The BFG (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
November 27, 2016 by J!-ENT
For Dahl fans, “The BFG” is a magical, entertaining and delightful film. It’s also a wonderful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book, brought to life by filmmaker Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison that will entertain families for generations to come. Recommended!
TITLE: The BFG
FILM RELEASE: 2016
DURATION: 118 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, (2:39:1), English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Description Audio, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French
RATED: PG (For Action, Peril, Some Scary Moments and Brief Rude Humor)
RELEASE DATE: November 29, 2016
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Based on the Book by Roald Dahl
Screenplay by Melissa Mathison
Produced by Frank Marshall, Sam Mercer, Steven Spielberg
Co-Producer: Adam Somner
Associate Producer: Melissa Mathison
Executive Producer: Kathleen Kennedy, Kristie Macosko Krieger, John Madden, Michael Siegel
Music by John Williams
Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski
Edited by Michael Kahn
Production Design by Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg
Art Direction by Chris Beach, Margot Ready, Todd Cherniawsky, Grant Van Der Slagt, Rebecca Milton
Set Decoration by Michael A. Billings, Elizabeth Wilcox
Costume Design by Joanna Johnston
Mark Rylance as BFG
Ruby Barnhill as Sophie
Penelope Wilton as The Queen
Jemaine Clement as Fleshlumpeater
Rebecca Hall as Mary
Rafe Spall as Mr. Tibbs
Bill Hader as Bloodbottler
When a mysterious 10-year-old boy, Pete, turns up, claiming to live in the woods with a giant green dragon, it’s up to a forest ranger, Grace, and young Natalie to learn where the boy came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this magical dragon.
Back in 1982, British novelist Roald Dahl (“James and the Giant Peach”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, to name a few) would write “The BFG”.
And in 2016, filmmaker Steven Spielberg (“Saving Private Ryan”, “Schindler’s List”, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”) and screenwriter Melissa Mathison (“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, “Kundun”, “Twilight Zone: The Movie”) would go on to create a live-film adaptation of Dahl’s popular novel for Disney, which would be Spielberg’s first directorial film for Walt Disney Pictures.
The film would be the final film which Melissa Mathison had written before her death. And the movie is dedicated to her.
The film would star Ruby Barnhill, Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”, “The Other Boleyn Girl”, “Intimacy”), Penelope Wilton (“Match Point”, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, “Shaun of the Dead”), Jermaine Clement (“Men in Black 3”, “Rio” films), Rebecca Hall (“The Prestige”, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”, “Iron Man 3”), Rafe Spall (“Prometheus”, “Life of Pi”, “Shaun of the Dead”) and Bill Hader (“Saturday Night Live”, “Superbad”).
And now “The BFG” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Disney.
The film revolves around 10-year-old orphan, Sophie (portrayed by Ruby Barnhill) and lives in a London orphanage and can’t sleep at nights due to insomnia.
One night at 3:00 a.m., she looked outside the window and sees an elderly giant. The giant (portrayed by Mark Rylance) who tried to keep hidden realizes he has been seen and so he grabs onto Sophie and takers her to Giant Country.
Known as “BFG” (Big Friendly Giant), he explains to Sophie that she must stay with him for the rest of her life, because he is not allowed to reveal the existence of giants. She also finds out that BFG can captures and controls dreams, but since she has insomnia, she doesn’t believe that he can control them.
The BFG manages to read her to sleep but gives her a nightmare of trying to escape but being eaten by another giant.
When she awakes, the leader of the man-eating giants, Fleshlumpeater (portrayed by Jermaine Clement), has entered BFG’s home and smells a human (which they call “bean”). While hungry, the BFG manages to distract Fleshlumpeater from finding and eating Sophie.
As Sophie and the BFG talk about going to the Dream Country, so they can catch dreams together, while traveling, he accidentally wakes up the Bloodbottler (portrayed by Bill Hader) who wakes up the other giants and together, the giants (who are much more taller than the BFG) bully and torment him.
When the storm comes, the BFG and Sophie manages to escape but in the process, she leaves a blanket and when Fleshlumpeater, the Bloodbottler and the other man-eating giants catch the scent of a human, they are now determined in trying to eat Sophie and search for the BFG.
Can the BFG protect Sophie from the man-eating giants?
“The BFG” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 aspect ratio). The film looks absolutely fantastic as closeups show great detail, especially when Sophie and the BFG first come in contact with the other man-eating giants and you can see the pores and hair on the arms of the giants clearly. Outdoor scenes look lush and the CG was done very well. Once again, another Disney film that looks simply amazing on Blu-ray!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The BFG” is presented in English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks. The lossless soundtrack is fantastic as the film features quite a bit of action and these scenes manage utilize the surround channels and the LFE very well. And also, capturing the ambiance of the land (storms) to even the more magical moments of the film. Dialogue and music are crystal clear and for the most part, the lossless soundtrack is fantastic.
Subtitles are in English SDH, Spanish and French.
“The BFG” comes with the following special features:
- Bringing “The BFG” to Life – (27:09) Actress Ruby Barnhill takes viewers behind-the-scenes of the making of “The BFG”.
- The Big Friendly Giant and Me – (1:47) An animated story about The Big Friendly Giant and the little “bean”.
- Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of the BFG – (3:09) A tutorial on the language of the BFG.
- Giants 101 – (4:57) A featurette about the actors who portray the nine giants in the film.
- Melissa Mathison: A Tribute – (5:53) A tribute to screenwriter Melissa Mathison and how Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall approached Melissa on writing “The BFG” and Spielberg’s working relationship with Melissa. And how a few of the crew of “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” reunited together for “The BFG”.
“The BFG” comes with a slipcover and a Disney Movie Rewards code. Also, included is a DVD version of the film.
For those who have read a book or have watched a film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s work, probably have come to realize by now that his stories are well-written and for the most part, have entertained generations.
From “James and the Giant Peach”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Matilda”, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” to name a few, the latest film adaptation is “The BFG” directed by Steven Spielberg and a screenplay by Melissa Mathison is well-done, entertaining and me and my son had a lot of fun watching the film.
But while Roald Dahl is known by many who grew up watching his films, for today’s younger generation who are familiar with today’s writers and superhero films, perhaps images of a young girl and an older, elderly giant was not enough to entice them to watch the film, and the lack of familiarity of Dahl’s work may have prevented “The BFG” from being a major box office success.
Which is a sad because Dahl’s stories have entertained generations for decades. And while the film fortunately earned more than the film’s entire budget, the same situation that “The BFG” experienced happened with the animated adaptation of Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox”. Critically acclaimed, beloved by Dahl fans and those familiar with Dahl’s work.
But one can hope that similar to “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, “The BFG” is able to attract viewers now that the film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD. Steven Spielberg and Melissa Mathison did a fantastic job for the adaptation and the storyline is fun, adventurous and one can’t help but laughing and be entertained by the film. Snozzcumbers anyone?
Young Ruby Barnhill did an amazing job portraying Sophie and as child actors go, she managed to do very well with her lines and showing good emotion towards the BFG and that is one thing that helps when you have filmmaker Steven Spielberg behind-the-helm. CG is wonderfully done and for the most part, the film is entertaining and enjoyable.
And as Spielberg is a fantastic director, many of us will miss Melissa Mathison’s work as a screenwriter, as this film was her last before her death back in 2015. So, in a way, this is a reunion of a few of the crew from “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”.
On Blu-ray, the closeups are fantastic as detail can really be seen and videophiles will more than likely be pleased. Also, lossless audio is fantastic thanks to the abundant live action sequences, John Williams’ wonderful score and overall, magical ambiance that is showcased throughout the film. And the Blu-ray also includes a good number of special features.
Overall, for Dahl fans, “The BFG” is a magical, entertaining and delightful film. It’s also a wonderful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book, brought to life by filmmaker Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison that will entertain families for generations to come. Recommended!
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