Where the Wild Things Are, Stop-Loss

Where the Whild Things Are

I hope they get lost in that desert.

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.

Verdict: Shitty


The cast of Stop-Loss. Notice that the movie’s only good character (Timothy Olyphant) is not pictured.

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.

Verdict: Shitty

12 Responses to “Where the Wild Things Are, Stop-Loss”

  1. May 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I’ve never read Where the Whild Things Are, and I don’t recall being too interested in seeing it at cinemas. I wouldn’t say I’m glad I missed out – it seemed to be rather popular amongst some audiences – I suppose the thing I liked the most about the trailer was how it blasted Arcade Fire’s ‘Wake Up’, a fantastic song, and anyone who agrees might be better off listening to the AF album ‘Funeral’.

  2. May 28, 2012 at 2:26 am

    I really liked Where the Wild Things Are – though, thought the marketing was all wrong, what with it being touted as a kids film. Really thought it was a gorgeous film. Though, Max, I will agree with you on. What a bitch. Parents these days aren’t the same as from the good ol’ days. I wouldn’t have dared scream at my mum or dad. I’d be in for a whooping!

    Could you please make the film where Timothy Olyphant is rounding up soldiers who’ve gone AWOL because of stop-loss? Sounds like film of the year.

  3. 5 Tarnsman
    May 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Why is it that all the movies that have something to do with the Iraq-War have been complete crap? What happened to the good war movies?

  4. June 5, 2012 at 4:13 am

    LOL. I really love WTWA. I may MTESS it one day.

    It doesnt surprise me to see it becoming “Brik Fodder” though LOL

  5. June 8, 2012 at 7:09 am

    I suppose it would support me biting you.

  6. 11 Ashley
    June 11, 2012 at 6:13 am

    You should really read WTWTA. It’s a short children’s picture book and is nothing like the film. They had basically no story to work with – in the book, Max misbehaves by talking back to his mother after tormenting the family dog and making a mess and being a loud little kid. He is sent to his room without supper. He imagines while in his room that he goes to the land of wild things. When he “gets back” his dinner has been delivered to him. You never see the mother and there is no sister.

    Spike Lee fucked up.

    • June 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      I think you mean Spike Jonez fucked up. But yeah, I get what you mean. Adapting childrens’ picture books is probably a bad idea from the get-go. But you know Hollywood…

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May 2012


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