Any bona fide theater queen has already made their way to the cineplex for Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s groundbreaking 1981 musical, “Cats.”
But for those you who may have been on the fence about forking over $10 for a movie in a theater already crowded with “Star Wars” fans—and despite the generally creepy trailers—here’s a quick roundup of the reviews.
This is a generally rare approach from SFGN, but honestly, the critics from the dailies and industry news sites beat me to ALL the best clichés and puns about the story of a community of London felines vying for a trip to the Heavyside Layer, a sort of cat heaven where they will be reborn as a younger, hotter cat.
I’m resorting to a dog pun, but tell me, are they being “bitchy”?
The Los Angeles Times: “‘Cats’ is the cat-astrophe we can’t stop talking about.”
Rolling Stone: “A Broadway musical adaptation straight out of the litter box…this disaster of a movie shouldn’t happen to a dog.”
Seattle Times: “This is one weird furball of a story.”
The Sun: “One to furget.”
Wall Street Journal: “Artistically, it’s a hairball.”
Detroit News: “…the biggest disaster of the decade, and possibly thus far in the millennium. It’s ‘Battlefield Earth’ with whiskers.”
Creative Loafing: “Pussy galore, and quite the bore.”
Variety: “Nine may not be enough lives for some of the stars to live down their involvement in this poorly conceived and exected adaptation…”
It’s true, Hooper locked down top stars for his film: Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, James Cordon and Taylor Swift. I’ll just point out that somehow Tom Cruise survived his descent into “Labyrinth” (1986), pointy elf ears and all.
Then there’s the odd CGI effects: The cats have digital fur, ears and tails, but human mouths and teeth, and five-fingered hands. Last time I checked, female cats also had multiple “boobs,” for lack of a better term. Nobody told Taylor Swift, whose mammaries are actually accentuated by the digital editing. Accident? I wonder.
And, I’m not even going to weigh in on the dancing mice and cockroaches with childrens’ faces superimposed or what eventually happens to them. There’s an ick factor at work that simply cannot be overlooked.
Louis Bayard of the New York Times resorted to creating a “Cats” drinking game: “A sip of a Black Cat vodka cocktail every time one kitty sweetly nuzzles another.” Forget the rules and just start drinking (or perhaps try stronger mind-altering substances). It’s also okay to nuzzle any nearby creature in the room.
That all said, “Cats” may enjoy another life as a campy cult favorite. It’s happened before: “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971), “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975) and “Showgirls” (1995). History (and cable television) will be the ultimate arbiter.
The film didn’t fare well at the box office on opening weekend, but if nothing else, it will always offer an excuse to shake up a cocktail (see above).
“Cats” is currently in nationwide release. Check local listings for theaters and show times.