Big Hollywood Giant

2017.48: The BFG (2016)

This is a decidedly lightweight movie. Far from Spielberg’s best, it’s serviceable enough I suppose, which is about the best that I can say about it. But it is rather depressing really, how Hollywood takes a simple children’s story and blows it up into a cgi blockbuster with sophisticated effects and art direction. Like it’s commonly assumed it’s the only  a way to do it, going the ‘wow’ route. Naturally in 3D too, I reflected, noting how many of the films shots were choreographed. It’s funny how 3D movies have impacted how we watch films, in that they so easily telegraph what they are when we watch them in 2D. My suspicions were confirmed when I later noticed that The BFG was available in both 2D and 3D on disc, but at the time viewing the film it was rather distracting. I suppose we are stuck with that distraction for awhile but that’s depressing in itself, that we can’t watch films on 2D without being beaten over the head with ‘immersive POV’ shots etc.

Of course so much of this film is cgi (characters and sets) that it feels more an animated film than a live-action film. Reminded me a lot of the (superior) Tin Tin film that Spielberg shot a few years back.

I’m sure this film was made with all the best of intentions but it was too big, too overblown and exhaustingly ‘Hollywood Blockbuster’ for me. Spielberg can’t even refrain from recruiting John Williams to compose an overly saccharin score much akin to his misguided Hook score.

It’s just… too functional, typical. It’s a whimsical, rather silly children’s story gone all Hollywood.

3 thoughts on “Big Hollywood Giant

    1. Hmm, I think it’s a horrible cop-out to just say I wasn’t “in the mood” but it’s probably true in this case. Mostly I think a film should ‘work’ whatever mood a viewer is in but I guess that’s not entirely true and is possibly the case here. I still have issues with the whole overblown cgi effects though. But Spielberg has never really been an ‘intimate’ director, nor particularly subtle.

      1. I’m sure our moods have more of an influence over film appreciation than many would like to admit. I sometimes wonder how much it can affect critics…

        I guess CGI is the only way Hollywood would ever consider making a story like The BFG nowadays, but I would’ve liked to see an ’80s/early ’90s version where it was all done with optical effects.

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