I really wanted to see this movie, and was trying to figure out what I liked best about it. Then I read several blogs, and several helped condense what I liked about it. For me I liked the voices of the wild things, and how based in reality everything was. They didn't feel the need to explain the imagination of a little boy, they just let you observe. Also, I saw it with a bunch of little kids, and no one was scared, though a few were a little bored after a while. Here are some of my favorite summaries:
From The Cooler:
"I didn’t realized how much I’d come to miss environmental tangibility in movies until I watched Jonze’s film, but 30 minutes in I was painfully aware (again) of how often the physical paradises of old now get paved over by flat CGI parking lots. Jonze’s film isn’t without CGI landscaping – the fort Max designs with the wild things is a digital doozy – but the effects here are minimal and practical. Most of the film’s shooting, under the guidance of cinematographer Lance Acord, was done on location in Australia, marrying actual three-dimensional environments with actual three-dimensional performers – a combination that seems so simple, not to mention natural, but that has managed to become endangered in fantasy films. The results are awe-striking: boulders and cliff faces that evoke the Tunisia-as-Tataouine locales of Star Wars, gnarled forests that evoke The Wizard of Oz, rolling sand dunes that evoke Lawrence of Arabia, and so on. Max, in his furry white pajamas, isn’t the only one who gets dirty whenever there’s a rumpus; the beasts get dusty, too, and that’s significant."
From Reel Fanatic:
"And it certainly helps that the 9-year-old in question was played by Max Records, though the studio fought him on that choice too. As the movie Max, young Mr. Records captures his state of mind perfectly, wanting to be - and often acting like - a savage while at the same time unable to mask the fear and doubt that cloud up his life. As he rampages through the woods with his wild creations, Jonze isn't afraid to let young Max get as sweaty and snotty (enough to match his attitude) as a kid would left to his own devices. My favorite Max moment, however, came early on as you see the perfectly reasonable horror on his face after a teacher tells him the sun is going to die. It's all around certainly the best movie performance by a youngster this year."
My rating: 4 of 5 stars/Lambs for excellent and beautiful storytelling.
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