Past Entertainment

For the week of 11/16/09

RPP Movie Review

‘Where the Wild Things Are’ visually stunning and deep

By Ezra Mann (Editor in Spoof)

When I first learned that one of the most familiar books of my childhood was coming to the silver screen, I was intrigued. Books and Hollywood don’t always mix, but the previews for this film did not give me any reason to think this was being made only for box office profits.

What blew me away if anything was how detailed the art and costuming (digital and real) came across; it was like I was looking at the pictures all over again. I was for the most part given what I expected when I went to the theater, a whimsical story of a child fighting with emotions and not in a hurry to grow up. “Where the Wild Things Are” was a canvas for the audience that pulled you in and made you feel small again.

The only thing that might hurt this film at least as far as fans are concerned is that the story almost feels more grown up than the printed version. It doesn’t overpower the film totally, but the depressing aspects of being an adult like the single mother addition to the story is laid on a bit thick at times.

Still, Spike Jonze brings us an experience that feels wonderfully magical with Max (Max Records) being just as tantrum laden as one would expect. The basic elements that were there on paper transfer through and the monsters Carol (James Gandolfini), Alexander (Paul Dano), Judith (Catherine O'Hara), Ira (Forest Whitaker), Douglas (Chris Cooper), KW (Lauren Ambrose) and The Bull (Michael Berry Jr.) all deliver themselves as if they were only waiting for the chance to be in a motion picture. The biggest danger of this film is that it might make you think about what you need to make better in your life.

Though adults can relate to some parts of this movie, it really is appropriate for as soon as a parent feels their child can handle it. The music certainly gave even more energy and may just be one of the few soundtrack buys worth picking up.

I’ll most likely add this to my collection and recommend it to those who had a good time with the book. I’d even say that this could be an Oscar contender, though which nominations carry through is debatable. “Where the Wild Things Are” was worth the ticket price and was a well paced winner earning it four wild rumpuses out of five.

Images are copyright of Legendary Pictures,Village Roadshow, Pictures, Playtone and Warner Bros.

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