November 16, 2009
Review of Rotten Tomaotes Reviews of Where The Wild Things Are
So I took my sweet time getting around to see Where The Wild Things Are. I just wanted to see it on my own terms. I was definitely worried it was going to be awful and kill my childhood memories like Hollywood has been known to do. And honestly I didn't particularly like the film marketing. It definitely wasn't trying to get kids to see the movie, it was trying to get me to see the movie. I didn't want to be part of their demo. I mean seriously, when the news came out that Spike Jonze was directing, Dave Eggers was writing and Karen O was doing the soundtrack, there was a collective orgasm from all the hipsters in Silverlake. But I knew it was one of those movies you have to see in the theater, or at least a really good home theater system. So I finally got around to seeing it.
Before I critique the "Top Critics" at Rotten Tomatoes.com, to be fair, I feel that I should throw my two cents in about Where The Wild Things Are.
The film adaption of Where The Wild Things Are should be called Being A Kid Is Hard. Being a kid is hard and I think we forget that as we grow older. This film reminds us of that. WTWTA is a beautiful, moving movie that gives life to the internal struggles that a young boy goes through. Overall it's a good movie that I highly recommend.
If I have to tell you it's based on Maurice Sendak's classic children's book then I'm guessing you aren't American. People love this book. I love this book. The movie is not the book. It's different. The movie has a different tone and puts you in a different mood. And that's OK. The film doesn't take away from the book at all and it doesn't do it a disservice. It's a satisfying complement to what a lot of us hold dear as a good part of our childhoods.
Eggers is still stumbling through the writing of a screenplay. His parts don't make up a whole in his scripts, Away We Go had the same problem. There is no flow to the movie, it's more like interchangeable scenes strung together. But in a movie that's based on a child's imagination and kid logic this wonkiness in the script is forgivable. And while the film doesn't beat you over the head with it's messages, it does get repetitive and the monsters start to get annoying. I was thinking to myself, "They're not going to have this same argument again are they?" Side Note: If any of the Wild Things are based on his friends I would be pissed if I was one of them.
It looks and feels very much like a Spike Jonze film. It's very pretty and makes you feel very uneasy because you are not quite sure what's going to happen next. I could have used about 30% less camera lens flares though. There were an awful lot of them...Oh, and Thank God the Wild Things weren't entirely CGI. That would have been horrible.
The big question: Is the movie OK for kids? Well it's made for people in their 30's really. But I would ultimately say yes, it's OK for kids to watch Where The Wild Things Are. Eight-year-olds would be fine....or a seven-year-old with an old soul. You as a parent might have some difficult questions to answer after the movie, but it might be good for the both of you to talk about the issues the film brings up. And you also might need to check the closet for manic depressive monsters once and a while.
And Now...Onto my review of Rottentomatoes.com's Top Critics film review of Where The Wild Things Are!
David Denby, New Yorker
Top Critic: I have a vision of eight-year-olds leaving the movie in bewilderment. Why are the creatures so unhappy?
-I Have a feeling David is projecting just a little bit.
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic: Profoundly beautiful and affecting, Where the Wild Things Are is a breath- taking act of artistic transubstantiation.