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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Blu-Ray Review: Disney's The BFG Brings Spielberg Magic Home


Over the years, Steven Spielberg has brought us some of the most memorable family films of all-time, including E.T., Hook, An American Tail and The Land Before Time. With all of these exceptional family films and many more under his belt it is hard to believe that The BFG marks his first movie with Disney. And what a movie it is! Based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl, The BFG is one of the most heartwarming and visually stunning films of the year.

Roald Dahl has been responsible for some of the most imaginative books for children from The BFG to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and more. His detailed descriptions help children to visualize the amazing worlds that he creates.

The movies opens in London where we meet Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), a little girl who lives in an orphanage. She suffers from insomnia and spends her time sneaking around the orphanage. One night a giant takes her into the Land of Giants. We soon discover this is The Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance) and together with Sophie, the pair end up on an epic adventure. Sophie helps The BFG come up with a plan to get rid of an evil band of giants.

The relationship between Sophie and The BFG is very much a grandfather to granddaughter. The chemistry between the Barnhill and Rylance feels genuine. The bond will melt your heart as the film pulls on all the heartstrings from tears to laughter.

The reason why I love movies is to transport me to worlds that I could never imagine or time periods that I could never experience. The BFG succeeds in taking me to a world where magic exists and fairy-tale endings do come true.

If you can, see it in glorious Dolby Vision and hear it in Dolby Atmos. The colors in Dolby Vision explode off the screen and the 3D is stunning! Then add Dolby Atmos to create an audio environment that not only surrounds you but encompasses you as well!


Audio:

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix that accompanies the feature is fantastic. Another solid effort from Disney. The dialogue and music is crystal clear and filling the room with the sounds of giant waterfalls and military helicopters, not to mention the unconventional noises made by whizzpoppers, ringbellers, phizwizzards and trogglehumpers.


Video:

The BFG's 1080p transfer is another outstanding effort from Disney. You will be floored with the level of onscreen detail to be found in both the real-life actors and the fully CG giants. Clothing and environments are all highly detailed. The rich color palette of the movie comes to life in the lush green grass of Giant Country and the multicolored spheres of dancing light that zig and zag against the backdrop of a night sky.



Extras:

  • Bringing The BFG To Life (27:09) - A making-of documentary that touches on the life of Roald Dahl, Melissa Mathison's script, the casting of Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill, the sets, props and costumes, and the motion capture technology used to bring the BFG and his world to life.
  • The Big Friendly Giant And Me (1:55) - An animated short, as told from the point-of-view of a little boy befriended by the BFG.
  • Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words Of The BFG (3:16) - A piece about Gobblefunk, otherwise known as the official language of the BFG.
  • Giants 101 (4:57) - A look at the film's nine other giants, the actors who play them, and the work of movement coach Terry Notary.
  • Melissa Mathison: A Tribute (5:54) - The filmmakers fondly remember screenwriter Melissa Mathison, who passed away shortly after the film's production.

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