101 movies for 2021, this is gonna be a goal for me. I miss blogging and 2020 took a lot of energy out of me and I feel like going in head first into 2021 is the best way to do things. I don’t normally make movie blog posts though, so this will be a first for me.
Some backstory though, I’ve had this idea in my head since December and I had a list of films to start with (5 films that I am rewatching or that I have never seen before). Here’s the thing though, once January 1 got here…ALL THOSE FILMS WERE TAKEN OFF THE STREAMING SERVICES. And, you know, the first movie post has to be big, it can’t be a random movie. So after spending a long time combing through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO Max, we found our first film.
I’m not a fan of musicals, despite being a theatre major when I was in my 20s, I remember the musical advertised in some of the VHS tapes I had when I was little and…it looked fucking weird. But with an open mind, I started watching the movie.
And I was right, it was weird. Within the first 20 minutes I heard the term jellicle used maybe 3,000 times or more. The awkwardness of the musical did go away after the first 20 minutes. I couldn’t get used to the CGI, it wasn’t bad (see Polar Express) but it seemed off so we will go with the phrase “ahead of its time.”
The movie is easy to follow when they’re not breaking out into song and dance over jellicle cats. A lot of the movie was spent trying really hard to recognize actors. I recognized Rebel Wilson, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Jason Derulo.
Basic Plot (TL;DR) in 100 words or less
Victoria, a white cat, is abandoned on the streets of London. She’s then thrust into this world of the alley cats (or Jellicles), where each cat gets their own musical number. Macavity is the bad cat who can teleport people. The plot centers around the Jellicle Ball, which is a talent show? Old Deuteronomy leads the ball and chooses the winner (the Jellicle Choice). The winner then gets to start a new life. Iconic cat with the iconic number wins the ball. Shenanigans also happen, Taylor Swift is there. Jason Derulo didn’t fall down any stairs.
The film got a lot of flack because of the weird CGI, then the film studio patched it (like a videogame). Still looked weird half the time though. Cats is watchable if you can get through the roadblocks. There’s just so much going on in the first 3rd of the movie. I enjoyed some parts of it, especially some of the later musical numbers for the side characters. I also liked that they didn’t rely entirely on Hollywood actors. Francesca Hayward (Victoria) did a great job as the lead character. Also Jennifer Hudson playing Grizabella was memorable. Jennifer singing “Memory” gave me chills.
Overall, it was a little above mediocre, all the notable actors were typecast. I didn’t hate it. The CGI was ahead of its time? I definitely won’t be watching this again and I never want to hear the word jellicle ever again.
Proceed with caution!
Anyways, thanks for reading. I’ll be back with some more movies to talk about. See you all next time!