The BFG

(2016)

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Title:
The BFG
Release Date:
28th June 2016
Runtime:
120 min
MPAA Rating:
PG
Genres:
Directors:
Steven Spielberg
Writers:
Melissa Mathison, Roald Dahl
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant. Naturally scared at first, the young girl soon realizes that the 24-foot behemoth is actually quite gentle and charming. As their friendship grows, Sophie's presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater and other giants. After traveling to London, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Elizabeth to help them get rid of all the bad giants once and for all.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 74%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 63%
IMDb Rating 6.8

Casts

Jemaine Clement as Fleshlumpeater
Penelope Wilton as The Queen
Rebecca Hall as Mary
Ruby Barnhill as Sophie

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Will Carne 24th July, 2016

Big, Friendly, but Not Worth Watching

On paper you could argue that 'The BFG' screams "blockbuster summer movie" - a combination of Disney, Steven Spielberg and beloved children's author Roald Dahl with one of the best children's books ever. But the reality is a disappointing mess of dull special effects with mismatching awe-inspiring music. The flaw in turning Roald Dahl books into family films, is that words on a page don't have movie-style ratings. In the BFG the main plot of the film is the existence of child- eating giants, which naturally due to the rating and audience of the film we only see materialized in a giant sniffing Sophie and going 'yum'. I wasn't expecting graphic images of children being mauled, but with no darkness whatsoever the other giants became comical stereotypes who define the disclaimer on the back of the DVD of 'mild threat', despite their main role in the story being outrageous murderous beasts that require military intervention. So immediately from the word go, the main drive for the film is fundamentally flawed: the giants aren't scary, it just looked like the dwarfs from the Hobbit trilogy got lost. If you've read the book you'll know the main story: (a) Girl taken to giant-land by the BFG. (b) Girl learns about other children-eating giants, and that the BFG just goes around giving children nice dreams. (c) They go to the queen and use the army to round up the giants and put them in a hole. Yet it's almost laughable that we spend the majority of the film in (b), sat around laughing at the BFG's speech impediment (ha, disability…) and despite taking a lot of the dialogue directly from the book, failing to transfer the magic. There's no conversation about how different children from different countries taste (hilarious - go read the book), or even explanation about the Snozzcumber (amusing - go read the book). The outcome is a movie that feels both slow at times, and rushed at others. And you get epic music climaxing as the young girl looks around in awe, but you're left wondering how she knows what's going on because as an audience we certainly don't. Admittedly the quality of the visuals in terms of realism of the CGI and use of motion- capture was top notch. However in the modern world of cinema this is far from impressive; it's been normalized so much over the past few years of filmmaking that I'd argue that CGI is only significant if done badly. It is possible to make a film about a classic story using groundbreaking special effects while retaining the heart and drive of a classic family movie (see Disney's 2016 'The Jungle Book'). And go back in time and release 'The BFG' ten, or twenty years ago and the effects may be distracting enough to make up for the shoddy storytelling. But if you're looking to go to the cinema today I'd recommend every other film currently showing over the BFG, and there lies the problem. The film isn't the worst thing to ever grace our screens - but put simply there are so many better films out there, if you find yourself watching this one I'd recommend you reassess your life (I know I certainly am). Let this stand as a warning to films made from classic books, or films made from re-making earlier classic films: at the end of the day if it isn't as good as it's inspiration, you'd be better off reading the book or watching the original. And in the case of the Big Friendly Giant, I would recommend you doing just that.

Reviewed by FlashCallahan 21st July, 2016

A Giant disappointment

Spielberg is one of the worlds most talented directors, and has always entertained and brought something special to his films. They have their own style, and there is always that 'Spielberg feel' to them. He invented the summer blockbuster with Jaws, reinvented it with Raiders Of The Ark, reinvented it again with Jurassic Park, and had some major summer hits with Tom Cruise in the noughites. So to hear that he was adapting one of the most beloved books of all time to the big screen, with one of the most reputable film studios in the world, was a dream come true. Sophie is in for a surprise when she meets the Big Friendly Giant. Scared at first, the young girl soon realises that the 24-foot colossus is actually gentle and charming. As their friendship grows, Sophie's presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater and other giants. After travelling to London, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Elizabeth to help them get rid of all the bad giants once and for all. But the reality is an absolute nightmare. Although the film is pretty faithful to the book, and the initial sighting Sophie has of the titular character is breathtaking, it all goes downhill once Sophie enters the land of the giants. Gone is all that magic and love that Spielberg once had, the film is nothing more than an expensive special effects bonanza featuring a plethora of dead eyed giants, and one that resembles Mark Rylance. Whereas films like E.T, and even A.I had a wonderfully parental chemistry between the subject matter and their cinematic partners that gave the film that Spielberg sheen, this has nothing of the sort, and the relationship between Sophie and The B.F.G is virtually non existent. Even Temple Of Doom had a convincing paternal element in the relationship between Indy and Shortround. When we are in the land of the giants, I'm sure I could have gone into the projection booth, spliced a few scenes from warcraft into it, and no one would have been none the wiser. There's no urgency to the film, the effects, while impressive, just take up the majority of the second act, and most importantly, Spielberg just doesn't seem to have added any of his love, magic, or soul to this project. It's as almost if he thought it would be a licence to print money. A real disappointment.

Reviewed by 221bucky 6th July, 2016

If you respect Spielberg as a filmmaker, please don't watch The BFG

I saw The BFG in theaters for my friend's birthday. Why she picked this movie, I will never understand. As I was leaving the house my brother yelled "You know they're calling that movie the worst film ever directed by Spielberg, right?" Oh, how I should have listened. I was sitting in between two of my other friends (not the birthday girl). Thank goodness, because I think I might've ruined her birthday with my constant "What are they doing?" and "Are they serious with this dialogue right now?" At one point I actually fell asleep. When I fell asleep, they were frolicking around the magic dream tree. When I woke up, they were outside the window of the Queen of England. Yes, it's as ridiculous as it sounds. And miraculously enough, I was still completely caught up plot-wise, despite falling asleep. THAT is how stupid this movie was. The small child, whose name we don't learn until the very end, was every stereotypical child-wonder ever. I'm pretty sure the filmmakers decided to take Matilda, take away her superpowers, and stick her into Giantville. The BFG himself is quite frightening, really. His habit of screwing up every word out of his mouth comes across as annoying rather than endearing. And why in the world did he take the child in the first place? It's so confusing. And his little dream-lab is frightening, to say the least. The "message" of the film is actually pretty screwed up. When the BFG decides to put the child back in her orphanage for her own good (the smartest decision he'll make in the film, btw), she throws herself out the window, believing that the BFG will catch her. That works out great for her, but what about the small impressionable children watching the film? And at the very end, it is revealed that the BFG can actually hear the whispers of children everywhere. I left the theater disturbed rather than happy at that revelation. The CGI is laughable. When I saw the trailer, I was convinced for a few moments that it was an animated film. My friend came into the theater convinced that it was an animated film. It actually might have been less weird as an animated film. Because in this disturbing mix of an actual child and a CGI giant world, it was creepy as hell. If you respect Steven Spielberg as a filmmaker and a human being, do not watch the BFG. I had nightmares for a week.

Reviewed by theromanempire-1 5th July, 2016

The big BORING giant

this should be one of spielberg's worst efforts ever. the most boring movie i saw in a long ime. no plot....not good actors.....not an explanation to whatever was happening. a giant took the little girl with no explanation just like that. the scenario was poor.....performances mediocre....the cgi so and so and the movie was poor overall and one of the worst from spielberg who lost his touch in this effort. Not recommended . avoid it. there are better movies from this genre out there. the only thing worth it are a few scenes in which the giant meets the queen and there's a laugh there but nothing much. spielberg failed big in this effort. better luck next time.

Reviewed by eddie_baggins 4th July, 2016

A

Steven Spielberg doesn't make "bad" films; even his oft ridiculed 1941 isn't actually "that bad" and lets just forget about The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull but the Great Beared One's The BFG is certainly below middle of the road leaning towards downright average Spielbergian fare, which is a great big shame when you consider the seemingly perfectly suited combination of the famed director and author extraordinaire Roald Dahl. A beloved novel (and one I certainly enjoyed as a child) and an enjoyable animated feature, The BFG is an appealing tale that features wonder, intrigue and more than its fair share of potty humour (which makes up one of the films major set ups) and we all know Spielberg can handle himself when it comes to family entertainment but there's something strikingly off about The BFG, that whilst hard to pinpoint to an exact element, is enough to hamper the film for its entirety of its runtime even though there are glimpses of a much better film frequently appearing throughout. The film looks and sounds delightful, as you'd expect with the finely crafted CGI, the score from John Williams and the lens work from frequent Spielberg DOP Janusz Kaminski and after unearthing the underused and largely unknown Mark Rylance (now an Oscar winner) in Bridge of Spies last year, Spielberg and the British theatre staple produce an impressive BFG incarnation with Rylance's animated facial expressions and colourful portrayal of the runt of the giant litter a stand out in a film that finds trouble making us care for the characters that inhabit it and the narrative that drives it. Newcomer Ruby Barnhill gets the tricky job of making human lead Sophie work and while the young performer clearly has the attitude to become Sophie, it's not a memorable turn by any stretch of the imagination and Sophie often comes across as annoying rather than endearing and her friendship with the BFG doesn't ever get the warm and fuzzies going. The other (forgive me please) giant problem with The BFG is the actual source material and E.T screenwriter Melissa Mathison's adaptation of it. The film never really feels like it has anything on the line, never actually seems to be going anywhere fast and with a downright lacking finale the whole show feels like a non-event. It's strange for a Spielberg film to feel so as even his average films are still good fun whereas The BFG finds the esteemed filmmaker struggling to wring emotion, fun or excitement (even dream catching seems boring) out of a tale that on the basis of this effort seems far better suited to text rather than screen. A hugely disappointing experience and one that will likely get lost in the abundance of high and low class family films getting produced on a mass level in today's climate, The BFG marks what could be a career low point for Spielberg and one of 2016's biggest missed opportunities and even for the biggest Spielberg fans out there, this is a film you can safely miss seeing on the big screen and perhaps altogether. Not something you'd often say regarding the newest Spielberg blockbuster. 2 bubbly beverages out of 5