Mar 25, 2009

Where The Wild Things Be At

The movie trailer for Where The Wild Things Are is--bam!--on the internets. And, oooh, doesn't it just simmer with freshness?--despite how old the base material is (Maurice Sendak wrote it in 1963!) and despite how long the upcoming film has been gestating in Hollywood Development Hell (see Dask's take below).

The trailer, with sumptuous dusk-tinged lighting, has the feel of hyper melancholy (father issues! lots of running!). The creatures look phenomenal; they have a serious and required presence in the frame, and are alternately approachable or unapproachable, as they should be. The young actor who plays Max is appropriately contemplative and/or distracted, and only very rarely elated (like a young child should be).

It's no surprise that director Spike Jonze knows how to match music with (surreal/pleasing) visuals--after all, it's his day job--and, here, much of the mood is set by the music. Actually, I'm not entirely convinced that I didn't just watch Arcade Fire's new music video...

Ok, I checked, and I did NOT accidentally watch the music video for Arcade Fire's Wake Up.

Still, swimming along as it does, looking like a well-conceived, well-designed, fortuitously-big-budgeted-for-a-(semi-)independent-music-act's latest music video, you cannot be blamed if the trailer evokes some kind of twee ecstasy inside you, where you want to dance and cry at the exact same time.

Embedded! (for now, until it gets pulled, sad face)

Comment or die.

The Wild Things Are Here At Last!

I've been dying to see Where The Wild Things Are for what seems like forever. But maybe that's because, it has been forever! The film started production in 1999...uh, ten years ago. Spike Jonze had everything set up at Universal, but the two had major creative differences and the project folded. It laid dormant for years until Jonze took his Wild Things over to WB and got the ball rolling again. Well, WB ended up having issues as well, but they arose after a large portion of the film was finished. They requested a major re-write of the script (written by Jonze and Dave Eggers) and the re-casting of Max. That would mean throwing everything they've worked on away and starting from scratch. Turns out, that was their intent. In 2008, WB came very close to shutting down production and re-shooting the entire movie. Their main concern, "it's too dark...not for kids. Max isn't likable enough." Those "suits" obviously haven't read the book. I doubt that at any point in writing the story Maurice Sendak was worried about Max being likable. He's kind of a hellion, as young boys often are. Luckily, Spike and WB were able to work through their differences and now it looks like we'll be seeing the movie he set out to make.

Without needing to see any prior footage, I had enough confidence in Jonze (and Eggers) to know this movie would be great as long as it was made the way the director intended (without studio meddling). This trailer all but confirms it was done right and was worth the wait. Needless to say, I'll be first in line on October 16th.

See Ben's post above, or head over to Apple Movie Trailers for the Exclusive (hi-res) trailer. Or you can see it on the big screen...but that would require seeing Monsters VS Aliens this weekend.