Monday, March 8, 2010

Movie review: Where The Wild Things Are

When I first saw the preview for the film version of the beloved book Where The Wild Things Are I almost choked on my popcorn. Emotions swirled in my chest as I watched images of Max run through the forest to Arcade Fire's song Wake up. It looked beautiful. Roger and I gave each other a high five over our Large Diet Coke in the cup holder ( a gesture we do whenever we get excited about an upcoming movie) and declared that we couldn't wait to see it.

Well, life got in the way and we didn't get to see it in the theatre but lucky for us it was playing On Demand and we watched it over the weekend. I was all aflutter when it started. I adored the book as a child and was so ready to go on a fantastic journey led by Spike Jones. Let it go on record that I love Spike Jones. In my humble opinion, Being John Malkovich is a stroke of cinematic genius, but that is a post for another day. The point is, the stars were all lined up for me to love Where The Wild Things Are.

Sadly, I didn't love it. Maybe my expectations were too high but I thought that story was not handled as fantastically as it could have been. The movie seemed to stall out as the plot unfolded. I understand that stretching a children's story that consists of ten lines is no easy feat but I found myself daydreaming as Max and the Monsters had one wild rumpus after another. The dialogue had one pause for every other word as my heart yearned to get invested in the characters. I tried to imagine that I was a kid again and lower my expectations, I really wanted the wild thing in me to be awakened by this film. It never happened, even when I pretended that I was a six year old boy. This movie is not a children's movie yet it doesn't rise to the occasion of being a film for adults.

I will say that the visuals are inspiring as Max's little crown sits atop his head and he runs through the forest over and over to Indie Rock songs. Perhaps just the site of Maurice Sendack's wild monsters makes me feel emotional. Still, in the end, my inner child was pouting because the movie did not live up to the beloved book that my mom read to me every night before bedtime.

Better luck next time Spike Jones. Thanks for trying.

Scroll on down to see the winner of Freakshow Friday.

20 comments:

Andrea said...

Thanks!!
andrea

w said...

i haven't seen it. maybe i never will. books into movies (even children's books) rarely impress me.

Double Wide Mom said...

awww...what a let down. I had high hope for that one as well. You just can't recreate those Wild Things inside all of us. They're there for you alone. Have a wonderful,wonderful day, my friend!

June said...

Glad to know... I really hate wasting time on a bad movie.

Moooooog35 said...

My kids were all, like, 'the hell?' but as for a movie movie I thought it was good.

Kids movie? No.

Decent movie? Sure.

James Galdofini? What did you DO?!

Erin said...

I want to see it, but haven't yet...Netflix, I think. And definitely not w/ my kids. I'm sad you didn't love it...b/c it probably means I won't either. I think my expectations are a little high with most things like this...

Cathy said...

I felt like you did when I saw the preview. I was giddy with expectation! I saw it in the theatre and left shrugging my shoulders. It was ok, but not spectacular. I thought the monster costumes were amazing, though.

vanilla said...

Sadly, I have yet to see any beloved book turned into a movie that measured up to the book.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

I have not seen the movie yet, but heard very similar reviews from people who did. Some people even said that the movie was a bit sad and disappointing.
p.s. a BIG chuckle out loud over here with the visual of you and your husband giving a high-five after seeing the preview. We do the same thing when we see a movie that looks goo!

Oh, and I saw "Up" recently, and thought it was really good. It's a bit sad in the beginning, but really good.

lifewithsweetpeaches said...

I, too, was disappointed in the movie. The book is absolutely fantastic and I had high hopes. I'm glad I wasn't the only one.

Kearsie said...

I agree, but I do love me some Arcade Fire.

Katherine said...

I agree, I don't think the movie was all it could have been. But I still liked it. I watched it with my seven year old, and he seems to pick up on the emotions very easily. It's hard for a movie to live up to the expectations that come with such a classic book. But overall, I enjoyed (although didn't love) it.

Rachel said...

Everyone who has seen this movie has said the same thing. I guess it will not be on my list..

Heather said...

I really haven't read any good reviews on this movie. I never planned on watching it anyway.

Christy said...

You make my day sunny so I gave you an award! Its here: http://christy-newblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/and-oscar-goes-to.html

Existential Waitress said...

I love Spike Jonze too. and indie music. I've heard that this is disappointing, and you've further confirmed this. Maybe I'll just wait for cable on this one. too bad, huh?

Erica said...

We watched it over the weekend too. My husband and I were both really excited to see it since we both had loved the book as children. But I couldn't stay focused and ended up day-dreaming through the most of it. It just didn't do much for me. It's a shame. :(

The Wifey said...

Awe, I just saw the "On Demand" option this weekend and was all bummed out cause I wasn't going to have time to sit down and watch it. Now I'm not sure I want to. Damn. :(

Unknown Mami said...

Bummer.

Therese said...

DANG! We had a high five moment too over the anticipation for this one. I'll still have to check it out, but expectations are officially lowered.