Critics say stupid things about “Where the Wild Things Are”

Critics keep taking the lazy way out when reviewing “Where the Wild Things Are”, the Spike Jonze movie opening today.  They insist—with an it-goes-without-saying tone—that the book cannot be literally translated into a movie because the text is only ten sentences long.

Did any of these coasters notice that there is more to the book than the text?

It’s loaded with gorgeous illustrations full of action and detail.  The pictures are the attraction of the book.  It isn’t one of the most treasured books of the last 50 years because nine-year-olds think Maurice Sendak has an apt way with words.

Pictures are visual.  Movies are visual.  Any filmmaker ought to be able to get a good five or ten minutes out of any of the pictures in that book.  The text is, maybe not irrelevant, but beside the point.

That might be why film critics are not filmmakers.  A lot of what they say is both irrelevant AND beside the point.

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3 Responses to Critics say stupid things about “Where the Wild Things Are”

  1. Todd says:

    Hear hear. I saw the movie and thought it did a wonderful job of interpreting the book and extrapolating from it to create the movie. Very rich. Very believable. Very Sandak.

  2. putgroots says:

    Wow, very great subject. I’m going to write about it also!!

  3. Andrew says:

    This is a great post, I completely agree with you. Many movie critics today are awful, with a poor understanding of film, the creative process, and source material. I think that bloggers and *everyone* for that matter should be more critical of the critics, as they can be misleading, often intertwine their own prejudices and politics into reviews, etc. We wouldn’t allow this with other reviews of other forms of art, consumer products (or whatever you might think a movie is today), why should we make and exception for movie reviewers?

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