Only eight days left, and it will be here: Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze's visionary, big-budget adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book. Now, we really don't know what to expect -- we love the book, and we love Jonze's previous films Adaptation and Being John Malkovich, but can you really make a full-length movie out of 20 pages of illustrations, a barely-there story and the voice of Tony Soprano? We certainly hope so, since the commercials practically have us in tears already, but we're keeping our hearts locked up just in case -- after all, this wouldn't be the first time they were broken by a lame film adaptation of a favorite childhood read. Check out our guide to the Best and Worst Children's Book Adaptations and see which ones made us Mr. Happy, and which were simply terrible, horrible no-good, very bad movies.
Are you optimistic, or do you already know it will suck? Let us know below.
A new adaptation of Beverly Cleary's Ramona Quimby novel Ramona Forever hits theaters this weekend with a new name (Ramona and Beezus) and some fancy Disney royalty casting in Selena Gomez as Beezus. But, despite some fun supporting casting (Sandra Oh, Ginnifer Goodwin), the movie looks like generic tripe. Which is terribly sad, considering how much fun the Ramona novels actually are. It's so sad that it makes me want to focus on movie adaptations of kids novels that are actually good instead. Like these!
Anticipation for Spike Jonze's latest film, Where the Wild Things Are, has reached an all-time high, and early reviews are skewing towards the positive, giving us all hope that the movie will not only capture the magic of the classic children's book, but live up to Jonze's previous offerings. An unconventional, unusual filmmaker (and occasional actor) who got started making skateboard videos, Jonze moved on to commercial work and music videos before creating two of the most bizarre feature films ever made. In honor of the release of WTWTA, we thought we'd list off the top 10 things Jonze has ever directed, not counting his skateboarding movies, which we would probably appreciate more if we skateboarded, and his commercials, which we wish were longer and not about selling things.
Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. If someone had told me that a movie would come along and combine my love of children's books, Spike Jonze and giant monsters, I would have punched them in the face. So when I first saw the trailer for Jonze's new film Where the Wild Things Are, which I've been seeing teaser images of for nearly a year, I practically wept. The Super Gallaga Brothers aren't crying exactly, but Omar and Pablo were moved enough by the trailer to turn it into one of their patented "Trailers Without Pity" videos, breaking it down for the audience and explaining why they think it has the potential to be genius or a Cat in the Hat-level disaster. Check it out after the jump.
Between all the gorgeous early viral marketing for this movie and the day I actually went to see it, I had gone from over the top psyched about it to actually pretty worried, based on how mixed the reviews have been. But after seeing it, I'm a little baffled by that. It's got a bleeding heart and, OK, maybe not the most sophisticated plot in the world, but it's pretty hard not to like this film as a whole. And it's not like I just go around liking everything, to say the least.
While they may not be nominated for any Academy Awards (rightfully or not), this week's movie releases are all certainly a lot of fun, and visually spectacular in a variety of ways. Watch them with the sound off, and they'll still be pretty damn entertaining. In a couple of cases they might even improve! (2012, I'm looking in your direction.)
This weekend Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs takes its weird weather from the page and brings it to the big screen. Next month, Where the Wild Things Are will be arriving in theaters. These are hardly the first children's books to make the transition (even Shrek started as a simple tale without any pop-culture references), but neither book is especially verbose. Hollywood seems to be plucking the kernel of the idea from the written page (and with Cloudy, not even attempting to recreate the original look and feel) and turning that into a full-length movie. It's actually not a terrible idea, so I've come up with some other kiddie classics that producers might want to tackle next.