I Kill Giants Blu-ray Review
It is with the humanity of the story where the heart is
I Kill Giants Blu-ray Film Review
All things that live in this world, die. This is why you must find joy in the living, while the time is yours, and not fear the end. To deny this is to deny lifeI Kill Giants was originally brought to life as series of graphic novels by (writer) Joe Kelly and (artist) J.M. Ken Niimura in 2008. First time director Anders Walter brings the pages to life along with Joe Kelly as screenwriter and Rasmus Heise (Rita, Hand of God, The Rain) as cinematographer.
The story centres on Barbara (Madison Wolfe), a young teenager, who fantasises about giants and that she is the only one capable of defending her home town with the help of her magical weapons and traps. Told solely through the perspective of this protagonist we witness the interactions between those around her and how they impact on her life, be that her new best friend Sophia (Sydney Wade) newly arrived from England, the school psychologist Mrs. Mollé (Zoe Saldana), her sister Karen (Imogen Poots) and even the school bully Taylor (Rory Jackson). But it is Wolfe’s show, she gives a stunning performance that is touching, energetic and heart-warming and tender; you side with her, you believe in and with her, so much so that you start to wish that her fantasies are real.
Madison Wolfe gives a stunning performance
Heise plays on this formula, keeping the fantasy so real that, perhaps even at the halfway point, the audience are not sure which way the outcome will fall – that giants are real, or that it is all a mask to hide from something even more sinister underneath. Whilst there are clues spread throughout, they are disseminated with enough double meaning as to keep most people guessing.
Heise’s use of light and dark give the story some real menace at times; while the giants themselves are wonderfully realised. But it is with the humanity of the story where the heart is; friendship, grief, love and acceptance are just some of the themes being explored and whilst the outcome isn’t entirely unexpected and the plot device isn’t quite so original, the film plays out with such verve and triumph that one is simply brought along for the ride. A real hidden gem that I bet most people have missed.
I Kill Giants Blu-ray PictureI Kill Giants was shot digitally using Arri Alexa cameras and is presented on the Blu-ray as 1080p/24, in the widescreen 2.39:1 aspect ratio, and uses MPEG4 compression. We reviewed the disc, sourced from Germany, since it is unavailable domestically on Blu-ray, on a Panasonic 65DX902B Ultra HD 4K TV with a Panasonic DMP-UB400 Ultra HD Blu-ray player.
There is tremendous detail on show, right from skin texture, through to clothing weaves, from windswept beaches to rolling waves in the sea; check out the matted fur on Barbara’s bunny ears, or the crisp bark in the forest, or the beach sand – pin sharp and never softening.
Terrific looking 1080p image
Colouring is slightly desaturated, bringing out the blue of the image, but skin tones are natural enough, while the primaries are bold an strong without wash or bleed. Greens in the forest are particularly lush, while the pale blue skies and greys of the sea are very well realised. Sunsets look gorgeous.
Brightness and contras are set well, for the most part, blacks remain robust and strong adding some good depth to frame, though there was the odd occasion when it crushed slightly. Whites never had an issue though.
The source is perfectly clean, while the only digital issues were some slight banding in one or two scenes.
I Kill Giants Blu-ray SoundThe English DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is terrific, making full use of the surround scape to place you in the centre of the action; be that wind and crashing waves, creaking and crashing wood, chatter in the school corridors or ominous portents emanating from upstairs! The surrounds are employed throughout to add to the effects and ambience. The score is well layered into the mix, often ‘floating’ above the effects track. Dialogue is clean and clear and never lost in the mix. Bass it deep and powerful, but tight and controlled used to fill out numerous effects adding significant punch down below.
I Kill Giants Blu-ray ExtrasAnatomy of a Scene – Five minute feature taking a closer examination of the ‘Titan’ battle scene.
Making of I Kill Giants – Another five minute feature consisting of interviews with cast and crew.
I Kill Giants Blu-ray VerdictAlong with The Endless and You Were Never Really Here, I Kill Giants is a hidden gem that you shouldn't let pass you by. The story of anguish hidden in a fantasy world might not be wholly original but it is told with such verve through an outstanding performance by lead actress Madison Wolfe that one cannot help but be swept away with the story telling.
The Blu-ray has a terrific picture, being clean, detailed and well coloured, while the DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track is tremendous. The set is only slightly let down by the lack of any significant extras. That and not being available domestically, of course.
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