Kurt Loder Reviews 'Where The Wild Things Are'

FROM MTV.COM: Anyone wanting to turn Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are" into a movie must face a steep challenge. The 1963 book — esteemed as a classic for ... I guess "kids of all ages" would be the term — is only 48 pages long, and consists largely of Sendak's cozy-strange illustrations; there's very little text. So to assist in plumping up this story for a 90-minute film, director Spike Jonze brought in writer Dave Eggers, who last lent his alt-lit touch to the languid "Away We Go." The result is a picture whose pleasures are almost entirely visual. The dialogue gets some energetic spin from the actors involved, but — no surprise — there's too much of it, and it wears you down.

The story, for those who may have forgotten, or never known, concerns a little boy named Max. In the movie as in the book, Max (played wonderfully well by newcomer Max Records) is a handful. He's raucous and needy in the usual little-boy manner, and is constantly being fobbed off to go play alone by his single mom (Catherine Keener), who's preoccupied with her job, and by his older sister (Pepita Emerichs), who's preoccupied with being a teenager. After pitching a fit in the kitchen one night, Max runs off into the nearby woods, where he wanders for a while before coming upon a small boat pulled up on a beach. Climbing aboard, he sails away in search of a more agreeable life.

Continue reading 'Where The Wild Things Are': Fretting Zoo, By Kurt Loder