Hello, Spongey here.
Weekly Play by Play by reviews may be over, but general reviews are just starting. Seriously, get ready for a lot in July, provided I have enough to say. 4 of the 5 Fridays in July have a film I wish to review in some way.
Let’s hope I don’t pull an X-Men again. Let us begin this month with something I was hyped for by it’s pedigree alone. There’s not to much to say besides the basic facts though. Way back when I was younger, I read a book in school called, by Rolad Dalh.
I also ended up watching the 1989 animated adaptation. And as a kid, I quite enjoyed the story. I have no idea how it is as an adult, but clearly there’s appeal due to the fact we have a new version to talk about, from Disney.
I was hyped when this was announced, because I am always open to another telling of a story like this, to see what they can do. But mostly because it was going to be directed by Steven Speilberg, and written by the writer of E.T.
I don’t know to say why this sounds great, do I? I will admit I havent’ seen as many Speilberg movie as I’ve wanted to, but the few I’ve seen are solid enough to make me want to see this one.
BY the way, where the hell is our sequel to Tin Tin?
So far, this has been getting decent reviews. Nothing crazy, but people seem to enjoy it fine. There…really isn’t too much to say. It’s an adaption of a book I recall enjoying, by a famous great director.
Do I need to say more? I don’t think so, so let’s see if this is a big friendly giant, or if I’ll want to shoot myself with the other kind of BFG.
This, is The BFG
Orphan Sophie gets taken away to Giant Country by a friendly giant who she befriends as they set out on an adventure to capture the evil, man-eating giants led by the Fleshlumpeater who have been invading the human world.
Yeah we’re going with the format I used in the 10 Cloverfield Lane review. The main reason is that there are two characters worth talking about, so a whole section for them would be pointless. And this movie is easier to talk about just normally without splitting it up.
Should be a shorter one, so here we go. The thing to note about this film is that it is based on a children book and is aimed at that audience. Children’s books tend to be rather simple,and not exactly as complex as a lot of adult stories.
In general, this is fine. Most kids books like that tend to rely on charm and other stuff like this. Adapting that to film is hard, because you do have to stick to that, while still making a real movie people will like.
Do they pull it off? …Yes. Now, the movie isn’t great, and it has flaws, but fort the most part I did enjoy it enough. I suppose I can start with the production. It’s a Disney film by Speilberg, so it looks pretty nice. I like the design of the BFG’s place with all the stuff he messes with. Giant Country isn’t as impressive but it looks okay. The production is fairly important as you have to belive the giants are really there, including the main one who has to interact with a girl thanks to scaling.
And despite one or two fake looking bits, it’s done very well. They get some good angles and the effects look pretty good. Sometimes it’s hit or miss but as the movie goes on ,it gets better.
I do think it could have been brighter. A lot of the film looks slightly too dark, but to be fair there are a lot of night scenes, and there’s some bright parts to make up for it. And of course, the direction is very strange some classic Speilberg shots, especially the final shot.
As for the writing, the story is simple. Everything I said in the summary is what you get, there aren’t any other arcs or anything like that. And in general, that’s fine. There are some problems I have to get out of the way.
My biggest issue was the pacing. It gets started a bit too early, leading to some slow moments. It picks up, but then goes down at a certain point. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read the book or saw the other movie, but something that happen that really causes the film to slow down.
To be fair, there’s some humor in this segment so if you find it funny like the people in my theater, you won’t mind it. But as amusing as it could be, I was just wondering when they would just get on with it.
The film is well over An hour and 40 minutes, which I think was a mistake. A simple story like this doesn’t need to be so long, and it drags in a few places. Most of my problems stem from that, and the nature of the film.
Meaning some of it’s subjective. Some won’t care about it being simple at all, while others will ask for me. For me, I didn’t mind it due to what they did right. If I had to sum the film up in one word, it would be “Charming”.
This is very charming family film. It’s all about Sophie and the BFG so they had to be done right, and that is the best element. They have good chemistry, and they have plenty of charming moments.
The charm is helped by the general well it’s made. The writing is fine enough but the acting and such help make it work better. As I said, only two character really matter. We do have the evil giants, and other minor people, but they are just there for the plot, and only the leads get major development.
Which is fine, but that means there’s more pressure to get them right. Thankfully, they mostly do. Sophie, played by Ruby Barnhil, is a decent child character, being smart when she needs to be. The actress is solid too, even if she is a bit too “proper” in some spots. But the real highlight is the BFG himself, played by Mark Rylance.
He’s instantly likable with his nature, and the actor does a really good job making him charming especially when he’s bonding with Sophie. The actors for those other characters do well enough.
Speilberg films are known for being cheesy and a bit too cute sometimes, and I bet those people will not like this one. There’s a lot of “Sweet” moments and attempts at being charming. I know some people may not really care for that.
But I mostly thought it was fine. My favorite parts when the two were just bonding, as they have good chemistry and that’s where the sweetest bits come from. The heart does pull this movie through, as it came close to losing me at some points.
As I said, there’s nothing complex here but the BFG does have a small backstory that adds to his character. I’m not sure if adding more stuff like that would helped the movie or not, but perhaps it would, I don’t know.
As it is, it mostly works. There really isn’t to much else about the specifics at all. The film boils down to a charming simple story, and your view in how you will feel about that kind of thing. Oh, and since I don’t remember enough of the book I can’t say if it’s faithful, but it feels mostly accurate.
Most of what I recall from the book and other film is there, including the drink that makes you fart. Yeah .No song this time though, sadly.
Overall, The BFG is certainly not perfect with how it can be too simple, and overlong with pacing issues. But it makes up for it with how charming it is. The main relationship is well done and has a lot of heart to help make it cute and charming.
I can’t say I loved it, but I did enjoy it, even with it’s flaws. Heck , I even liked the abrupt ending as it ended on a nice enough note. I can see why some people would not like it, due to not being too crazy or complex, but I think it’s charming enough to be decent.
As far as a recommendation, I’d say this is for people who want a simpler charming story, and something to take your kids to that you won’t hate. If you want anything more, at best you should wait til you can rent it.
As for me, I thought it was fun. Nothing special, but charming and mostly decent.
Sorry this was a more rushed one, but while I had stuff to say, I didn’t want to go all out as my thoughts aren’t as complex as with others. Hopefully you enjoyed this anyway. Hope you enjoyed this unplanned Spongey bomb, don’t get used to ,next post will be in a slight while.
As for the next general review, tune in next week to look at some pets. …After I do a list about pets.