Page 20 THE VILLADOM TIMES I & III • October 28, 2009 Favorite children’s book comes to the silver screen by Dennis Seuling “Where the Wild Things Are,” a children’s picture book by Maurice Sendak published in 1963, is a minimalist narrative that generations of kids have grown up loving. State Line 375 State Highway 17 North, Mahwah Open 24 Hours, 7 Days Join Us For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner The Best Got Better! Diner - Restaurant 201-529-3353 Now Serving Cocktails, Espresso & Cappuccino $ 00 On $10.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 1 $ 00 VT On $20.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 2 Max (Max Records) acts out as his mother (Catherine Keener) looks on in ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’ VT The pictures are not the least of its appeal, with Sendak’s menagerie of cuddly-scary creatures and central character Max in his play wolf suit. Now, that iconic book has been adapted into a 110minute feature film that expands on Sendak’s tale and deepens its characterizations. In the book, Max is a mischievous, out-of-control little boy who loves to act out and imagine himself in an imaginary land where he rules. The film, directed by Spike Jonze, takes time at the beginning to show the reasons for Max’s wildness and resentment of parental control. Max (Max Records) is the younger child in a single- parent household. His mother (Catherine Keener) loves Max, but is overwhelmed by his penchant for being at the center of commotion, whether he is wrestling with the family dog, ambushing neighborhood teenagers with snowballs, trashing his sister’s room, or being jealous of his Mom’s new boyfriend (Mark Ruffalo). This unfettered anger consumes Max. After being reprimanded for destructive behavior, Max sets sail in a small boat across the sea to the Land of the Wild Things, a place inhabited by odd, otherworldly creatures who spend their time, without leadership or direction, in rough-and-tumble activities. Max likes this place, and the creatures regard him as one of them, since he immediately starts to run around, screaming his lungs out, knocking down Dali-esque structures for the sheer pleasure of it. Max soon convinces the Wild Things that he should be their king, and he leads them on an unrestrained rampage. Jonze has fashioned an intriguing, if imperfect, film. It certainly is beautiful to look at, with wonderful beach, desert, and forest sequences inspired by Sendak’s illustrations. Jonze decided to go with actors in large costumes rather than complete computer imaging, which gives the film a nostalgic, retro look. In the book, the creatures are drawn distinctively, but never emerge as individuals. In the movie, James Gandolfini, Catherine O’Hara, Chris Cooper, Lauren Ambrose, Forest Whitaker, and Paul Dano voice dialogue that brings each creature to life. Despite its technical achievements, “Where the Wild Things Are” is a cinematic curiosity. I wonder who the target audience is. Younger kids will love the Muppet-type beasts and enjoy seeing a youngster running amok without parental supervision, but I doubt the picture will hold their attention for close to two hours. Jonze adopted the right (continued on Crossword page) �������� ������� ��������� �������� ��������������������������������������������� Football Menu & Bar Specials Regular Menu also available ��������������� ���������� ������������ ����� ����� ���������� in our Bar Area Saturday, October 31 9 pm until Closing PRIZE for the Best Costume! Halloween Party Bar & Drink Specials �������� ������ �������������� ���������� ������������������ �������������� ��������� ������� ������������������� �������������� � �� �������� ������������ �������������������� �������������������� HAPPY HOUR ������������������ ������� ������ ������ ������� ������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������