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  • Cats

    I don't see why the Cats movie is getting all of the hate. It looks a bit strange but it's internally consistent and it creates the world that it's trying to portray. Story? A cat gets abandoned in a London alley and has to learn to get along with the other alley cats. Sure, it's a bit thin as far as narrative goes but that can be said about a lot of musicals.

    The music and singing is pretty good and you just have to go with the idea that these odd looking people are actually cats. Which took me a few minutes to assimilate, but after that what they are doing began to make sense.

    Is this a great movie? No. Is it a great musical? No. But it's interesting, the music is fun, and it's certainly a unique thing to see. I've certainly seen a lot of movies that I've liked a lot less than this one.

    If you're expecting to see something "normal", though, this ain't that.

  • #2
    Though I've not seen it all, I did get drawn into the production and the songs and have to agree that I don't think it is as bad as the critics made out. Having said that it has not done well for us at all and quite a few have walked out, which is vary rare indeed.


    • #3
      This movie seems like it would have been the perfect one to try making an "adult" animated movie. (Not X-rated, but just meant for and aimed at grownups.) It would have been the marketing challenge of the century. Not every Broadway smash is meant to be a movie I guess.

      I don't think it is as bad as the critics made out.
      Kinda like the new Star Wars movie.
      Last edited by Mike Blakesley; 01-03-2020, 01:24 PM.


      • #4
        In a nutshell, I think this is a case of "Uncanny Valley."
        The concept that as CGI (or technology) starts to look more realistic, there comes a point where its credibility drops off.

        Basically, they made the cats look "too real." People don't accept them and, in many cases, get weirded out by them.

        I also think they overdid the production in such a way that it looks hyper realistic and surrealistic at the same time.

        Top it all off with the actors' somewhat over-the-top performing style (trying to act like cats) and that makes a lot of things working against this movie.

        Most people have preconceived ideas of what "Cats" is supposed to be like and this movie shatters those preconceptions on so many levels, it doesn't matter how good the plot and story lines are. The general public is going to take one look at this movie and nope out.

        I think this is a classic example of one of the main problems with Hollywood, today.

        So many of the producers, directors and other creative people live in such an insular world that they are getting out of touch with the public and what they want to see. They are using CGI and other digital technology as an end instead of as a means to tell an engaging story. They are producing more and more stuff that's just "out there."

        People can look at digital media on the internet any time they want. When they go to the movies, they don't want to see more of the "same-old-same-old." They want to see something that's engaging and fulfilling, if only for two hours.

        Hollywood (as in cinema) is already on its way to irrelevancy in the mind of the general public.

        If they don't stop with this BS, they will seal the deal in another decade or two.


        • #5
          Haven't seen the movie, but two friends who have seen it said they thought it was awful.

          The other evening, a theater called me to see if I could come & do an "emergency" bulb replacement in
          one of their auditoriums after the last show of that night because their regular technician was 'indisposed'.

          So, I got there just as the last show in that auditorium ("CATS") was ending. As I started to dismantle the
          projector, I noticed there were still two people slumped over in the back of the auditorium. I went down to
          see if they were OK, (or what they were up to) and apparently they had fallen asleep watching CATS.

          Now, I've seen plenty of cats fall asleep watching people, but this was the first time I'd ever seen a couple
          of people fall asleep watching Cats. . . < rim-shot ! >


          • #6
            Hardly anyone came to see it tonight (looks like it's going to be a really slow week. sigh...) but the very few who did come all liked it. On the way out one older gentleman said "Gosh, that was weird but I'm really glad I saw it." Another lady said it was such a fantastic show and where is the rest of the crowd?

            So it's a hit with those who like that sort of thing, but there just aren't enough of them.


            • #7
              I made the decision not to bring it into my little two-screen venue. My small town wouldn't "get" it. I have enough trouble getting them to show up for stuff that they DO like. But I have a thought about why it's not working:

              Story telling mediums are all different, and each one has strengths and weaknesses that you can use to tell a story. And some mediums, like, say, movies, do what they do very well, which is create spectacle. I'm not saying you can't do other stories with movies, but for bread and circuses, big screens with large sound systems are the best.

              Cats worked on the stage because the way stories are told on stage are very different than the way stories are told on the big screen. Stage plays have a level of distance and artifice built into them, and that's something that movies try very hard to blur or remove. So, you can have singers and dancers in fur-fringed leotards onstage, speaking and singing, and the theater audience is conditioned to just go with it. In movies, you need either CGI cats that look real, but just talk and sing), or fully anthropomorphic and animated, as suggested above, but you can't do both, not if you want to sell the premise.

              Some of the costumes look like what they did to Mike Myers in Cat in the Hat. Others look like some offshoot from Avatar. And then there's the whole musical thing, which can work okay in a movie as long it's the only thing doing the heavy lifting. West Side Story. Moulin Rouge. But this was way too ambitious to pull off in a movie, especially when you're trying make it look like a movie and not a filmed stage musical, which, I think, would have been the only way to successfully pull this off.


              • #8
                I don't think that most musicals translate well to modern-day films. There might be the occasional exception to the rule, but I think that the track-record of many of those musicals brought to film are a pretty good indication.

                That doesn't mean that you can't use the core of a story of a musical as inspiration of a movie, but you should accept that a musical is a different beast than a modern movie.

                I've seen the musical once, it has been many years since, but I have mostly positive recollections about it. I was very impressed by the performances of the actors, especially the singing. When viewing a musical like this being played in front of you in real life, the fact that you know those "cats" are actors playing something akin to cats are just actors doesn't hurt your suspension of disbelief. It's just part of the story-telling device, so it doesn't get you out of the story. The same is with the sets, while being impressive, simply hint at the greater universe this takes place in.

                Now, try to project this to an otherwise photo-realistic movie setting and everything just feels fake and stupid. Cats that look like they were morphed into human shape? Cats that randomly start singing and do all kinds of crazy little dances? It simply doesn't fit and that's why I think, your mind instinctively rejects those images.

                Like Mike indicated: An animated movie targeted at adults might actually have worked better. We don't reject the obviously "drawn" environment of an animated movie, neither do we instinctively reject the characters. We don't have any problems with animals that behave like humans in most animated features either.


                • #9
                  The Cats need more digital hair!!!


                  • #10
                    The few people who are coming to see this all seem to like it, or at least find it interesting enough that they enjoy watching it.

                    Unfortunately, there's very few coming. Very, very few. Four or five people for each show, maybe. Sheesh.

                    I agree about the hair, though. My wife said "These cats look shaved."


                    • #11
                      This movie was a terrible idea from the begging. From the abstract "concept" to the terribly over done CGI this film reeked of miscalculation. The story was non-existent. Each character was introduced by song and dance, many immediately running off never to be seen again and there was this constant gross feeling that at any point this movie could turn into a full on pornographic film which would have at least given it a little excitement.
                      The biggest draw to a musical is the unedited choreography. Had they shot the song and dances without cutting I might be able to say there was something redeemable about this film. There isn't.
                      We had many people leave the theater and the vast majority of the others were very unhappy about it.
                      All in all if your trailer alone gives the public such a visceral emotional reaction maybe cut your losses because casting Idris Elba as a frightful feline is just embarrassing.
                      It's one thing to cast actual Broadway performers (would have made the film significantly better and interesting) but you gotta dress up Taylor Swift, Judi Dench, Jeniffer Hudson, Rebel Wilson and expect me to immerse myself in this movie enough to belive it?? JASON DERULO HAS A CAT TAIL....

                      Trying to mix a classic Broadway performance with current high profile actors/actresses is at it's core a terrible idea. It's amazing to me that this was green lighted.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mark Gulbrandsen View Post
                        The Cats need more digital hair!!!
                        You're sure they don't need some digital Grease too?

                        While they're at it, they could add some digital West Side Story too, don't you think?


                        • #13
                          What the pitch meeting for Cats must have been like: