Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Film Review - Jack the Giant Slayer

I know I said I would do a spoiler version of the last review I did (Bioshock Infinite) but I just saw Jack the Giant Slayer and I wanted to get this down while everything was still fresh.

Jack is your typical country boy living in the middle ages.  So that means that he didn't own much of anything, he was brought up to work the land, but he was still relatively happy living under a good King.  Jack's father was a good man who raised him well, but unforeseen circumstances lead to his father's death.  Now being raised by his uncle, all Jack has left to remember his father by, and one of his few possessions, was a book, a story of a great King from long ago who was forced to wage war on giants who descended from their land above the clouds to attack humanity.  The story tells of the lengths the King went to in order to protect his people, and in the end he was victorious.  Eventually, the tale became a legend, the details lost in time, and the legend became a myth.  Fast forward ten years and Jack is eighteen years old, still living and working with his uncle on the same land his father had owned, a ways outside the walls of the castle.  Jack is sent into the town by his uncle to sell their horse and carriage and if you know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk at all, you have an idea of what happened next.  The story does take an unexpected twist on the original story, however that is best left for you to find out when you see the movie.

From a technical perspective the movie was almost flawless, especially on a single viewing like I had.  The acting was top notch, especially from Ewan Mcgregor, who pulled off his character extremely well.  There is one particular moment in the movie which is a clear Obi Wan Kenobi reference, but I'll let you find that one yourselves.  Continuing on, Nicholas Hoult does a particularly good job as well but who can really be surprised at this considering his movie record?  X-Men First Class, Clash of the Titans... this is a guy who has certainly been around the big leagues before, despite his limited experience.  Of course every good fairy tale needs a good damsel in distress and this damsel's name is Isabelle, or as she is known in the real world, Eleanor Tomlinson (you may recognise her from the 2010 Alice in Wonderland movie as Fiona Chattaway).  Although she may not have as much professional acting experience as Ewan Mcgregor or even Nicholas Hoult, she also does quite a good job for all the screen time she had.  There are always ways to improve a performance of course, but for someone so early in their career, Tomlinson does an excellent job.  As far as special effects go, and they go pretty far, Jack the Giant Slayer knocks it out of the park.  First of all, beanstalks.  The amount of detail put into the beanstalks themselves is simply amazing, and since it was a 3D movie, it made it very easy to immerse myself into the story.  Following that strand of thought, the giants were done so well that I'm pretty sure if I had been sitting any closer to the screen, I would have smelled them.  Of course this level of special effects has become the standard for a Hollywood film, but when the modeling and texturing technology is used in creative ways like in this movie I can't help but applaud the SFX teams behind it.

I could go into so many more details about the soundtrack and sound design, the massive environments, flowing water, all that jazz, but the fact is that to get the full experience you really have to see the movie for yourself.  I give Jack the Giant Slayer a solid overall score of 8.5 out of 10, and highly recommend it!

That'll be all for now folks, check back later for more reviews and any other faff that I might think to post on here; check by semi-regularly even to keep up to date on any running series of posts that I may have, we'll see.  In the meantime, cherio you lot.

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