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>> Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hey, aren't you that guy from "Surviving Christmas"?

Where The Wild Things Are is exactly what it should be. Scary as hell to children at times, and a blast from the past to most adults born pre-1990. I can imagine the conversations between an adult and their child as they drive to the theatre:

KID: "Mommy, can't we go see GI Joe or Couples Retreat instead?"
MOM: "No, we're going to go relive one of my memories, and show you what a real movie is like!"
KID: "Isn't GI Joe a real movie?"
MOM: "Well, it is, but its not a classic."
KID: "Isn't Wild Things new, so how can it be a classic?"
MOM: "Yes, but it's - shut up or you won't get $12 popcorn!"

And half an hour later the kid is crying because he got scared when the wild things threaten to eat Max. Either that or he'll be right into it, or be bored.

Now, that's not to say Wild Things isn't a great movie. And based on the source material (which I have yet to read oddly enough), it was done in the best way possible with what they had, and I can easily see it being an actual classic film later on down the road as all these kids remember how scared they used to be of a wild thing named Carol who was voiced by one of the Sopranos. It reminded me a lot of Jim Henson creations to be honest. And would have probably fared just as well being made twenty years ago as it did today. Be it animatronic or CG, the realism of it all doesn't really matter anyways, but it is breathtaking at moments and does ease your mind into an otherwise preposterous world.

Whats most notable about what might seem to most viewers, is how problems are solved in this world. Be it a mud ball fight to settle some nerves or a stick in the place of an arm, its all interesting to look at and in most cases a bit comical.

It was nice to see Max relate to the character that represented what he was feeling at the time, be it loneliness, frustration and anger, or a need to explore when he was feeling lost. In fact, there were a lot of examples of little hidden things like this, where upon further examination you would notice a much finer level of detail than you might have seen upon your first viewing. The reason I mention this is because due to his schizophrenic amount of emotions, you end up getting a lot of lovable and wonderful creatures. James Gandolfini is misunderstood and angry as Carol, Chris Cooper as Douglas is a bit cocky but nonetheless is a great friend and supports Carol whenever he needs him. Meanwhile the "its not fair" Judith played by Home Alone's Catherine O'Hara is the closest to any enemy Max has in his world. Other mentionable roles were Ira and KW, played by Forest Whitaker and Lauren Ambrose respectively.

Now, I actually did see this film on Friday. And although the blog may not show it as i started writing this review on Saturday, and it is now October 20th. I didn't finish it due to a busy weekend, but In some ways I'm glad I didn't. Its allowed me to separate myself a bit from the actual film, and a get a better feel for how I felt about it. At first the film seemed sorta forgettable, a bit boring at times, and I wasn't sure how to feel about it. But now 3 days later, I actually wouldn't mind seeing it again. It leaves you with a feeling of warmth and and spark of creativity, and a fond memory of what it used to be like when you would still play with big hairy monsters and birds with human ears.

When is comes to Wild Things, I think if you feel like escaping one afternoon or evening, this will do it for you. This may not be a date movie, necessarily, and kids may not enjoy it for what it is, but its a damn good movie all around and the door is wide, wide open on this one. Perhaps even wide enough for you and your emotions.


Editing Luke October 22, 2009 at 6:01 AM  

This is actually one of my favorite movies I've seen this year. The simplistic but whimsical plotline, killer soundtrack, and mix of nostalgia with an entirely original energy had me hooked all the way through.

I think the issue is that this film doesn't appeal to those who want a more concrete storyline or things wrapped up neatly. Like the book, this film is fairly open and ambient to the wonder and mystery of Max's escape. It's not trying to explain the monsters back story as much as it's just reflective of what it's like to be a kid. How sometimes we just need to get away.

It doesn't hurt that this was one of those movies that I could see myself making - very loose storyline, fun characters, great music, and a lot of sentimental shots. If I make a top 10 list this year for my blog, it'll be on it.

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