Our friend Harry Knowles over at Ain't It Cool News has given the Spike Jonze film adaptation of the eponymous 1963 children's book Where The Wild Things Are a glowing review. Check out just one bit of praise they give give the film:
"...it could very well be the best film ever created about what it is like to be a 9 year old...it will conjure up primal childhood emotions of joy, regret, elation, confusion and you may realize that you’ve lost an awful lot, by simply growing up."
Wow, to call that review "glowing" is an understatement!
The full review from AICN suggests the film, unlike almost every other, fulfills every wish that floods the mind when you imagine what Where the Wild Things Are could be. On the other hand, it sets the bar really, really, high before even stepping into the theater. Rarely is that a good thing. Lines from the review, like "It made me remember the way I looked at my mother when I was 9 years old." make you think the movie's achieved a lot more than some visual magic with monsters most of us lovingly remember. These days, my standards are low enough that I would have been satisfied with merely that. I would argue that the best a film can do, actually, is change our perspective, if only temporarily, on our ourselves and our environments. Could Where the Wild Things Are do just that?
The original award-winning book, written by Maurice Sendak, follows young Max as he misbehaves at home before dinner, causing his mother to send him to his room without eating. While there, an untamed forest and sea grow out of his imagination and he sails off to the land of the fearsome Wild Things. I'll hold off on more plot description for those who don't already know (or forget) what happens next.
Turning a book that's only nine sentences long into a feature-length film is a feat unto itself, but I suspect Jonze and Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, You Shall Know Our Velocity) were up to the task as script writers. Jim Henson's Creature Shop is providing the animatronic suits for the film and judging by every muppet movie I've ever seen, as well as the posters for this film (see above), their involvement certainly didn't hurt the production. Spike Jonze has worked on films all over the spectrum, from Being John Malkovich to Jackass: Number Two. I'm curious to see what he brings to the table as the director.
The full review AICN review puts this movie (for now) squarely in the "extremely well-hyped" category. For some worst-case scenario fun, I'll ask: What was the most miserable, but critically beloved movie you ever saw?
Where the Wild Things Are will hit theaters October 16, 2009.
Source: Ain't It Cool
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