THE BFG Review: Old School Spielberg with New School Tech… and Fart Jokes

Though I may have outgrown it, The BFG proves that my favorite director, Steven Spielberg, still has that magic that very few directors bring to their “Kid’s Movies.” While not as enduring and endearing as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (wow, Spielberg loves his acronyms), a film I still enjoy as an adult, that “Spielberg Magic & Wonderment” is back, after being absent in his last children’s film, The Adventures of Tintin, and not appropriate for his recent run of historical dramas. While not among his greatest works (the man is far too prolific), The BFG feels like classic Spielberg from a different era, which is always a fantastic thing!

NO SPOILERS present in this review.nullI may have mentioned magic and wonderment (I have), as that’s what The BFG has in Spades, and is its greatest strength. If anything, the plot often gets lost in the magical realm of giants. Similar to the wonderful Children’s Film, Coraline, as well as (nearly) every Tim Burton film, The BFG has a style over substance problem. It’s a slow moving film that really, really pulls off all the visuals, from the startlingly realistic appearance of the CGI Giants to the beautiful tree of dreams, and even the foggy streets of London. It is certainly a lovely looking film that also finds visual charm in the way Big Friendly Giant (who apparently doesn’t have an actual name, unless I missed it) utilizes regular size objects across his whimsical, giant home.

The plot isn’t terrible; this is a fairly good Spielberg film, everyone. The film lingers on the most magical elements, and when there is a big plot point or progression, it feels rushed, as if to get it out of the way. The narrative itself isn’t great for a film and it contains little tension, but I assume it’s because it’s tethered to the source material, “The BFG” by Roald Dahl. The wrap up is a little convenient and doesn’t feel earned, feeling more like an afterthought than the finale to a Summer Blockbuster, meant for kids or otherwise.  That being said, there are several very poignant scenes made even more wonderful by fantastic actors like Mark Rylance, Spielberg’s current Muse.The BFG Review Mark Rylance Holds Ruby Barnhill SophieThe main cast is glorious under the direction of arguably the Greatest Director of All Time, from the aforementioned Mark Rylance to newcomer Ruby Barnhill. Rylance voices and did full motion capture to bring BFG to life, and if this Giant looks vaguely familiar, that’s because Rylance won an Academy Award for playing the Russian Spy in last year’s Spielberg film, Bridge of Spies. As I also mentioned, Rylance is Spielberg’s current Muse (this director’s Tom Hanks days may be over), attached to Spielberg’s next two movies, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara and Ready Player One; also rumored to be on the cast list for Indiana Jones 5.  In her 1st film, Ruby Barnhill as Sophie thrives under the direction of veteran “Child Director” Steven Spielberg. As proven by E.T., A.I. Artificial Intelligence (acronyms again!), Jurassic Park, and Hook, among others, Spielberg has President status over the exclusive club of directors who can make Child Stars shine, membership including J.J. Abrams (Super 8) and Richard Donner (The Goonies). The BFG is no exception to his legacy.

THE BFG is a strong Spielberg Children’s Film that hearkens back to his classic 80’s films like E.T., with a very modern touch of CGI magic he couldn’t have pulled off thirty years ago. If  you are a fan of his work, not even a Geek, just a normal person who recognizes his uber-Household Name and allows it to slightly sway your movie going decisions, then “Sway away!” Even if it won’t go down as one of his best films, it is a great addition to Spielberg’s monumental career.The BFG Review Angry Giants But… there are Fart Jokes. Two scenes of Fart Jokes! Which would normally piss me off in a Spielberg movie (in an interview he says he’s never done one), but again, it’s from the source material, and they aren’t awful Fart Jokes like every other Children’s Film… ever… they’re… charming.

Magic and Wonderment, man. Magic and Wonderment.

And Fart Jokes. (Not one… plural! I want to make that very clear.)5_Star_Rating_System_3_and_a_half_stars

Padcast #22: One Degree of Marvel

Nick and Andrew return… With A Vengeance! Though talk switches from Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman to Jurassic World, everything always ends up Marvel!

Disney Wants Chris Pratt To Play Legendary Archaeologist Indiana Jones

Disney owns the world these days. They possess Pixar, Marvel, and, of course, Lucasfilm. The latter’s purchase has thus far been focused on getting a new ‘Star Wars Trilogy’ off the ground, but now it looks like the House of Mouse may want to shine a little light on Lucasfilm’s other giant property: the ‘Indiana Jones’ franchise.LucasFilm Logo

Even 7 years ago in 2008, it was the years AND the mileage.
Even 7 years ago in 2008, it was the years AND the mileage.

While I liked ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ more than most, I don’t think Disney can put together a movie before Harrison Ford hits 80, so continuing the franchise is going to mean replacing Harrison Ford.

And who could possibly do that?

Indiana Jones is one of those characters so iconic, it seems silly that any other actor should wear his fedora.

And yet… there is one… one who could pick up the hat and make it fit.

Chris Pratt in 'Jurassic World'
Already in ‘Jurassic World,’ Pratt has the Indy look down pat.

I’m talking, of course, about 2014 Super-Star Chris Pratt who played Emit in ‘The Lego Movie’ and Peter ‘Star-Lord’ Quill in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’

I’m not the only one who noticed the similarities between Pratt’s Star-Lord and Ford’s Han Solo.

And it’s not necessarily blasphemy to recast such an iconic role (though I would have shot you for introducing the idea to me a year ago); after all, Sean Connery defined 007, but the character has since been played by a handful of iconic actors including Daniel Craig returning in 2015’s ‘SPECTRE.’

Chris Pratt Photoshop Indiana JonesIndiana Jones is my favorite character from cinema so any mishandling or casting silly choices like Shia LeBeouf will ruin everything and send me home crying.

There is only one name I’m okay with to play Indiana Jones besides Harrison Ford: the aforementioned Chris Pratt.

Someone photo-shopped this over half a year ago, and I have since loved the idea of Chris Pratt playing a either a young Indiana Jones or Han Solo.

Chris Pratt is only 35, making him younger than Ford who played Henry Jones Jr. most famously in his 40’s. So, if this great casting comes true, expect adventures around the same time period as the 1st three films.

A few fears (AND DEMANDS) I have…

DO NOT REBOOT – Give us more Indy adventures within the same timeline, don’t start all over again.

How about a young Mac & Indy fighting Nazis? That work for you?
How about a young Mac & Indy fighting Nazis? That work for you?

DO HIT WWII – I mentioned Pratt is younger than Ford when he played the role, but after hearing Mac and Jones briefly refer to their adventures serving in WWII in ‘Indy 4’ (the original Trilogy precedes the 2nd World War) I really want to see a movie about that.

GET A GOOD DIRECTOR! – Spielberg is #1 choice, but I’d say it’s incredibly unlikely he will direct another ‘Indiana Jones’ film, especially not one without the full team including Lucas and Ford.

Get a young lad like Colin Trevorrow who was handed the keys of ‘Jurassic World’ from Steven Spielberg after his indie film ‘Safety Not Guaranteed.’ You know, a young director with character experience; like the young Spielberg hot off ‘Jaws,’ defining his career. 
Raiders of the Lost Ark

A lot could go wrong, but casting Chris Pratt as Indiana Jones would be the 1st step in the right direction for my favorite cinematic character ever.

Excited for ‘Jurassic World?’ These Videos Will Help Curb Your Appetite

‘Jurassic World’ is still months away with a release date of June 12th, yet it is the 2015 film I am most excited for (sorry Avengers, 007, Max, and Han Solo).

Jurassic World VelociraptorLike with any giant Youtube video (the ‘Jurassic World’ trailer is one of the most played trailers on the video platform) there are mash-ups, other videos analyzing the trailer, and old people reacting to it.

No old people here! The two videos I got here are better than that (though they could be loosely classified as mash-ups)!

First, be amazed at how close the ‘Jurassic World’ trailer sticks to the source material, in this case, the original 1993 film, ‘Jurassic Park.’

I personally believe the fact that new director Colin Trevorrow is working so hard to duplicate the magic of ‘Jurassic Park’ in a film that harkens back to that original more than either of the other two sequels, including Steve Spielberg directed ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park,’ is a good decision.

Chris Pratt and his VelociraptorThis seems to be the key with most sequels to decades old franchises this year with ‘Terminator Genisys’ recalling exact images from the original 1984 film and 1991’s ‘Judgement Day’ and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ bringing back classic ships and characters.

Now that you’ve watched the trailer shot-by-shot ‘Jurassic Park’/’Jurassic World’ comparison, I have an even sweeter treat, especially if you are a ‘Parks and Recreation’ fan.

Andy Dwyer (chubby old-school Chris Pratt) gets transferred to ‘Jurassic World’ in ‘Jurassic Parks & Recreation’ mash-up.

Pretty fantastic, no?Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer

Finally, as a bonus, I have a blast from the past in the form of this ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic claymation (yay!) music video from his 1993 song, ‘Jurassic Park.’ The lyrics are great, but the claymation seals the deal.

So there you have, 3 fantastic ‘Jurassic World’ related videos to further get you psyched for June 12th’s film starring Chris Pratt and that genetically engineered hybrid.

You’re welcome.