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Where the Wild Things Are
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=3636&w=l[/img]
Starring: Max Records, Catherine Keener, James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Catherine O’Hara, Forest Whitaker, Chris Cooper, Michael Berry Jr.
Director: Spike Jonze
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 101 minutes
Rating: PG
Blu-ray Release Date: March 2, 2010

Movie :3.5stars:

Based on the book, Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak, the movie of the same title expands on the basic story that I grew up with in my younger years. The adaptation of the story from the original story written in 1963 was taken and made into a full feature-length film in this rendition directed by Spike Jonze. It’s an interesting choice and one I looked forward to seeing when I first heard about it last year because the original children’s book was very short and didn’t have much substance to it to work with.

The story follows Max (Records), a mischievous youngling, who craves attention. Max is a curious child and though seems to thrive on attention, he doesn’t seem to get it. As a result of the lack of attention given to him, he seems to lash out and wreak havoc on his family’s lives. One particular day, his mother (Keener) is entertaining a guest and Max decides to act up. As his mother tries to quietly calm Max down, he only becomes more obnoxious and louder. Max’s mother loses her patience and yells back at Max only to anger and even scare Max enough to run away. As Max runs away he travels through a forest to a body of water where he finds a lone sailboat, which he decides to take out.

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=3640&w=l[/img]
Soon, Max finds himself all alone out in the middle of ocean, wandering aimlessly. As the weather changes and as he starts to contemplate the mistake he made he sees a mysterious island with some fire activity. Max, once aimlessly traveling, decides to turn the boat and makes it to the island. Upon arrival and in investigating the fire activity he sees some large wild things causing destruction to some unique-looking structures. Being somewhat destructive himself he decides to jump in on the chaos. The wild things seem particularly confused as to what Max is and ultimately decide to try to eat him. Max, using his imagination, stops them from eating him by telling all of them an extravagant story about how he was a king over some vikings. Amazed at his apparent stature, the wild things decide to make Max their king as well. As Max leads them in what seems to be a very fun life, both he and the wild things start to come to the realization that things may not be as grand as they were hoping originally.

‘Where the Wild Things Are’ is a story that expresses vivid imagination. I really enjoyed seeing the very basic concept of the children’s book come to life in this full-length film. While I enjoyed many aspects of the movie I did find myself a bit perplexed in the middle of the movie. I think it was more just the pacing of the movie because I still found myself very interested in the movie. The pacing just seemed a tad slow for all the supposedly exciting and great adventure that was supposed to be displayed. Still, I found a lot of enjoyment in seeing the visual world that was created and seeing the wild things come to life.

Rating

‘Where The Wild Things Are’ is rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language. Aside from some relatively mild swearing, there isn’t much to worry about this film.

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=3641&w=l[/img]
Video :4.5stars:

Throughout the film I was very impressed by the overall quality of the video transfer. The general color palette is warm and doesn’t a have a lot of boldness, but the saturation seem very good otherwise. The detail resolve is very high providing detail even to the littlest details on screen. The fur and other textures of the wild things themselves come out beautifully. The unique world created in this film also is beautiful to look at, even without having bold and vibrant colors. The dark sequences are rich and blacks never are crushed allowing detail to come through even during the dimly lit shots. The video transfer is wonderful to look at and really does this unique film justice.

Audio :4.5stars:

Not only was the video transfer impressive, but the audio presentation was just as impressive. There are plenty of instances of directional queues in the surround speakers and there is quite a bit of environmental ambiance active when directional queues were not. On top of that, the low frequencies were present throughout the entire movie. As Max travels to the island and meets the wild things, you get a sense of the weight and force of each of the wild things as they tromp around. There is not a whole lot of earth-shattering LFE, but it is consistently present throughout the film. Dialog is easily heard and comes through in whichever speaker it comes from.

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=3642&w=l[/img]
Extras :2.5stars:

The extras are as follows:

-‘The Absurd Difficulty of Filming a Dog Running and Barking At the Same Time’ – A 6 minute featurette telling of how difficult it is to film things while running and talking at the same time.
-‘The Prank’ – a brief 3 minute following of the crew playing a prank on director Spike Jonze.
-‘Vampire Attack’ – A little clip of Spike Jonze and star Max Records having fun together.
-‘The Kids Take Over The Picture’ – a brief look at Jonze’s emphasis on having kids around on the set in order to keep the mood right.

The most disappointing aspect of this disc is the extras, by far. I am not sure why so little is included, but for a release like this, I would imagine there is a whole lot more to tell about the behind the scenes.

Overall :4stars:

As I stated earlier, I really found the movie intriguing, but the pacing seemed just a shade on the slow side for such a wild and great adventure that this story portrays. The imagery is beautifully displayed with the wonderful video transfer. The equally impressive audio really brings the wild things to life as well. This movie may not necessarily be for everyone, but I think it’s worth a rental to see the imagination of the director Spike Jonze and to see a classic children’s story come to life.


 

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Discussion Starter #3
LOL, Dale, I'm glad you'll take my suggestion, but Dave didn't review this one! :) hahahaha
 

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LOL, Dale, I'm glad you'll take my suggestion, but Dave didn't review this one! :) hahahaha
Sorry about that Jon, it was a great review. I don't know where my head was.
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