Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is finally here, culminating the end of the Skywalker saga and…
Okay, but seriously, let’s talk about Cats.
We’ve all basically been obsessed with how wild this movie looked from the first trailer. It’s finally here and the reviews are, well, not good. In fact, some of the reviews are delightfully colorful in describing how it plays out on screen.
For example, from The Guardian’s review:
The twitching of ears on their heads is distracting
As they gaze at the greenscreen and sashay and crawl,
It’s weird to behold them all gurning and acting,
And why do so many resemble Darth Maul?
Did director Tom Hooper intend this appearance?
Did it make him feel happy – or cause him some stress?
We have to assume that he gave it his clearance
But THE MAN HIMSELF KNOWS and will never confess.
The film that everyone is in is largely the musical of cats singing about what kind of cat they are and this repeats until you pray for the sweet release of death. Tom Hooper’s direction to his actors for this semblance of a plot was to act it super horny. That doesn’t give Cats a raw sexual energy as much as it makes everything incredibly uncomfortable like when Rum Tum Tugger (Jason Derulo) is dumping milk into cats’ faces or Macavity just seems more nude than other cats even though technically all the cats are nude. But if it wasn’t enough to make the cats horny (why are they so horny), Hooper also feels the need to make it gross by having them dig through trash and play up their animal instincts. Cats always feels like it’s two seconds away from turning into a furry orgy in a dumpster. That’s the energy you have to sit with for almost two hours.
It’s hard to know how to react to Cats, other than gape in slack-jawed amazement that the dare has continued for so long. The two trailers released in advance of the film have been a cultural phenomenon in themselves, a meme-friendly trip to the uncatty valley, but there’s never any point in its 110-minute running time where it seems less strange or disconcerting. In the true Cats tradition, the idea should have been scuttled in the testing phase, when the skintight melding of faces and bodies with “digital fur technology” looked glitchy and unsettling, like one of the ghosts from a Japanese horror movie. And yet director Tom Hooper and the studio pressed on, under the not-unreasonable logic that audiences will embrace such abstractions readily, as they had on Broadway and the West End.
The argument against “Cats” also makes the case for its existence, because everything ludicrous about the show has been cranked up to 11, with a restless artificial camera and actors so keen on upstaging one another with excessive song-and-dance numbers they may as well be competing for a Heaviside Layer of their own. It takes some ambitious swings and works on its own terms in fits and starts, all while not really working at all. Like the T.S. Eliot poems that inspired it, “Cats” is an elaborate lark.
How could you not enjoy this absolute madness with headlines like this?
2019 has been a long, long year, and winding it down with Cats discourse feels, in a weird way, kind of fitting — especially considering the reviews dropped on impeachment night — whether people are legitimately enjoying the film or hate-watching it/hate-reading reviews
Watching CATS is like stumbling upon an unholy and heretofore unknown genre of porn. Every time these horny fur demons tongue a milk bowl and start moaning I was certain the FBI would raid the theater
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) December 19, 2019
Cats (2019) pic.twitter.com/NGkreADBFl
— ??? ?????? (@theofficenbc) December 20, 2019
Cats (2019) pic.twitter.com/uGKcikpjiW
— Brooklyn Nine-Nine (@nbcbrooklyn99) December 20, 2019
So the cats movie is just a recap of my 2019? https://t.co/BC7VZe1C0X
— nicole byer (@nicolebyer) December 20, 2019
These Cats reviews make me want to see the movie ASAP. pic.twitter.com/DwiVEdKTQ3
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) December 19, 2019
True story: I got home after seeing CATS and couldn’t look my own cat in the face for a good hour or two
— jen yamato (@jenyamato) December 19, 2019
— Angie J. Han (the J stands for Jellicle) (@ajhan) December 19, 2019
Looking forward to getting absolutely blitzed and watching cats this week.
— Cole M. Sprouse (@colesprouse) December 20, 2019
It brings me no pleasure to report that CATS is way too horny for its own good
— CarolineD Framke (@carolineframke) December 17, 2019
No I think it’s about cats https://t.co/TiN1hRFpLk
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) December 20, 2019
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