|MY FAVORITE "CAT IN THE HAT" REVIEWS|
From Pat Holmes, "Portland
I hope you'll excuse me if I'm a bit off. It's not from the flu or a cold or a cough. I've just seen a movie that's really annoying. You'll know what it is from the photo we're showing. It's another assault on poor old Dr. Seuss. "The Grinch" wasn't enough, so they've turned this thing loose.
They call it "The Cat in the Hat," and it's sad. Enough to make Seussians flustered and mad. I'm sorry to say -- but I have to, it's true! -- that Seuss is to this what a horse is to glue. A thing to be rendered a glutinous mass, to stick up your family. It's terribly crass!
The tale of a cat with a magical way of brightening two kids' unsunny day has been bent out of shape and knocked out of whack till you might as well call it "The Yak in the Sack." Whatever charm anyone found in the book has been stolen away as if by a crook.
Mike Myers is playing the titular kitty. And like the whole film, the result isn't pretty. It's colorful, true, and it's splashy and slick -- but so's what comes up when your children get sick.
And Myers, of course, is the kind of a bloke who always laughs loudest when he tells a joke. He's oh-so-convinced he's adorably cute that having an audience really is moot. Now maybe Nic Cage -- or Johnny Depp, too -- could have given this role a unique twist or two. Or a digital critter -- like Gollum, you know -- might have made for a character worthy of show. Instead, we get Myers, who's hardly a plus -- so pleased with himself that he doesn't need us.
A production designer whose name is Bo Welch directs the whole thing with the grace of a belch. His work with Tim Burton, that "Scissorhands" movie, was moody and beautiful, really quite groovy. But now as director, his work is the worst -- like Burton on steroids and ready to burst! All bulging and swollen and icky, I mean. Pastel-splattered! Bubble-gummed! Ouch, it's my spleen!
"This mess is so big and so deep and so tall." That line's from the book, and that line says it all.
Theodor Geisel -- that's Seuss' real name -- made witty simplicity his claim to fame. He tickled his readers as if with a feather. Both grown-ups and children, he brought them together. But nowadays all of our standards are dropping. This movie's intended to send us all shopping.
The merchandise mavens behind it, you know, don't care about kids or the way that they grow. They care about checkbooks and Visas and cash, and stuff you can purchase, then throw in the trash. And just when you think there can't be anymore, the video's out and you're back at the store!
With marketing strategists calling the shots, the movies we're getting could just make you plotz. Such gaudy and shoddy boondoggles, you see, make Grinchy old cynics of you and me.
I would rather pluck every single hair growing on my person, one by one, than sit here and watch this monstrosity. And believe me when I say that I am very hairy.
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