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Alaina Rants On: CATS

20 Jan

I’M BACK BABY!

emperor boom baby.gif

I mean but no, let’s be real, I haven’t written in this blog in over two years, I’m probably only going to write this one entry and then move on and the rate I’m going I’ll NEVER finish Project X, so anyway, let’s be thankful that I still pay for the domain name for this site so I have an outlet to rant on movies and TV in bigger space than my Facebook or Instagram stories allow.

So. CATS.

Y’all; I severely dislike Andrew Lloyd Webber. I’m sure there is merit to Phantom and maybe Jesus Christ Superstar (is that the one he did? Or was it Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?), but I have not enjoyed them. Neither have I enjoyed Evita, or anything else this man has been responsible for.

love Sunset Boulevard, the film directed by Billy Wilder; I haven’t watched it in a while, because I tend to only watch it when I’m extremely depressed (it makes me feel better – because no matter how badly my life is going, at least I didn’t shoot my gigolo in the back), and … I haven’t been extremely depressed enough to watch it? (VICTORY? I mean, I’ve been depressed enough to not watch any prestige TV in about three years [with the exceptions of Mr. Robot, which I am slogging my way through currently and also Better Call Saul, which I love SO MUCH BETTER than Breaking Bad that I am astounded every year – but I digress] and all I’ve read pretty much are romance novels and light literature.)

ANYWAY, back to Sunset Boulevard – a few years ago, Maine State Music Theater put on a production of Sunset Blvd, the musical, and I left at intermission because the musical sucked

It wasn’t the performances, it was just the sing-through of it all, and the happy peppy numbers where Sunset Boulevard is dark, man, and I just – I NOPE’d my way out at intermission AND NEVER FELT GUILTY ABOUT IT

I saw CATS once; it was also at Maine State Music Theater (what? it’s not like I jaunt down to NYC every time I want to see a play); and I remember two things:

  1. I was constantly hitting my head on my chair back because I was BORED AF; and
  2. I maintained that Magic Mr. Mistofelees should have been dancing to “The Final Countdown.”

I did not want to go see CATS: The Musical: The Movie. There was nothing in it for me to go see it. The plot of CATS is stupid, Andrew Lloyd Webber is stupid, this whole THING is stupid, Tom Hooper hasn’t directed anything good since The King’s Speech, and have I mentioned that things are STUPID

But then – then – the reviews came out.

Reviews like this one:

cats 1

And these:

cats 3

And this one:

cats 2

And then my coworker Bill informed me that the special effects and CGI were unfinished when sent to theaters originally, and so the studio was sending a patch to fix it.

And that’s when I decided that, fuck it, I needed to see this movie. Again, not because of the movie itself, or any thoughts of allowing it to change my mind, and definitely not because I thought it was going to be marginally okay; no, I needed to be able to say I saw the unpatched CATS in theaters and survived.

I’m also a masochist.

surprise

On Christmas Eve, 2019, I braved the movie theater and went to see CATS. When I came out, I was stunned. (You can watch it on my Instagram story highlight on my profile.)

In addition to the notes I typed in the theater (which I’ll include later), I decided I needed to record my immediate reaction to the movie, because they would be lost otherwise. So I put Bruce the Car into gear, stuck my microphone earbud in, and hit the camera/video app to record.

What follows is the transcript of my fifteen minute rant immediately following CATS. I tried to punctuate it to better capture my vocal range and volume, but I am writing this in words, not music score, so; if you want to hear it for real (I can’t upload video into this blog – it costs money and also it’s fifteen minutes long), lemme know and I’ll drop the rant into your GoogleDrive.

Okay. I am attempting to record my audio thoughts using my handheld device, so I am breaking aaalll sorts of laws right now, but um –

[strangled voice] Everything we read was true about this movie! – it is an eldritch horror! – there are SO many questions! Um –

WHY IS THERE A RAILWAY CAT What on EARTH does a CAT have to do with a railway? What is the scale of this movie? Three cats can fit on a railway tie to TAP DANCE and don’t!-even-get-me-started! on why is there TAP?! in this GODDAMNED MUSICAL? And then, it only takes like, one cat to fill a bed? What the ff—WHAT THE FUCK

Um, I am not sure about the rumor about, “Well, if you’re watching the unpatched version, you can tell because Judi Dench’s wedding ring wasn’t altered.” Okay, but here’s the thing – all of the cats? have human hands and human feet. —– Why??? Whyy – do cats have human hands and human feet? And some are wearing sneakers?! There are breakdancing cats and they’re wearing sneakers. And then there’s the Railway Cat tap-dancin’, with tap shoes, I don’t –

Uuuuuhhh, let’s see. It is true that all of the cats are entirely too horny. It’s just – it’s just …. very disturbing. It’s – it’s – like, first of all. I –

It has been a long time since I’ve had two cats together. I have a single cat right now. Butterscotch and Tina, my two cats that I had when I was a child, living with my parents, because I was a child, um – they didn’t express affection against each other by rubbing heads. My cat will bump his head up against my forehead as a form of expression, but it is weird to see two cats do that? Mainly because I don’t think I’ve ever seen it outside of like, The Lion King? But secondly, it’s really fuckin’ awkward when two humans with cat ears are doing it to each other, y’just – I felt so uncomfortable I wanted to leave? But I couldn’t! Because I had to pay money for it, and I needed to see it through.

Although I totally did put my headphones in and listen to music at times. There is no amount of money that you can pay me to sit there and WILLFULLY listen to fuckin’ Mr. fuckin’ Mistofelees. I STILL SAY he should be singing to “The Final Countdown,” and I UNDERSTAND that CATS was written before Arrested Development, but GODDAMMIT if Taylor Swift can write a song about “Beautiful Ghosts,” which also, WHAT THE FUCK, I mean –

WHY. WHY GHOSTS. Do cats know what ghosts are, Taylor? Do they? They CLEARLY don’t understand about the afterlife, so why would they even know what a GHOST IS?! I just – – oh man, I just – I just! I. JUST.

[DEEP EXHALE] Okay. Um – wow, was that all one breath, Alaina? [ANOTHER DEEP EXHALE] Okay. Um, what else. What else was there.

OH! Okay. So – so these are humans, these are human people, wearing, like, green screen suits, I guess, and then, CGI’d later to look like animal – like cat fur, cuz, y’know, they’re supposed to be cats? UM, I have many questions.

First of all, why do some cats get to wear fur coats? Like, actual coats of fur, and – are they the coats of people that they’ve killed? I mean – and by “people” I mean other cats? Or are they other animals? And if it’s other animals, like – there were mice, that were, um, with –

FIRST OF ALL THE MICE? HAD FACES TOO, they were ALSO HUMANS and they were ALSO CHILDREN! And I don’t – I – I – I am really disturbed! Um, so okay, but the fur coats – are they, are they mice coats? Are they moleskins? I know I asked this question once in my Instagram but the question still stands and I don’t have answers!

OH! At one point Taylor Swift is dancing with Idris Elba and they have both been CGI’d to be the same size and proportion. THINK ABOUT THAT! THINK ABOUT THAT! Idris Elba can compete against Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in terms of size and proportion and he and Taylor Swift are now THE SAME BODY. THAT’S HOW WEIRD THIS SHOW IS, and by show I mean movie. Um – I mean, that’s just clearly wrong! Why would you have Idris Elba, be the same size, as TAYLOR SWIFT?!

Taylor Swift sang in a British accent. What the fuck. For fuck’s sake. Whose – that was Taylor Swift’s idea, wasn’t it? And Tom Hooper was just like, “Oh, sure, fine.” Did Tom Hooper know that she’s not from Britain? Did she pretend? Was it – why would she be singing in a British accent – be –

[here’s the part where I wanted to point out that there were other actors singing in American accents to prove my point, but then remembered that Rebel Wilson is from Australia and James Corden is British, so my argument fell apart and I trailed off]

I don’t understand. It’s not necessary. It’s really not necessary.

Um. [sing-song] What else, what else, what ellllssse? OH, going back to the whole, skin-suit thing. Okay, so: skin suit, with cat fur CGI’d onto it, human hands human feet, some get to wear coats. But then, there are a lot of the time, it looks like there was a human, and then they, like, Face/Off’d a different person’s face onto that other person human – [here’s where I realized I just jumbled my words and fucked the description up so I try to save face] –‘s body? So the face wasn’t moving in time with the body, and it was really, really unnerving. Like, Face/Off had better CGI. I just want to put that out there, and it has been a good two decades since I’ve watched Face/Off. But it is – Face/Off had better technology.

[Realization hits]

Mainly, because Nic Cage was playing John Travolta and vice versa. Okay, I understand the point now, but – do you understand what I’m saying? IT’S OFFPUTTING! It LOOKS WEIRD!

So there was that. Oh – it is true that when they CGI’d everybody’s like, dance shoes out? It looks like they’re floating. The dancers – the actors. So clearly, they were dancing on a stage, probably wearing shoes, I doubt they were barefoot, even if they were barefoot, I mean, good for you. But then they had to be CGI’d and then placed on, like, a cobblestone street, and the cobblestone street isn’t flat, so they look like they’re floating. There’s that.

I don’t know who did Jennifer Hudson’s makeup, but they should be fired because it looks like they gave her lip implants on the bottom lip only, and that’s just wrong.

Ian McKellen was the only one who knew what movie he was in. Which makes sense, because Ian McKellen is a god. Um, but like, he actually made me believe he was a cat, and not just a human told to act like a cat? or a human told to dance like a ballerina or a dancer and they’ll be turned into a cat later?

Rebel Wilson and James Corden were the — — — well, I guess they weren’t the worst part of the movie, but it was really really bad. Um – clearly, they realized that you can’t just adapt CATS without also needing dialogue to explain what the fuck is going on in that fuckery, so they created dialogue and then gave it to James Corden and Rebel Wilson in the form of STUPID, STUPID JOKES. Like, “Cat got your tongue.” Or, “oh, I guess the cat’s outta the bag” uuuhhhhhhh

Oh and I was really really mad that they – at one point in my notes I was like, “oh my god, they’re turning the ballerina cat into a FUCK a CAT BURGLAR GODDAMMIT”, I just, really? You had to go there?

So, I don’t remember if the character of Victoria is from the play or not, or if she was just added there because unlike a real production of CATS and that term is used loosely, um, there’s no audience, and so she’s like the audience’s … entryway? into what the fuck is going on? I can’t remember the term of it, but you know what I mean. [Note From The Future: the word you were searching for, Alaina, was “proxy”.] Anyway, all she did was follow every other cat around and stare bug-eyed at them. And then, she sang a little bar of “Memory,” and then she also sang the Taylor Swift song about “Beautiful Ghosts”

which AGAIN, do cats know about the afterlife? Cuz they’re convinced they’re going to something called the Heaviside Layer, and I don’t think they understand that means that THEY DIE. Like, that’s the point. The cats die, and then they get another life, until they reach their nine, or, if you’re Judi Dench playing Old Deuteronomy, 99, apparently? Um, but like – do cats know about ghosts? I know that some cats see ghosts in real life.

And they’re referring to the other … cats – I will not say what type of cats they are, because I don’t like that word, it’s really weird. [sigh] The Andrew Lloyd Webber slur for “angelical”, you get me? – what was I saying. OH, but the song, y’know, “dancing with the beautiful ghosts,” you’re referring to the other cats that are currently alive. That’s just bitchy.

Oh, there was a thing I wanted to say about the whole, Andrew Lloyd Webber of it all, I think, I don’t know. I can’t remember. I’ve lost steam. I’ve been ranting for a good eleven minutes. So. Um. I will add to this, probably? Definitely going to record some Instagram shit, and uh, I can’t look at my notes and drive and record at the same time. Like I said, breaking three laws. So um… I guess I’ve talked that rant out of me, until I remember something else.

[NO TIME ELAPSES]

OH DID I MENTION THERE WAS A BABY IN THE THEATRE

Like, so I’m sitting in the very back row, knowing I am going to be a complete asshole during this entire experience. I’m going to be Tweeting, I will be putting my headphones in to block out the sound of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s synths, I am not going to sit anywhere close to the screen where people can see the light, it’s fine, I’ll sit in the back. And uh, just before like, the trailers start – which, by the way, Regal Cinema needs to tone their fucking trailers down. There were like, seven. The one for the new Troll movie seriously made me think my Twix bites were laced with Molly. I don’t know what the fuck that is, power to every single parent who has to take their child to that, because, holy shit, that’s just a … glitter bomb fuck orgy. I don’t know what it is, but it’s, it’s wrong. I’ll tell you that much, it’s fuckin’ wrong.

And then, halfway through the trailers, they show a fucking commercial for Walmart? Get – this is why people don’t go to the movies anymore, Movie Theaters, you charge eleven dollars to see fucking CATS, and then you make us sit through seven trailers and four commercials before showing the actual goddamned travesty of a film that we paid MONEY to go see. This is why we’re going to Netflix. If you told me I could pay $10 a month and see movies without the fucking commercials and maybe three trailers? I would do that! But ya can’t, cuz ya suck!

Where was I going with that? OH, so, even before the trailers show up, I’m like, “all right, good, I’ve got three rows between me and the next group of people, they’ve been looking at me, they’re probably thinking ‘yeah, she’s here to make fun of it,’ that’s cool.” I swear I heard them laughing a little bit, but then this fucking family comes in, and I see at least one child, and I’m like, oh, no. This is bad. Pour one out for this family, who’s bringing a child to see CATS on Christmas Eve, and I mean, this kid was definitely under the age of ten. So, he will have nightmares. He will be traumatized from this.

And then, as I’m sitting there, I realize, Oh FUCKING SHIT, they brought a FUCKING BABY. Like, okay, I understand, that the parents probably needed to get away, and they couldn’t find a babysitter. It’s Christmas fucking Eve, I get that. I GET THAT. But like, a baby?! To CATS?! There were – that child is going to be traumatized and not know WHY!

I should really stop recording because I think I’ve forgot to take the brights off of, three different cars as I’m driving down this back road, but, I mean, SERIOUSLY, that kid is going to be – he will NEVER have a cat, and he’s not going to understand why. I’ll tell ya why, it’s because your parents brought you to CATS when you were of a formative brain-making age, that’s why. I just …

[sigh] Okay, I talked a rant out again. Yeah, so, um, there was a baby. In CATS. And I kinda want to buy him therapy for the rest of his life. Of course, now I have an even better reason to go to a therapist. “I have anxiety. Also, I subject myself to shit that I have no need to. I paid money to see CATS, knowing it was going to be absolute shit! But I did it anyway, because I’m a masochist. UNPACK THAT FOR ME, DOCTOR.”

[Long sigh]

Okay. All right, I think I’m truly done. I’m gonna hit stop. This has been “Alaina Watches Cats: The Rant.” Merry fucking Christmas.

As I was sitting in the back of the theater as I watched this … monstrosity, I was able to take notes. Some of these were included in my rant but some were not.

WHAT THE FUCK CATS

  • FIRST OF ALL fuck that human for chucking the bag with the cat in it(*)
  • Also yeah I have headphones in for when the music gets real bad
  • It’s like they photoshopped other people’s faces on other actors and then uncanny valleys them
  • The faces don’t move with the rest of their bodies
  • I made it 2 minutes, I’m listening to music
  • Their necks are entirely too long
  • Why does Idris Elba need to wear a fur coat and a hat
  • WHY DO THE MICE HAVE FACES AND WHY ARE THEY CHILDREN
  • THE COCKROACHES ALSO HAVE HUMAN FACES
  • Rebel Wilson’s skin has a zipper to reveal ANOTHER SKIN with a cabaret outfit???
  • The actors were dancing in a green screen studio and then pasted onto an uneven cobblestone IT IS SO BAD
  • All the cats walk on their hind legs like humans except Grizzabella the glamour cat who is MAJORLY SLUT-SHAMED WTF
  • I didn’t think it was possible to make James Corden be more ridiculous. I WAS WRONG.
  • I love how the screenwriter fucking knew that this POS needed some new dialogue to attempt to explain WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON but kept the dialogue appropriately SHITTY
  • Cat got your tongue
  • Look what the cat dragged in
  • Why does Idris Elba keep saying ineffable? THE FUCK
  • Now the ballerina cat is being taught … GODDAMMIT A CAT BURGLAR JOKE WHAT THE FUCK
  • I am so angry right now
  • Now the ballerina cat is sharing A LOOK with the illusionist cat and holy shit I do not need to see a cat romance
  • Are they putting in a plot? With the Idris Elba kidnapping the annoying cats and putting them on a barge?
  • Ian McKellen knows what movie he’s in
  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA THE CHOREOGRAPHY MAKES IT LOOK LIKE ALL THE CATS ARE SPRAYING
  • A lot of this dance sequence is like how Chandler Bing describes Riverdance
  • WHY DO THE BREAKDANCING CATS NEED SNEAKERS
  • Who the fuck did Jennifer Hudson’s lip makeup and why did that person think she needed lip implants
  • IN THE BOTTOM LIP
  • So these cats have human hands and human feet …?
  • Fuck off Tom Hooper there’s no fucking reason to show Jennifer Hudson’s runny nose
  • Ian McKellen absolutely knows what movie he’s in
  • The basket Judi Dench is lounging in is crazy
  • Oh god the meowing the meowing
  • Judi Dench just raised her leg what the everloving fuck
  • Okay I have many questions
  • Why are cats wearing tap shoes
  • Why is there a tap break in this travesty
  • I don’t think there’s such a thing as a railway cat
  • The scale is all wrong – first these cats are so small three can fit on a railroad tie but now one takes up an entire human bed
  • That cat just spun himself up into the air and then disappeared
  • No one warned me that Taylor Swift was singing with a British accent for fuck’s sake
  • Okay but Idris Elba is clearly not a Ginger cat in this production
  • Why does Taylor Swift have boobs and high heels
  • Idris Elba and Taylor Swift are the same fucking size and proportion as cats
  • Idris Elba bringing his Hobbs and Shaw Black Superman energy to this gig
  • Is Memory supposed to be sung while choking back tears
  • [this last directed to the baby in the theater] I feel ya, kid.

That’s it. That’s everything. That’s everything that spewed out of me within the first thirty minutes of seeing CATS: The Musical: The Movie. I don’t think there’s any need for any additional “reviewing”. I originally wanted to go to see if I could channel Addison DeWitt for a scathing review, but … no. This … this broke Addison DeWitt. This movie can only be reviewed in FIRE RAGE TONES of disbelief and anger, and … isn’t FIRE RANGE and disbelief and anger the essential essence of CATS anyway?

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2020 in Alaina Rants On

 

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