The BFG (2016) Disney Blu-ray Review

Posted November 29, 2016 by in Family

Rating

Our Score
 
 
 
 
 

3/ 5

Studio: Disney
 
Genre: ,
 
Director:
 
MPAA Rating:
 
Actor: ,
 

Pros:

Lavishly produced and you can tell you're watching a Spielberg film; the Blu-ray has plenty of interesting special features
 

Cons:

Misguided and not really for children the BFG fails on several levels and easily one of Spielberg's weakest movies.
 
Verdict

Synopsis: A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kind-hearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because, unlike them, he refuses to eat children. Review: Steven Spielberg’s filmography is incredible. No one can argue that. He’s tackled every genre masterfully, […]

by david j. moore
Full Article

Synopsis: A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kind-hearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because, unlike them, he refuses to eat children.

Review: Steven Spielberg’s filmography is incredible. No one can argue that. He’s tackled every genre masterfully, and when he says he wants to make a movie about a little girl and a giant that she befriends, that seems like something Spielberg can do without breaking a sweat. You can’t disagree with the man who looked at Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book and saw a movie there somewhere.

The BFG is a lavishly produced film for such a small idea. It’s about a little orphan girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill who doesn’t make much of an impression) living in an orphanage in England some years ago. One night she’s kidnapped by a swooping, hooded giant, and the thing takes her to a faraway land inhabited by blood hungry giants with names like Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater, Manhugger, and Bonecruncher. The fact that she’s snatched by a giant called “BFG” (Big Friendly Giant) – and a vegetarian, no less – is great luck, if it weren’t for the fact that’s he’s done this sort of thing before … snatch children and put them in his cozy shack in giant land, that is. We learn that BFG (Mark Rylance, assisted by CGI and motion capture technology) is a serial kidnapper, and might be the direct cause of another child’s death at the hands of the merciless aforementioned giants, who love busting down his door and sniffing around for the blood of children. Little Sophie manages to get herself into some hair-raising close calls and escapes, thanks to the good-hearted giant who should be considered some kind of a predator. When she is returned home to England after a number of nightmare inducing scrapes with the giants, she somehow becomes embroiled in a plot concerning the Queen of England (Penelope Wilton), who rallies her troops to help the BFG rid his land of the evil giants, as well as giving Sophie a home.

Spielberg’s The BFG is his most bizarre and misguided movie, simply because it absolutely cannot be examined from a psychological or emotional standpoint, because it’s a horrific and frightening story with fantastical flourishes that are too transparent to disguise the bizarre undertones of the film. If I was a kid seeing this for the first time, it might haunt me for reasons I wouldn’t understand until I was much older. As an adult (and I promise you: I’m not jaded), I see this film as an examination of the loss of innocence, and deeper still a study of child abductions and the strange relationships between captor and captive. As a fantasy film, it’s a weird one, and Spielberg’s inimitable touch as a filmmaker is still there, but it might be one of the darkest, most unsettling movies he’s ever made. Parents looking to watch this film with their kids might want to watch it without their kids first and make a judgment call.

Disney’s theatrical release of The BFG was a pretty significant flop, and so this movie’s best chances at recouping are on home video. Disney’s Blu-ray / DVD / Digital HD combo pack will be released on November 29th, and it comes stocked with special features, including “Bringing the BFG to Life,” “The Big Friendly Giant and Me,” “Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of The BFG,” and more.

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About the Author

david j. moore
david j. moore

david j. moore is the author of World Gone Wild: A Survivor's Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies and The Good, the Tough and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars.