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9.9 14 10
(Updated: November 19, 2013)
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Whoa. I just watched this edit and I felt I must immediately write a review. This might turn into a rant or a stream of consciousness, that happens when I'm still working out my thoughts. Anyway, this edit right here, this edit is astounding.

I have to make a confession: I have not seen the theatrical version of Where the Wild Things Are. Now, don't worry. I own it, it was given to me as a gift some time ago. But before I ever got around to watching it, I saw NJVC was doing an edit. So I read his general reasons for editing, and I realized that he was crafting WTWTA into the film I already thought it was. I too was mesmerized by that theatrical trailer. I loved the book as a child, and something about that trailer just felt so right to me. So when I read what NJVC was doing, I knew I couldn't watch the theatrical when something better was on the way. (As to why it's taken me this long - who knows. I guess the part of me that didn't believe the book should be made into a movie got in the way.)

This movie is beautiful. More specifically, this movie is beautiful because of this edit. This edit is beautiful. I felt it best to read the changes before writing the review - so I have some sort of idea as to what NJVC did (his editing is invisible as far as I can see), and wow, he did a lot. Honestly, I don't want to watch the theatrical version. Before I watched this all I could remember from the ITW thread was that the film was re-scored. Now, my first thought as to the changes is "why didn't the filmmakers intercut the real and fake world? Why was Max a brat?" etc. But that's not really fair. I'm not going to say that. What I am going to say is that NJVC made some absolutely brilliant editing choices.

This really is quite a unique film, at least now it is because of NJVC. What we have here is like something I've never seen before. It's less a traditional 'movie' and more of an emotional cinematic experience. It's like a Terence Malick film... if all the voice-overs were replaced with indie rock. It's truly amazing, and, like I said before, quite beautiful.

My one qualm is in the ending. I like how it's edited and it flows well, but I'm not sure I'm okay with it's implication. It seems to reverse Max's arc in the film. He finally learned to quit imagining friends, but after his mom ignores him again he's back to where the wild things are. Reminds me of an alcoholic. I don't know, I might be okay with it, I'm just not sure yet. A happier ending would have been Max finally playing with a real kid. But maybe this (somewhat cynical) ending is more realistic. And, well, the wild things will keep Max happy. I don't know, I have to think about it some more.

Looking back at the change list I'm certain I don't want to watch the theatrical version. I'd like to pretend that this is it. I feel like if I watched the theatrical version it would take away from the magic. Like if I watched the raw footage from a Terence Malick film. This is an incredible edit and I'm sure I'll see it again and again. Nice work.

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