Those who have read the Roald Dahl book - particularly those who have had to read it out loud to young 'uns - remember how annoying it is. With its mispronunciations (human beans), nonsense words (swollomp), preoccupation with flatulence and weird plot elements (but WHERE IS Giant Country?) it 195 pages can seem much, much longer. Getting back to Giant Country for a moment, the book takes place in 1983 and presumably, giants have been freely moving between realms for hundreds of years. Only now Queen Victoria thinks to send in the helicopters to end the reign of terror? It doesn't even take that many of them to do it. Anyway, Spielberg's direction holds firm to Dahl's vision bringing his giants to life in a way that seems to conform exactly to how every child pictured them. Except for the uncanny valley problem. Spielberg's digital renderings are near enough to human to make the giants appear like dead-eyed automatons innervated for the amusement of popcorn-munching audiences and waiting for the sweet, sweet release of oblivion after their Spielbergian master tires of them. The scenes between Sophie and the Queen come as some relief. In short, a fully realized adaptation of the source material and all that entails. But if you have to read the book anyway, may as well see the film version.
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