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WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE has to be one of the biggest disappointments we've ever experienced as a family. The two 7-year-old girls we took were not only traumatized by the dismal, depressing and disturbing tone but just plain flat-out bored by the movie as a whole. And the violent climax literally brought one to tears and my daughter Stella was so shocked she jumped out of her seat. After the film was over poor Jasmine was shaking as the tears rolled down her cheeks and Stella summarized this turd of a film with this review, "The director must have had a concussion when he made this film!"

Dark not only describes the tone but the visuals as well. It was dark. The few moments they filmed in daylight were a relief to the sensations. The score was dark as well. No joy. Ominous to a fault. Every single character had a psychosis--be it manic depression, paranoia, suicidal tendencies or "Tony Soprano" like murderous rage! I guess that's why they cast James Gandolfini as Caroll. Um...this was a children's story, right? Not exaggerating, folks, there was some serious psychosis going on here and it wasn't only disturbing and depressing but it was kind of dull.

We kept waiting for the tome to lighten but it never did. Started sad, stayed ad and ended sad. Catherine Keener summed it up perfectly when the movie ended with her and Max at the dinner table silently and slowly (painfully) while Max ate his dinner--she drifted off to sleep. Yep. Felt the same way, Catherine.

We left sad. Sad that the movie stunk, sad that we traumatized two little girls and sad that we're out $50 bucks!!! I am so sick of going to "Kids movies" that reviewers often give decent reviews to and end up walking out feeling sick to my stomach because I just forked over a hefty chunk of my hard-earned money. Word to these reviewers who I feel have a responsibility to the viewers who put their trust in them...Don't give a movie a pass just because it's a "kid's film" based on a "masterpiece" directed by a "genius." All-too-often this seems to happen (anyone remember THE PIANO!??). It seems as if they convince themselves that a film like this, adapted from certain source material just "must be good!" Step back and really give an honest review and consider the people going to see it. I was pissed when I went to some review sites and read so few reviews saying that this was not appropriate for young children. We rely on your reviews for this information! Maybe some reviewers don't have kids but are they that removed from reality that they can't figure out what's inappropriate for them?

Thank you to those responsible reviewers who DID point this out. I'm just sorry I didn't find those review until AFTER we all saw this travesty.

And, no, I'm not alone. Maybe the silent majority, but NOT alone. Immediately after seeing the film I spoke with another parent who has heard of other families disappointment and cases where they actually had to leave halfway through the film.

All that being said, I love Maurice Sendak, I love Spike Jonze, we all love the book, but this movie sorely missed the mark on ALL levels.



Stella's added remarks:

Hi, I'm Stella, Rich's daughter. I saw a movie today with my friend Jasmine. It was called WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. Me and my friend Jasmine thought it was the worst movie we've ever seen. Especially the part where one of the monsters ripped off one of the other monster's arm. To me and Jasmine it made Jasmine shake and cry to death and my legs started to ache! And if any of you have already seen it and like it you're crazy. But if you haven't seen it DON'T SEE IT! Bye.

wayne beamer's Gravatar No free pass on your disappointment of WTWTA. There was plenty of press about the film, including news that the film was delayed because some parts were reshot, and middling reviews warning folks about the content. That's why, when in doubt, see the movie first before taking Stella. I did just that with my soldier son when he was little, and it made all the difference in the world. If you'd asked me first -- why don't you ever call me anymore -- I would've warned you...

Case in point: One of the last we recall seeing parents taking kids out of a movie theater was about 30-45 minutes into PULP FICTION 15 years ago!

It's gotta be better than Monsters vs. Aliens, a movie Sandy and I couldn't watch past the 30-minute mark because it was so bad...

BTW, The Piano was pretty brilliant, and I know you wouldn't turn down Harvey Keitel movie money to be paid to be full-frontal, so BE KIND!
# Posted By wayne beamer | 10/21/09 8:12 AM
Heath McKnight's Gravatar Man, I've heard this a lot with this movie, though the "Spikers", fans of Spike Jonze, lifted it up to a big box office last week. It tanked a bit this week.

Too bad...


ps-Sorry to poor Stella and Jasmine!
# Posted By Heath McKnight | 10/25/09 2:15 PM
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