Author Topic: Where the Wild Things Are (film)  (Read 1337 times)

Vitalstatistix

  • Photocopies are not admissable as memories
Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« on: December 23, 2009, 11:10:16 AM »
mmmmm, thought there would be a thread on this already, but appears not...

I loved it, though I am a complete sucker for everything Jonze et al create.

Surely some of you have seen this beauty? For those unsure, it really ain't a kid's film (I'd be fucking terrified if I saw this as a kid). I see it more as a film about being a kid.

Anywho, any thoughts?

SetToStun

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • That's me, that is.
Re: Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2009, 11:20:08 AM »
I haven't seen it yet - I want to get some opinions on whether or not it's any good first as it was my favourite book when I was a kid and I'd hate to see it spoiled. In fact, I loved the book so much that my Mum bought me a second copy of it for Christmas two years ago. I was 40 at the time. I still loved it.

So, anyway, the more opinions the merrier - I really want this to be great so I can go and relive my youthful years.

sirhenry

  • That worked out well...
Re: Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2009, 11:28:15 AM »
I loved it. It had the minimum of obligatory Hollywood backstory (just enough to explain the tantrum I felt) and maximum respect for the original book. Having Maurice Sendak involved in the making of the film probably helped.
The whole of the island world was beautifully designed and executed, with the animatronics being as close to perfect as Jim Henson will ever make. I assume that the actors had sensors attached to their faces, connected to motors in the monsters, because the facial movements were absolutely perfect and wonderfully emotive. And they really are the monsters from the book bought to life - shame it's such a rarity that a much-loved childhood book is treated with reverence, rather than just a title to hang the usual Hollywood clich├ęs on.

As you say it's not really a film for kids, more about childhood and learning to deal with emotions. My autistic son therefore had no idea what it had been about, but still enjoyed it hugely for the look of it if nothing else. My daughter and I came out of it feeling really sad (not in a bad way though), and Lady H felt it was wonderfully uplifting and examined how children deal with negative emotions in a very thoughtful way (but then she was a primary teacher). So for us it was that rarest of family films - one that makes you think, without ramming its message down your throat, while being visually stunning.

Off to see Avatar tonight and not expecting to enjoy it nearly as much.

Vitalstatistix

  • Photocopies are not admissable as memories
Re: Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2009, 12:25:45 PM »
Off to see Avatar tonight and not expecting to enjoy it nearly as much.

For all the talk about that being visually great, I enjoyed this about a gazilion times more, for visuals and everything else.

SetToStun - I can't comment about its faithfulness to the book cos I ain't read it (hadn't even heard of it before the film came about, not sure why...) but, as sirhenry points out, I believe Sendak was on board, and I've read elsewhere it's pretty faithful.

Quite glad I went in not knowing the plot, it's absolutely bonkers!

This bit:

[spoiler]KW throwing rocks at the owls, her 'friends'[/spoiler] was so surprising and barmy. Crackin stuff.

Catalogue Trousers

  • With tremendous protein value
Re: Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2009, 02:00:21 PM »
It's an odd 'un, certainly. Visually marvellous, the kid playing Max is superb and the voice casting (especially James Gandolfini) of the Wild Things excellent...it's certainly a film well worth seeing, and yet I'm in the awkward position of not being able to say that I really liked it.

I think that the main problem that I had with it is the lack of a solid plot. It's more a stream-of-incidents.

sirhenry - interesting comment about your autistic son. The thing that struck me was, by making Max several years older than he is in the book, he did come across as somewhat autistic himself. I can't help but wonder if that was a deliberate choice.

Either way, I'd definitely say see it. I probably need to see it again myself.

sirhenry

  • That worked out well...
Re: Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2009, 02:10:42 PM »
Quote
I think that the main problem that I had with it is the lack of a solid plot. It's more a stream-of-incidents.
In that respect as well it's true to the book.

Quote
sirhenry - interesting comment about your autistic son. The thing that struck me was, by making Max several years older than he is in the book, he did come across as somewhat autistic himself. I can't help but wonder if that was a deliberate choice.
It could be implying that a lot of children don't mature emotionally (due to isolation) as early as they used to. I don't know if that's true, but it's what I came away with. There's so much that's ambiguous and/or unexplained in the film, which I felt was a strength rather than a weakness.

I also like Andy Goldsworthy's work, of which a lot of the constructions on the island was reminiscent.

Milo

  • ...but first, they must catch you
Re: Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2009, 02:44:57 PM »
I assume that the actors had sensors attached to their faces, connected to motors in the monsters, because the facial movements were absolutely perfect and wonderfully emotive

I believe the faces on them were actually CGI, while the rest of the bodies were animatronic.

Re: Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2009, 06:21:32 PM »
In that respect as well it's true to the book.
It could be implying that a lot of children don't mature emotionally (due to isolation) as early as they used to. I don't know if that's true, but it's what I came away with. There's so much that's ambiguous and/or unexplained in the film, which I felt was a strength rather than a weakness.


There are strict Union rules governing how many hours a day a child actor can be on set working.   The number of hours increases if you go with an older child.  I'd wager that the decision to make Max older was a pragmatic choice influenced at least partly by those restrictions.   

I loved this one too.  A beautiful melancholy film.  The lack of a solid plot reminded me greatly of Miyazaki's My Neighbour Tortoro, which also brakes conventional storytelling wisdom to similarly mesmeric effect. 

kittens

  • kittens
  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • don't have a cow man
Re: Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2009, 07:19:44 PM »
It was just lovely. I LIKED THE MONSTERS

Re: Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2009, 10:35:50 PM »
I posted about this in 'New Films 2009' a while back. I loved, loved, loved it. Did anyone see the Newsnight Review critics slating it? It made me far more angry that it should have done! The writer Bidisha referred to Max as a 'mini-moron'. That comment clearly reveals a lot more about her than it does about the film. Anthony Horowitz similarly baffled, perhaps because unlike the adaptation of his book Stormbreaker it didn't have a five minute product-placement slot for Nintendo DS in the middle of it.

I couldn't agree more with the poster above about how the world in WTWTA felt so much more real to me than anything in Avatar. The effects here are superb, so subtle and well judged. Perhaps the best example is the moment where [spoiler]Max has been talking with Karol about the sun, and Karol says 'why would that bother us, I'm big!', but when they walk away you just see his eyes give the tiniest glance upward at the sun when Max has gone on ahead.[/spoiler] Beautiful.


Re: Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2009, 10:43:39 PM »
I loved it too, couldn't help shedding a few tears at the end. The only part I didn't like was the soundtrack, which I found obtrusive at times. It's been a while since I saw it, but the part where they're looking at a model city with Karen O warbling over the top would have been so much better with just an instrumental track.

CaledonianGonzo

  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • No Cheeses For Us Meeces
    • DEC Syria Appeal
Re: Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2009, 10:21:08 AM »
For me, it failed to live up to the wonderful, wonderful trailer:

Where the Wild Things Are - Official Trailer

Best promo ever?

sirhenry

  • That worked out well...
Re: Where the Wild Things Are (film)
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2009, 01:46:09 PM »
Where the Wild Things Are - Official Trailer
I'd not noticed till watching that, but the schoolroom scene is taken from the beginning of The Phantom Tollbooth.