A clever writer would title their review with some sort of witty twist on the title of this movie – like “
This Benevolent Film is Good” or some such nonsense.
I am not a clever writer.
I went into this film pretty much pure. I saw a trailer and it didn’t do much for me. I haven’t read the book, or any Roald Dahl book for that matter. I feel like this is a crime against culture or something, but now I’m too old to do anything about it. I suppose I could read them to my kids, but we all have too short of attention spans to actually complete any book. First World problems to be sure.
I had no idea what to expect besides an overload of CGI and direction by Steven Speilberg.
That is, in fact, what I saw! But oh yeah, there is a charming family story in there as well. I won’t spoil story points. I really try not to spoil story points at all in my reviews. I figure people want to read reviews for one of two things: determine if they want to actually see a movie, or hear opinions of movies they have already seen. I save those sort of opinion things for my column and I clearly mark them with spoilers. No such spoilerage here.
Let’s talk about CGI though.
This movie is technically “live action”, but honestly… I would have to say that 80 to 90 percent of the thing is animated. There are live action people in this, but I’m assuming most if not all the sets were CGI. The main character (the titular “BFG”) is 100% CGI, but oh, what CGI this is! I had just watched Tron Legacy a week or so ago, and that movie had what was an impressive feat of CGI for the time in its portrayal of CLU/Young Kevin Flynn. There has been a problem with these CG beasties, and that problem has been the mouth. It seems that mouths are very hard to animate and get the lighting or shadows right inside them? That’s my take on it at least. Here in the BFG, I feel they are about 99% there in having that issue finally fixed. The animation was incredibly impressive, and it helped give sympathy and emotion to the character. The rest of the CGI was as equally impressive, from the other giant characters to the environments the characters find themselves in.
The acting is delightful. Spanning from the young Sophia – played by Ruby Barnhill – to the motion captured giant leads of Mark Rylance and Jemaine Clement. I feel each actor captured what they were trying to do quite effectively.
We saw this movie in 3D because that was what was presented at the screening. I don’t think I would have paid for it. I don’t feel it really added to the experience at all. There were a few “neat!” parts, but not worth the extra cash. I do have to say that parts of this movie felt like they were planning a “4D” ride at Disney. It would be a fantastic one.
So was it worth seeing?
My kids loved this movie and it won over the jaded pair of adults that consisted of my wife and I. We both expected to hate it and instead found it very engaging and charming. It dealt with the disconnect between the generations, the importance of family, and I think I saw hints of belief in God. I may actually try to read this book with the kids.
Wish me luck!