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It's been a fairly good year for family films, with hits like Zootopia, and Kung Fu Panda 3 coming out before this summer season began. However, Disney hopes they have the biggest (and friendliest) family film of the year in The BFG. With a director like Steven Spielberg involved, and with source material from the unique and creative Roald Dahl, they very well might.
You can go here if you want to check out our complete review of The BFG as a movie. Here, we'll only be reviewing the 3D treatment you will receive if you plan to spend the extra money for that particular ticket. Let's dive into The BFG and see.
The more fantastical the tale, the better fit it is for a 3D presentation. The story of a girl and her friend, the 25-foot tall giant, is pretty fantastic. The movie is a storybook brought to life, and the 3D presentation draws you into that story. The 3D also assists in creating the scale between Sophie and the giant, so, in that case, it's a valuable technology as well.
While the 3D technology here is post-production, nobody has slacked off on their work to get the most out of the tech. Every 3D effect that could be created seems to have been done so. Even the most basic of sequences have been given depth to make the 3D more noticeable. Of all the criticisms one could lay toward The BFG, doing the work on 3D is not one of them.
Most movies have given up on the idea of pushing the 3D off the front of the screen. The BFG is no different in this regard than any other movie. It seems like a missed opportunity, especially in the sequence involving catching the firefly-like dreams, as a few balls of color flying into the audience would have been a perfectly reasonable, and obvious, use of the technology.
What The BFG lacks before the window, it makes up for beyond it. During that same Dream Country sequence, the dreams may not fly out in front of you, but they do fly into the background. This also adds a useful level of depth so that The BFG can be fit into the frame in the background, while normal sized humans exist in the foreground
While large portions of the film take place at night, or within caves, keeping the brightness level up had the potential to be an issue. However, it never becomes a problem. Even in the dim London streets, there is enough ambient light that keeps the things you need to focus on bright and clear. The contrast level is high and the darkness never falls into muddiness.
This category is often hard to judge, because many movies will build multiple layers of 3D into an image when there is a lot going on in a scene. That same movie usually will have slower times where you could watch an entire sequence without your glasses, because there's just very little going on. This latter example never seemed to be the case with The BFG. Even a scene of a single character in front of a motionless background seemed to have so much going on, the scene was unwatchable without glasses.
Generally speaking, the motion sickness that has a tendency to effect some doesn't really bother me. Having said that, I don't think The BFG should be much of a problem. There is one sequence, early in the film, which we see from a first person perspective, as Sophie is carried into the giant's home. As we're moving along with giant footsteps, the sequence has a bit of both vertical and horizontal sway to it. The sequence only goes on for a few seconds and then it's over. Once you get through that, it should be smooth sailing.
Overall, a great deal of work has been put into The BFG to get the most out of its 3D presentation. There's certainly a lot of it to see that you'll miss if you don't view the movie in that way. Whether or not The BFG is the right film for you may be a question. However, you'll certainly get your money's worth out of the price of the 3D ticket, to be sure.