View Poll Results: Rate 'Where The Wild Things Are'

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  • **** - Fantastic

    5 33.33%
  • *** - Good

    8 53.33%
  • ** - Fair

    2 13.33%
  • * - Poor

    0 0%
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  1. #1

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    Where the Wild Things Are : MC Reviews



    Spike Jones's Where the Wild Things Are opened this past weekend to $33 million and mixed reviews. Did you go see the film? What were your thoughts?


    My feelings on the film:

    The film, to me, was a thoughtful and loving meditation on the sparse text of it's source material and what it's like to be a 9 year old. As adults many tend to forget that we had issues to deal with when we were younger since our time is now taken up by much heavier matters and pressing issues. But, as illustrated by the main character, Max, we see that he is dealing with problems that seem to keep mounting in the only way he knows how. Max uses his fertile imagination to escape to an island where he is king.

    Max's subjects are a group of beautifully realized monsters that, in some way, reflect a different aspect of Max own personality. Max navigates the dynamics of living with a group of animals as immature as he and this forces him to look inward and return home a better kid.

    Jones has a wonderful ability with magical realism, or the fantastic in a realistic, believable setting. His sensibility and visual style is perfect for this material as well as his penchant for cerebral plot lines bordering on the absurd. The real problem here is not Jones so much as it is the lack of a particularly interesting way to teach our hero to grow up.

    We are treated to fun set pieces like the Wild Rumpus, a crazy dirt clod war, and the construction of a massive fort. This is where the movie excels, when it's having fun. Unfortunately when the fun ends there really never seems to be any other direction. Was this the intended metaphor? That when one is a child life is nothing but waiting for the next fun moment? Perhaps. But in a film you shouldn't make the audience learn that lesson all over. You should entertain them as you watch the characters learn that lesson for themselves. Alfred Hitchcock once said that movies are like life but with the boring parts taken out. Unfortunately, they left some of the boring parts of real life in this film.

    WTWTA is not a bad film. It is very well made. The production values are phenomenal, the soundtrack is perfect, and the adaptation is exceedingly faithful to the source material. They just forgot that the film should always be entertaining.

    Matinee Price worthy
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  2. #2

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    Re: Where the Wild Things Are : MC Reviews

    I agree to a point. I believe they covered exactly Max's journey to making peace with the situations around him that frustrated him. I would have liked a little more closure regarding the family once he did in fact return to reality but I believe the overall message was clear and it was really entertaining through out. I felt whimsy and an adventurous spirit while watching it which is what I believe they mean to capture anyway.

    My 9yr old's review of the film is much simpler. She stated, "I'd love to build a fort like that and the monster's were cool."

    So clearly, everyone benefits from a well done film, I'm happy with the adaptation and would recommend to other families to see.

  3. #3

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    Re: Where the Wild Things Are : MC Reviews

    It was surprising to me how heavy the story was. The ending was a bit to abrupt for me but the characters kept my interest through the entire movie. Whoever played Max did a fantastic job.

    3 stars.

  4. #4

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    Re: Where the Wild Things Are : MC Reviews

    I'm really glad that I saw the film. The cinematography was great, the monsters wonderful, Max was played well . . . but I found the pace of the film far too slow and plodding. I also didn't like it that the monsters all sounded like they were in a group therapy session the whole time.

    For a kids film, it was really depressing. Still, I think it was a good effort. They didn't ruin the book for me, but it just seemed a bit off the mark.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Where the Wild Things Are : MC Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    I also didn't like it that the monsters all sounded like they were in a group therapy session the whole time.
    I totally agree with this point. Carrol was obviously Max. I felt like you could pin point a psych problem to everyone of the Wild Things. I wanted the Bison Wild Thing to have more of a part other than the last line he said. He was always my favorite reading the book.

    Certain things distracted me, like the fort looking like the Death Star. I thought one scene with Carrol and Douglas was really... brutal to the point of excess. And my whole general take is I wanted to like it more than I did.

  6. #6

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    Re: Where the Wild Things Are : MC Reviews

    How Warners survived the wild ride on Spike Jonze's 'Wild Things'

    If they gave out Oscars for marketing campaigns, you could pretty much hand out the trophy right now to Warner Bros. marketing chief Sue Kroll, who almost single-handedly managed to find an audience for "Where the Wild Things Are," the new family movie that turned out not to really be a family movie at all.
    How Warners survived the wild ride on Spike Jonze's 'Wild Things' | The Big Picture | Los Angeles Times

    According to Hollywood conventional wisdom, "Where the Wild Things Are" looked like a disaster in the making. Over budget and beset by endless delays, the movie kept being pushed back on the Warners schedule, picking up a nasty case of bad buzz after word leaked out that children had fled an early test screening in tears, put off by the dark tone of the film.

    Even as the film made its debut over the weekend, rival marketers were skeptical of its chances, saying, with plenty of justification, that "Wild Things" was a tweener -- not conventional enough to be a mass-appeal family film, but too associated with the soft blanket of childhood to appeal to Jonze's natural audience of twenty- and thirtysomething bohos, hipsters and cultural mavericks. Faced with two radically different audiences that rarely converge, most studios would have simply "cheated" -- passing the film off as squeaky clean enough to pass muster with middle-American families in the hopes of getting as big an opening weekend as possible.

    But amazingly, Kroll managed to thread the needle, attracting a sizable amount of both audiences, who were prodded into the theaters by the studio's emotion-laden marketing materials and a raft of glowing reviews.

  7. #7

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    Re: Where the Wild Things Are : MC Reviews

    I was never really a fan of the book. And I'm neutral regarding the movie. I haven't seen it yet. I'll probably wait for the dollar theater or the DVD.

  8. #8

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    Re: Where the Wild Things Are : MC Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    I was never really a fan of the book. And I'm neutral regarding the movie. I haven't seen it yet. I'll probably wait for the dollar theater or the DVD.
    I hope people don't base their opinion on this review.

  9. #9

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    Re: Where the Wild Things Are : MC Reviews

    Even as the film made its debut over the weekend, rival marketers were skeptical of its chances, saying, with plenty of justification, that "Wild Things" was a tweener -- not conventional enough to be a mass-appeal family film, but too associated with the soft blanket of childhood to appeal to Jonze's natural audience of twenty- and thirtysomething bohos, hipsters and cultural mavericks.
    My sister-in-law, brother, and sister would be the 20something hipsters and they all saw it. I saw it because I am a HUGE fan of the book. The book is in my top 3 kid books (another Maurice book is in that list along with "John, Paul, George, and Ben."). The book has this association with this age group because this was our childhood book, we all wanted to be Wild Things. And it was largely marketed to that group. Look at the music in the movie and the trailer, along with the fact that Urban Outfitters has a whole line devoted to merchandise (Urban Outfitters ). Marketing Warners did amazing.

  10. #10

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    Re: Where the Wild Things Are : MC Reviews

    I personally loved the movie. I loved this book growing up as a kid, and I think Jonze did a great job of creating a story from a book that only had like 8 lines in it. The soundtrack was amazing, and Jim Henson's Creature job did a fabulous job on the wild things. The actor who played Max was very believable ( it was very easy to relate to what he was going through). Overall I loved the film and would totally go see it again.

  11. #11

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    Re: Where the Wild Things Are : MC Reviews

    I thought it was good. It never went as far as I wanted it to go. I felt like it was missing a level. It was well made and acted but I left thinking, I don't ever need to see it again.

  12. #12

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    Re: Where the Wild Things Are : MC Reviews

    Here's my review in a local paper. I'm Brent and my mother, Roberta, is the co-reviewer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Excerpt from review
    Brent: Instead of adding some artificial plot device, like a villain or a quest, Jonze expanded Sendak’s simple story by adding details about Max’s “real life,” and then creating parallel emotional threads in the world of the Wild Things. Carol (the main Wild Thing, voiced by James Gandolfini) is terrified that his “family” will break apart because one of their number, KW (tenderly voiced by Lauren Ambrose) has left to spend time with her new friends, Bob and Terry.

    Roberta: It was fun hearing Tony Soprano’s voice as Carol.

    Brent: The casting was perfect, because the character is actually kind of similar to Tony Soprano in that he can be a very likable guy, but he can also be a menacing monster. Actually, I think Tony’s therapist Dr. Melfi would have a field day with all of the Wild Things and their individual neuroses.

    Roberta: I think very young children may be a little afraid during a few scenes. I go back and forth on this; it really depends on the child. Some children can probably handle it, but I’m being conservative here by saying 8 and older. While the book is OK for younger ages, the movie does get a little intense.

    Brent: I definitely agree with you. The Wild Things aren’t like the wacky, wisecracking, candy-colored monsters from Monsters vs. Aliens (which I also liked, but for very different reasons). Nor should they be. There’s plenty here for kids to like—humor, excitement, awesome creatures—not to mention they can probably relate to Max. Just don’t go in expecting a “kids’ movie.”

    Read the full review at:

    Santa Maria Sun | Film


    Spoiler not included in the review:
    Spoiler
    I was totally shocked when Carol ripped the bird's arm off (haven't been that surprised since a polar bear's jaw got knocked off in "The Golden Compass"), but the stick that the arm was replaced with was one of the funniest things I've seen all year. It was funny because no attention was called to it, the character wasn't making a big deal about it, it was just there, and the part where the arm came off was so serious and shocking that it made that all the funnier.
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