Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Review

Harry calls WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE the best film he's seen this year!

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is the very best film I’ve seen this year. Not by a hair, not by a nose, but by a mile. More than that, it could very well be the best film ever created about what it is like to be a 9 year old. Do you remember? 9 years old. How did you play? How did you move? Do you remember the angles that you saw the world from? Did you ever start something that felt like the most fun thing in the world, until it wound up in tears. Your tears? Do you remember how WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE spoke to you as a 9 year old? When imagination was effortless? A reflex. A product of a wandering second and a blink of an eye? You were still young enough to leap without tensing up and you knew that your bones were strong, because you drank your milk. When you had the power to answer any question with imagination, rather than knowledge. Because you were a kid. Now. Do you remember laying at your parents feet as they had a difficult phone call, but you still don’t remember what it was all about, but you felt afraid? And you knew a hug or a story could make it better? WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE will remind you of all these moments, but more… 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. Spike Jonze’s WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is a staggeringly brilliant encapsulation of the intent and contents of Sendak’s book, but more so… of childhood itself. The result is a film of immense and unquestionable power that has the power to shake you more than any of you are really expecting. At a private moment, mere minutes after the screening, I found myself blubbering. I had no idea it was coming. It wasn’t just the movie. It was what the movie did to me. What it opened up. It made me remember the way I looked at my mother when I was 9 years old. When she was awesome. Before the divorce, the alcoholism and her tarnished image. It made me wish I could go back and spend time with that version of my mom. Introduce my wife to her. It made me miss her. And I haven’t missed her in years. At the same time, it made me wish I could play the way I played at that age. It made me want to see the world without all the complications and the basic everyday realities of being a grown up! Spike Jonze did not merely find the perfect Max in young Max Records, he found a way to capture everything that is so wonderful about Max Records and MAX from the book. He captured what it was to be a Boy at age 9. The entire film is from Max’s perspective. As an adult, you may think a bit from Catherine Keener’s wonderfully at wit’s end mother, but this is a film 100% about Max. There are things that make sense on a purely child’s level of logic. The camera sees things from kid angles and with kid awe. The opening scene… is the single most FURIOUS and VIOLENT thing I’ve ever seen captured on film. And it was just a hand held camera shot following, some how, Max Records as he dives down stairs after the household dog in his Wolf suit and it hits you completely off guard. Why? Because you absolutely will not believe how amazing it is – to track a 9 year old in full blown wild Indian mode. It is amazing. And it is literally, just the beginning. I haven’t spoken about the MONSTERS yet, because frankly – as amazing as they are. As wonderful as every performance, every nuance of their expressions, and their every line are… they all serve to further illustrate the mind of an angry, frustrated and alone boy named MAX. Now. Should you take the kids to see WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE? That depends. Honestly, I wouldn’t take a kid under the age of 7. Even then, you need to realize that you’re gonna need to be an awesome parent, when you take your kid. This is a brilliant movie. One that conjures a lot of emotions, your child will feel every last one and you should be there to answer any questions, to hug and to experience the film with them. AND if any of this makes you nervous. See the film first and make the call about whether or not your kid is ready for this. For many audiences, this will be a difficult film. This isn’t an obvious version of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. In a world where we’ve seen films like Ron Howard’s GRINCH and that abysmal CAT IN THE HAT adaptation – there’s a possibility that kids and many audiences are numb to a genuine and beautiful film about the very tough and difficult realities of childhood. Being a parent is not ever an easy thing. This is very much a film about a point where the parent and the kid are at completely different states of consciousness – Mom is exasperated, frustrated, angry and exhausted by Max. Max doesn’t know why he acts as he does, he’s got problems that he doesn’t know how to express. He hasn’t read the books that have taught him how to relate to how he’s feeling about Mom’s new boyfriend – and a supper that he doesn’t want. He retreats into PLAY MODE, IMAGINATIONLAND and Mom… she doesn’t understand what’s going on with Max because Max doesn’t know how to express it. This is a children’s film, like TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is a kids film. And TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is a great kids movie. One, that every parent should watch with their kid. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE could be an incredible film for you and your child. It could help you to understand & remember what it means to be a child. Not to look down at them, but to admire them. Because we were all there at some point. We were all WILD THINGS once and this movie will make you wish you could be again! I saw this film with my best friend, 20 days ago. He LOVED it, and he tends to be a hardened tough guy that likes “gun cleaning movies”. You know the films. With this, he was affected, strongly and personally by the film. Totally different reasons than me, but afterwards we talked a lot about what it was like 28 years ago, when we were MAX and the way we played. This is the most authentic & brilliant film about childhood that I have ever seen. It is tremendous at every fathomable level. From production design, costumes, dialogue, effects, music, photography, editing, sound design and most of all performances. Performances from the humans, and astonishingly tender, horrible and mind-blowing work from the Wild Things. See this movie!

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:04 a.m. CST

    I'll see it

    by steele8280

    Again, whenever it gets to Sweden...

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:04 a.m. CST

    Wow, you really liked it

    by TRON

    Now I am really leaning to see it.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:05 a.m. CST

    first?!

    by unit1421

    :)

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:06 a.m. CST

    It'll take a while

    by steele8280

    Considering UP is just coming out next weekend and WTWTA doesn't have cameron diaz or tom cruise starring who knows when they'll bring it here. I'm still hoping Paranormal Activity makes it to Stockholm sometime soon. So I don't have to DL it.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:11 a.m. CST

    I so very much hope it

    by Kal Reeve

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:11 a.m. CST

    I so very much hope it's great!

    by Kal Reeve

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:20 a.m. CST

    that's an awesome piece of writing

    by ikkyu

    ...about being a kid, Harry. this is why you always get a pass from me for all the chocolate-covered pussy juice and Blade III is the best movie EVER!!!!!111!!! - because you're not a cynic. good job!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:28 a.m. CST

    One of your more inspired reviews.

    by Midnight Thud

    Also, how does this compare with something like "The 400 Blows" or "Forbidden Games"? Or is there any comparison to WTWTA that isn't about pointing out what it is NOT?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Harry - if this is the best film you've ever seen...

    by LittleManFromAnotherPlace

    ... about childhood then I presume its better than The Wizard of Oz, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial & The 400 Blows. Is it?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:35 a.m. CST

    midnight thud

    by HEADGEEK

    Those are good films to bring up. I'd also add TIN DRUM in there. Extreme films of childhood that are artistically brilliant, but wholly real. That this one spends the time in IMAGINATION LAND, but gives us that imagination as real and as solid and honest at a physical & psychological level is humbling. It is just stunning!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:35 a.m. CST

    LittleMan

    by HEADGEEK

    with all my heart, YES

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:55 a.m. CST

    harry you saw this movie 20 days ago

    by poopsies

    and you just put up the review? was there an embargo or some shit?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:14 a.m. CST

    poopsies

    by HEADGEEK

    embargo and some shit

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:15 a.m. CST

    Harry do you realize

    by ThePilgrim

    you wrote this review with clean words that wasted no time describing how you truly felt about the film. It's completely purged of witty catchphrase like bugnuts, and chocolate flavored such and such. It's a great read Mr. Red. Your honesty is very touching. Having a Mom who is one hell of a self abuser. I was right there with you when understanding the pain, when you said what you did. <P> I can't wait to see this movie.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:23 a.m. CST

    ThePilgrim

    by HEADGEEK

    My reviews are reflections of the movies they review. Sometimes I honestly use phrases and seedy purple asides in my everyday life. Some films make me go there, because that's what the film evokes in me. It is why I prefer to write about films I love. If I love them, they reflect something about myself I love or feel strongly about. Too often, films raise vulgar thoughts, images and sounds... that is what is so refreshingly sublime about WILD THINGS... it felt like an innocence reboot. Because when I think of this film, those words, those phrases and those thoughts do not exist. They are gone from me, my mind and my keyboard as a result. This film made me think of 9. What it was and feels like again. That's how brilliant this film is.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:31 a.m. CST

    I was hooked from the trailer.

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    As soon as I heard the first line from Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" in the trailer -- <p>"Children, don’t grow up! Our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up. We’re just a million little God’s causin rain storms turnin’ every good thing to rust." <p> -- I knew this film had the potential to be special.<p>Thanks for the passionate review, Harry. I can't wait to see this.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:43 a.m. CST

    not a review...

    by mynemaborat

    so much as one giant advertisement for the film

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:46 a.m. CST

    My problem has always been...

    by CmdX

    that parents bring their kids to the theaters and they don't shut up and watch the damn movie.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:49 a.m. CST

    ill probably see it

    by mynemaborat

    but i'm guessing this movie is not going to go down in history as a great or a classic. as usual i'll seek opinions from more credible reviewers... i just like reading harry's hyperbole sometimes

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:49 a.m. CST

    mynemaborat

    by CmdX

    You obviously haven't read many of Harry's reviews before<p>How much you wanna bet there is an ad that shows up this week with a quote from this review in it :)

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:03 a.m. CST

    I understand now

    by ThePilgrim

    I had a recent brush with my childlike self. I was in the hospital recently. They wouldn't let me walk to my room. So they wheeled me around in a wheelchair. The lowered field of view, the speed by which the nurse pushed me, the long halls, the air cooling my face. It triggered the inner kid. Everything was strange and big again, like it was as a child. The cool air rushing over my face and legs felt like a spirit trying to relax me of my fear. I never really think of the wind or air like that anymore but I remember the kid me believing in it like that. It always had something to say when I climbed tall trees. Threatening to knock me out as I climbed higher daring me to challenge it. Ok, now that sounds looney toons. Time to stop talking crazy.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:04 a.m. CST

    i'm very relivied by this review

    by Juror Number 8

    as well as many of the other early reviews of WTWTA. after all the turmoil between the studio and jonze i thought we would get a completely sanitized hollywood bullshit version and have to wait for the director's cut to see the dark version the way it was originally written in the book. i'm now officially back on the side of can't fucking wait to see this.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:04 a.m. CST

    very RELIEVED

    by Juror Number 8

    god damn 4 AM typos.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:07 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Harry.

    by Nordling

    My most anticipated film of the year. The wait till Friday just got a lot rougher.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:15 a.m. CST

    How fantastic.

    by Mr Gorilla

    I can't WAIT to see this. And I am so damn delighted that after all these stories of hellish post-production and studio interference - well, I don't know WHAT, but how wonderful that the end of the process is this fantastic film.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:15 a.m. CST

    shrooms on call

    by ls420

    cant wait

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:17 a.m. CST

    Good review Harry

    by Sebilrazen

    I know you get shit sometimes about being to hyperbolic, but I think this one Goldilocks.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:18 a.m. CST

    shit, "too hyperbolic"

    by Sebilrazen

    too early.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:26 a.m. CST

    It's on my list to see

    by Arturo

    The trailer looks cool...I just hope its as good as Harry's review??

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:42 a.m. CST

    Geez, Massawyrm is going to levitate after seeing this

    by YackBacker

    If Harry loved this as much as he did, Massa is going to transcend gravity with the joy he will feel-- that little "best movie I've seen so far this year" little monkey. Move over no-name indie Japanese movie, Massa- here comes the THINGS!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:52 a.m. CST

    The oversized crappy suits...

    by Wogga Wogga

    looks like they cost $2 each, not even remotely believable. I'm not holding my breath for this pile.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7 a.m. CST

    The Return of The Muppet Show reject puppets

    by Wogga Wogga

    and the trailer was awful. I'll see it, but just to confirm that the reviewers liking it are nuts.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7:09 a.m. CST

    but Harry did you like it?

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Harry your top 5 for the year so far?

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7:31 a.m. CST

    I doubt it's better than E.T. and The 400 Blows

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Too much hyperbole these days, probably why i'm almost always disappointed when I go to the cinema now.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Good to hear the evident quality though.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    But let's not get too misty-eyed for childhood, by and large it sucks and children as a whole are a pain in the ass. Noisy, smelly know-nothing money drains. The Victorians had the right idea about kids. Workhouses and chimneys. And now that I've vented, I feel much better. One thing about this film feels decidedly strange though - is it just me or dies anyone else feel odd that Jennifer Connolly isn't in it?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Harry...

    by Dude_Abides

    Loved the review and can't wait to see the movie. Something bothers me though about you and it may be just a tinge of jealousy or the fact that you can't help but flaunt how much luckier of a basterd you are than us but the sentence... "I saw this film with my best friend, 20 days ago"... no you could have easily said... I saw this film with my best friend... but you threw in the 20 days ago, is that necessary?? rubbing it in and all?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 8 a.m. CST

    The wild things look PERFECT.

    by Stifler's Mom

    I've seend roughly 20 minutes of this film, and the practical creature work is stunningly effective. Anybody who even suggests that CGI might have been better should be excluded from the conversation at once.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 8:15 a.m. CST

    I do believe it’s a good movie …..

    by MorganLeafy

    but how would a kid even know what it feels like to lose the innocence of youth? BTW, I’ll take the Henson artistry over those COLD and DEAD looking Na’vi any day of the week.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 8:30 a.m. CST

    I was 5 when the original book was published..

    by Pitdoc

    ...and while WTWTA wasn't the first book I read, it was the second. And I read all 10 sentences of it repeatedly...and dreamed..Within 2 years I was on to the Lord of the Rings ,but the images and more importantly, the CONCEPT of that book haunted me..When I heard Spike Jonze was going to direct it, I said to myself "Perfect". I won't be the only 51 yr old child waiting to see this movie.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Your review makes me want to have kids, Harry...

    by perromaldito

    ...or i´m just soooo fucking high

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Sounds like typical

    by Series7

    October crap.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Nice review Harry.

    by WickedJester

    I'd like to think my comment about pasting your reviews into Word and having my page light up with more red and green then a Christmas tree is a main contributor to your more polished writing style. I look forward to seeing this film and more reviews like this.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Can't wait to hear the remember when you were 9

    by Series7

    20 years from now. Remember when you first found out about You Tube. Remember when your parents tried to figure out a way to get you out of the house. Remember your second cell phone. Remember your first google search that ended in porn. Remember your first IPOD. <P> Seriously when was the last time you saw kids playing outside?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 9:05 a.m. CST

    No Neve Cambell + No Denise Richards == FAIL

    by Squashua

    How can you make a Wild Things sequel without Neve? Sure, Richards can be left out or hit in flashbacks, but no Neve? Boo.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Also

    by Squashua

    I cried a little during this review.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Once I heard that they had to remove the eyes for the monsters

    by Series7

    How much creepier did that make then for the child Actor? I want to see that production still of these eyeless monsters just standing around.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Being a parent is not ever an easy thing

    by Series7

    Yeah it's totally not. Coming from another movie geek who doesn't have a kid, trust me on this I know.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Where the TIDELAND things are!!...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...I've been hoping this would be great ever since that first magic bit of test footage...

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    It's better than E.T.????

    by Spazatronik2000

    Lol come on dude even for you that's a little over the top. Did someone blow you to write this review or what.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Not a review; but a very nice write up...

    by conspiracy

    Possibly the most coherent piece of writing Harry has constructed; and it perfectly conveys his feelings about watching this film without the usual silliness. Not a critical review, but a nice read. I'll see this, as I said on Verns TB, if for no other reason than to support people who care about quality and artistic vision over pandering to the marketing dept.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Drew McWeeny

    by Series7

    Finally gets a spot on Rotten Tomatoes with Hit Flix. <P> "Where The Wild Things Are is one for the ages, a major accomplishment in a beautiful minor key, and as I revisit it in months and years to come, it will yield fresh wonders each time." <P> Sounds just like harry's review.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Harry is 100% Correct

    by filmsavior

    This is the best film of the year. Quietly brilliant and captures the essence of childhood like no other. Amazing film. I can't wait to see it again this weekend!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:26 a.m. CST

    better than Coraline Harry?????

    by Drsambeckett1984

    Because that film scared the fuck out of me and I'm 25!!!!!!! I gave my little brothers my copy of WHere The Wild Thing Are, and despite a twenty year age gap they loved it. And i still do as well. Cannot wait to see this.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Yes, it is the best film about childhood - more so than ET.

    by schnoogans37

    Whether or not this film or ET is better is debatable. However, what Harry said is that this is the best film ABOUT childhood. No film deals with the emotions of childhood as good as this one. I saw the film last week and I would agree. Everything Harry said here is spot on. This is an "art film" though, making it very different from the commercial ET. It will appeal to a very different audience. People mentioning how Goonies and Labyrinth were also uncommercial films - I don't think you get it. Those were very commercial compared to this. I would go as far as saying if it wasn't called "Where the WIld THings Are" - this would only be played in select art house theaters.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:29 a.m. CST

    You knew your bones were strong cause you drank your milk??

    by Windowlicker74

    lol what the hell ?? that phrase caught me off guard

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Bold statement

    by slone13

    I've always considered E.T. to be the gold standard in the "childhood movie" realm.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Harry, quit being so melodramatic

    by rainbowtrout1265

    It's just an 80 million dollar art film. Yeah, it's tough being a kid. It's tough being a parent. So what? It might open to decent box-office, but I would guess it will tank dramatically when the movie isn't what people expected. And what's with men crying at movies? Are you nuts?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    And yes, Best film of the Year...

    by schnoogans37

    ...but it isn't what anyone will expect going in, so opinions are going to be across the board. I would say 90% of the movie going audience is going to have no idea how to deal with this film.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Best Film about Childhood debate --

    by filmsavior

    ET and The Goonies were kids films for kids. We still love and enjoy these films because it sparks those memories from our childhood. I've revisited them both and they still hold up wonderfully. WTWTA is a kids film aimed at kids AND adults at the same time. Major difference. Spike Jonze manages to balance this tight rope of thoughts and emotions brilliantly.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:34 a.m. CST

    If you don't cry at this movie...

    by schnoogans37

    ...you officially have no soul.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:37 a.m. CST

    ET vs Wild Things.

    by schnoogans37

    ET is a movie that was written by adults for kids about childhood. Wild Things is a movie that feels like it was written by a child for adults about childhood. I think thats the best way to describe the difference until you see it for yourself.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST

    O.K. I thought Harry was just going ape-shit

    by Spazatronik2000

    over a marginally good movie again. But seeing the other reviews for this thing maybe he's right. I'll have to check it out myself, sounds like something I'd like.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 11:14 a.m. CST

    schoogans37

    by jackalcack

    I love the way you make that sound like a threat, albeit a very gay one.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Mixed Review From McCarthy At Variety

    by David Aaronson

    Better Critic Than Harry director Spike Jonze's sharp instincts and vibrant visual style can't quite compensate for the lack of narrative eventfulness that increasingly bogs down this bright-minded picture.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Spike Jonze should make the Calvin and Hobbes movie

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    Darn Bill Watterson, Calvin must be free!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Wogga Wogga's comments

    by donduck

    when you read comments from people like Wogga Wogga, the more I think some troll are 'reaching' because I just read some really pathetic comments that are trying to stir the pot.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST

    why does this movie look boring?

    by Titus05

    am I the only one who thinks this movie looks boring as hell...yes I've never read any of the books but the trailers put me to sleep...also every time I hear James Gandolfini's voice all I can think about is Tony Soprano...he will be typecast for life...sorta like Screech and Urkel...back to the movie, I really don't get it

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Jake Lloyd captured the 9 year old experience perfectly

    by EjkoUSC

    Phantom Menace totally reminded me more of my childhood. The slavery, the destiny, the pod races. That was nine years old. When I was nine I wasn't fantasizing about Wild Things. I was fantasizing about chicks 5 years older than myself. My older sisters friends. Phantom Menace.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 12:21 p.m. CST

    The 9 year old experience

    by Anything But Tangerines

    No movie could capture what it's like to be 9 years old unless it involves Pogs.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 12:21 p.m. CST

    You most touching review. Short, sweet and brilliant.

    by Mennen

    I was on the fence but now I'll go see this because of your words.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 12:23 p.m. CST

    I'm going to see it friday

    by disfigurehead

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Fair enough, Knowles...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    besides, I'd rather see this then that ever-so-hyped 'Paranormal Activity.' I can't respect a movie that pulls such a stunt.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    I still want to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

    by Series7

    A better kids book. And more recent probably why it'll end up making more money in the end.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST

    best movie of the year?

    by Titus05

    better then District 9??...not a chance...'Couples Retreat' might even be better

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1 p.m. CST

    Translating Harry's Hyperbole -

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    The movie is terrible. It bored all the kids in the audience, and the parents had to keep them occupied. The kids talked all the way through and tried to run through the aisles and leave the theater. Kids had to have everything explained because nothing rang true tro the kids, whose internal bullshit detectors were going nff nonstop. The movie is for nostalgaic hipsters who remmeber the book and want a slice of their own "childhood" as half remembered. An unmitigated disaster. Avoid at all costs.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Great review Harry. So why was there....

    by hallmitchell

    All this buzz coming out that MAX wasn't up to scratch?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    You Know Why I Disliked This Book as a Kid?

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Max has a cool, awesome imaginary world filled with animal monsters and powerful beasts where he can do anything he wants ... and he chooses to go back to his parents at the end. It's a massive cop-out that weakens the main character from his original strength. I never understood how that was a victory for Max. And I hated the character for pussying out on his own rage and surrendering his strength at the end for the wan comforts of family. Fuck you, Max.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    That McCarthy comment...

    by schnoogans37

    ...is also right on the money. This movie moves pretty slow and not much happens in the way of "narrative events". But then again this movie is trying something totally different. Should it be negatively criticized for lacking narrative events when it didn't even really attempt them, and instead went for showcasing a series of childhood moments/emotions? A lot will depend on your perspective as this is a very different kind of movie. It is kind of like saying Schindler's List was good, but it wasn't very funny. Sure, but it didn't try to be. Did Wild Things succeed at what it did set out to do? I would absolutely say yes, but some have a very fixed view of what makes a good movie and will bring that into the film with them - unable to see this as an original work of art that is working outside of the normal rules.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:08 p.m. CST

    HallMitchell, I Can Answer That

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    The studio felt that Max wasn't up to scratch for the very reasons you can see in the commercials. He's a real, unaffected kid. He wasn't slapping his hands to his cheeks and acting savvy and smart-alecky and mean. He wasn't spitting out his lines with venom toward the adults, pointing to his own chest with his thumb and saying "AWWWW YEAHHHH!" That's all the producers/executives understand about childhood. So, they HATED Max's performance because it was reminiscent of a real kid. THAT'S TROUBLE! He also didn't do a scene where he's trying to figure out what his king uniform should be, going into a hollow tree wearing his animal suit and then trying on fifteen outfits while the Monsters all make negative faces with each one until he finally comes out wearing his original outfit and they all nod enthusiastically.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:08 p.m. CST

    As for Max...

    by schnoogans37

    I have no idea why he was being criticized. People may criticize the movie and say it is boring, slow, or lacking enough strong plotlines, but I really can't see anyone not being amazed by how good Max Records is at conveying emotion in this. This is just the most natural performance of a child playing a child I have ever seen.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:09 p.m. CST

    The best part of this book - THE WHITESPACE

    by Squashua

    As you read the book, watch the size of the whitespace surrounding the text and imagery.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Schoogums37

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Kids are still going to be staggeringly bored. I caution ANY parent - if your kid's old enough to see this, he's going to be bored. If he's too young, he's going to be bored. NOTHING - happens - in - this - movie. Read the novelization. You know that gut-churning feeling you get when a movie gets talky that's made for kids, and you start to hear kids asking questions in the theater? That's where you're headed. What Harry says is the very thing the studios wanted to avoid. Throw in a bunch of fart jokes and burp jokes and those kids would shut up and laugh, sadly. Our culture is a total lost cause.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Oh, and parents?

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Would you like your kids to really appreciate this movie? Do an embargo on video games, television and any form of beep-beep-beep entertainment for a week, so their brains can slooooow down.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Another child-centric film

    by skimn

    Empire Of The Sun. Rewatched over the weekend, and forgot what a strong performance young Mr. Bale gave.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:21 p.m. CST

    The movie will bomb at the box office

    by ShabbyBlue

    No matter how good it may be, it just doesn't have wide enough appeal and the general public has been rather dismissive of the lousy trailer and tv spots.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    ANOTHER child-centric film?...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    kind of like another remake, reboot, prequel, sequel, rem-imagining, re-shitting?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Yes, kids will be bored.

    by schnoogans37

    I agree with that. They've been conditioned to enjoy crap with obvious gags. When I was 5 I loved Return of the Jedi and thought Empire was slow and boring. Oh, how things have changed. I think this movie will connect strongly with a small audience of more thoughtful children, but most of them will definitely be bored.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Schoongans37 -

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    It's those thoughtful children - if any still exist and it's not an oxymoron (oxyPOKEmoron?) - that most deserve a movie like this. And those kids aren't 9, as Harry says here. They're more like 5-7. There WILL be children who will enjoy this, and that's a good thing - because once those kids go to school they're going to get the shit kicked out of them constantly and grow up to be social misfits who collect comic books and toys.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:42 p.m. CST

    One thing I plan to do...

    by schnoogans37

    since I see my movies for free I am going to make sure to drop by an opening weekend Saturday afternoon showing of the film, just to hear the moronic parents label the movie as 'stupid' when they yell at employees for refunds and to watch the unsuspecting kids scream in terror as things get a little 'scary' towards the end. The first time you see this, I would recommend a midnight showing when only the most irresponsible parents will have their children out. A matinee showing of this film is going to be like watching a movie through a trainwreck.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:47 p.m. CST

    E.T. IS ABOUT A MENTALLY RETARDED ALIEN

    by the Green Gargantua

    Who missed the shortbus spaceship (full of the other mentally disabled extra-terrestrials while picking flowers (an activity usually safe for retarded ETs). The human child is capable of bonding with the ET due to his being retarded, otherwise the alien would have probably found himself very very bored with the kids bullshit. I just re-watched ET and this whole shortbus from space thing finally hit me. It is pretty clear and solves the many flaws in the film's logic. How would hyper intelligent creatures capable of traveling through the infinity of space forget someone? Because they are retarded. How does an ancient super intelligent alien get lured about by candy and talked into living in a closet? Because that alien was mentally retarded folks. I am convinced the spacecraft it's self was the caretaker of the group, and they probably all lived in the ship as a sort of care giving home. Go ahead and watch it again knowing this, it's fucking hilarious!!!!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:49 p.m. CST

    *sigh*...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    I hate to say that you guys are right but you guys are right. There's no way in fucking hell I'm going to enjoy this flick with today's movie audience. The need for sarcastic remarks from the token hip hop morons will be endless.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:49 p.m. CST

    This is the Death Knell, Schoogans

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    You know how there are seminal events in the history of film? This will be remembered as the last kid's movie that didn't have burp and fart jokes in it. And it will be a sad, sad day - but one that has been a long time coming. We really are on the way to the IDIOCRACY, and it's the parents' fault. Next time you hear a mom or dad respond to a question about the world from their child with a long, drawn-out semi-quiet sort of "Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" that forever slaughters their son or daughter's inquisitive nature, say "Thanks a lot, bitch," and go on your way. That "Shhhhhhhhhhhh" is like daggers to me when I hear it.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Harry

    by Osiris3657

    How much of the film has been edited from its original version? As you know there was news that the studio thought the cut Spike presented to them was too dark. Is the version we get in theaters an edited one?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:52 p.m. CST

    The aliens from "Mac and Me" were retarded as well...

    by turketron_2

    The idiotic looks on their faces as if they're constantly saying "ooooooohhh" is the dead givaway. I can't watch the movie without howling with laughter whenever one of the dumb looking aliens is on the screen. Plus, it's just a piece of shit movie in general.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Cheyne LOL

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    You've got me thinking of the audience saying "Don't go to that island! There's MONSTERS ON THE ISLAND! THERE'S MO-... I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU THERE'S MONSTERS ON THE ISLAND!"

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Green Gargantua

    by poopsies

    did you just use a parenthesis within a parenthesis, that's cool

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Still looks like pigshit to me

    by BoRock_A_Boomer

    "neverending" pigshit

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:05 p.m. CST

    poopsies: That's not cool, it's RETARDED!

    by the Green Gargantua

    irony like that reminds me of the fine word: Stupider.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:08 p.m. CST

    How much did this cost to make?

    by Series7

    And why didn't he get the Beastie Boys to do the soundtrack like all his other films?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Series7

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    $80m is the rumor. Won't make half that at the box-office, sadly.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:18 p.m. CST

    ThusSpakeSpymunk

    by filmsavior

    80m is correct (rumored) It will definitely make most of that back if all. The curiousity going into opening weekend is going to help it reach somewhere in the 35-40m range in the first weekend. You heard it here first!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:22 p.m. CST

    My Prediction

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    is closer to SPEED RACER numbers. $17-23.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Wasn't Hurt Locker the BEST THIS YEAR?

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Or was that Watchmen? I get confused.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Studio did not butcher this film at all...

    by schnoogans37

    You are getting the real deal version of this movie. I read the original script, and while a lot of that was cut for time and pacing I'm sure, all of the scarier stuff is still there and the tone is exactly the same. In the end, the studio definitely let Spike release his version of this film. Dark stuff and all.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Locke

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Time passes, you know. And when it does, something that WAS the best may be replaced by something that IS the best. That's called NUMBERS. The More You Konw ... (star and music). Fuck you, Locke.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Most anticipated movie of the year.

    by WickedChicken37

    All the emotions discussed in this review I got from the previews. I can't imagine what I will feel watching the movie.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Ownership.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    ThusSpakeSpymunk

    by jimmy_009

    People thought Speed Racer looked like garbage when the trailer went out and hence didn't go to see it. On the flip side, the trailers to this movie have been getting near universal praise and buzz. Factor in positive reviews (versus Speed Racer's negative ones) and you have a much bigger hit than $17-23 million. Sorry your prediction is so weak.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Positive Buzz?

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Dude, the studio has had to do damage control to try to convince people to see it after the iniitial trailers ran and scared little kids half to death. That's why the new ads have Max reading the release date. So it's, you know, ok for the kids. Kids are terrified by these monsters. What drugs are you smoking?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    "My Life as a Dog"

    by MJDeViant

    When I first saw the trailer for this, which is a kids book I love, all I could think of was that movie. A serious kids movie. Sounds good to me. It's far more memorable to have actual lessons and relation to a movie then zany impressions or action. Also, I like Karen O, so hopefully the music is up to snuff, which it seemed like on the sample thing.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST

    I thought it was Star Trek?

    by lockesbrokenleg

    I've seen the previews for this. It looks weird. Plus. I was never really into the book.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Kids are terrified of these monsters?...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    Seriously? I went to see 'Spawn' when I was little (yes, I'm fairly young). I'd consider that to be some 'Exorcist' shit compared to this.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    9 year olds, Dude.

    by ebonic_plague

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Harry, I know you're happy and all

    by _Palmer_Eldritch

    and your review was pretty good ...but Vern wrote one of the best reviews ever. The best reviews EVER. *shrug*

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST

    How about the book?

    by Moonrocks

    Harry, since you mentioned the Dr. Seuss adaptations, the one thing that stands out to me is, if you loved the book dearly, should you see this movie? It never seems to work out: movie adaptations of great childhood books. Let's face it, all the Dr. Seuss' sucked because of the differences in the media. Movie need to give more that the books because the books aren't feature length. Dr. Seuss worked when Chuck Jones got a hold of them. Do you really feel the same about WTWTA?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Re: Positive Buzz?

    by filmsavior

    It's called an advertising campaign. You start with a teaser trailer, reveal stills and poster artwork, reveal another trailer, and then you unleash various TV spots. The studio was not doing damage control by having Max reading the release date. That was planned all along. Looks like you are the one smoking. Do you have kids? How do you know if they are "terrified by the monsters"?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST

    "Kids Are Terrified of These Monsters"

    by filmsavior

    Funniest post of the day. Ridiculous!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Yes...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    I'm positive that quote was a talkbacker blowing it out of his ass.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:32 p.m. CST

    This cost 80 MILLION?!

    by ShabbyBlue

    How is that possible? It's just a bunch of guys in big furry costumes (like a bunch of rejects from Disneyland) walking around in the woods. The movie looks seriously cheap based on the trailer and TV spots, and there's no way in hell it'll make its budget back, let alone make a profit. I'll be surprised if it gets up to $10 million in its opening weekend.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Shabby Blue and others...

    by filmsavior

    I wish I knew you guys. I'd make alot of money this weekend with bets. 10 million?! Puh-leeze!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Consider Who WON'T Be Going

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Will this be a date movie? No. Will older people go to see it (the audience that kept going back to see JULIE AND JULIA, for instance)? No. Will unmarried couples without kids? No. Will kids 12 and older? No. Will parents who aren't bringing a kid to the movies? No. Who WILL go to see it? Very small children who see "Funny monster fun pick somebody else's nose fun!" And when the movie is nothing but talk and 5 seconds of that sort of thing, those kids will be crawling the walls. Also going to see it: parents with very young kids who will scream in terror at the giant monsters. Fun!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:46 p.m. CST

    From the 'net ...

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    http://defamer.gawker.com/358585/where-the-wild-things-are-test-screenings-are-making-children-cry<p><p>espite his assurances and excuses, he has bigger fish to fry than bloggers and their readers; Slashfilm is also reporting that Things test screenings are scaring the kiddies! After hearing feedback from their target audience, the "extremely unhappy" execs at Warner Brothers are reportedly pushing the film's release date to 2009. What could be so scary that kids are crying and begging their parents to go home mid-film? Said one tester, "The things are not cute. Max comes off a bit weird and off-putting. He slaps his mom! And he seems confused and not charming at all." Stranger still, IMDB has an actor named Max Records listed for the role, which may explain all the tears. Apparently Records once "led a protest for vegetarian options at his school cafeteria" at 8 years old. Now that is scary.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST

    That article ...

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    ... was from February 2008, btw. And here we are now.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Re: Consider Who WON'T BE Going

    by filmsavior

    Couples WILL go. Adults without kids WILL go. Kids 12 and under WILL go. Anyone who used to be a kid (apparantly, not you) WILL go. Almost all of my friends and family have mentioned their excitement to see this. Most of them don't have kids. Not sure what people you are polling on this, but you are out of your mind. Like I said, this film is going to make $35m PLUS this weekend.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST

    From the 'net

    by filmsavior

    Gee, it must be true if you are citing "Defamer". C'mon, now. I'm sure you are smarter than that. Spike Jonze said (at the Q&A I attended) that those crying and running out of the theater rumors were untrue. Yes, Warner Bros was uncomfortable. No, kids weren't bawling crying. Being someone who actually has seen the film, kids are gonna LOVE the Wild Things. Maybe Perez Hilton has something you can quote next time.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    WHO GIVES A SHIT HOW MUCH MONEY IT MAKES????

    by theneonsamurai

    Seriously?? What am I missing?? How is weekend box office even remotely interesting, or relevant?? Does everyone own stock in these companies??

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Money...

    by filmsavior

    I don't care...didn't mean to come off that way. I'm just saying more people are interested than 7 year old kids or their parents.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    theneonsamurai

    by lockesbrokenleg

    The box office is an indication of how well financially a movie is doing. If it bombs, that means no sequels, and the movie might take years to get its money back.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Well...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    How do you feel when a movie you're interested in/enjoyed/loved does poorly at the B.O.? You feel kinda shitty is the correct answer.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Neon Samauri -

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    No, I don't have stock - or a stake - in these companies. What I think box-office is good for is to use as a barometer. Basically, what I've been trying to say in my remarks is that I believe all optimism, creativity, ingenuity, whimsy, love, passion, intellect, attention-span, original thought and self-awareness ... are all one-hundred percent dead in the American lexicon. I believe they aren't just dying. I think they're dead. Gone. Kaput. I don't believe that American audiences have the capacity to imagine anything. At all. Period. I don't think they have a single ounce of creative energy. I think they really are - in their minds - what you see in P. Diddy videos. That is the extent of creative awareness, even for children. I honestly think that if you ask a 6-9.y.o. to think of what would be exciting to do in the future, where you'd get 20 years ago the answer of a fireman or an astronaut ... now you will get CEO or record executive. Kids are talking on the news about being concerned about paying taxes under Obama. Think about what that means both in terms of what these kids accept into their heads and what's priority and what their parents are teaching them. I really believe the American culture is dead, a lost cause, not able to be resuscitated. I think kids have no attention-span to even spell out the word Constitution, much less understand it. I think that girl who talked about "The Iraq and such as" in her answer about why kids "don't have maps" isn't funny - she's an emblem of the United States, a symbol for what and where we are. I think when Jay Leno asks a girl if she's familiar with the Gettysburg Address and she says she doesn't have the actual address memorized, that's not a funny example - she's it. When he asks the girl how many stars there are on the flag, and she says she can't tell because they're moving too fast, that's THE REALITY, not the exception. And so when a movie clearly requiring intellect comes along, like WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, that is so obviously going to be just a little bit challenging, I predict total and complete disaster for it, and I'll be able to say "I fucking told you so, idiots" when the movie comes out and tanks, because kids and adults in the US have zero capacity for anything that's not about "guns, bitches and bling." When it tanks, it will be more proof against the opitimistic idiots who say there is hope for the culture of the USA, who say that people aren't as dumb as I say, who argue there's hope in a future generation. No, there isn't, and the poor box-office of this movie will prove it. Do you understand now?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Neon Samauri -

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    No, I don't have stock - or a stake - in these companies. What I think box-office is good for is to use as a barometer. Basically, what I've been trying to say in my remarks is that I believe all optimism, creativity, ingenuity, whimsy, love, passion, intellect, attention-span, original thought and self-awareness ... are all one-hundred percent dead in the American lexicon. I believe they aren't just dying. I think they're dead. Gone. Kaput. I don't believe that American audiences have the capacity to imagine anything. At all. Period. I don't think they have a single ounce of creative energy. I think they really are - in their minds - what you see in P. Diddy videos. That is the extent of creative awareness, even for children. I honestly think that if you ask a 6-9.y.o. to think of what would be exciting to do in the future, where you'd get 20 years ago the answer of a fireman or an astronaut ... now you will get CEO or record executive. Kids are talking on the news about being concerned about paying taxes under Obama. Think about what that means both in terms of what these kids accept into their heads and what's priority and what their parents are teaching them. I really believe the American culture is dead, a lost cause, not able to be resuscitated. I think kids have no attention-span to even spell out the word Constitution, much less understand it. I think that girl who talked about "The Iraq and such as" in her answer about why kids "don't have maps" isn't funny - she's an emblem of the United States, a symbol for what and where we are. I think when Jay Leno asks a girl if she's familiar with the Gettysburg Address and she says she doesn't have the actual address memorized, that's not a funny example - she's it. When he asks the girl how many stars there are on the flag, and she says she can't tell because they're moving too fast, that's THE REALITY, not the exception. And so when a movie clearly requiring intellect comes along, like WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, that is so obviously going to be just a little bit challenging, I predict total and complete disaster for it, and I'll be able to say "I fucking told you so, idiots" when the movie comes out and tanks, because kids and adults in the US have zero capacity for anything that's not about "guns, bitches and bling." When it tanks, it will be more proof against the opitimistic idiots who say there is hope for the culture of the USA, who say that people aren't as dumb as I say, who argue there's hope in a future generation. No, there isn't, and the poor box-office of this movie will prove it. Do you understand now?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:15 p.m. CST

    The poor box office of this movie...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    will proof it? Proof all of that, huh?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Yes

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Actually, no ...

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    It won't "proof" all of that. It will PROVE all of that. Thank you for helping to prove my points, though. Is there anything else you'd like to "proof" for me?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Lmfao.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Yes, I spelled a word wrong...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    I'm sure the nukes will start flying any minute now.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Shucks for you...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    an original rant immediately followed by pointing out a spelling error.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    an 8 year old kid wanting vegetarian options?!?!

    by rainbowtrout1265

    What a dork.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Rainbow, No Kidding

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    And then the kids wonder why they aren't learning geography. "We had to get rid of that class to make way for sex education and vegetarian options." See my point above.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Why don't you just tighten the noose...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    and jump off the ledge already? Trooper?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Huh?

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Wild Things Intellect for ThusSpakeSpymunk

    by filmsavior

    Your point is fair and I understand your POV. But I really do not think this film is challenging for kids in any way. Much like the more mature Pixar films (Up, Wall-E), it has layers for the audience. There is a kids layer where they can enjoy the Wild Thing characters, Max on the island, and some of the opening scenes of Max. They will see themselves in this. There is another layer for young adults (without kids) who can reminisce about the times when they felt the "innocence" of childhood. There are adult tones on this layer that don't interfere with the kids enjoyment of the film. The last layer is for the parents. The Mom struggles balancing moving her newly divorced life forward along with taking care of her sweet, yet very hyper/over active kid. This layer and relationship between Max and his Mom ties the film together in a delicate, subtle, emotional balance. So to sum it up: The Wild Things ARE NOT scary. The intellect of the film does not get in the way. This movie will make $35m+, and hopefully continue to justify creative thinking in Hollywood (Basterds' success was also important).

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:33 p.m. CST

    They will see themselves in this???

    by Series7

    Really? When was the last time you saw kids play outside?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Sounds like a CALVIN AND HOBBES movie

    by palimpsest

    Which is no bad thing.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Exactly, Series7

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Max is nothing like the kids of today. He plays outside. He talks to his parents and interacts with them. To represent a modern kid, Max would have to be sitting on the couch, never speak except to say "Nuh" or "Uh" or "Uhhhhhh." He would constantly be staring into a video game screen or television screen (not so much the television any more, but for a few minutes when he's bored with his game for a minute or two) and texting on a cell phone with coments like SHE IS BITCH SHE SHUD DIE WANT 2 THROW ROX AT HER 2NITE WE CAN PUT HER IN HOSPITAL OK?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Avatar will be the best of the year...

    by TurdontheRun

    nay, the best of the decade.<p>Where the Wild Blue Things Are.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:38 p.m. CST

    The Latter

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    ... cell phone comment was meant to be Max talking to other kids about his mom.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST

    It's pretty obvious neither of you have kids or are around kids

    by filmsavior

    Spymunk thinks kids talk like O-Dogg from Menace II Society. I actually was with my neices and nephews over the weekend. Not only did they play outside all day (Wii at night, to be fair), they all want to see WTWTA.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Avatar.....

    by Series7

    I think I realized that there was little outside geek excitment for this movie when my movie theater announced the big upcoming winter movies they are starting to sell tickets for. This is It.., T2: Die Harder and A Christmas Carole. Hopefully Avatar is just too far out for the theater to notice it.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:42 p.m. CST

    A film about an ignorant...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    little shit wouldn't rake in any money. Kids today also like to play... inside. As long as they have an active imagination I don't see the point of bitching about it. There's gotta be more ways than one that kids will see themselves in this flick.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:46 p.m. CST

    filmsavior

    by Series7

    I'm basing my knowledge of kids due to my failed ice cream truck business. Also I recently moved back to my child hood home. When I grew up there kids were always playing out side and running around doing things. The whole year I lived there the only kids I ever saw outside were the kids across the street whose mom made them play outside. And all they did was play loud ass dirty rap songs. And they were as white as the average Talkbacker. <P> It was so odd expecting to deal with kids, when the only time I ever had to deal with kids was when the tires on my car got slashed along with some 40 other people on my street one night, because a 12 year old had moved into town and it was part of his gang initiation. And I lived right behind a golf course so it wasn’t like it was in some white trash shanty town.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Kids Don't Have Any Imagination

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Instead of being given a stuffed animal they can create a personality for, they're given a Pokemon Trainer's manual with every word, behavior and tic of the characters mapped out for them. They don't play with toys: they collect merchandise. They don't imagine stories - they collect DVDs. They're instant consumers at age 3 on. And they have absolutely no imagination. Anyone with imagination is branded. "Hey, let's pretend-" "Dude, what are you, gay?"

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Alternatively

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    "Hey, let's pretend-" "What the fuck? KICK HIS ASS!"

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Well, when I was a youngin'...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    I didn't pick up a mop and pretend it was a sword. I had my G.I. Joe's and Ninja Turtles to battle. You're making it out like all the little squirts of America are prozac-ridden, thugs. It makes you sound old as fuck. It makes you sound twice as old when you mention Pokemon.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST

    All of this is sad

    by filmsavior

    And I agree about the collecting merchandise part. In the 80's, the cartoons were essentially long form commercials, but you still had to IMAGINE playing with the He-Man or Transformers or GI Joe. You had to create a storyline. Now, it's true, it does everything for you. And Series7, please remind me never to play golf in your neighborhood!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    80 million budget is likely because....

    by Bouncy X

    all of the creature heads are 100% CGI and based on the trailers, pretty convincing too.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Can't Wait

    by prufrock6731

    Just to see it imagined on the screen..Good review Harry

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Prozac-Ridden Thugs

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Dude, I could've said BAKUGAN but I figured POKEMON would get the point across. And kids today (!) are worse than thugs. They don't even have the cameraderie of gangs. They have XBOX live and Facebook and MySpace mobs, people they don't even know who will gang fight for them, beat up other kids so they can post the results. Things aren't as bad as you say - they're much, much worse. Kids don't even know their own names hafl the time, they're so busy huffing and the like, or they're toked out on the prescription drugs they've either been given or stolen out of their parents' cabinets. They don't know how to cross the street, can't name other countries, can't find their own country on a map, can't think, can't eat for themselves (Lunchables ? Really? ) or make a sandwich or even tie their own shoes (they need special straps for it now). They can't reason, can't make an argumentl, can't even articulate why soemthing feels good or bad. They've abandoned candy that tastes good in favor of foul-tasting candy that's "extreme" because ANY sensation - even displeasure - is better because it gets through the dullness of their unthinking brains.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Well, I guess this is where...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    you and I differ, friendo. 25 years and 25,000,000,000,000 brain cells. We ARE talking about 3-9 year olds, correct? And not 15-20 year olds?...

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Lunchables has been on the menu...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    since the dawn of time.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Correct

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    When I was one, I could read. I couldn't tie my own shoes, but I'm autistic. I could spell. I could identify what animals made what sounds. I knew of and could name several of the Presidents by sight. So when "the Iraq and such as" is how adults act, how can the kids be any better?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Where does it say...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    little kids today can't do any of that stuff? The kids ARE better. We may as well have Abigail Breslin as our first female President. At this point, we've all discovered how corrupt the system is. Who better to take example after than the kids? May as well be the message this movie has to offer. Little kids don't have Facebooks and Myspaces unless mommy or daddy make them up for them because it's a "cutesy little idea." Kind of like how people dress their dogs in human clothing.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:55 p.m. CST

    JJ Abrams not wanting a AICN suck-a-thon?

    by scriptgirl_nipples

    So Star Trek can go fucking rot?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Cheyne

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    You and I have different views. I think kids have myspace and facebook pages to support their homebuilt drug rings. And yes, I mean kids 5-9. That said, I'd vote for Abigail Breslin over Obama.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Fair enough.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:22 p.m. CST

    damn kids these days!

    by Nerd_Rage_Retard_Strength

    they all smoke crack and spend all day on those damn "computers"! in my day we used our imaginations! not these damn "video games"! <p> how old do you have to be for "kids" to become the enemy? is this "aint it old-man news"?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:29 p.m. CST

    ThusSpakeSpymunk...

    by Azlam Orlandu

    ...you're basing everything you know about modern children off of commercials you see. It sounds like you're the one who's jaded and has some issues.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Damn kids these days...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    with their Pac-Man video games and their hula hoops.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 6:43 p.m. CST

    eh kids is kids

    by Star Hump

    Technology or not. And the 9-year-olds of today will grow up and do the same things millions of American kids did before them: Snort coke, clog their arteries, cheat on their wives, beat their own children, start illegal wars, murder foreign women and children, watch football and Nascar and kick their fucking pets.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7 p.m. CST

    Series7...please tell me...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...you really are a failed ice-cream-truck man. <P>That is so fucking cool.<P>And so fucking sad!...but mostly cool.<P>Of course you must be writing a movie about it...I'd watch it. It needs some stop motion scenes where the people are made of melting ice cream to fantasy it up a bit though...<P>Think about it...everyone will wonder how the hell you managed stop motion with rapidly melting ice cream...

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Damn kids these days...

    by Nerd_Rage_Retard_Strength

    with there "cellar phones" and their damn "text-mail" messages!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Darkocity

    by toadkillerdog

    One helluva good movie you mentioned there- The 400 Blows. <p>

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7:32 p.m. CST

    better than District 9... by a mile??

    by ghostcuster

    Harry your hyperbole on that movie review was just as out of control as this one. Your reviews has no meaning if you claim that one is great, but then something else comes out, then that's lightyears better. Eventually something else will come out that's better than Where the Wild Thing Are. where does it stop?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Harry, why didn't you save THE BEST MOVIE EVER

    by lockesbrokenleg

    for Avatar?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7:51 p.m. CST

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    by Sal_Bando

    Never cared for the book, don't care about the movie, watching the hype here start on the level as Watchmen and District Nein. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 7:56 p.m. CST

    wtf...star wars cloaks?

    by Bouncy X

    i'm seeing an ad selling cloaks....fucking cloaks? i can understand the weaponry and models and stuff...but an actual cloak? wow...that's just sad.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 8:01 p.m. CST

    ANY ASS-TO-MOUTH?

    by TAINTLICK

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 8:07 p.m. CST

    They'd advertise any old shit.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 8:10 p.m. CST

    When Harry writes a heartfelt review that means -

    by Professor_Monster

    -- the movie sucks and that is something that seemed to be unavoidable with this pictire. Spike Jones immediatlly took the what was a great little wish fufilment book for bullies (the way the kid was drawn in the book he looks like a mean little shit - like the prototype of Nelson from the Simpsons) and Jones injected his bullshit "pro-nerd" alternative viewpoint = Even the crappy out of tune music being sung on the trailer is irritating as it winds up and end with chicken scratch font lettering - The big puppets look like garbage - not even as convincing as snuffalupagus. This movie was plagued with problems since the beginning - and Harry has always been saying it's great so there's no way he'll double back now. Plus - this thing is from LEGENDARY - who are not as shit as New Line, but they were the fuckholes responsible for Superman Returns.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 8:39 p.m. CST

    I think today's audiences are savvy enough

    by brattyben

    to enjoy a film like this. I think reviewers for this movie come off a bit snobbish. Like if you like Cat in the Hat then you're obviously a retard, which is almost borderline offensive. I think people can take the material as it's given to them. Why did Dark Knight make so much money? People were ready for it, they could understand it, because the craft of the film is what made it memorable. I think the same for Wild Things. I think peole will be more than willing to accept it for all the things Harry described. I'm looking forward to it. And I liked The Cat in the Hat.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Cat In the Hat Wasn't Just Stupid

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    It was ugly, nasty, mean-spirited. It was everything the original book isn't - crass, commercial, phony, plastic, fake, loud, boorish, snobbish despite its pedigree. It was overstated, overdone, overwrought, sleazy, cheesy, pokey, silly. It lacked any sense of quiet or pacing or reverence - all of which were present in the original text. In short, it takes a massive dump on its source material for a QUICK money grab. The movie is now mostly forgotten. WILD THINGS, on the other hand, is taking a different sort of dump. It's taking a dump on its audience - trying to sell parents a bill of goods (It's nostalgia!) while ignoring the wishes of the kids who like to laugh and scream and have a good time. The out-of-tune theme music, scratchy font, etc. all speak of Highly Deliberate Bullshit. And btw, Spike, if you'd like, you can quote my review like this: "Massive ... highly deliberate" - ThusSpakeSpymunk

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 9:32 p.m. CST

    The Cat in the Hat may have deviated

    by brattyben

    horribly from the source material,but, it's fun. As long as you don't take it so effin' seriously. These are movies people. They are entertainment. Geeez.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 9:41 p.m. CST

    ThusSpakeSpymunk

    by toshiro-solo

    I think you're selling "kids" (as if there's a uniform mindset amongst all children any more than there is amongst all adults) a bit short here. Every review I've read (Harry's, Vern's, Moriarty's, and a few more) mention that Jonze seems to have gotten the tone of the book translated properly to screen. That book is a classic, and most kids I've encountered have enjoyed that book tremendously. Sometimes been afraid of it, but enjoyed it. It's not a book that's really about laughing and screaming and having a good time; in fact it's something of the opposite of that. It's about screaming because you're NOT necessarily having a good time. If kids generally seem to like the book, and if the tone of the book has been brought to the screen in tact, then I see no reason why kids won't like the movie because they "like to laugh and scream and have a good time."

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 9:41 p.m. CST

    You're so CORNY Harry!

    by Orionsangels

    I love corn!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Music in trailer

    by XeRocks81

    Out of tune theme music??!! That's Arcade Fire you idiots. Educate yourselves a little. And it's not out of tune, tin eared troglodytes.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST

    ShabbyBlue, you don't have kids do you

    by MurderMostFowl

    Or Know and elementary school teachers, apparently. This movie, if it is good, will become required viewing for 3rd or 4th grade kids. Teachers go gaga over the book as it is. I can't tell you how many years I've seen that book get treated like it was the holy bible. ( It is good, don't get me wrong .. there's just other books out there too )<BR> It will easily make its money back

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Arcade Fire rocks...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    I bet Professor Monster doesn't have the sack to tell us what he listens to.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Well done, Harry

    by criticalbliss

    Great review.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Ever since the very early leaked clip...

    by jimbojones123

    I had a feeling that this would capture the greatness and depth of childhood. Max says something about a new video game or something and the monster gets seriously bitterly hurt. It was the most pure and innocent of all childhood interactions wrapped up in just over one minute. It was something to a depth beyond anything I had ever seen, heard, read, or known to be expressed. Spike had me sold at that minute. I can only hope the film lives up to that perfect clip.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Where exactly did you watch...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    this clip? Share it with the rest of the class.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 10:41 p.m. CST

    BEST FILM WE SAW THIS YEAR

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Yes, just like HURT LOCKER!! GI JOE!!! WATCHMEN!!! DISTRICT 9!!! Anything NOT starring Matt Damon!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 11:02 p.m. CST

    OFF TOPIC: when is Monki...

    by The_Crimson_King

    gonna post a story on the 2010 Nerdcore Calender with all the uncensored photos?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Arcade Fire is MAJORLY Tuneness

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    "ChiIIiiiIIiiiIIIiiiIiiiIIlllddreEEeeEEEeeeEEEEnnnNNNnn YoooOOOOOuUUUUuu ..." guy can't hold a note to save his life.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Since when do singers...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    need to be in tune to sound good?

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 11:22 p.m. CST

    Yes. Arcade Fire does rock.

    by FlickaPoo

    <P>...no cars go.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Thank you.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 11:30 p.m. CST

    Is there anything Harry saw as a child that DID NOT "speak to hi

    by NoCalMike

    I along with most of you read Where the Wild Things Are as a child. I enjoyed the heck out of it as a 9 year old, probably read it more than a few times, but then simply moved on like most other childhood memories. Why does every single book/cartoon/movie etc etc have to be so "special" It was just a kids book. JUST A KIDS BOOK.

  • Oct. 12, 2009, 11:42 p.m. CST

    NoCalMike...as a kid's book illustrator...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...I can tell you that WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is special. For one thing it was one of the first children's books to not be cutesy or have a tidy moral. It was "true" the way drams are true.<P>It might be just a kid's book, but it isn't just ANOTHER kid's book. I's one of the very best. Ever.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 12:04 a.m. CST

    Where the Sidewalk Ends The Movie

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Someone make that!!

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 12:08 a.m. CST

    WHENEVER HARRY GETS ON ONE OF THESE KICKS

    by TAINTLICK

    I JUST KNOW I'M GOING TO SEE THE FILM AND IT'S GOING TO BE COMPLETE ASS. <P> JUST LIKE JJ'S TREK.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 12:29 a.m. CST

    Thanks Harry, I think I might go see it now...

    by Hoojiberish

    I wanted to see it from the first trailer, but the little lady hasn't really been interested. I think she needs a bit of exactly what you described though, so I'm going to drag her to it. Thanks for the honest, heartfelt reviews.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 1:22 a.m. CST

    Harry kind of resembles one of the monsters

    by BoE

    aside from the rascal scooter and the big gulp, of course.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 1:30 a.m. CST

    Remember the last film that Harry cried during?

    by OptimusCrime

    It was Indiana Jones 4, if you don't. He said a bunch of nostalgic shit then, as well. Maybe this movie is awesome, but Harry has cried "wolf" so many times by now that I can't imagine anyone being swayed by his reviews (though this was an exceptional piece of writing, by his standards).

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 1:40 a.m. CST

    cheyne_stoking_DMS and Arcade Fire

    by Professor_Monster

    Their music - or the fact that it's being used to lay atmosphere in the trailer is shit to me. It sounds like something Sophie Coppala puts on as she lubs Jones's ass for a good ramming. It's way out of tune and purposely off to attract people like jones who define themselves by how little they say. I got the sack to say I mostly listen to Classic Rock and some 80's - Michael Jackson has been on lot in my house since we lost him - the last of the great pop singer songwriters. But please, lets not turn this into a MJ thread. We are here to lay bets on how big if a shit this movie is.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 1:48 a.m. CST

    Professor_Monster

    by BoE

    cheyne_stoking_DMS has it right, you are confused.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 1:57 a.m. CST

    Where The 9-Year-Olds Aren't

    by epevensie

    In Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are," Max - by appearance and conduct - would seem to be no older than five or six. As the film's star, Max Records, himself recalls, very young children are also the most appropriate audience for the book: "Records remembered the book from his own childhood, which was a little more recent than the rest of the filmmakers. “My introduction to the book was just my parents reading it aloud to me, probably at a very, very young age. Probably when I was one and a half years old or something. Then it remained my favorite book until I was probably four or five or something." Accordingly, all this breathless, overipe discussion of "childhood" misses the fact that the auteurs responsible for the film have show-horned their own narrative and thematic concerns into Sendak's essentially simple fever dream depiction of PRE-SCHOOL id and imagination. A five-year-old in a wolf suit chasing down his dog with a fork while dressed in animal costume is pretty normal, but a nine-year-old behaving similarly is either "developmentally disabled" or emotionally disturbed. Accordingly, it seems likely that the film has little to say about normal children. Bottom line: this should be Gertie's movie, not Elliot's.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Ah...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    A possible Michael Jackson bandwagoner. Don't take offense to that remark because you may or not be one of those that became obsessed after Mr. Boy died. You listen to classic rock? I fucking hate when people say that. Brit Invasion? Glamor Rock? Heavy Metal? Punk? C'mon, man. Spit it the fuck out.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 3:36 a.m. CST

    cheyne_stoking_DMS

    by Dingbatty

    chalk me up for Glam and Post Punk / New Wave [Old Wave?]

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 4:04 a.m. CST

    Star Trek Was This Years Best

    by Drsambeckett1984

    Nuff said.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Considering Harry's track record with reviews...

    by Playkins

    ..his embrace of a particular movie is enough to make me skeptical. Not that I won't see it, but damn... I'm worried I'm not going to like it now.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 5:15 a.m. CST

    Children of Men is the best kids film...

    by Paulseta

    Followed by It's Alive and The Omen III.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Needless to say...

    by BabyDangler2_0

    I cannot wait to see this film... Let the wild rumpus start!!

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 8:41 a.m. CST

    I'm just glad violence is back

    by Series7

    Between Crank 2, D9 and this violence in films is a good thing.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 8:54 a.m. CST

    ok harry now go watch clone wars again

    by son_of_ebert

    fly air kick-the-can where all your baggage is lost in transit.. capiche?

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Spoiler-stop reading- Carol's Goodbye

    by wilsonfisk89

    I wanted to love it, I really did. But it was SO RELENTLESSLY DEPRESSING. Im hip. Love Jonze's other work, and dont mind some emotional art. But man. The nail in the coffin for me was Carol's goodbye to Max. In what could have been a sweet summation of their time together, instead Carol, in one of his MANY hissy fits, chases Max's boat away. Sums up the film in a way. But the creatures looked, moved, acted Amazingly. Worth seeing for that, and Jonze's astute camera work. But it was very, very trying, and very dull.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Variety says his bed doesn't sprout flowers

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    I was really looking forward to that scene so I'm a little dissapointed it's not in the movie. Instead I guess he just runs into the woods and finds a sailboat? That seems kind of weird.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Fett: (possible spoilers)

    by wilsonfisk89

    I too would have liked the 'Wild Things' world to have been contained in his bedroom. Eggers and Jonze have talked often recently about their decision to have Max sail out to sea. But, it didnt really work for me. Especially because such a scene, the original from the book, would have looked great coming from Jonze.

  • Film geeks with indie sensibilities. This movie will fall flat for a majority of kids because it's too esoteric and they don't give a shit about Arcade Fire. But Harry eats that shit up, so it gets a perfect film review, Lame!

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 10:51 a.m. CST

    never heard of this before movie was made

    by StanOnTheRun

    Weird thing this. I'd never heard of this book (I'm in Ireland) - there was a weird Simpsons episode that referenced it that I didn't get at the time. I'll probably still check out the film though.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    PLEASE STOP "BEST FILM SEEN THIS YEAR" HYPERBOLE

    by BringingSexyBack

    I'm sure it's great, but don't give in to the moment of euphoria and discount all the other great films we've had this year, which has been bangin'.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Fright Night is the best film i've seen this year!

    by Nerd_Rage_Retard_Strength

    got it for $6 at safeway...

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Gandolfini really good, GREAT on Bway right now...

    by wilsonfisk89

    His work as Carol is real good, and he is AMAZING on stage in GOD OF CARNAGE right now. If you are near NY, See it!

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Harry

    by Judge Briggs

    Any word on a possible talk back upgrade?

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 12:22 p.m. CST

    I'll see this movie, but I'm wary of all the insane praise

    by JaMonEreMeNow

    it's getting. Of course, I've never had a traumatic childhood like Max as depicted in the movie, or Harry as depicted in his reviews. So I don't think this movie will resonate as much with me as him.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Can't decide

    by shodan6672

    Which I find more amusing, the jaded posters who obviously have no ability left to enjoy anything or those who are acting jaded to seem aloof.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Possibly your best review Harry

    by pumaman

    I read the books as a kid. This will probably make me cry (in a good way)

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Why the fuck are they releasing this in IMAX???

    by CmdX

    It is going to be insanely blurry, like every other 35mm->IMAX release is.<p>I mean, if it was 3D I would understand, but this just seems like a waste.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 6:25 p.m. CST

    ET?

    by midgarddragon

    "Lol come on dude even for you that's a little over the top. Did someone blow you to write this review or what." ET really isn't that special. "Why are they releasing this in IMAX blah blah blah." Because WTWTA in IMAX will be epic, maybe?

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    If you're wary of insane praise....

    by midgarddragon

    Just visit Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, where frankly some reviewers are posting negatives just to be different. One lady's review was actually removed because she blatantly trolled Rotten Tomatoes commentators in her summary. What is it about this film that's making people root for it to fail? Is it just because everyone's so excited about it? Do they just have some burning desire to be different even if they crap on a good film in the process? Either way I can't wait to see this. I hope it starts to get more of the respect it clearly deserves soon. It'd be vindication for all the "whine whine hipster this whine whine emo that" that anyone who was anticipating it has had to put up with in the past few months.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 6:29 p.m. CST

    lol

    by midgarddragon

    "I'm sure it's great, but don't give in to the moment of euphoria and discount all the other great films we've had this year, which has been bangin'." I've read so many "2009 worst year for movies evar!" rants this year that it's not even funny, so this is a nice counterpoint. But if this is legitimately the best film Harry's seen this year then who are you to question it?

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 6:30 p.m. CST

    So....

    by midgarddragon

    "so much as one giant advertisement for the film" So any positive review then is an advertisement? Should Harry not express his love just so your advert-virgin ears will not have to be anally raped again?

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 6:31 p.m. CST

    "and the general public has been rather dismissive of the lousy

    by midgarddragon

    Oh, my, god. How out of touch with reality are you? Everyone has been going on and on about how the trailer is one of the best they've ever seen for MONTHS now. Really, are you really that interested in dismissing this film that you will make up outright lies to diss it?

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 6:55 p.m. CST

    speaking of anal rape

    by JoseJones

    it is amazing how Harry remembers how innocent and wonderful it was to be nine but thinks it is cool and fine to be anally raped when 13... its just 4 years you giant douche. you don't give a rat's ass about kids. stop pretending you know what it is to be one.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 7:17 p.m. CST

    What the crap, Harry?!

    by sweeneydave

    I just cried reading your review, at work. At WORK!

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 8:18 p.m. CST

    WTWTA was actually filmed in 2005

    by Wayne6000

    To say the WTWTA film has been badly fucked over, is an understatement, as it was filmed 4 years ago in Australia. As AICN has previously reported, Warner Bros hated the result, finding it to be too dark and demanded extensive reshoots, then put it on the shelf for almost 2 years. Max Records was 8 when he filmed it and is now 12, so is probably now taller and bigger.

  • Oct. 13, 2009, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Flickapoo.....regarding it being the best

    by NoCalMike

    I believe you when you say you believe it to be the best childrens book. You sound like it is coming from the heart. Unfortunately, when Harry claims this type of thing it is hard to believe him because he says these types of things about just about anything and everything that aired on tv, in the cinema, or any published books from his childhood. There has GOT TO BE SOMETHING out there that Harry saw as a child, liked it and then just moved on and as an adult appreciates it for what it is, but doesn't feel the need to gush over it.

  • Oct. 14, 2009, 8:19 a.m. CST

    "The opening scene…single most FURIOUS and VIOLENT thing"

    by Ingeld

    Finally a movie to put Saving Private Ryan in its place.

  • Oct. 14, 2009, 8:18 p.m. CST

    Harry

    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    I just want to take a second out of my day to tell you what i thought of your review. <br> <br> I often take shots at you, Harry, for your poor writing style and your grammar. It's only fair then, that I take the time to tell you that your review of this film really affected me and touched a deep nerve. <br> <br> This review, while still holding to your grammatical unease, reminded me of Ebert in his prime. The review was so personal and so heartfelt that I felt the need to simply say thanks for it.

  • Oct. 14, 2009, 9 p.m. CST

    Ebert IS in his prime, right now

    by wilsonfisk89

    Dude's blogs are wonderful to read.

  • Oct. 15, 2009, 12:08 a.m. CST

    I'm impressed

    by carraway

    I recently did a paper on Sendak so, I know this work did not come from the "wouldn't this be neat" place but rather from his young years as an invalid where the imagination was the only place he was allowed to go. It was a place that had no choice but to be expressed artfully. Iam now heartened to see tht not only the author but you endorse Jonz work. That being said, when I do go see it I'll probably see alone as I have no kids and will probaly ball my eyes out.

  • Oct. 15, 2009, 11:40 a.m. CST

    if only your opinion had any credence.

    by FleshMachine

    unfortunately we can't trust anything you say anymore. sad but true. you've gushed over too many shitty films and shat all over too many good ones.

  • Oct. 15, 2009, 4:35 p.m. CST

    wilsonfisk89

    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    I respectfully disagree. Yes, his blogs are fantastic and his books are as well. However, his taste is so off the mark and off the wall anymore, I really find it hard to take him seriously. He's detached since he's come back from the fight of his life and doesn't engage the way he used to. Add to that the fact that he has given huge glowing reviews to some of the worst movies of the last three years (Indy 4?, The Happening?) while appearing simply burned out on everything else. i miss the old Ebert, he used top be a major, major barometer for me. His and my taste used to mesh about 70% of the time and now I don't feel him at all.

  • Oct. 15, 2009, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Harry...

    by TheOriginalBubblehead

    I posted something about this under Massawyrm's review, but I just wanted to take the time to say: Thank you. This was, by far, the most personal and touching review of a film you've written in YEARS. I don't think I've read anything this powerful from you since your analysis of 'Return of the King'. Good one.

  • Oct. 16, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Hey Harry...

    by KubrickFan69

    Your review was exactly how I felt exiting the theatre. It's just an all around gorgeous and heartfelt picture with brief flashes every so often of pure filmmaking genius. If Jonze stopped making movies right now he'd still be remembered and solidified as a director who helped shift cinema in an exciting and much needed direction. This is one of the greatest adaptations ever made and will be at the top of my list of favorite films of 09.

  • Oct. 16, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Harry, we dont need to remember what it was like to be 9

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

    BECAUSE YOU FUCKING TELL US IN EVERY SINGLE REVIEW YOU WRITE.

  • Oct. 16, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST

    I like how Harry had to come up with something for the ads

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

    So he realized he didnt have anythign quotable in the review..so he ends it with "SEE THIS MOVIE"..yeah that will get me in the ads on tv.

  • Oct. 16, 2009, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Maybe I never was a kid

    by CherryValance

    I never read this book. And I was never like that kid. So this movie really didn't do anything for me. I mean the craftsmanship is fantastic. But I didn't see a lot else. It's a case where I think the filmmakers did everything right but I don't like the film. It's the story that's the problem. I figured it was because I'm old but there were little kids in there who didn't seem to be paying attention at all. At one point a little girl said loudly to her mom "I. Want. To. Go." I'm assuming it's for adults who loved the book as children who always wanted to see it brought to the big screen. Even though I didn't read the book I had expected to like it since I love movies like 'The Neverending Story' and 'The Dark Crystal'.

  • Oct. 16, 2009, 9:17 p.m. CST

    I don't remember my childhood being that emo.

    by Mostholy

    Arg, man, I had high hopes for this. And I'm not disputing the craftsmanship. But this film didn't much speak to me -- My childhood wasn't all that melancholy, I guess. I don't remember a Cure song about to break out at any moment, like it is in this movie.<br /><br /> And, the more I think about it, I guess I sorta come down on the Phillip Pullman side of things. Growing up isn't sad and melancholy and awful. It opens the world to all kinds of wonders and possibilities. So the Wizard of Oz/Grey Havens/"now I understand the finite" ending just didn't work for me. My go-to Jonze movie remains MALKOVICH.<br /><br /> Fwiw, it's 34 these days, and I howl with my dog on a very regular occasion. So, eh...maybe I'll like it better when I "grow up."

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST

    a country of crying men

    by blackhole4140

    saw it last night. two seats over from me, a grown man cried, and was comforted by his utterly disgusted girlfriend. we've lost nearly an entire generation of men because they're locked in a childhood like state. A nation of man children. this realization made me feel guilty for seeing a kid's movie without a kid in tow.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Didn't get all that Harry...

    by richievanderlow

    Saw it last night. I really liked it.. don't get me wrong, but I do ont see so much of what you wrote. It seemed as if they kept trying to get to some unique place, and when almost there they shift gears. Not saying I was dissapointed.. but its far from a masterpiece, far from capturing so many of those emotions you mention.

  • Oct. 17, 2009, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Do talkbackers not post reviews here?

    by Dark Knight Lite

    Or are you all on the fence about this one as I am? C'mon, if you've ACTUALLY seen this film, please discuss.

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Very unique for a studio film but not an "instant classic"

    by MrNightingale

    Don't get me wrong. I loved this movie. Loved it for the production design, the music, the costumes and yes, it's heart. It's uniquely structured and some of the dialogue sparks as if it was written by a 9 year old (then again, Spike Jonze does seem like an overgrown kid). It's very quirky which is great, but I couldn't help thinking as I watched it in that theater that this won't have a lot of rewatch value. Maybe some of the montages in the middle but there's no way I'll be seeing this thing from start to finish again, not for a while at least. At an hour and a half, the film surprisingly lags just a little but I'm okay with that, because the structure is so unique that I'll deal with it. <P>However, it's the tone of the film that makes me say not an "instant classic" because there's no way this gets accepted into mainstream culture a-la-ET. Of course, they're two very different films but WTWTA is not nearly as complex as Harry makes it out to be. Max is upset at his family and this is his escape, but his escape world mirrors his own emotions of loneliness. There's a little comedy thrown in and some joyous montages, but that's it. An intrepid piece of filmmaking that breaks down a lot of studio conceits but there's still something missing. Maybe that's the point, that life isn't flawless but I can't just help feeling it's the dragged out climax. I feel like this film will ultimately become a little bigger than a cult classic. It should get nominated for Best Picture, but just because they're doing ten this year and its a pretty standout production and it'll win a few other awards (music and production design for sure) but this will still go the way of Terry Gilliam's films. Fun to remember. But maybe that's a good thing for this one.

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 5:30 p.m. CST

    classic...NOT!!!!

    by THE TRUE PINBACK

    Just saw the film, and, while interesting in a waste-of-time way, it is in no way one of the year's best films. The monsters were executed brilliantly, and that is about as far as it goes. The fact that they managed to make THIS film from THAT book is quite an achievement, but that doen not make it one of the year's best films. Save your money and wait for the DVD release.

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Harry is spot on

    by darthbauer

    Harry's review is spot on. I just saw it today with my 8 year old. I had a constant tear coming out of my right eye all the way down my cheek the whole second half of this movie. From everything from the script to the music to the timeless feel of the cinematography to the boys acting...absolutely superb. This is an instant classic. I loved it 10,000 times over. I'm 37, same age as Harry, and have 3 boys-8, 5 and 4. The thing I wasn't expecting at all was 'what' Max learned in the land of the Wild Things. How each monster is a representation of an emotion Max was having and how he saw it as king, and now through the eyes of an adult. When he leaves the island unresolved with Carol and the final shot with his mom...blubbering I tell you. Amazing movie, go see it. This is honestly worthy of Best Picture of the Year, Best Director, Best Score, Best Actor, Best Support Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Special Effects, Best Costumes, etc etc. I have not been moved like this at a movie since Return of the King. Harry is spot on. At least for us 37 year olds. Amazing flick. It will surprise you if you let it.

  • Oct. 18, 2009, 9:50 p.m. CST

    darthbauer...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...I have to agree with all of that. We have a two year old wild thing and don't see many movies in the theater at the moment...but Mrs. FlickaPoo and I wanted to see this badly enough that we took turns (If I ever have another screen name it will be ALONE AT NOON). Stunningly good movie.<P>I saw the Wild Things not only as different sides of Max, but also sort of grown up versions of what happens if you don't learn the lesson of WTWTA...if you stay self centered and angry...if you only pay attention to your own feelings and never learn to empathize and see the world from someone else's point of view. The Wild Things all reminded me of people I know or have known...people who are charming but selfish, or always feel sorry for themselves...constantly wrapped up in their own feelings.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 1:18 a.m. CST

    this has to be stated.

    by maitlanr

    the kind of children who like this movie have a higher chance of being molested than children who enjoy transformers one AND two.<p> parents, be aware of this. some scientists did a study, some place, some time<p> it's something about being alone and brooding and liking adventure and monsters<p>it all adds up to a windowless van, if you ask me.<p>god speed gentle peoples.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 2:47 a.m. CST

    maitlanr

    by MrNightingale

    horrible and hilarious, that's what you are.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Does Your Age Have Something To Do with It?

    by THE TRUE PINBACK

    I am 47 and didn't like this film much at all, except for the way they realized the monsters. I took my six-year-old, and while she said she liked it, she also said that she doesn't want to see it again. This one looks to be a fifty-fifty kind of movie-half REALLY liked it, the rest didn't. It certainly didn't cause me to have childhood flashbacks. I'm just glad it was relatively short. The best thing about the movie-besides the monsters-was the ice cold Diet Coke I drank while watching it. I see this film as little more than a glorified art house piece. You want a movie that will bring back the child in you, then I suggest you watch E.T. again. A TRUE masterpiece, not a pretender.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Harry Knowles' Opinion

    by THE TRUE PINBACK

    I enjoy reading the AICN reviews of films, but I am finding, more and more, that my opinion does not often agree with theirs. I read the reviews more now for spoilers/plot info than critical opinion. I was so sick of seeing the previews for WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE that I told everyone that I wasn't going to see it at all. But when I read Knowles' review, and some of the other ones, I decided to giver the film a chance. I wasted my afternoon, and four bucks, to see it, and came away unimpressed. INSTANTLY FORGETTABLE is how I would sum this film up, not a classic, and not one of the year's best films. Christ, I found G.I. JOE more entertaining than this. The movie was dull, depressing, and colorless. The score was annoying to the point of distraction. As I said in an earlier post, the ONLY redeeming thing I found in this film was the way they brought the monsters to life. Damn good effects work, both physical and digital. But that in no way made this film worth going out of my way to see. When I see a movie that I don't like, I always tell myself this-seeing a crappy movie will just make me appreciate the good ones even more. Bring on 2012, AVATAR and SHERLOCK HOLMES. I am reasonably sure that they will help me forget this one rather quickly. Oh, and by the way, sob stories about your sad childhood are irritating. Knock off with the negative waves man!

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST

    To ThusSpakeSpyMonk

    by filmsavior

    Your quote from 10/12: "Will this be a date movie? No. Will older people go to see it (the audience that kept going back to see JULIE AND JULIA, for instance)? No. Will unmarried couples without kids? No. Will kids 12 and older? No. Will parents who aren't bringing a kid to the movies? No. Who WILL go to see it? Very small children who see "Funny monster fun pick somebody else's nose fun!" And when the movie is nothing but talk and 5 seconds of that sort of thing, those kids will be crawling the walls. Also going to see it: parents with very young kids who will scream in terror at the giant monsters. Fun!" You wasted our time last week with ridiculous posts like that. As I pointed out many times, you were DEAD WRONG. According to distributor Warner Bros., the audience composition was 43 percent 18 years and older, 14 percent 12-17 years old, 27 percent parents who had kids under 12, and 16 percent kids under 12, and it was 55 percent female. While true this film is divisive, it has an audience and word of mouth will help it hold steady. It WILL NOT drop off next week. I don't care about box office numbers as I have no stake, but solid financials help studios take "risks" with creative filmmakers.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    I liked it, and so did my 6-year-old Wild Thing.

    by GeekyMom

    Saw this yesterday with my 6-year-old son, who is often The King Of All Wild Things. Where the Wild Things Are is actually a pretty intense, dangerous movie. You will either love it or hate it. It really hit me personally and emotionally, and I am still trying to figure out why. It's a movie that stays with you. I have read some reviews of some who call it boring, and I guess I can see why they think so, because it does not have a lot of plot, but in my opinion you have to look at a lot of it symbolically. Bottom line: the movie can be quite raw and a bit scary at times in its depiction of kids' out-of-control emotions that can turn ugly. It is "real" in what I thought was a good way, but it's not overall a fluffy "feel good" movie (even though I think it has some feel-good moments). It's a powerful, well-made movie that may provoke thoughtful meaningful discussions with older kids about how to deal with emotions that get out of control. The ending moral is simply that, as much as you would like to "make everybody OK," that is not always possible. As a parent, it made me think about how you have to look for the fear and vulnerability that lies behind kids' "wildness." It is in many ways a movie ABOUT childhood, aimed at adults looking back, and, in that sense, may be too intense for some little kids. My precocious 6-year-old sat through the whole movie and it kept his interest. He pronounced it "awesome" but he is a weird bird, and it also provoked some thoughtful discussion afterwards about how Mom and Dad will still always love him even when he "does bad things."

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    THE TRUE PINBACK...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...you have no soul.<P>It frightens me that you exist.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    ...and it angers me that you are reproducing.

    by FlickaPoo

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Flicka Poo

    by THE TRUE PINBACK

    Hey Horseshit! What's the matter? You can't taker the fact that someone disagrees with you, or are you upset that you have just been called out on the fact that you are a pale, flabby basement-dweller with no life and no prosp.ects for having one. If you don't have the ability to have an argument without getting insulting, then it is YOU who should be banned from reproducing. You've probably never had your hands on someone of the opposite sex anyway...unless you count the times you ass-raped your retarded sister.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    PINBACK...you've been saving that haven't you?...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...checking and re-checking...hoping someone disagrees with you...so you can unload your little prepared broadside. A little heavy on the cliche AICN masturbating basement dweller insult thing don't you think?<P>You can do better.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Totally one of the best films of the year.

    by midgarddragon

    And anyone who thinks they're "too cool" to like it or who is simply too dumb to see metaphor rather than what's right in front of them, can go straight to hell.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 6:01 p.m. CST

    SUCKED!

    by Saltoner

    Blah, blah, blah. This film is unimaginative and boring. "Where The Wild Things Are" should be more like "Where The Lonely Depressed Suicidal Not So Wild Things Are". Max in this film was more like 11 or 12, not 9; too old to act the way he was acting. Give him some Ritalin, spank is ass and send him to bed! Thanks Spike for ruining a great childhood book, sorry your upbringing was so miserable.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Took my class to see it

    by Dark Knight Lite

    University-level illustration class - after a brief discussion of the book and it's longevity (46 years,) we went into the theater. I can see why WB was reluctant to release this initially. From "beloved children's book" to "emo angst-fest" makes for a challenging film experience, to say the least. After chewing this over for a while, I give the film a "thumbs up" with a few reservations.: Will I buy it when it comes out on dvd (a sure sign of my admiration?) Probably not. Will I show it to future illustration classes? Probably not. Will we discuss the film in future classes? Absolutely. While watching it, I felt strangely distant from what was going on in the film. That's interesting, since I grew up, like Max, an outsider. Perhaps the key here is that I never attempted to bite my mom, nor did I ever run away from home. My fantasy life was full of heroic deeds, where I defeated the villains, brought justice to a lawless society, and occasionally got to kiss the girl. Not once when I was in such a reviere, did I become therapist to a bunch of 12 ft. tall crybabies. The film is a technical marvel. Perhaps they should have left it as a trailer.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Where the Wild Things BORE!

    by Exasperilious

    This had to be one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. It was boring, the plot was pretty much non-existent, all the monsters did was bicker and annoy me. Yes I see the symbolism of the two monsters arguing like Max's parents and whatever. Harry, you must be out of your damn mind to call this the best movie of the year! I don't like walking out on movies but I came pretty close.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Here's the problem with the critics (Harry included)

    by Dark Knight Lite

    This movie has been largely embraced by the intelligentsia, while regular people recognize this film as a children's book adaptation that has turned it's back on children. I'm not saying that the film should have been super colorful and filled with Disney-esque songs, but the whining and bickering of the so-called "Wild Things" was a bit much to take. Especially since they were "wild" onscreen for about 8 minutes and spent 50 minutes being whiny. I didn't find this film to be boring as much as I found it to be a gross misrepresentation of the book's actual thematic content. Look for t-shirts at Hot Topic to be all the rage.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 10:58 p.m. CST

    THE TRUE PINBACK's review

    by Exasperilious

    was spot on by the way. Instantly forgettable is right. Everyone I went with hated it, and we're people that had HUGE imaginations growing up especially myself. Chasing the dog with a fork and standing on the table demanding dinner isn't normal for a 9 year old! The kid was not charming at all.

  • Oct. 19, 2009, 11:01 p.m. CST

    Well put Dark Knight Lite

    by Exasperilious

    No wonder the monsters are stuck on an island. No one wants them around! And since when did an imaginary monster talk like a fucking goomba mobster?

  • Oct. 20, 2009, 5:15 a.m. CST

    My only complaint is my usual complaint

    by HongKongCavalier

    While I can appreciate this adaption hitting a chord with people, the fact that it's from a childrens' book that, itself, meant different things to different people inevitably means that there are going to be people who think Spike's version is crap. Are the requirements to appreciating his interpretation an abusive mother; parents at each other's throats; and/or a mother who clearly never established boundaries while her child was still in his formative years? ... or is that just the way Spike (and those who DID have that life) envision WTWTA? To the latter I say: "to each his own". Personally, the book could've withstood the test of time and continued to hold a special place in every reader's heart ... but now it's burdened with one man's interpretation that will forever be associated with it. Ironically, Harry laudes "imagination" without once acknowledging that this film has damaged future reader's imaginations when they read the book. In fact, once the Blu-Ray hits, there'll be little reason for them to even bother reading the book. Simply put: one man's imagination based on the book will now replace the millions of imaginations that spawned millions of different interpretations over 4 decades. *sigh* Looks like Tim Burton has passed the torch ...

  • Oct. 20, 2009, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Dark Knight Lite...

    by FlickaPoo

    ..."intelligentsia"? Who are you, Sarah Palin?

  • Oct. 22, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    City Slickers!

    by evil dead 3d

  • Oct. 22, 2009, 4:07 p.m. CST

    how come (i say again)

    by evil dead 3d

    how come spike jonez has no CITY SLICKERZ?

  • Oct. 25, 2009, 5:13 p.m. CST

    I tired to like it....but it was AWFUL

    by wallygogo

    This movie was terrible. I saw it last week with some friends and we all hated it. But then I noticed how the critics, including Harry, seemed to gush over it. So, this weekend, I decided to take my 8year old nephew and give the film a second chance. Ya know what? It sucked just as bad the second time. My nephew, who never falls asleep during movies, nearly nodded off three times and he kept asking me if the movie was almost over, a sure sign that he was bored out of his mind. Terrible movie. Huge disappointment.

  • Oct. 29, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    Could not agree more.

    by Vocalities

    I've seen this movie twice (both times during opening weekend), and since then I've heard nothing but people giving it a hard time. I'm tired of it. It's so good.

  • Nov. 2, 2009, 11:46 p.m. CST

    EH...

    by MainMan2001

    I love Spike Jonze. Love everything his done. Music videos, commericals, short films, feature films but this movie was eh. The first 20 or 30 mins are completely and utterly amazing. I loved it but after Max goes to the Island and after the initial monster meetings it's a totally boring films. It's completely redundant. It's a one note film. The emotionally barometer of the film stays in the same place and doesn't go anywhere. It would have been a brilliant short film but a feature film is totally uncalled for unless sometime else was done to justify it being an 1hr and 40mins.

  • Nov. 4, 2009, 7:27 a.m. CST

    One Reason for the Disagreement

    by emvan

    I don't think there's any question that most of the film's second act, Max's fantasy of being King of the WTs, is very low on dramatic tension. It's the very point in a conventionally-structured film where you would ratchet things up to grab the fence-sitters, but what happens here is that folks who weren't smitten by the first act (and even some who were, as witnessed by the immediately preceding comment) decide they're bored out of their skulls. I myself initially took some points off for this, coming out of the theater thinking it had just missed earning a 9 out of 10 and debating whether it deserved *** or *** 1/2 (out of ****).<br><br>But the more I think about what I loved about the movie, the better the whole experience has gotten. I strongly suspect that on a re-view the "dramatically slack" middle will play much better, in large part because you'll already know where it's going (an absolutely emotionally devastating third act). And because I think Spike Jonze and David Eggers did exactly what they wanted to do. Very brave of them to create a structure that is designed more for repeated viewings than for a first -- but that's tremendously appropriate for a book that is read and re-read.<br><br> As to why folks might not like the opening, that's easy. I'm not sure I'd want to hang with anyone who had no empathy for Max. The folks who hated this movie, I'm pretty sure, are the folks that destroyed _other kid's_ snow forts.

  • Nov. 8, 2009, 3:04 a.m. CST

    No Sir, I Didn't Like It!

    by SMARTASS8

    I didn't understand all the love that this movie got for just the trailers. Its faux child's writing as a font for the credits, its indie soundtrack that sounds like it came off Wes Anderson's iPod, and its "precious" melodrama made my eyes roll instead of tearing up. I went in with low expectations, but still hoped I was wrong since I loved the book when I was a little kid. I started off thinking it was better than I anticipated since Max came off pretty natural for a child actor and I love Catherine Keener. Once Max got to the island, the movie came off just as poorly as I originally thought it'd be. Even though the Wild Things looked great, I hated that their colors were so muted when compared to the brilliant artwork of Sendak's book. I also hate that they took the book's plush jungle setting and placed it in a burnt out, ugly forest. I also felt Jonz seemed to feel he was way more clever than he actually was(the whole fantasy characters representing those in a one's reality was done in the 1939 Wizard Of Oz a whole lot better with even more subtlety). I also don't understand why people talk about how sad this movie is. If you'd read the book, you knew going into the movie that everything that happned outside Max's house is a part of his imagination. Feeling sad over anything that transpired with the Wild Things would be like crying when your imaginary friend "died". I don't get it. To say this is the best movie this year much less better than ET is insanity.

  • Nov. 29, 2009, 10:32 a.m. CST

    This movie sucked

    by -mrbean-

    It looked great, I will give it that, but to call it a mile better then anything released this year is absurd.

  • Jan. 10, 2010, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Saw this at the two dollar theatre with wife and kids...

    by oldenslow

    ...I cried after seeing it also, thinking about the two hours and 8 dollars that I would never get back.

  • Jan. 11, 2010, 4:03 p.m. CST

    :(

    by Avon

    I didn't like this much at all. I really wanted to. Oh well.

  • March 6, 2010, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Finally!!!

    by KOTORFAN16

    I didn't get the chance to see it in the theatres but I'm going to pick up my copy today after work. Very excited

  • March 6, 2010, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Don't be

    by orcus