The BFG (REVIEW)
Written By Jacob Chimilar (@sweetlows)
Steven Spielberg's more kid friendly movies I've found to be too sappy and cheesy which isn't entirely a bad thing, it's just too much charm for its own good. He also can be pretty hit and miss, as with any one, with the child actors. Thankfully The BFG strays relatively far away from the over the top sentimental moments and cringe worthy child acting that can plague kid's films.
The BFG revolves around a little girl in an orphanage who stays up at all hours of the night reading books. One night she gets out of bed and goes to the balcony to find a giant lurking in the street. He snatches her up and takes her back to his home in Giant Country, a far off land beyond the mist and clouds. It is of course based of the children's novel by Roald Dahl, creator of such books and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and Matilda and as far as I know, the movie sticks pretty close to the book so that should please fans who grew up reading it.
The two main actors in the film are both excellent. Ruby Barnhill was wonderful as Sophie, she played a very confident and totally believable kid. I hope to see more from her in the future. Mark Rylance was equally great as The BFG, I honestly couldn't think of anyone better, he was just so perfect in the role. The story itself is silly and fun but thanks to Spielberg and company they are able to bring a real sense of fantasy and wonder to the film that really added something special to another wise standard fairy tale story. The chemistry between the two leads also helped things along, and I think kids will get a kick out of the adventure the two of them get to go on.
The direction, score and cinematography are all up to snuff as you would come to expect from the team of Spielberg, Williams and Kaminzki. John Williams especially brings the whimsical and magical tones akin to his work in Harry Potter, with hints to the third film especially apparent at times. It's colorful, full of Spielberg-ian camera movements and sports some great motion capture, especially on The BFG himself. I still am not a huge fan of motion capture creatures that are supposed to look like humans. It's better than The Jungle Book in my opinion but still looks strange. I have a feeling we are currently in the uncanny valley phase of animation where it looks as close to real as it can get but that's what makes it stand out.
My only real complaints is that it feels a tad long, it's a bit light in emotion, and the motion capture still being a hindrance at times. Other than that, this is a perfectly enjoyable film that kids and parents will have a good time with. Spielberg has his personal stamp on it and that still means something even after all this time. He hasn't lost is touch with the cute family film and It strays away from slapstick and gross out humor in favor of old fashioned family fun and sometimes that's all you need.