Sunday, October 18, 2009
Movie Reviews: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
Misunderstood at home and at school, mischievous Max (Max Records) escapes to a land populated by majestic, and sometimes fierce, creatures known as the Wild Things. The Wild Things allow Max to become their leader, and he promises to create a kingdom where everyone will be happy. However, Max soon finds that being the king is not easy, and that his relationships with the Wild Things are much more complicated than he originally thought.
Opened ..October 16, 2009..
Runtime: 1 hr. 34 min.
Cast: Max Records, James Gandolfini, Lauren Ambrose, Paul Dano, Tom Noonan, Catherine O'Hara, ..Forest.. Whitaker, Catherine Keener, Michael Berry Jr.
Director: Spike Jonze
Genres: Children's Fantasy, Fantasy Adventure, Adventure, Fantasy
Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language.
Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are is fascinating adaptation of the legendary children’s book. Visually stunning, the film has a palatable sense of youthful energy capturing the dizzying highs along with the painful lows. Jonze’s is able to capture this with extremely effective use of handheld cameras during certain portions of the film. The island is beautifully surreal giving it a dream like feel which fits perferctly into the story. The wild things themselves are technical marvels, created using a mix of puppetry and CGI. The voice actors complete these creations and bring them to life; Gandolfini in particular is surprisingly effective throughout. Lauren Ambrose also impresses as KW providing tenderness to her role mixed with a quiet strength. The rest of the voice cast are equally effective even if they aren’t given as much time as Ambrose or Gandolfini. New comer Max Record is a real find; he’s wonderfully naturalistic perfectly suited for the role. He has the gift to phase through the different emotions in a believable manner, something rare in child actors. Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers had the task of adapting a book with only a handful of sentences. They used the book as a starting point and expanded outward and created something magical, poignant and occasionally a little terrifying. It works a multitude of levels and can be enjoyed either as a straight forward tome or on more allegorical terms. Jonze’s had plenty of issues making this film and it could have fallen into a blackhole because of studio meddling. Luckily the film finally made it to the screen and we can see the fruits of Jonze’s labor. He has creating something that’s respectful of the book but able to stand on its own.