Monday, 25 July 2016

'The BFG' 2016 [MOVIE REVIEW]

[Warning: May Contain Spoilers...I'll try my best not to, but to be on the safe side I'd better declare that haha]


The BFG. Such a well known and adored classic children's tale from our generation has been taken on by the big shots of movie magic - Steven Speilberg and Disney. Just a bit different from the usual genre and tone Speilberg directs, it just proves his diversity even more.
I was never the biggest 'BFG' fan, though of course like most people my age have read many a Roald Dahl book in my time and so of course when I heard Disney were filming an adaptation of another Dahl story (James and the Giant Peach from 1996 being the previous Disney/Dahl collab) I had high hopes.
Slightly sad that I wasn't going to get to see it on opening weekend, (as we plan to see Pete's Dragon the day it opens and due to the cinema being at least 60 miles away in either direction a trip to see a movies ends up becoming quite pricey) I was over the moon when my friend from Newcastle came to visit and said she fancied it too. We took a drive to Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh and got to see The BFG in 2D on opening day! Luckily we booked the night before as unfortunately, thanks to the school holidays, it was packed.

Making sure to go into it with a completely blank and open mind I didn't re-read the book or watch any trailers at all...however, I highly suggest you check out the one below and then read on for my views on the full film.


From here on in I'm going to talk about this as a stand alone film and as if you haven't heard the story before (maybe you haven't, I dunno). So as you may see from the trailer above, a resounding subject of The BFG is dreams. Dream blowing, dream catching, dream country and mixing dreams, it's all very airy and fantastical and the way they are imagined to look is so beautiful. The BFG himself is a 'good giant' and spreads his goodness, to make up for the badness of the other giants, by mixing and 'blowing' good dreams into sleeping beans - that's human beans obviously.
While doing so, a lonely, self-proclaimed insomniac orphan named Sophie accidentally catches sight of the scary spectacle in the street outside and ends up scooped up and whisked away to giant country so she doesn't tell the world of his kind.
In a fight against the big bullying bean eaters, we follow the unlikely duo in their adventure as newly made BFFs all the way to Buckingham Palace to stand up for goodness. It is all kept light and extremely humorous while obviously still incorporating the odd serious scene to tie the storyline together.

A great family fantasy adventure it has many similarities to one of Speilberg's most well-known movies, ET, and not just because they share screenwriters in the form of the late, great Melissa Mathison. In fact, it's quite funny that the original BFG book and the ET movie both came out the same year - 1982! They are equally as heartwarming, tearjerking and just as ET shot the tiny Drew Barrymore into Hollywood, The BFG is bound to host great things for the fantastic 11 (now 12) year old Ruby Barnhill who shone in her first major role. (To me this rings bells as another amazing start Disney is giving to young actors after that of Neel Sethi who played Mowgli in 2016's The Jungle Book).
I couldn't think of a better person to have been cast in the main role of our favorite Big Friendly Giant and although he is computer animated, Mark Rylance's emotive and striking features really portray the kind, gentle, caring nature. Looking into his eyes in certain scenes I couldn't hold back the tears as I fell in love with the character who was so intent upon protecting his young friend.
Another thing to mention about the casting is the 'bad' giants. Reminiscent of Dorothy's friends in the Wizard of Oz, the giants are played by people who Sophie see and passes in the street outside her orphanage which isn't obvious at the time of watching, but I personally thought was a great touch after realizing.


After my previous experience with 3D (Alice Through the Looking Glass gave me eye popping, head splitting pains!) we opted for the safer 2D, and I'm happy with that decision. Although like the afor mentioned Alice movie, there were plenty moments that would more than benefit from the extra effects - including the hop, skip and jumping to Giant country, 'fighting' scenes and a certain scene near the end which if I mention may ruin the ending haha.
Looking at the B-Roll from shooting you can see the amount of real life sets used and where the CGI was used most was very photo-realistic, however not quite as seamless with live action than The Jungle Book's effects were.

As with every single Disney release I have reviewed, while researching all about it I've come across plenty of bad reviews amongst the good ones. It seems you can never please everyone and there are a few people taking the fact it is not an exact replica of the book, personally. Now as a huge Harry Potter fan as well as fan of many other book to film stories, I understand things have to be altered, added and subtracted for the picture to flow properly and be an appropriate length.

Overall I found it magical. For Speilberg's only child/family-targeted movie since Hook it had just the right mix of things for children and adults to enjoy. It's a timeless tale of two lonely soles finding friendship in each other despite their obvious differences. It could have been a lot darker than it was so keeping the mild threat and violence to a minimum meant that it expanded the age range of kids who can enjoy it but I still think parents need to vet PG movies more as we did have a screaming incident from a smaller bean in our cinema viewing.

Go see it, revel in the wondrous world of dreams and giants and tell me what you think!



If you enjoyed this review, you can check out my previous Disney Movie Reviews below -
'Alice Through The Looking Glass' 2016
'The Jungle Book' 2016'
Cinderella' 2015'
Tomorrowland' 2015'
Oz the Great and Powerful' 2013



14 comments:

  1. I'm so excited for this movie, as a huge Dahl fan. The BFG was a particular favourite of mine. And as for Steven Spielberg directing, what could be better?! Your review has me even more excited for it now, if that is possible! x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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    1. Ah I hope you enjoy it and it isn't too far from the book for you liking. They had a great mix of talent for it and despite people being so skeptical, I think it turned out fab.

      xo

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  2. This sounds so good! I'm super excited to see it!

    Renee | Life After Lux

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    1. Has it been out for a while over there or did it come out the same date as here? Let me know how you find it after you watch it!

      xo

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  3. I've heard a lot of good things about this movie, but it sadly doesn't interest me as I didn't like the book as a child! The trailer looks good though, so I've recommended it to my friend who has a young daughter, who would love this! Tania xx taniamichele.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Aw that's a shame! It really is a fantastic movie and as I said, I wasn't the biggest fan...I like Charlie & the Chocolate factory more haha.
      It is good for kids but I would say older than maybe 6ish to be able to understand it and not be scared of a few of the scenes.

      xo

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  4. Aw I liked your review and reading your view point. I didn't like it! Roahl Dahl has undoubtedly written amzing stories and contributed incredibly to Children's Literature but The BFG is soooo cringe. I saw the trailer, which only got me interested because of the way it was shot and the music by Williams. Haven't read the book so I read a brief synopsis online and thought "OMG this is gonna be soooo cringe". Then came the film and oh dear me....nah the film lacked Spielbergs usual handwriting of corny teary family film. Sophie did my head in she was just so precocious...not sure if she's like that in the book but in the film so unlikeable. Will you be watching Finding Dory when it comes out on Friday?

    Caz | Style Lingua

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    1. Aw that's a shame! It'd be boring if we all liked the same stuff though eh ;)
      I do think Sophie was a little precocious but I assume that is how she was directed to play the character.
      Like I say, I haven't read the book since Primary school and can barely remember what I did last week let alone what the book was like but I didn't think the movie story was cringey. Maybe that's just me because I like really heartfelt, Disney, moral type movies haha

      xo

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  5. I seriously cannot wait to see this! I loved the book, and I also adored the animated film they made years ago, which is also really fun if you get the chance to see it, so I am excited for this. I love the quote you picked for the beginning of this post too, so sweet and just makes me want to see it more! Lovely review. - Tasha

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    1. I thought I could remember an animated movie from when I was younger! It's been many, many years since I'll have seen it though. I wish I'd remembered some better quotes from the movie as I'm sure there were better ones! Hope you enjoy it when you see it.

      xo

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  6. I love the trailer! This does look like a really awesome cinema film, you know, they ones that just suit the cinema. Knowing me, the closest I'll come to seeing it is watching the trailer though haha!

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    1. I hadn't even seen the trailer before I watched it but afterwards thought the trailer was pretty good. You'll have to create a mini cinema at home and stream it haha

      xo

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  7. Ahh, I'm so glad you loved this film too, Danielle! I went to see it last weekend and I completely fell in love - I adored the 'look' of the film, especially Giant County, the dreams and the BFG, I think it captured the imagination and whimsy of the Roald Dahl brilliantly. I think Mark Rylance really captured the humour and kindness of the BFG too - I couldn't help but tear up at some parts and felt myself swell with happiness at the end when he gets what he deserves.

    x

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    1. Oh your comment is like 100% better at explaining it all than my whole review haha. Glad to hear you enjoyed it <3

      xo

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