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Where the Wild Things Are: A Review

Written by D.D.R Glass on Friday, October 16 2009 and posted in Reviews
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Where the Wild Things Are:  Review


Let me start by saying is not a kid’s film, I repeat not a film for kids. It might seem like it Children’s book and all but no one under 13 should see this film, and if they did it would go completely over their head. That said this is an adult film about childhood. I am absolutely blown away by the film it is an unrelenting work of brilliance.


What Worked:

Max Records: This kid plays the main lead Max, and my god this kid owned the part. If I’m not mistaken he was 9 or 10 when they filmed this which is just mind blowing to me. You feel is pain you feel his emotions. Perfect kid for the part without a doubt.

Cinematography: Lance Acord who has worked with Director Spike Jones in all his previous films does amazing work here. The handheld camera work really worked well for the film, made it feel real, especially during the action sequences. Without it I really feel the film wouldn’t of worked as well.

Spike Jones: Spike Jonze (Director of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation) Turns in his best work to date. It’s innocent but yet it had deep maturity, he takes it to dark places and pulls it off. Some of this credit has to go to his writing partner in this project Dave Eggers (Also co-wrote Away we Go with his wife earlier this year) They turn in something truly original, because to be honest they turned a children’s picture book that has 339 words in it into 111 screenplay and a 110 minute film. That is a job very well done in my book.

Visual Effects/Puppets/Suits: The Wild Things are a mix of Visual effects, Puppets and guys in suits. The mesh them together so well at time I didn’t know when it was what.  I really hope this aspect gets some Oscar Nominations, nothing else will I’m sure but this best get some credit.

Voice Acting: I found out the actors preformed there parts for motion capture. But Spike Jonze had them do it in a theater like atmosphere. So their performances really come out in the characters. I loved trying to figure out who the voices were of the Wild Things.  James Gandolfini was the biggest surprise for me. I couldn’t believe he would do a film like this but as it went on I saw why he took the part. The emotional depth his character Carol goes to is amazing. There is a shot in the film where Carol is looking out at the ocean; I had a flash of Tony Soprano all of the sudden. This really shows me how great of a performance he put into it. Forest Whitaker, Lauren Ambrose, Catherine O’ Hara, Chris Cooper, and Paul Dano round out the rest of the voice actors. It was perfectly cast in my opinion.

Dark and Complex: This film is really dark it takes a complex look at childhood kids won’t get it but everyone else will and either they will get it and like it or get it and hate. I personally loved the take but I know everyone won’t.


What was So-so:

The Score/Soundtrack: While some of the score was good the soundtrack just seemed bizarre to me. Maybe I was just in a mood or something. Just didn’t click with me at all.

The Editing: Some of the editing was just out of place, there are a few cuts in the middle of a scene that made me cringe. But it was only two part in particular so I can’t really complain.


Overall 98/100 A+

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