The BFG (PG)

If you have children, take them to see this movie, if you have grandchildren, take them.  If you have no children borrow one or two, take a date or just go alone.  Your family is sure to enjoy The BFG.  Written by Roald Dahl, directed by Steven Spielberg, The BFG is the story of a girl named Sophie who encounters the Big Friendly Giant (a/k/a “The BFG”).  Despite this giant’s threatening appearance, he turns out to be a kindhearted being who is considered an outcast by his peers because, unlike them, he does not eat children.

The movie deals with exclusion and inclusion, tolerance, bullying and how to handle it, friendship (of course), and the necessity for the ability to stretch one’s imagination and consciousness past everything you’ve ever been taught to believe – in order to believe something else.

I have concerns about this film becoming an instant classic because it is only being shown in 3D and 4D in theaters.  Although it will still be a good movie, I’m not sure the movie with have the same “oomph!” to it without the effects.  I am certain children will still enjoy it and upon DVD and Blu-ray release all you parents better be prepared to watch it over and over and over again – particularly if your child is a fan of the book.  I am also certain Roald Dahl’s book sales will see a big boost this year following the release of this film.  It is a movie that will appeal to boys and/or girls, young and old.  I will say, each child is different, but the effects may be too much for younger children.  I’d say, generally, 6 year olds and up would enjoy it more.

I saw it in 4DX (3D with added effects such as moving seats, seat vibrations, mist, fog, water (you can turn the water off with a control in your arm rest if you are worried about your hairdo), etc., and as my very first 4DX experience, it was incredible.  I wished my daughter had gone with me and she is a grown woman.  The animation is stunning, intricate and beautifully done.  The story is entertaining, save for a slight lag when more humans are brought into the mix, but it picks back up toward the end.  Even with animation and effects, somehow Mark Rylance manages to shines as the giant.  I must say, I wasn’t always in love with Ruby Barnhill, the young lady who played Sophie, but she did a good job for a 10 or so year old (she is 12 now) whose acting credits which include only five episodes on a television show.

The BFG earns a solid 8 out of 10 bloops.  It is a great movie meant to be enjoyed with all the effects, so don’t miss it.  A great Fourth of July weekend pick.  The kids have to see it at least one time with all the bells and whistles.  It is a bit expensive.  My ticket was $28 at a Times Square theater (if you can figure out how to get a discount, do it!), but it was worth it.

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