You may think by today's title I am speaking of Big Z and Little P...I am not. I am talking about the new movie "Where the Wild Things Are". The movie is based on the famous children's book by the same name written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. I took Big Z to see this movie last weekend. What was I thinking? This is in no way shape or form a children's movie.
Before I go any further let me just say that I am a movie buff. I love all kinds of different films. My family and I own a huge movie collection on DVD and Blu-Ray in almost any genre that you can think of. So this has nothing to do with the movie as a piece of art. The look was very true to the book. It has an all-star voice cast. And the little boy that plays Max (Max Records) does a fantastic job with the boy's ups and downs and really commits to the part.
So...before we went to the movie I did a little reading about it and saw that some of the reviewers where saying that it was a "different" kids film, but Entertainment Weekly gave it an "A" and rottentomatos.com gives it a 70% positive collection of reviews. A lot of the reviews that I read said that, "If you don't think this is a kids movie, then you must have forgotten what it meant to be a kid." WHAT! I think that I remember being a kid fairly well, and even if I did forget I have a couple of reminders running around my feet all day long. I was afraid that the creators of this movie would have a hard time taking this short magical little book and fill it out enough to be on the big screen. I was right. They decided to fill out the backstory by making the mom a lonely, divorced, overworked and under payed mother, they made Max's sister a cold uncaring soul, and to top it all off they gave Max a mental disorder which causes him to have fits of uncontrollable anger and he apparently is also very lonely and has a hard time making friends because of his disorder. Pass the popcorn and snuggle up with your family, this sounds like the makings of a great kids film doesn't it? The first scene of the film has Max running around on all fours in his wolf outfit barking and growling chasing what appears to be a very small and very scared family dog although we will never know because we never see him again. I think that Max may have eaten him. This dog looked and sounded so scared right before Max pounced on him and grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground. And that was just the first scene! It was at that point that Big Z asked me if the dog was OK, because he was afraid that Max had hurt the dog. I said that he was fine and not to worry. He said "OK, but he sounded like he was crying." These are the kinds of questions that you should expect to here from your kids while you suffer through this film. Look I could go through this movie scene by scene to describe the crazy but that would take to long...let me just hit the highlights. Max destroys his sister's room after a snowball fight does not go his way and she doesn't help. Max then proceeds to wrestle his mother to the ground and then bites her very hard. Then Max runs away leaving his mother crying, worried, and scared. He then goes to the island with the monsters, and guess what? They are just as mentally unstable as Max if not more so. (They ate all of their previous kings...and we get to see the bones.) One of the monsters mirrors Max and his behavior so I assume that Max can see himself through the monster, but we never see Max change, he stays the same crazy wingnut that we have seen the whole film. Look I could go on and on about this, so let me wrap it up for you...
Mom = lonely, sad, uninvolved
Sister = no emotions, cares for only herself
Monsters = violent, scary, vile creatures
Max = batshit crazy
DO NOT TAKE YOUR KIDS TO SEE THIS FILM! And if you do take your kids to see it, I hope you have a bottomless wallet for all the therapy that they (And you) will need to recover from the experience. On a final note, there were some grandparents there with their grandkids and as the film ended and people were leaving with shocked looks on their faces, grandpa could be heard saying, "That was a dud". Dud indeed.