Monday, November 16, 2009

MOVIE REVIEW: Where The Wild Things Are

The Other Half and MadProfessah decided to go see Where The Wild Things Are in the theaters last weekend before it disappears to a television, computer screen or DVD. The film is directed by Spike Jonze well-known for his trippy, unique filmic vision song apparent in Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002) and several genre-defining music videos (Beastie Boys' "Sabotage," Björk's "It's So Quiet" to name a few).
Both Being John Malkovich and Adaptation were written by the even trippier Charlie Kaufman but the adaptation of Maurice Sendak's beloved children book was written by Jonze and Dave Eggers (who wrote the screenplay for Away We Go released earlier this summer directed by Mr. Kate Winslet, Sam Mendes--see MadProfessah's B/B+ review).

The movie got both rave reviews and indifferent responses but there was general consensus ( score of 70%) that it was a visually arresting, if emotionally harrowing and dark vision of the imaginary world of an 8-year-old named Max.

The Other Half liked the movie more than I did. I enjoyed trying to figure out who was playing the voices of the Wild Things. "Hey, is that Claire from Six Feet Under? I really think KW is the red-headed actress from HBO." I was correct that KW is voiced by Lauren Ambrose but did not figure out that James Gandolfini played the lead Wild Thing named Carol and Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine), Chris Cooper, Forrest Whitaker and Catherine O'Hara are in the amazing cast.

The film does look amazing, and there are some very fun visually uplifting sequences, but in the end the overall impact of the experience is somewhat emotionally draining because it is basically a depiction of the many ways adults use speech and emotional non-verbal communication to attempt to hurt and manipulate others. There is a lot of talking in this movie, and a lot of unrepressed rage displayed by little creatures and big creatures alike.

Running Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes. MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language.

Plot: C-.
Acting: A-.
Visuals: A-.
Impact: B-.

Overall Grade: B/B-.


Wonder Man said...

I agree, it was cute but long

Kyle said...

Mad Professah, glad to hear the two of you liked it. Stan and I will see it when it is out on DVD, but your review helped to clear up some of the muddles messages we were getting from pro critics.


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