Review of "The BFG (2016) (DVD)"

published 11/03/2017 | IzzyS
Member since : 27/07/2006
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Super
Pro Decent visual efffects, cast, camerawork, under stated music, good family viewing
Cons CGI still seems slightly, annoyingly, artificial but could be worse,dark lighting may not suit all
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Story
Characters / Performances
Special Effects
Soundtrack

"A Fantastical Film Adaptation of Roald Dahls BFG"

- Story -

A little girl who has become an orphan, ends up befriending a kindly giant who snatched her and took her to his land, Giant Country. It soon becomes clear that the not so friendly giant variety are going to cause big trouble back in the human world, so the two of them have to work fast to prevent this from happening.

- More Info., Thoughts & Opinions -

This is a family friendly fantasy film based on the Roald Dahl novel of the same name. It covers themes such as loss, isolation and companionship. Its quite a visually pleasing film, I felt, with decent CGI bringing the titular character to life. I remember enjoying reading the book as a child and seeing the animated film version from the 1980s, back in the day. This isn't a particularly easy story to bring to screen through mostly live action, I think its fair to say but its been done fairly well in this instance.

I liked Mark Rylance's voice as the BFG - its quite hard to describe but it sounded quite well suited to the role, sounding like a quite warm, caring person but also with an element of stubborness and wisdom to it, I'd say. There are some scenes in the film which are relatively dark, in terms of the lighting and also taking me slightly by surprise when sudden actions happened, so its fair to say that especially young viewers may find it mildly frightening. Alsom cast wise, I liked Ruby Barnhill who played Sohpie, as she gave a good performance, playing the quite innocent and fascinated young girl. She comes across as quite angelic, while also very curious about her new found surroundings, understandably so of course. Other cast members include Penelope Wilton as The Queen, Rebecca Hall as Mary and Rafe Spall as Mr. Tibbs.

There is a definite naivety to the film and ok, yes its primarily a family film, as it should be but there's a nice extra sort of layer of magical naivety brought across by the cast and the visual effects which I felt worked quite well. I also liked that the music was quite under stated, it wasn't too 'in your face' (or perhaps that should be 'in your ears'?) unlike in some films.

I enjoyed it, I thought it was quite entertaining and featured fairly decent character development. I noticed that there were a lot of quite bright colours heavily featured in some scenes, via the titular characters many potions shown in jars. Its really quite imaginative and visually looks rather impressive, although its hard to entirely do justice to afilm adaptation of a book such as the one this is based on - one which children of many ages could imagine in perhaps many different ways. It must have been an expensive project and it does work for the most part, although I do still feel like it was slightly let down by the CGI still seeming slightly unrealistic, in a negative way but it does look a lot better than other CGI based films of say 20 years ago or so. Without the ability or presence of CGI, this film would be all but impossible to make, surely but I suppose that ultimately, there's no real, complete alternative to a childs imagination.

In some shots the camera is pointed down from above, showing Sophie looking very small and fragile obviously, which is quite good in terms of making you imagine what it may be like, to be in her position. I liked the camerawork used, its relatively immersive in parts, following Sophie and The BFGs movements in imaginative ways.

Anyway, as far as the film is concerned, content wise there's little likely to offend or cause much concern as such. There are some mild scenes of brief violence, although there's nothing extreme or graphic. There are some scenes in which there is a mild sense of threat, due to the plot but nothing likely to especially scare certainly slightly older children, say perhaps those of 9 years old and above. The film has been given a PG rating, which seems about right to me, so children under 9 may want to have their parents around while watching in case they get slightly scared but I wouldn't have thought its particularly likely, unless their quite sensitive, especially considering some of the slightly more graphic super hero type films around and the like, which likely appeal to kids.

All in all, I thought this was a good attempt at a film version of the book but with me being an avid bookworm and with fond memories of reading the book, I'm not sure if any such film could entirely live up to my hopes or expectations entirely. This is, I should perhaps point out, a Steven Spielberg film, which makes me think of films such as ET and Jurassic Park etc., of course - Jurassic Park having used CGI in part. I'm not entirely sure that this film is quite as legendary in the way that those two films undoubtedly are but its most certainly not a bad film either - its quite good fun, decent family entertainment really.

- Would I Recommend It? -

Yes I would happily recommend this film, for generally good visual effects, a nice use of lighting, a good cast, good voice effects and for being a mostly family friendly film. I was also relieved that the music used wasn't overpowering or over relied on and I felt that overall, the film was decent adaptation of the novel, given the technology available nowadays certainly.

- Availability -

If your interested in seeing this, you can buy it on DVD for £7.98 at Amazon UK, at time of publishing this review.

- Final Note / Thank You -

Thank you for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks, as ever, for any and all rates and comments.

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Comments on this review

  • frankiecesca published 05/04/2017
    I'm still annoyed that I haven't seen it yet! x
  • elfbwillow published 15/03/2017
    Well reviewed. Me and my daughter loved this film. I also loved the original one as a child
  • euphie published 14/03/2017
    vh :o)
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Product Information : The BFG (2016) (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Actor(s): Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Bill Hader, Penelope Wilton, Rebecca Hall

DVD Region: DVD

Director(s) (Last name, First name): Spielberg, Steven

Classification: Parental Guidance

Production Year: 2016

EAN: 5030305520526

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