Movie Review: Not even Steven Spielberg can make The BFG a good fit for the big screen

Man-eating monsters, plucky orphans, fart jokes: Some things never go out of fashion, at least for readers of a certain age. That’s why Hollywood has been laboring for two decades to make a movie out of Roald Dahl’s enduringly popular kid-lit classic The BFG, previously adapted (via animation) for British television. But now that the feature-film version has finally arrived, with blockbuster maestro Steven Spielberg pulling the strings and Disney fronting the bill, it’s easier to understand why it took so long: To watch the new live-action BFG is to wonder whether this beloved tale—rich with ostensibly cinematic elements, from skyscraping villains to a sprawling fantasy world—even really belongs on the big screen. Moving it there has somehow shrunk its humongous pleasures.

Protective fans can rest easy: If anything, this BFG is too faithful. The movie opens just as the book did, with bespectacled preteen …

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