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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:22 pm 
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It is a bad film. This is mostly because of the horrible design of the cats. I predicted that as the film went on, I would grow used to them but that wasn’t the case. I kept noticing strange choices and inconsistencies in the designs (why did some cats have fur covered hands and other have flesh colored ones?). Instead of being focused on the emotionality of, say, Jennifer Hudson’s performance, I was distracted looking at the strange CGI face. Other times it is frankly discomforting to see an appealing human form packaged in a realistically furry vestibule. All in all, a truly horrible choice of design.

Not to mention the whole issue of scale. The creatives must have realized what a disaster that was. Sometimes they looked cat sized, other times they looked miniscule (so tiny on those railway tracks!) or gargantuan next to mice that were same size as roaches. It felt like the whole project was so unwieldy, it could not be controlled.

The performers were competent, although Wilson and Corden are unfairly saddled with terrible comic material. I enjoy Webber’s music which coupled with Eliot’s poetry is still pretty, strange, and mysterious. The attempts to band-aid over the plot were pretty unsuccessful.

It’s a bad movie. But it is marvelously, uncommonly strange and I’m glad it exists in this form so that we can gawk at it. I saw a matinee with a mostly quiet audience, but it could be glorious fun with the right group of people.

EDIT: I just saw that Universal has notified theatres that they will be sending out a print of the film with updated visual effects beginning tomorrow. I’m not a great eagle eye, but I think I noticed some wonky effects and those hands I thought might have just been unfinished?


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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:31 pm 
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Thanks for your review! No one wants to see this with me, but I've been debating going by myself...Your edit: That's crazy that they sent out unfinished prints!! They just didn't have it finished in time?!

*edit*: Yup, that's what happened.
https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/12/21 ... ylor-swift

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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:23 am 
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It’s very similar to the musical, so as a fan you should enjoy that aspect of it. I think the most disappointing change (obviously ignoring the stuff previously mentioned) is there is less dance. I mean, there’s still a lot of dance, certainly with the ensemble and the new lead Victoria who is a prima ballerina, but most of the principal dances are pared down to accommodate the celebrity performers who maybe aren’t true triple threats. Like Lloyd Webber’s Phantom, the best and most faithful representation of Cats will remain the filmed stage performance.

But maybe try to sell it to your friends as an excuse to get a little tipsy and have a good time? I saw the film with my sister, but I definitely want to see it again with a group of friends— especially now that’s there’s an altered version coming to the theater!


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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:03 am 
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If Universal is sending the fixed version to "thousands" of theaters...it doesn't say "all"...but you think all theaters will get the update?!? And we don't know what theaters are getting the satellite download today and which get the thumb drive Tuesday... WAIT, Tuesday is Christmas Eve + I have off work, so if I wait until then the movie should be updated, if indeed all theaters are getting it. I live in a city, so it's not a small theater so fingers crossed!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:25 am 
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Good luck! Maybe just to be safe you can call the theater beforehand to make sure it’s what you want?


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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:32 am 
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Would the person answering the phone know or care?!

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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:38 am 
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Maybe? Apparently it’s pretty unprecedented for a studio to send out a revised version of a movie like this. I mean, someone working at the theater would have to know, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:48 am 
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I'd hope so! I hope we get reviews of what got updated today...

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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:15 pm 
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I am so incredibly hyped for this film !! :) :rock: :drool: :dance:


(I am writing this 100% unironically the way) 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:23 pm 
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Crap, what I typed got erased because I waited too long to send it. Slate.com's article= Universal "asking" theaters to show updated version; why not demand? Maybe some theaters won't upgrade; how would Universal know? :(

And my husband, after I mentioned the updated VFX, said he'll see it with me for some reason. But yay! But it won't be for at least a week...boo.

And so far I can't find info on the updated VFX...

*edit*
Quote:
This isn’t a joke: CATS was rushed into theaters before being finished so a new version is being sent to theaters with updated effects. How do you know if you have the old version? Look for Judi Dench’s human hand, wedding ring and all.

https://twitter.com/jenelleriley/status ... 8414758912

Quote:
For even more proof, this is a screenshot from the official trailer on Facebook. Note Rebel Wilson’s real hand in a sleeve.

https://twitter.com/sugarjoeproblms/sta ... 1427164160

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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:41 pm 
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blackcauldron85 wrote:
And my husband, after I mentioned the updated VFX, said he'll see it with me for some reason. But yay! But it won't be for at least a week...boo.


Yay! I hope you have a wonderful time!


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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:47 pm 
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Thank you! I'm tempted to see it without him too, though, since I have to wait so long. If I notice things like cat noses (not holding my breath but it bothers me!) or furry hands, I'll post in here. Would you see it again if the new FX are amazing?

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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:12 am 
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blackcauldron85 wrote:
Thank you! I'm tempted to see it without him too, though, since I have to wait so long. If I notice things like cat noses (not holding my breath but it bothers me!) or furry hands, I'll post in here. Would you see it again if the new FX are amazing?

Please do! I am so curious about what was going on with those hands. Pay close attention to Mr. Mistoffelles during his number— there’s a lot of mid shots during the number where his hands were very visible and looked unfinished and covered in human skin.

Will I see it again? Well, I was satisfied with the showing I saw. New special effects or not, this movie can become the next Rocky Horror. I want to gather a group of friends (we are all theatre people so hopefully I can get a group of us together without too much coaxing) to see the movie and get drinks at the movie’s bar before. As I wrote on Facebook, “Gloriously bonkers. Know what to expect and have a good time.”


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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:27 pm 
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After the early matinee today I called the manager down to confirm that they had indeed downloaded the new version, what I had just seen, and had taken the place of the prior version. She showed me a digital handheld device to show that the movie was downloaded yesterday. There were seven in my cinema theater today including myself. And I can honestly say that I enjoyed the second viewing of this exponentially more so than when I first saw it Saturday. Not sure what was meant when Universal said “some improved visual effects," but about the only thing I really noticed was that the movie seem to appear brighter, with deeper colors, and more pronounced whiskers and fur for some of the cats. And that’s about it. The cockroaches and mice with human faces are still in, as is Judi Dench’s ring, and the human fingers, noses, and feet (none replaced with cat parts). I wish I had paid more attention Saturday like some who seemed to have memorized every fault. Jennifer Hudson’s rendition of Memory is absolutely stunning, and when the first note began I got chills all over my body. I plan on seeing this again between now and Sunday, and still have to get the new SW movie in as well. Maybe someone else can be more specific about the improved special effects, but I really didn’t notice anything new that would change the minds of those who already hate this. Maybe it’s a mind thing, but it just seemed a lot better. But as it stands now, I’ve recommended it to a few friends and await their opinion.

https://www.broadwayworld.com/board/rea ... 016&dt=662

First reaction I’ve seen to the Cats update. I can’t believe the updated version would be so light on the updates. I’ll have to see for myself...


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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:03 am 
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Oh, so it is a bad film after all. Well, I'm glad, because I hated their design choice from the beginning. I am glad that, despite it being bad, you still enjoy it UmbrellaFish!

But when was Phantom of the Opera filmed on stage?!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:14 am 
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Disney Duster wrote:
But when was Phantom of the Opera filmed on stage?!!!!!!


The 2011 recording at the Royal Albert Hall. With Sierra Boggess as Christine, it’s really the only way to watch “Phantom” at home. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pha ... lbert_Hall

And Merry Christmas!


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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:01 am 
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I saw this last week and enjoyed it. It's a silly and stupid and entertaining popcorn musical about cats and it's been that way for the last 40 years, so I'm not sure what people were expecting. The visual effects never negatively affected me either. I mean, the stage show had some pretty bad wigs, leotards, and leg warmers. It's people dressed up as cats and it'll always be that way, no matter the technology. Does it look bad? Sure, why not, but that's secondary to what you're supposed to be focusing on anyway: the music and the dance. Speaking of, "Beautiful Ghosts" doesn't fit in with the rest of the songs for me. I also wasn't really a fan of turning "Rum Tum Tugger" into an R&B/funk song, but what can you do? I've also never liked the rewrite on "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" and would've preferred the original version.

I had a fun time with the movie and I want to see it again soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 2:06 am 
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Thanks UmbrellaFish, I want to see that sometime! Merry Christmas!

TheSequelOfDisney, I can't believe any fan of Cats think it's stupid. It's actually about how all these cats' relationships with each other, for instance the one cat was Macavity's lover, but she hated him. There is a fan theory Grizabella abandoned her kittens. And the whole play is really about how we all, sad lives or not, but especially with sad lives, want a chance to live in the sun again. "Endless Masquerading". One could even say the lines, "I must wait for a new life, and I musn't give in", are about waiting for heaven and not giving in to killing yourself. Don't call that stupid. The original costumes were way better than the fugly visuals for this film, because this film uses CGI instead, and goes into the uncanny valley.

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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:22 am 
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TheSequelOfDisney wrote:
Speaking of, "Beautiful Ghosts" doesn't fit in with the rest of the songs for me. I also wasn't really a fan of turning "Rum Tum Tugger" into an R&B/funk song, but what can you do? I've also never liked the rewrite on "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" and would've preferred the original version.


I bought the soundtrack the other day. I like "Beautiful Ghosts." I much prefer the stage versions of "Rum Tum Tugger," but I appreciate that it's a different take on it. I like the new "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer." I love "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" in any incarnation; it's definitely a favorite of mine, and they did a great job. "Mr. Mistofelees" is another favorite in all versions of mine; I like that he gets to sing in his own song; it's a good version, not as good as on stage. My other usual favorite is "Skimbleshanks," and I love the new version. I love James Corden, so "Bustopher Jones," while not a favorite usually, is extra nice here. And I do love Jennifer's "Memory." I know people online don't like Taylor's "Macavity," but I think it's good. I think this is a good companion album to the Broadway/West End/1998 filmed versions.

UmbrellaFish, thanks so much for posting the info on the (non-updates)!!! Sigh, why no one wanted cat noses, I'll never know.

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 Post subject: Re: Cats (2019)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:59 am 
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I agree with much of your assessment of the soundtrack, Amy. Generally, it’s pretty well done. I rather listen to the OBC for Mr Mistofellees and The Gumbie Cat and probably a few others where the stage show featured better singers. But Robert Fairchild, for example, has a lovely voice. I read his name a lot when An American in Paris was on Broadway but never delved into his work. He’s a wonderful surprise in Cats! But again— the cast was never the problem with this movie.

I wish the movie had taken more cues from the stage musical when designing the cats. I think they would have looked better with a mix of the stage designs enhanced with CGI. There’s a wonderful photo set on Twitter (I’ll try and find it later) where an artist sort of did that and the cats are much more appealing to the eye. It’s as if Tom Hooper has no sense of style— in Les Miz and now Cats it’s clear he tried to make it too literal, too real.


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