, hosted by star Nick Hoult but it’s presented like a game; can you climb to the top a big beanstalk without getting knocked off? On the way, you can click on various mini-extras:

Know Your Enemy – This extra focuses on the design of the giants in the film, their skin, clothes etc. We see motion capture used on set with various actors playing giants. Interesting.

Elmont, Isabelle and Jack prepare to fightElmont, Isabelle and Jack prepare to fight

Suiting Up – Is the costume extra. The designer talks of creating an “ornate fairy tale” look. Nick talks about wearing a leather jacket based on his own jacket. Eleanor talks about her princess wardrobe etc. Fun.

Attack Tactics  - We see the CGI of the final fight with the giants and Nick does stunts. The huge kitchen set is cool. 

The Magic of a Beanstalk – We are on the stalk set at Jack’s farmhouse and we see how part of the big stalk existed on set and the rest was created in computer.

How to Zip – Nick and Ewan whip down a zip line hurtling from one on set stalk to another. Looks like fun.

Giants Kitchen – The scene in the giants’ kitchen is taken apart.. motion capture suits on some actors helped them plan how to do the scene later. Ewan McGregor is actually rolled up in a big, fake dough “blanket”. Funny

Saving the Princess – Nick relates his adventures trying to save Princess Isabelle, working against a big green screen and up on wires. Fun

Jack searches for Princess IsabelleJack searches for Princess Isabelle

Defending Your Kingdom – We see the building of the big castle set and watch the courtyard assault being filmed. Actors talk about how great it was to have real sets and props to react to.

Reward – Now this is very cool! If you make it to the top of the stalk, you get shown a series of graphic novel-style illustrations under the telling of more of the giants vs. humans backstory. Good King Erik’s history as a boy etc. is explained. There is also a cut scene with Erik as a little boy. This is quite fun.

Heroes hatch a planHeroes hatch a plan

Deleted Scenes – a different version of the origin story.. different drawings etc. , Jack finding a beanstalk bridge, more of the giants’ prison, Jack gives his uncle money and his home back. None really needed but nice to have.

Gag Reel – This blooper extra is tame but fun; malfunctions, props dropped etc. Best was a cat wrangler trying to get the cat to lick Jack’s face as he is lying passed out. You can hear the cat purr loudly throughout and Nick tries not to crack up. Very cute.

Wrapping Up

Jack the Giant Slayer joins the recent trend of bringing classic fairy tales to the screen and the “Jack and the Beanstalk” tale is filled with action, pretty awesome special effects and Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies) makes a very strong (and cute) farmboy turned hero. Pretty Eleanor Tomlinson is both a regal princess and a strong kick-butt action heroine. Stanley Tucci is hilarious but still threatening as the evil Roderick and Ewan McGregor makes a very handsome and romantic soldier/hero.

Nick (Jack) and Eleanor (Isabelle) at the premiereNick (Jack) and Eleanor (Isabelle) at the premiere

This combo set provides a complete look at the making of the film in short spurts and all the actors have quite a bit to say. There is no commentary by the director or actors but we see how things were done in detail and the “Reward” extra at the top of the beanstalk is worth the climb if you are into the story. You might get frustrated by the whole climb the beanstalk thing or it might be fun. At least it is a different way to present the extras. We’ll go 4 stars.

Jack the Giant Slayer Blu-ray + DVD Rating: 4

Jack the Giant Slayer cover artJack the Giant Slayer cover art





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What did Jack trade for the beans?

  • A Horse
  • A Cow
  • A Dog
  • Gold

Entertainment In The Forums

AlphaT posted in Movies:
Hello and welcome to the first installment of my new series "Alpha Reviews". Whenever I see a new movie, I'll write a review of it here. Don't worry, the first part of the review will be spoiler free, and I'll make sure to give a warning when I talk more about the specifics of the movie.  Today I'll be looking at Roland Emmerich's sequel to (arguably) his greatest work, Independence Day. His original alien disaster film came out in 1996, and while it wasn't a major hit with the critics, it trounced the box office by raking in more money than any other film of that year. Over the past two decades, love for the movie has only grown, and it's now seen as the ultimate popcorn movie.  So how did the sequel hold up? Well...it's not easy to tell. On the one hand, there are some things that this movie did really well. On the other, this movie had moments that I absolutely hated. This is such a hard movie to crituique. Not because there's nothing to critique, but because there's so much right and wrong in the movie that making a final call on it is hard to do.  For one, the story is serviceable. I can buy pretty much everything that they're saying. While there are a few obvious plot holes, impeccable writing isn't what you expect from ID.  The characters vary from the fun and interesting to the idiotic and annoying. Jeff Goldblum does a great job here, and so does Bill Pullman and William Fitchener. As for the new characters? Not so much. The (arguably) two main characters are played by discount Chris Hemsworth (Liam Hemsworth), and discount Micheal B. Jordan (Jessie Usher). Neither give a stunning performance. And my goodness, there is one character in this movie who is so stereotypical and unrealistic, that it literally made me facepalm when I saw it. You'll know who I'm talking about if you've seen the movie. But, the movie is set up so that everyone gets a healthy slice of screen time, so it's okay.  The action is phenomenal, but kind of unoriginal. The first real action scene we have is the destruction of London. Know what it looks exactly like? The destruction of Paris in 2012. Know who directed 2012? Roland Emmerich. Now, I'm one of the few who enjoyed that movie, so I'm fine with it. And most of the other scenes do have a more original feel to them. But, this guy doesn't stop at copying his own movies. There's an action scene where they're on the moon, it looks exactly like Prometheus. I guess I can forgive some of this, but come on, really?  The nostalgia was WAY off the charts. I count this as a category for review because it's what old movie sequels do now. Some do it at the right amount, some don't do it enough, and some...like this film...do it all the time. Almost everything is recycled from the past movie, and there so many callbacks that it's hard to remember them all. But I will give it credit, some of them had me laughing. But, some of them made we want to scream "You're not even trying!" in the theater.  All in all? I'd say that you need to see this movie if you had any enjoyment out of the first one. But, just know that this has a lot more nonsense to put up with, even though it does give much of the entertainment value of the first one in return. I can't guarantee that you won't be disappointed, but if you go into it expecting a mix of good and bad, you'll be glad to see the good parts of a true classic film on the big screen once again.  That's it here. What were your thoughts on the movie? Who do you think gave the best performance? What did you want to see more of? Post what you think about Independence Day: Resurgence below. 
reply about 4 hours
"fazemonster123" wrote: "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote: "fazemonster123" wrote: "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote: "fazemonster123" wrote: "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote: "fazemonster123" wrote: "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote: I have forests but no trees I have houses but no brick I have rivers but no water I have plains but no grass What am I? a hairy guy XD Nope xD a dry but crack XD Nope xD if its not my mom then i give up xD It's a MAP. A MAP. OMFG I GOT IT RIGHT LOL YAY*facepalm*And no, not hulk:)
reply about 8 hours
"Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote:I'm bare but I still have soemthing on. I'm all brown but mostly green. I come in all types but I'm still the same thing. What am I?HULK
reply about 8 hours
"Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote: "fazemonster123" wrote: "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote: "fazemonster123" wrote: "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote: "fazemonster123" wrote: "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote: I have forests but no trees I have houses but no brick I have rivers but no water I have plains but no grass What am I? a hairy guy XD Nope xD a dry but crack XD Nope xD if its not my mom then i give up xD It's a MAP. A MAP. OMFG I GOT IT RIGHT LOL YAY
reply about 8 hours
"fazemonster123" wrote: "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote: "fazemonster123" wrote: "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote: "fazemonster123" wrote: "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote: I have forests but no trees I have houses but no brick I have rivers but no water I have plains but no grass What am I? a hairy guy XD Nope xD a dry but crack XD Nope xDif its not my mom then i give up xDIt's a MAP. A MAP. 
reply about 8 hours