Jack the Giant Slayer Blu-ray
Jack the Giant Slayer may be a retread of a well-known fairy tale, but it’s a carefully accomplished retread, filled with action and plenty of fun CGI. Directed by Bryan Singer, the X-Men and Superman director’s experience with big budget extravaganzas offers a reason to give Jack the Giant Slayer a shot. Throw in Ewan McGregor and recent young heartthrob Nicholas Hoult and audiences get a competent and capable film with a competent and capable cast that would have just needed a little more edge and innovation to push the film to the next level.

This isn’t to say Jack the Giant Slayer is bad. Audiences should be able to invest in the constant plights of dreamy Jack, a youth of eighteen with a romantic outlook who grows valiant when tasked with saving a Princess named Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) from a land filled with giants. Everything from Jack’s wry grin to his endearing fear of heights makes him a familiar character with enough quirks to be arresting. He’s not the action hero audiences have come to expect, but he works for the purposes of the film.

Other characters, however, are not as bold and bright, or even as inventive. Audiences are treated to a half-hearted Prince Humperdinck sort of character in Lord Roderick (Stanley Tucci). While not a prince, the advisor has plans for winning the crown, many of which hinge on the safety of the princess, whom the advisor cares little for. King Brahmwell (Ian McShane), too, is mostly there to assert that a relationship between a farm boy (as in Jack) and a princess (as in his daughter) is impossible. With a 114 minute running time, I wish we would have gotten a little more conflict or a more intense bad guy.

Still, despite some storyline problems, Jack the Giant Slayer is a reasonably fun adventure story. Indeed, Singer peppers sight gags and quips throughout the film in order to keep the moments between action sequences from going dull. There’s one significant moment featuring the growth of the famed beanstalk that is low on surprise but offers some humor thanks to a cat who seems to supernaturally be in the know that the stalk is coming. If you like breezy jokes like these, as well as enthusiastic acting, Jack the Giant Slayer is an adventure tale that’s worth a watch.

You can order Jack the Giant Slayer over at Amazon.

Best Special Feature: Some of the features available with the set are interactive and geared toward a younger audience, including “Become a Giant Slayer.” If I were a child, I would probably have loved this bonus feature, but as I am not, the interactive component actually became quite annoying. There are actually very few extras available with the set. Of these, the best is probably the deleted scenes, which offer a different interpretation of the tale of giants which is explained to audiences at the beginning of the film. In the deleted scenes, the story is a little more nightmarish, but worth checking out as long as you don't have kiddos sitting nearby.

Other Special Features:
“Become a Giant Slayer”
Gag Reel

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