“Wild Things” find home on Warner Blu-ray


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‘Where the Wild Things Are’ (Blu-ray)
Too many books don’t translate to the movie screen. Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” now joins the list. By tackling Sendak’s ode to a mischievous boy named Max, ingenious filmmaker Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich”) subtracts the combustible energy of adolescent anarchy and creative play – two elements that were crucial to the original (and rather short) story.

Max Records is fine as Max, a rambunctious kid who boards a boat bound for a remote island after a bout with his disgruntled mom (Catherine Keener). On the island wait the wild things, monsters with emotional problems that mirror Max’s. And the therapy session begins.

“Where the Wild Things Are” wants to bare its soul. It ends up revealing a shallow heart. Jonze and screenwriter Dave Eggers focus on psychological threads hinted at in the book but left in the background for those who choose to look. This is a personal film for Jonze, which means too many of us can’t connect with it. I wanted more “wild rumpus,” and less psychoanalysis.

There’s plenty of analysis on Warner’s “Wild” Blu-ray, however, as excellent exclusive features capture the extensive making of the film. There’s the HBO First Look series on the film, and multiple shorts by Lance Bangs that cover almost every aspect of the film. Finally, Warner Home Video presents a live-action adaptation of Sendak’s “Higglety Pigglety Pop!” with voices by Meryl Streep and Forest Whitaker.
The movie – *1/2 out of 4
The DVD – *** out of 4

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