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Cats is a terrible movie in more ways than I can likely remember

Against my better judgment, or perhaps more accurately, succumbing to my self-hate tendencies, I saw Cats last night in a theater. It was a discount theater, I paid $4 for my ticket, and they served beer, but no hard alcohol. I couldn't get drunk fast enough, and I kind of want my $4 back.

I'll preface this by saying that I've never seen the stageplay, so I'll try and avoid criticizing what I think is the core conceipt, save this: Most musicals have a more traditionally told story, that threads song and dance scenes together. Cats has song and dance numbers, one right after another, for nearly two hours. If you there is ever more than two minutes of the movie between songs, I would be surprised. I don't think the original stage production would be for me either.

Okay, so what's left of the movie to talk about? It feels like it's an entirely too faithful adaptation of the play. There are ways to frame a scene that make sense on a stage, but they don't feel right on a film, this movie is FULL of scenes like this. I can't really stress that enough, it feels like a really old movie, that used the "best" computer graphics technology of our day.

Which segues nicely into the real horror of the movie, the graphics. As I watched it, I kept thinking how much less disturbing it would have been if it had just been a bunch of actors in leotards in face paint. The faces often didn't really match up in weird ways, like the lips were the only parts of the original actor's faces that were real footage, it often gives it a weird vibe of OLD cartoons, where they'd overlay someone's mouth over a static image.

And the hands! I'd seen the pictures of Judy Dench with people saying that they'd clearly forgotten to CG her hands... except that almost everyone in the movie has normal, flesh toned, hairless hands. Once you see that, you can never go back. A few of them had their hands colored to match their fur, but many clearly didn't. Sometimes they had exaggerated nails made to look like claws, but there are also a number of people that have normally manicured nails.

There is a lot of really impressive choreography in the movie, except, it's all CG. I'm sure it's 100% motion capture, but it takes a lot of the wonder out of it when you're just watching a cartoon overlaid over someone. The final thing I have to say about it is that it's weird to see a bunch of essentially naked people imitating how cats movie, I'm sure this is very true to the play, but it's really unnerving when combined with these computer generated fur suits. Everyone just looked uncomfortable, or like they thought they were in another movie. Really, I don't think anyone thought they were going to be in the movie they ended up in, except for Idris Elba and Taylor Swift, both of whom seem to know exactly what they were there to do, and nailed it. Whatever this "it" is.


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