This week we were invited to see a movie by Disney called “The BFG” We weren’t quite sure what it was exactly but found out it is based on a story by children’s book author Roald Dahl. It was also directed by Steven Spielberg so we were intrigued to learn more.
Official film synopsis:
The talents of three of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg – finally unite to bring Dahl’s beloved classic “The BFG” to life. Directed by Spielberg, Disney’s “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle. Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams. Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows, but Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome. Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see the Queen (Penelope Wilton) and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary (Rebecca Hall), that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all
Disney doesn’t have a whole lot of flops when it comes to movies but this one may just fall into that category. I’m not sure if this was someone’s pet project or maybe Disney couldn’t say no to Steven Spielberg but I am still not quite sure how this movie was greenlighted. I would like to say that my opinion is in the minority but that just isn’t the case as quite a few people walked out about halfway through, people started getting restless, and quite a few kids around me became very fidgety.
The first hour of the movie might have been the slowest hour during a movie I have ever experienced. Walking out due to pure boredom most definitely crossed my mind. The pace tried to pick up a little but it wasn’t nearly enough to save BFG from a poor review. I found myself constantly looking at my watch. There was one funny and entertaining 10 minute scene that did bring the audience back from the brink but it just wasn’t enough to save the movie.
The only thing BFG had going for it was the effects, which were very well done. The way they mixed the live shots with animation was seamless. I understand that animated/computer generated movies today have outstanding graphics but I remember a time when the effects weren’t so good, so I am still in awe of what is possible.
We generally end our reviews by recommending who the movie is best suited for, be it adults, teens, kids, etc. We can’t really recommend this for any age group as the young kids next to us completely checked out, quite a few adults left the theater, and there was just a general sense in the entire theater of “when is this thing going to end?”
Wow. All I can say is I wish I could have my evening back. I’m not sure who is giving this movie high ratings but this was painful. I enjoy fantasy stories and cool screen effects but the BFG moved at a snail’s pace. The little girl playing Sophie was cute in an odd way but also kind of annoying. The BFG spoke in mixed up, made up words, but the conversation would just drag on. Not that much happened. I would have left early along with some other folks but figured I should at least stay to be able to give a review.
The only good part of the movie was when the Queen of England gets involved. It is silly, crazy and fart filled. I’m not sure if the scene was that amazing or if the audience was just thrilled to be entertained by something, but the whole audience certainly was hysterical. I think if the whole movie had followed the pace of the last third it would have been better. The effects were cool, but they can only go so far when you are bored to tears. Avoid this movie and see something else. Quite a disappointment from a team that should have been awesome.
This movie is best for: taking a nap. (Or you could also do that on your couch for free.)
Official movie site: http://movies.disney.com/the-bfg