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THE BFG (2016)

Steven Spielberg directed this film from a screenplay by Melissa Mathison (the writer of E.T.) from a book of the same name by Roald Dahl about a Giant who befriends a little orphan girl. To say this film doesn’t quite work some of the time but sails through other scenes seamlessly is its real problem in its over all execution. I think that perhaps if they’d used less CGI (computer graphics imagery) and more practical effects, such as simply using the real actors in elaborate make-up would have been to the film’s benefit. The fact that you can readily recognize Mark Rylance’s face and characteristics as the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is very much to the film’s advantage, but would have been better if they’d not used the motion capture process, which takes the actor’s movements and incorporates them into an animated image and simply used make-up, prosthetics and forced perspectives (a way they frame the scene) to achieve the needed effects. Also the script doesn’t quite work in some areas to truly draw you into this most fantastical of stories. However there is a sequence when the BFG meets the Queen of England and then proceeds to have breakfast with her, while introducing her to a special drink where the bubbles float in the opposite direction causing a “passing of the wind” sequence that is very funny and effective in its execution. The cast includes Ruby Barnhill as Sophie the orphan girl, Penelope Wilton as the Queen, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall and Bill Hader among others. Though not a bad film it’s not a great one either, though technical elements of the film are excellent, they’re almost too polished for a film lacking a cohesive wholeness to its overall effect.

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