The BFG (PG)
16/07/16 23:44 Filed in: 2016
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Mark Rylance
The below comments (in Black) were originally tweeted in Real-time from the back row of a movie theater and appear @BackRoweReviews. Though efforts were made to tease rather than ruin this movie’s memorable lines and moments, some spoilers may exist in the following evaluation (in Red). For concerns over objectionable content, please first refer to one of the many parental movie guide websites. All ratings are based on a four star system. Happy reading!
Sophie is right, the #WitchingHour is 3 AM.
Sophie is breaking all of her “Never” rules.
“That’s where you is, in Giant Country.” #GiantCountry
A collection of #DreamJars.
“I catch dreams.” Interesting occupation.
Beware of #SleepingGiants.
“All the secret whisperings of the world.” Welcome to #DreamCountry.
A Golden #FizzWizard. Like a non-corporeal #Tinkerbell.
#Togglehumper. Bad dream.
Never knew that dreams entered through the mouth.
“Naked at my wedding.” Interesting dream. #DreamJar
“Not in a month of Mondays.” #GiantSpeak
“I am your humbug servant.” Ha!
The #BFG doesn’t like coffee. #PinkiesUp
“I believe in the BFG.”
Sophie holds the #BFGs pinky. Sweet scene.
The bad giants get dropped off at #LukeSkywalker’s island.
Final analysis: a charming adaptation of #RoaldDahl’s story with a tremendous mo-cap performance by Rylance.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 4. Spielberg’s first film for #Disney is a magical adventure suitable for the whole family.
Every time I see the title of this film the first thing that pops into my mind is “Big F*!@ing Giant.” As you might guess, that inappropriate moniker, despite being an accurate description of the titular titan’s size, isn’t even close to the proper designation for this family film. And not just any family film, mind you, but one based on the children’s book of the same name by Roald Dahl (best known for writing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), produced by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by Steven Spielberg—his first stint for the Mouse House. So what does BFG really stand for? Big Friendly Giant, but you already knew that. The BFG (Mark Rylance in an astoundingly lifelike motion capture performance) is so christened by a young orphan named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), who catches a glimpse of the giant one night during her witching hour vigil…she suffers from insomnia. In order to preserve his anonymity, the BFG scoops up Sophie and whisks her away to giant country. As she adjusts to her new surroundings, Sophie must feel as if she were zapped by Professor Szalinski’s diminution ray from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) since everything inside the BFG’s cave dwelling is enormous to her—to aid in the visualization of such disparate proportions, Sophie can fit inside half of a snozzcumber, a slimy, bumpy version of a cucumber. Despite his fuddy-duddy mannerisms, Sophie quickly determines that the BFG is friendly, hence the name. However, she also learns that the other giants in the region are not so friendly because: 1. They’re “bean” eaters (giant speak for “beings” i.e. “human beings”) and 2. The BFG is only about half the size of the aggressive giants, which makes him a rather dubious protector for tiny Sophie. If this all sounds a bit overblown and silly, it is…what else would you expect from a kids’ flick with a giant in it? Though scenes featuring the brutish behemoths may be a tad frightening for the wee ones, most of the movie will appeal to preteens—anyone older may struggle to enjoy the film due to its dearth of character complexity, genuine jeopardy and realistic action. Some scenes, like when Queen Victoria (Penelope Wilton), her retinue and two canines create a carminative chorus during a breakfast banquet, will only elicit laughter from youngsters. Even sequences like when the bullying giants shove the BFG on top of a car and send him hurdling down a slope on a collision course with a vehicle descending the opposing hillside—essentially a giant-sized game of chicken—seem utterly inane and fail to generate any suspense since we know the BFG, as the literal title character, will find a way out of his predicament. The climactic confrontation, where military officers on British choppers capture and transport the man-eating giants to a secluded island, is daffy to the extreme—the giants don’t even put up a fight because any kind of graphic violence could tip the rating from PG to PG-13…and, poof, there goes half the audience. There’s a colossal disparity, in content and quality, between this film and the other Disney (Pixar) movie that’s out in theaters right now. Though Finding Dory is an animated film made for kids, it has many adult story elements. BFG, by contrast, is a live action (with CGI) movie that caters almost exclusively to kids. All of this to say that the movie’s target audience will surely embrace BFG while adults may derive more entertainment from counting the theater’s ceiling tiles than enduring the onscreen frivolity. None of these statements are meant to disparage the film’s creative vision. To be sure, there’s some real movie magic here—the sequence involving the Dream Tree is beautifully ethereal—and the direction, cinematography and production elements are all top-notch. However, despite its charm, whimsy and neck-craning, jaw-dropping scale, BFG will fail to service many adult spectators. So it turns out BFG does have an alternate meaning after all...Boring For Grownups.