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Where The Wild, Sad, Hopeful Things Are October 16, 2009

Posted by patrick.klepek in movies.
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Where The Wild Things Are

Where The Wild Things Are is not for kids. It’s an adult adaptation made for people who read the book, cherish it and grew up.

It’s not a fun, whimsical adventure on an island full of furry creatures, but a supremely powerful art film whose resonance is entirely dependent on your own childhood experiences. That’s the biggest “X” factor for this film. What you bring into Where The Wild Things Are will determine what you get out of it, and unlike many other instances where this happens, you can’t really control this one.

It’s a movie made for people who grew up with the book and not something I’d immediately recommend to children. You have to grow up to appreciate what director Spike Jonze created. But if you had a troubled childhood, if you ever felt like a loner and nobody understood you, Where The Wild Things Are has the potential to really speak to you.

It did for me.

It’s often a sad movie, but a lovely and inspired one.

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reading at a glance: “Hellraiser: Collected Best, Vol. 2,” “Lovecraft” June 11, 2008

Posted by patrick.klepek in books.
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thought i’d start transferring over the reviews i normally publish on Facebook’s applications. these are the latest books — well, graphic novels — that i’ve read in the last week or so. i’ve expanded on some of my thoughts, too.

Hellraiser: Collected Best, Vol. 2: The stories are just so so, but Hellraiser is Hellraiser. I’ll always enjoy Cenobite stories, even crappy ones. The stories that worked, at least for me, riffed upon the Hellraiser mythos in a way that resonated with the themes of erotic exploitation of the flesh found in Clive Barker’s own The Hellbound Heart. But even ones that didn’t visually feature Cenobites could succeed dancing around those ideas. The stories I started skimming through utilized forced abstraction. It felt too imitative of Barker.

Lovecraft: Wonderful artwork depicting a would-be version of Lovecraft’s real life and nightmares. Too bad it ends so quickly, but that’s part of its charm. You get a glimpse into a what-if scenario that most Lovecraft fans — of which I want to become one, but not unlike Tolkien, his stories are very densely written — would wish was the true backstory. That said, I’m wondering if I wouldn’t enjoy Lovecraft’s stories more if they were all presented in graphic novel form.