- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Spanish
- Region: AB (No Region C)
- Rating: PG
- Discs: 3 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD + 1 x Digital Copy)
- Studio: 20th Century Fox
- Blu-ray Release Date: April 19, 2011
- List Price: $39.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
I was about 8-years-old when I first read Jonathan Swift’s fantasy novel, Gulliver’s Travels. I was fascinated with its strange world of tiny people. I was probably a bit young to understand all the context of Swift’s writing and its commentary on the age, but I enjoyed it then and I do still. This modern adaptation or, more precisely, abridgment, of the classic featuring Jack Black couldn’t be any further from the Swift epic.
Director Rob Letterman has turned Gulliver’s Travels into nothing more than a trifling modern comedy for Jack Black to wander about in and do his usual shtick. When Lemuel Gulliver must save the Lilliputians from a devastating fire by urinating on them, you already know that you’re in for a pretty bad movie.
In this version of the tale, Jack Black plays Lemuel Gulliver, a loser who works in the mail room for a New York newspaper. In order to impress the travel reporter (Amanda Peet) he’s had a crush on for years, he puts in an application to become a travel writer cutting and pasting from all the top travel sites like Fromer’s and Time Out NY. When she sends him on assignment to check out a story about a man who claims to know the secret behind the Bermuda triangle, he gets sucked up into a massive cyclone that takes him to Lilliput, a world of tiny people where he is a giant. He gets caught in their ongoing civil war, while greatly impacting their society by bringing concepts from the modern world to them.
It’s only moderately funny, often dull, and a total disrespect to Swift’s original novel.
Gulliver’s Travels is more proof that a film doesn’t have to be great to look great on Blu-ray. As one would expect from a film such as this, the image for Gulliver’s Travels’ AVC/MPEG-4 encoding is clean and sharp with no source damage, it has strong shadow delineation and accurate flesh tones.
The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack wasn’t as engaging as I thought it would be, but it is still quite good, particularly during the first act’s cyclone scene where it shows lots of activity in the surround channels and deep bass. Dialogue is clean and there is a good amount of dynamic range.
Gulliver comes loaded with extras. There’s even an interactive Foosball game that’s a bit dificult to get the hang of, but a cool time waster nonetheless.
The supplements provided on this release are:
- I Don’t Know…with Lemuel Gulliver (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:05.15) – A look at unusual phenomena with Jack Black in character as Lemuel Gulliver.
- Gag Reel (2.35:1; 1080p/24; 0:01.28)
- Deleted Scenes (2.35:1; 1080p/24)
- Little and Large (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:08.14) – The cast talk about the tale and challenges of filming.
- Jack Black Thinks Big (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:05.59) – The cast and filmmakers discuss the modern twist on Gulliver’s Travels.
- Down Time (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:04.24) – The cast members discuss their fun time during the production’s down time.
- Gulliver’s Foosball Challenge
- War Song Dance (1.78:1;1080p/24; 0:05.45) – Go behind-the-scenes of the recording sessions for Jack Black’s rendition of “War (What is it Good For?)” and have a look at the production of the War Dance scene from the film.
- Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character with Jack Black (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:06.30)
- Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character with Jason Segel (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:04.52)
- Life After Film School: Rob Letterman of Gulliver’s Travels (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:21.52)
- World Premiere (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:06.02)
- Theatrical Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1; 0:02.22)
- D-Box Motion Code
- Live Extras:
- Exclusive: Jack and Jason’s Dance Class
- Digital Copy
The Definitive Word
I remember when Jack Black used to be edgy and sincerely funny, now he is more often annoying than anything else. Gulliver’s Travels is one film that should have been left in the boardroom or perhaps placed in more capable hands. Perhaps one day we might get an honest effort at bringing a big budget spectacular of this wonderful story to the big screen – this isn’t it.
Additional Screen Captures