Monday, November 9, 2009

where the wild things are

omg! i had high expectations for this movie, it being a spike jonze joint and all. and you know, it met my expectations! this was a great film.
i have to be honest, i wasn't a big a fan of the book growing up. not that i hated it, it just wasn't my favourite. i mean sure the monsters were neat, i did like them:

but max just seemed like a jerk, and the book was so short the bit with the monsters was over before it started, i wanted to know more you damn book! i owned it, i read it a lot, i got the moral, i just wanted more monsters, it's obviously something i was into. my favourite childhood book by the way was: alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. similar theme, only no monsters, and wanting to run away to australia instead of an island of monsters, and alexander was a crybaby, not a jerk.

so first off this movie scores big because you get to see max as an actual little kid, he's not a total jerk, just a kid that doesn't know how to deal, you connect to him, he brings you back to when you were a kid. so the backstory is now that his parents have split, his sister is becoming a teenager, his mom works late and has a boyfriend, so he's just generally feeling left out and alone. he acts out in a jerkish and kid like fashion. it's completely understandable, then he finds a boat and sails off for adventures, also monsters.

now the monsters in this film are amazing, nobody does monsters better than jim henson's company, every movie they touch the creatures are gold. and this is no exception, the monsters are real breathing creatures, they're frightening and they're cute, it all depends. you first meet them when carol (voiced by james gandolfini) is smashing up the odd wicker balls they live in, max decides to join much to the amusment of carol, and the other monsters get rather annoyed and decide they should eat max. max boats about how he has powers and carol dubs him their new king.
and the wild rumpus begins!

i have to say james gadolfini is amazing in this, he plays this part so well, it's so immature and child like. and he's not doing that annoying nasally thing that got worse the longer the sopranos went on.

everything that happens on the island is great, it's beautiful, fun, always an element of danger, sadness, that's the big thing there's a lot of sadness in this movie, max's situation at home, carol's broken heart over kw, the general anguish and malaise of the monsters, not knowing how to deal with the situation they're in. how can one keep away sadness?

no as for the issue of it being a kids movie, in an interview spike jonze said he was making more a movie about childhood than a movie for children, not that he felt it wasn't for kids, but it's more about them and their feelings, what's it's like to be a kid. mr. skullhead, described it as a movie that seemed like it was plotted by kids, a sort of movie by kids, for kids. and i agree, it really is a movie about childhood and it captures everything about it so well, as for it being too scary or too sad for kids, well i'll let the author of the book answer it, again from the interview on newsweek:

What do you say to parents who think the Wild Things film may be too scary?
Sendak: I would tell them to go to hell. That's a question I will not tolerate.
This concentration on kids being scared, as though we as adults can't be scared. Of course we're scared. I'm scared of watching a TV show about vampires. I can't fall asleep. It never stops. We're grown-ups; we know better, but we're afraid.

Why is that important in art?

Sendak: Because it's truth. You don't want to do something that's all terrifying. I saw the most horrendous movies that were unfit for child's eyes. So what? I managed to survive.
Grown-ups are afraid for children. It's not children who are afraid.

What makes a good kids' story?
Sendak: How would I know? I just write the books. But I do know that my parents were immigrants and they didn't know that they should clean the stories up for us. So we heard horrible, horrible stories, and we loved them, we absolutely loved them.

i even asked my mom if she thought this movie was appropriate for kids, her answer "well maybe not for really young ones, although you probably would have loved it."

the only reason i can think of that young kids wouldn't like it, i mean really young, is because it's a bit slow in the middle, they might bored. i was thrilled however, appreciating all the beauty and splendor that's in this film. and you have to love how it works out, max realizing he's so much like carol, and how kw represents his mom, and how she feels when max throws his tantrums. it all comes together nicely, it's beautifully bittersweet. it all ends heartwarmingly though. so yay happy ending!

see to me the monsters were a group of lost kids, they pretend to be mature and together, but they're hopeless and lost. actually that's being an adult... shit. point being they're not figments of his imagination, that's silly, they're sand filled monsters that used to be kids.
or something like that.

so it definitely developed the monsters to my liking, giving them character but still leaving them mysterious and scary, and i've already stated my love of the soundtrack. beautiful visuals, fun story...

i loved this movie, that's all that really needs to be said.

five out of five

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