CHRIS: I have no great affinity for Where the Wild Things Are, but one would expect a movie based on a children’s book (a 48 page book for toddlers, no less) would have some warmth and affection.
WTWTA is a loveless, dark, unlikeable film. Max (played by Max Records, which is a human being’s name and not an album publisher) is an obnoxious, bratty little boy with no redeeming qualities. There was nothing shown by this kid to make him anywhere close to being a sympathetic character.
Carol (voiced by James Gandolfini) is apparently the bi-polar monster, but leaning far too heavily on the depressed and violent side.
I found no joy in watching this, and I wonder if director Spike Jonze found any joy in making it. If he did, it didn’t come through. Not that I think the movie needed to be cheery, but it is unrelenting in its moodiness and dreary without respite. It made the whole thing unappealing.
SVEN: This movie was appealing to me because I wondered how they would make such a sad, frightening-looking world out to be a fun place for a kid to party like an animal. I think I should expect something else, or maybe nothing at all, whenever I manage to actually watch it.
Will keep you posted — after all, I actually tend to like depressing, sad, crazy shit. Still, I would not have expected that kind of turn from a kid’s book that is basically a reversed-situation Cat in the Hat (Please don’t contest that; I put no thought into it).