Friday, October 16, 2009

Wow, The Wild Things, Wow

I don't think I've ever seen a movie on its first day of release.
Actually, it was Cranky who wanted to go. We had been to our local independent bookstore recently, to reread Where The Wild Things Are, a 1963 children's book by author and illustrator Maurice Sendak. We knew the movie was coming, and we wanted a little homework under our belts. Neither of us had especially been fans of the book, but we knew it was "nice."
Upon rereading it, we were captivated: Poetry, psychology, humor, wryness, happy ending.
So, the movie. How do you make a 94-minute movie out of 10 sentences?
Well, you write a little plot expansion into it. But you DO NOT mess with the real plot, which is about Max, the rambunctious kid, who comes to terms with his own behavior (rage, sadness, megalomania) after a little time out.
Gad, this account of mine sounds lame.
Here: I was weeping at the movie. The "rumpus" and everything that follows on the fantasy island is RICH with genuine childhood drama. The characters take on characters, much like the figures in your dreams never seem to be who they are, but they are. There's the "rage" Max, the "wimpy" Max, the "father" Max, all played by different monsters. And the mother... weep.
You've heard the term "acting out." Ho, boy. You'll see a bit.
I have yet to read a review that GETS this movie like I did.
I hope you see it. I hope you get it.

11 comments:

dancingmorganmouse said...

It's almost here, I'm Soooooo looking forward to it (I loved the book as a kid and I love it now). The monsters look totally amazing.

Kailyn said...

I have been looking forward to this movie for years after hearing Spike Jonze speak at UCB. Apparently Sendak had been approached numerous times to turn his book into a movie and he turned them down. Then he saw "Being John Malkovich" and knew that Spike Jonze would do it right. So I have been patiently waiting to see if Sendak was right. Because this was a favorite childhood book of me and so many of my peers. No, it was more than that. It was our myth. And I guess that's why Sendak held out for so many years. Someone would pay dearly if it was done wrong. I think I will try for the Sunday matinee -- for my first viewing.

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: I'm dying to hear your opinion, once you see it. It's not "epic," but it's very satisfying.

Kailyn: Wow. Thanks for the info on that. I couldn't imagine Sendak approving anyone, so I'm impressed that he liked a cool, young filmmaker with an eye for the absurd. (Anyone know if Sendak likes the film?)

Kailyn said...

I guess it was the "eye for the absurd" that made Sendak think that he had finally found the right person. (Go and look at the book and you'll see how from an adult perspective it all seems so absurd.) Because it was Sendak who approached Spike Jonze. And all I could think was that I would not want to be Spike Jonze. What a burden to carry. Then again, maybe that's why this movie has taken so many years. And unfortunately I still have not seen it.

And did you ever check out the whole "Where the Wild Things Are?" display at the Metreon in SF when it first opened?

cookiecrumb said...

Kailyn: Oh, I do so agree with you about being approached and having this burden. Well, he handled it.
Yeah! I went to that Metreon showroom. Hated it, of course.
Let us know when you get to see the movie.

Sam said...

I saw this on Saturday at the Northgate Mall just below your house. Our good friend Daniel was the animation director for the movie. He had about 50 of his friends over to watch it with him. I was stunned by the CG, absolutely stunned. Why? Because I actually couldn't see it. The highest honour for a VFX artist. I was very moved by the movie as a whole. I like Spike Jonze too.

kitchendoor said...

Augh, I loved this movie so much. I want to tell the whole world.

eatclosetohome said...

I'm still shell-shocked. The things Max feels are so real...no kid should have to feel all that. Ow. And, owwwwwwrroooooooooooo!

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: That's where I saw it, too. (Duh.) How lucky of you to have a gathering like that. I couldn't agree with you more about the "invisible" CG -- and you certainly have a better eye for it than I do. So glad you and I saw this movie. xx

KitchenDoor: I feel that way too. Thanks for your endorsement.

EatClose: I don't know if I've mentioned this, but the movie was so emotional for us, we went out to adopt a puppy! Owwrrroooooo!

psoriasisguru.com said...

I hope someone will come out with Halloween costumes based on the characters in WTWTA before the 31st... it would be awesome to dress up as Carol

cookiecrumb said...

psoriasisguru: Hah! I doubt there'll be costumes in time for Halloween. But I could be wrong.
AND! Who came up with the name of Carol for James Gandolfini? Life is good.
I wish you well.