The BFG (2016)
Starring: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill
The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is based on a book by Roald Dahl. (So you know some twisted stuff is about to happen.) It is about a young girl named Sophie who befriends a giant affectionately called BFG. (If I tell you anymore I’d be spoiling the movie and I am not going to do that.)
I was hoping this movie would do well as it was directed by Steven Spielberg, a director which I appreciate and respect above just about everyone. He is a master of film and brings masters to work with him. A lot of my fellow reviewers went to see this film and enjoyed it. However, the movie did not do great over the July 4th weekend (Finding Dory was just too cute.)
What I Didn’t Like:
This movie had very few flaws. I will say for a children’s movie (Everyone can enjoy it, but it is directed for children.) the attention to detail may have been a bit much. From an aesthetics point of view, it was crowd pleasing. However, I could feel the young children in this movie getting bored. This is not exciting enough for young children. Does that really make it a bad film in anyway? Of course not, but it is one big reason it didn’t crush at the box office last weekend.
The pacing was at times too slow. It got to a point where in my head I was shouting (GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!) There is so much detail to every scene and they are beautiful and well-crafted, but it’s okay to move a bit faster.
A growing trend in children’s films is to have a fart joke. I don’t think they are needed, except as a cheap laugh. Among the most minor of spoilers here- This film probably has the most lavish, most painstakingly detailed fart joke in the history of cinema. It wasn’t exactly appreciated. Perhaps because I’m not 12. It was gross and brought down the movie which was otherwise fantastic.
The humor could have been a bit more common. To spice things up. Then again, Spielberg and his humor doesn’t always hit its mark. The few times they tried, it didn’t really work for me.
What I Did Like
Steven Spielberg is a true master of cinema. In almost everything he touches, there is a touch of the immaculate and this film is no exception.
No, it is not Spielberg’s finest film, but it is visually stunning. The music by John Williams is serene and perfectly fitting. The young Ruby Barnhill was splendid (one of the finest young performances by a child actor this year and then some). Mark Rylance really worked as the Big Friendly Giant, the special effects at times looked quite incredible. (Like sometimes I swear it was just makeup on actors.) The special effects elsewhere were magical, filled with whimsy.
I think this movie is worth watching. If you can catch it for a matinee, it is great viewing. A beautifully crafted piece of film. One that proves that even when Spielberg doesn’t have his A game, there are very few who can even walk in his shadow.
The Ladder – Where does this film rank on my ladder?
Spielberg Movies for Kids* Note that I do not count ET as a kid’s movie since he caused me to have childhood nightmares so unbelievably traumatic, i still can’t sit through that film in peace. (Makes Jason Voorhees look like the Fairy Godmother)
Jurassic Park (1993)
The BFG-(2016)- A fine film if a bit flawed. Beautiful, well-crafted, another quality film from a true master of our time.
The Adventures of Tin Tin (2011)