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Jacob: Unrated Director's Cut - Blu-ray Review

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Jacob - Blu-ray Review

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2 stars

Texas writer/director/actor Larry Wade Carrell comes bucking out of the gate with a modest but forgettable full-length horror debut.  While murky with a convoluted storyline that includes strange townspeople, warring brothers and a slightly haunted house, Jacob is an independent film taking a stab at the slasher genre by way of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  Interesting but slight, Jacob is solely for horror aficionados curious enough to be distracted by its offerings.

Jacob (Dylan Home) is a large, large, super large young man.  He’s a little disturbed, too.  Mountain-sized meat and mental dullness do not a good combination make.  He’s protective of Sissy (Grace Powell), his younger sister, after being raised by an abusive father (Michael Biehn) and is quick to lose his cool.  The violent paternal conflict of the past has cemented their – brother and sister - fates together.  Abuse; however, does not leave the family alone and soon the entire town comes calling for Jacob.

This might be an attempt to be the most human of monster movies.  Jacob, while being the most misunderstood character, is not the evil one.  We know this because we see his point of view of the world.  It is the town that is to blame; it is mother.  Jacob is a victim.  Most certianly, Jacob kills and, yes, it’s pretty grisly but – as a story – Jacob earns most of its power from its tragedy.

The acting; however, is pretty poor.  Even from the established actors, there’s little to hold the attention of the viewer.  The kids – Powell and Home – definitely keep the picture alive with their performances.  Everyone else?  Not so much.  It feels as if a lot of the scenes were shot once as the level of acting reflected by some of the actors is far from solid.  Biehn might be having a good time but his over-the-top and manic performance does little for the story.

While we should consistently applaud the rebel spirit of independent filmmaking, Jacob just doesn’t quite get the dirty job done.  It was clearly made with a strong love for the genre and the handful of kill scenes are all done the old-school way.  Unfortunately, there’s absolutely nothing new here.  The film just doesn't really work in a satisfactory way.  The story is dull.  The acting doesn’t help makes sense of matters and it, surprisingly, has little in the way of suspense and tension.

Slasher fans may want to check it out but everyone else should simply stay away from Jacob.

{2jtab: Film Details}

Jacob - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: Unrated director's cut.
Runtime:
90 mins.
Director
: Larry Wade Carrell
Writer: Larry Wade Carrell
Cast: Grace Powell; Krystn Caldwell; Larry Wade Carrell; Joe Grisaffi
Genre: Horror
Tagline:
Where innocence ends, vengeance begins.
Memorable Movie Quote: ""
Distributor:
Odysee Pictures
Official Site:
http://www.odysseepictures.com/?cat=6
Release Date: No theatrical release
Home video distributor:
Kino Video International
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 16, 2013

Synopsis: Lonely and disturbed Jacob Kell loved his little sister more than anything on earth. When tragedy strikes, Jacob retaliates the only way he knows how - and anyone who crosses his path will know there is no limit to his brutal vengeance.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Jacob - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
2 stars

3 stars



Blu-ray Experience
2.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - April 16, 2013
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Jacob’s 1080p/AVC encode, framed to 2.35:1, displays some expected issues from lower-level digital cameras. It’s amazing to think that Jacob was filmed with technology you and I could own, though. Unfortunately, it looks the part. Banding, aliasing, and other inconsistencies dampen the look of the picture. Several moments of out-of-focus backgrounds are noticeable, too. Color has been stylistically drained from the film.  Some of the close-ups provide nice facial tones and minor clothing detail but there’s nothing here to warrant a beautiful-looking film.  Sound is provided through a horribly mixed lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. Turn it off.  Go with the 2.0 stereo instead.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The disc includes two tracks, the first with the director and the cinematographer, and the second with a few random actors, including Grace Powell.  The two tracks are informative and interesting and – while Larry Wade Carrell is certainly a talker – these are not necessary listens…by any means.

Special Features:

It amazes me how many of these low-budget releases get the deluxe treatment on blu-ray while some of the major releases can’t squeeze enough lemons to provide anything but a trailer.  Jacob features an hour-long look at its making, complete with cast interviews and on-set footage.  Up next is a collection of Deleted and Extended Scenes with optional commentary from Larry Wade Carrell.  Storyboards and screen comparisons are included as well as behind-the-scenes look at the film’s Canadian premiere.  Test footage and conceptualization trailers are also included.

  • The Journey of Jacob: Behind the Scenes (62 min)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (7 min)
  • From Storyboard to Screen (4 min)
  • Interview at Montreal Comic-Con (9 min)
  • Screen Tests (5 min)
  • Pre-Production Pitch Trailer (3 min)
  • Teaser Trailer

{2jtab: Trailer}

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