Friday, June 8, 2012
Where the Wild Things Are (2009) review
I don't know why so many people hate this beautiful, darker connection with the children's book.
PLOT:Max (Max Records) has always been a strange kid; he's interested in monsters, kingdoms, and fairy tales. He doesn't seem to have any friends, his father appears to have left his family, and his mother (Catherine Keener) is almost always busy with something else. One night when he starts to fight with his mom, he runs away and sails on a small boat to a mysterious island where monsters are the dominant creatures. He tells them stories about his life as an "explorer" and lies saying he was a king with many powers. In turn, the monsters make him king, but there are some things he can't stop and can't rule. It's a very well-adapted plot executed beautifully.
ACTING/VOICES:The acting was pretty good, but the voices were better. I found Max to be annoying at most times, yet great at others. He might have a future in films. The other shiners were James Gandolfini as Carol, Paul Dano as Alexander, Catherine O'Hara as Judith, Forest Whitaker as Ira, Chris Cooper as Douglas, and Lauren Ambrose as KW. I pretty much liked all the voices, as you can see. I also have to give an honorable mention to Steve Mouzakis as the teacher and to Mark Ruffalo as the boyfriend.
SCORE:The soundtrack is wonderful and just as beautiful as the film, done mostly by Karen O and the Kids. Every song was different and trancelike as that of a poor man's Florence + the Machine.
EFFECTS:The puppetry effects for the monsters were brilliant. They looked more real than any CG effects could have done. I have to give my respects to all the puppeteers.
OTHER CONTENT:Unlike most others, I really enjoyed this film. It's beautiful, dark, imaginative, and more meaningful. I do admit that it differs a great bit from the book, but this new tone is much more deep. I see and appreciate the vision director Spike Jonze has and I hope to see more movies from him. One thing I noticed and really loved was how some of the characters and situations connected psychologically to the infered character story and backstory. It's like "Wizard of Oz" connected with a lighter-hearted Kubrick film. I coudn't help but love it.
OVERALL,an awesome film with a beautifully executed plot, good acting and great voices, beautiful score, brilliant puppetry effects, beauty, darkness, imagination, and psychological meaning, but it's a completely different tone shift from the children's book.