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Where the Wild Things Are

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Because really, nothing happens. The film is a two hour metaphor for a 9 year old boy working out his shit.

If you go into it with that mentality, you’ll come out feeling like you’ve been taken on a profound tour of childhood that will take you back in (potentially) bad ways. But you won’t have fun. You won’t walk out humming a great tune and feeling like your life has been reaffirmed. You’re gonna walk out thinking about your own dejected, maladjusted childhood. Or that weird kid in your class who Max reminds you of. Or a brother or sister who acted the same way.

Lyrical in its poetry and beautiful in its melancholy

This could be a review of Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. As this will be my daughter's first real cinema experience of all time, I hope all the above is true.

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I mentioned this to a colleague of mine last night, and he said I was talking like a "new father". (My colleague has grandkids, FWIW.)

Are there many parts in the film that would be too scary for a toddler?

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Are there many parts in the film that would be too scary for a toddler?

Depends on the toddler. Many wouldn't have a problem. Some might.

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I heard a few very young kids laughing quite heartily at certain points, at last night's screening, for whatever that's worth.

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Thanks as always. I look forward to seeing the movie myself. What do you think about kids? Have your kids seen it yet? If not, do you intend to take them to it?

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In other words, Jonze is a freaking magician?

Dale

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Chris Willman sees my link to SDG's on Facebook and responds:

That's two full letter grades too high. Have I gone on enough on FB about how much I hate this movie?

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Chris Willman sees my link to SDG's on Facebook and responds:

That's two full letter grades too high. Have I gone on enough on FB about how much I hate this movie?

Sorry, who is Chris Willman?

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Inspired by the Where the Wild Things Are movie, Andrew O'Hehir compiles quite a list of "kids' movies that aren't kids' movies." Some good choices there.

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Great review! I am really looking forward to seeing this film. My two oldest sons (6 and 4) are both excited about it - do you think children of that age can handle it?

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The film is clearly going to be controversial. It's apparently neither a critic's darling, nor a surefire success with the general public. But I suspect that even if I hate it, it will have been a very unique experience. That kind of film is hard to come by these days.

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Inspired by the Where the Wild Things Are movie, Andrew O'Hehir compiles quite a list of "kids' movies that aren't kids' movies." Some good choices there.

We did the same thing at A&F at some point in our history. Needless to say, he forgot the Babe franchise, The Black Stallion, and Something Wicked This Way Comes, and basically every Tati film.

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I'd also make a case for FANTASIA. Even though I adored it as a child, and still find it magnificent today, it seems most of the folks I know didn't share that experience and were bored to tears, only growing to appreciate it when they were older.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Thanks as always. I look forward to seeing the movie myself. What do you think about kids? Have your kids seen it yet? If not, do you intend to take them to it?

Great review! I am really looking forward to seeing this film. My two oldest sons (6 and 4) are both excited about it - do you think children of that age can handle it?

Really tough to say. Like the book, whether or not the movie will speak to a particular kid is a wide open question, but even more so, since the movie is even more idiosyncratic and certainly more interior than the book.

In other words, Jonze is a freaking magician?

Almost. The question was somewhat mooted when Max's bedroom didn't morph into the forest. That was the exact point at which Jonze committed himself to doing something fundamentally different from the book, and so while there is still a level of magic to what he is doing, it's not the magic alluded to in the comment above.

That's two full letter grades too high. Have I gone on enough on FB about how much I hate this movie?

I have no material problem with Willman's assessment (whoever Willman is). It is a divisive movie, and a wide range of reactions are defensible. (I do object to the way in which the assessment is phrased, which [a.] focuses on the letter grade rather than the actual criticism, and [b.] implies that Willman denies the range of defensible reactions that I allow and feels that the true range of defensible reactions is much narrower and clustered around his assessment. But that could be just a rhetorical flourish.)

Edited by SDG

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We did the same thing at A&F at some point in our history. Needless to say, he forgot the Babe franchise, The Black Stallion, and Something Wicked This Way Comes, and basically every Tati film.

There is no "Babe franchise." Babe is a great family film, one of the greatest. Pig in the City is ... something wholly other.

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My appreciation for the latter film is rooted in the fact that it was directed by George Miller, who directed the Mad Max series. I revel in the juxtaposition. /end threadjack

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I'd also make a case for FANTASIA. Even though I adored it as a child, and still find it magnificent today, it seems most of the folks I know didn't share that experience and were bored to tears, only growing to appreciate it when they were older.

At the risk of staying in your face all week, I would make the opposing case. :)

Fantasia is not only a great family film, it is one of the best films for very young kids (three, four, five), a few scary bits excepted.

Yes, some kids growing up on explosions and crotch trauma humor find it slow moving. That's the fault of the parents, not the movie. You might as well put My Neighbor Totoro out of reach of children.

My appreciation for the latter film is rooted in the fact that it was directed by George Miller, who directed the Mad Max series. I revel in the juxtaposition. /end threadjack

I'm not quarreling (here) with your appreciation of the film, or with your calling it a "kids' movie that's not a kid's movie," which it certainly is. I only took exception to lumping it together with its unambiguously family-film predecessor under the "Babe franchise" rubric, a wholly unpersuasive category. :)

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Chris Willman was, until recently, a staffer at Entertainment Weekly; prior to that, many many moons ago, I believe he wrote for CCM.

I'm not sure what I make of all this Facebook quotage. I've always regarded Facebook walls as semi-private -- if you're not one of my "friends", there's no way for you to see my wall, and thus there's no way to link to it for the general public -- and I'd never quote anything that anybody wrote there in a public forum (not with attribution, at any rate) unless I had their permission. But if the people in question have given their permission, then I guess that aspect of things is all taken care of, at least. For whatever that's worth.

And now for my second major quibble with this movie:

It's another entry in the "You lied to me!" genre, which I have never, ever cared for. Granted, the fact that this movie is not all that plot-driven means that this movie is not compelled to come up with the sort of ridiculously contrived plot devices that other movies in this genre have needed in order to keep the lie going until the final act. But the moment Max told the Things that he was "king of the Vikings" or whatever in some other land, and the moment the Things believed him so gullibly, I KNEW we were going to have to deal with a scene later on in which someone is disappointed to find out that, gosh, Max really ISN'T a king after all.

And that's just kind of boring to me.

Edited by SDG

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Peter: Spoilers?

Hey, how about that, mods can edit other people's posts now. Peter, zat okay with you?<br><br>Added: Uh oh, "Hide" apparently doesn't work. I guess spoiler text would be better. <br>

Edited by SDG

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But the moment Max told the Things that he was "king of the Vikings" or whatever in some other land, and the moment the Things believed him so gullibly, I KNEW we were going to have to deal with a scene later on in which someone is disappointed to find out that, gosh, Max really ISN'T a king after all. And that's just kind of boring to me.

I am walking out the door to go see this, and this is a bummer to read. One of my favorite passages in literary history are the wordless pages in the middle of this book, and that is what I was hoping Jonze would "get".

Edited by MLeary

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SDG wrote:

: Hey, how about that, mods can edit other people's posts now. Peter, zat okay with you?

Um, well, not really, but whatever. The whole point of my quibble here is that this aspect of the film is entirely predictable -- so there's nothing to spoil.

Or did you mean that the earlier bit -- the place where the movie deviates from the book -- is the spoiler? If so, then I would say that Max running away from home instead of fantasizing in his bedroom would be equally spoilerish. But that comes so early in the film that I don't really regard that as a spoiler, either.

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I am walking out the door to go see this, and this is a bummer to read. One of my favorite passages in literary history are the wordless pages in the middle of this book, and that is what I was hoping Jonze would "get".

Not really. It's a pretty talky movie.

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Or did you mean that the earlier bit -- the place where the movie deviates from the book -- is the spoiler? If so, then I would say that Max running away from home instead of fantasizing in his bedroom would be equally spoilerish. But that comes so early in the film that I don't really regard that as a spoiler, either.

I think that revealing the absence of the bedroom scene in the book, which helps fans of the book anticipate what the movie will not be, is one thing. Arriving at a prediction based on an early-second-act plot point is another, and making a bald statement that a movie is "a so-and-so movie," putting a sort of pigeonhole on the structure of the movie for people who haven't seen any of it is another. (Witness MLeary's disappointed response, on his way out the door to see the movie!)

Sorry if I overreached ... power corrupts, heh heh heh. ;)

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Willman also writes for Rolling Stone. He's a good writer. I met him during the Return of the King junket in L.A. He's also the fellow who did the write-up on David Carradine in the Huffington Post in June.

Anyway, I was just observing the extreme differences in my friends' reactions to the film. Some are saying it's a film made to please critics, but if so, that clearly isn't working: Critics are as divided in their opinions of this one as anybody else. Kenneth Turan calls it "self-indulgent." Manhola Dargis is enthralled.

Can't wait to see it for myself.

Edited by Overstreet

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