Cats (2019) Movie Review

Director: Tom Hooper

Writer: Lee Hall, Tom Hooper (Screenplay) Andrew Lloyd Webber (Musical)

Starring: James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Francesca Hayward, Laurie Davidson, Ian McKellen, Ray Winstone

Plot: A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.

Tagline – The Must-See Musical Event 

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Cats starts when cat Victoria (Hayward) gets abandoned in the streets, when the other stray cats look to welcome her to their world, where they look to compete to enter a new Jellicle life, one that Mr Mistoffelees (Davidson) guides her through, meeting the different cats with different talents to win the attention, while the evil Macavity (Elba) lurks in the shadows, hoping to take this spot, by eliminating any competition.

Thoughts on Cats

Characters & Performances – Victoria is the latest cat to be thrown away by humans, she finds herself entering the Jellicles cat tribe on the streets, she must navigate this world learning the different talents of the other cats, she is the audience’s entrance into this world. This is one of the hardest films to judge performances, because there is so much terrible CGI around the acting, but when it comes to the singing, Francesca Hayward is one of the few stars in the film that manages to bring their a-game to the singing. Macavity is the evil cat that wants to take the spot in the new life, he will take any of the contenders to make sure he is the only one able to be selected using his magic to make them vanish. Grizabella is the outsider that was drawn by Macavity, only to find herself exiled to the outside world, alone, until Victoria offers her friendship. Deuteronomy is the cat the others must impress to get their chance to have a new life, the cats all respect her and she will find time for them. Jennifer Hudson gives us one of the only other good moments through the film with the Memory performance that could well have saved this movie from being completely awful.

StoryThe story here follows a young cat thrown out by their owner, who ends up trying to join a tribe of Jellicle cats looking to have a new life, where she must explore the world to learn what is wanted from the tribe. This is based on the musical that ran for decades and if the story is anything like the film, it does seem confusing because it does seem like a complete mess of a story. It is plenty of just introducing a character for a song and move on, while we do have an attempt of trying to get the message of letting people into life and accepting all, even if that does seem to get pushed away too often.

ThemesCats is a musical with only two songs that stand out, with the rest coming off like talking weird over singing, the special effects are dreadful for a movie with such a big budget, with nothing looking complete, and most looking completely creepy over convincing. The sets are just as confusing, with some being human size, while others are cat scale down size, just what happened.

Final Thoughts Cats, just what happened here?

ABC Film Challenge – Action – N – Never Grow Old (2019) Movie Review

Director: Ivan Kavanagh

Writer: Ivan Kavanagh (Screenplay)

Starring: Emile Hirsch, John Cusack, Deborah Francois, Molly McCann, Quinn Topper Marcus, Sam Louwyck, Danny Webb

Plot: An Irish undertaker profits when outlaws take over a peaceful American frontier town, but his family comes under threat as the death toll rises.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow

Story: Never Grow Old starts as we head to a small frontier town, where carpenter and undertaker Patrick Tate (Hirsch) with his family Audrey (Francois), Emma (McCann) and Thomas (Marcus) live, with the Christian beliefs, without alcohol or trouble in the town.

When Dutch Albert (Cusack) and his men arrive in the town, they challenge the religious beliefs by reopening the bar, bringing the sin back to the town, giving Patrick a chance to start making big money with the increased death rate, this is until his own family comes under threat.

Thoughts on Never Grow Old

Characters – Patrick Tate is an Irish immigrant living in this town, he has a family, but is struggling with his carpenter trade, as well as his undertaker business, this is until Dutch arrives, seeing the death rate increase, leaving him wondering if he is still doing the right thing or not now. Dutch Albert is an outlaw that roles into town, he looks to bring the sin back to the religious town, which sees the crime and death rates rise, though none of the deaths are at his hands. Audrey is Patrick’s wife that doesn’t approve of the new money that has been coming their way, knowing it is coming from the death of the neighbours, while Emma and Thomas are their children, he must protect.

PerformancesEmile Hirsch and John Cusack are the biggest two names in the film, they are both fine in the film, they don’t reach the levels they have in the past, but are above the rest of the cast in the film.

StoryThe story here shows how one town is turned upside down when an outlaw decides to make it his own, with the local undertaker making a profit from the new criminal actions in the town, pushed to the limits when his own family gets targeted by what happens. This does fall into the story we have seen before, with the small town getting turned upside down, with people not standing up because of fear, only for everything to get out of hand and the person who is making money out of the greed being the one that gets the most conflicted by everything.

ActionThe action is the typical frontier experience, showing us how the guns fights were shot, with the quickest draw getting the kill.

SettingsThe film is set in a small frontier town, which has a close community, it looks like the strongest part of the film, with the designs makes us feel like we are in the time period.

Scene of the Movie – The first visit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is so slow.

Final Thoughts This is a slow action western that just never gets going, it doesn’t have much going on once it does, leaving us feeling like we aren’t watching much of anything.

Overall: Painfully slow.