Where the Whild Things Are
I remember being fairly pumped for this movie when it was being promoted for theatrical release. It was directed by Spike Jonze who had also directed super awesome movies Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. It was based on a famous children’s book, and it boasted very unique character/monster designs. I never got around to seeing it in the theater, but Mrs. Brik and I checked it out on DVD a few nights back. I’m glad we saved our money.
This is one of the most boring and pointless movies I have ever seen. Basically, there is this whiny bitch of a kid named Max. He cries when his “igloo” gets crushed in a snowball fight, and then he trashes his sister’s room. He gets mad at his mom when she won’t come play with him while she’s working. He yells at her while she’s trying to get it on with Mark Ruffalo. He runs away from home after biting her. Then he hangs out with a bunch of imaginary friends (the aforementioned “Wild Things”), lying to them, bitching and moaning, throwing tantrums, and being a general nuisance. Eventually, he gets “homesick” and leaves his imaginary friends to return home to his mother. His mother welcomes him back with open arms and everything is A-OK.
Excuse me, but this is fucking bullshit. In what universe does a 9 year old boy scream at his mother, bite her, run away from home, and when he comes back he isn’t punished? I guarantee you, if this was reality, he would have been grounded and/or beaten mercilessly. You aren’t being an effective parent if you aren’t beating your children on a regular basis. I’ve never read the book on which this movie is based, but I imagine it tells children it’s OK to be disobedient, whiny liars. I’m glad I didn’t read the book as a child so I could grow up to be a belligerent asshole instead.
This movie has no climax, no resolution, no moral, and all the stuff with the imaginary friends was utterly pointless. He learned nothing from them, and they learned nothing from him. Pointless, boring, and worthless. I’m guessing that the only reason Spike Jonze’s previous movies were awesome was due to them having been written by Charlie Kaufman.
As the movie was getting started, I saw the “MTV Films” logo appear on the screen. Immediately, I knew I was in for a non-stop shitfest. This movie is ridiculously crappy. It opens with some home video montage of a bunch of soldiers fucking around in Iraq. Next, we are subjected to some stupid asshole (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, sorry Mrs. Brik) wailing and playing a guitar (badly). From there the movie is shot on actual film stock (thank god). We see men going into an Iraqi city, getting ambushed, and several of them dying. Finally, the survivors all go back to Texas, their tours of duty completed.
The main character, played by Ryan Phillipe, is shocked to find he can’t leave the Army because he’s been “Stop-Lossed.” Meaning, in his contract they can re-enlist him without his consent. He immediately goes bat-shit insane, and goes on the run. Unfortunately, going on the run isn’t very exciting. Most of the film features him driving across the country and chatting leisurely with Channing Tatum’s girlfriend.
With about forty minutes remaining, the DVD started to hang and the screen got all pixellated. Since it came from Netflix, it was scratched all to hell, and the remainder of the film was unwatchable. I was really disappointed I wasn’t able to finish this cinematic masterpiece. You can only imagine the hours of sleep I lost at night wondering what ultimate fates befell those characters.
The only good thing about this movie was that it had Timothy Olyphant. He played a badass. He always plays a badass because he’s really good at it. The whole movie should have just been Timothy Olyphant going around the country rounding up soldiers who went AWOL because they got Stop-Lossed. And if they didn’t go with him, he’d shoot them. That would be a kick ass movie.