Jack the Giant Slayer appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Across the board, the movie boasted a terrific transfer.
Sharpness excelled. Virtually no softness materialized here, as the film was consistently tight and accurate I noticed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also weren’t a factor in this clean presentation.
Scenes in the kingdom opted for an amber palette, while those in the giant realm tended to be more desaturated and blue-gray. These choices limited the color range, but I thought the hues looked solid given those decisions. Blacks were deep and dense, and shadows showed clear definition; low-light and nighttime shots offered positive visuals. This was the kind of strong image one would expect from a brand-new big-budget studio effort.
I felt the same about the lively DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Jack. I’d expect lots of action from a movie about giants and battles and that’s what I found. From start to finish, the movie used all five channels as effective partners. Music filled the spectrum in a satisfying way, and effects demonstrated strong breadth.
Jack certainly gave the audio plenty of opportunities to excel, and it delivered. With plenty of creatures, fights and similar elements, these all added pep to the film. The components showed fine localization and blending; everything came from the correct spot and the pieces fit together in a smooth way.
Audio quality lived up to the standards of the soundfield. Music was bold and bright, and speech seemed concise and crisp. Effects demonstrated terrific range; highs appeared tight, and lows seemed deep and full. Bass response added a real kick and gave the movie great power. Everything worked here and this became a dynamic sound experience.
Jack skimps on extras. The main attraction comes from an interactive feature called Become a Giant Slayer. Hosted by actor Nicholas Hoult, this requires you to click left, right, up or down to navigate a beanstalk. When you land on a step, you can access a few featurettes. I found six in all with a total of 25 minutes, 29 seconds – I guess. The format means that you’d have to go through the game multiple times to make sure you didn’t miss anything, but I found it too annoying to do so. The set-up just makes it a chore to watch some short featurettes; I prefer when disc designers don’t get cute and they just present programs in an easily accessible fashion.
Across the six featurettes, we hear from director Bryan Singer, digital effects supervisor Eric Adrian Fernandes, visual effects supervisor Stephen L. Rosenbaum, producer Patrick McCormick, costume designer Joanna Johnston, animation supervisor Jan Philip Cramer, set decorator Richard Roberts, special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy, and actors Hoult, Bill Nighy, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, and Eddie Marsan. These programs cover the design of the giants and their execution via computer imaging, costumes, action sequences, sets, cast and performances, and various effects. We also get a deleted scene in which young Jack dreams of King Erik; he also loses his parents and ends up with his uncle.
Though short, the featurettes all add value. They give us lots of good tidbits and move at a nice pace it’s unfortunate that we must grind through an annoying interface to get to them, though.
Five Deletred Scenes fill a total of eight minutes, 27 seconds. The most significant offers an alternate version of the legend told at the film’s start, while the next two show Jack as he explores more of Gantua on his own. The fourth gives us a comedic bit with the kings’ guards, and the last lets Jack’s uncle reappear toward the movie’s end. The alternate opening is the most interesting of the bunch, but it’s not especially involving, and the others tend to be forgettable.
Finally, we get a three-minute, nine-second Gag Reel. It shows a standard array of silliness and goof-ups. Don’t expect anything out of the ordinary here.
A second disc delivers a DVD copy of Jack. This includes the gag reel and the deleted scenes.
At times Jack the Giant Slayer becomes a decent action flick, but it doesn’t ever become better than average, and a variety of flaws keep it from anything more than that. It’s a passable diversion and that’s about it. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture and audio but disappoints in terms of supplements. As a Blu-ray, Jack offers demo material; as a movie, it’s mediocre.