As television, streaming or otherwise, has increasingly become where we turn for quirky or unusual viewing (and even blockbusters – I finally wrapped up Game of Thrones with the final season now out on blu-ray, and that really dark episode really did look a lot better), movies have become more predictable. And the run up to Christmas is often my least favourite time of the movie-going year, because it’s usually the most predictable.
There’s a bunch of mildly inoffensive Oscar bait films, a quirky prestige drama (or comedy), a blockbuster – once James Bond or Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, now Star Wars – and some of those kids films that angle themselves as something grownups can sit through as well.
The names change, the stories stay the same.
There are obviously good reasons for showing these films at these times, mostly to do with marketing or attracting the widest possible audience and so December is predictable because December is when the big money is to be made. But predictable is boring, even when the films are good, and I think you know where I’m heading with this because I’ve seen Cats.
Look, while I totally understand why nobody in their right mind would want to pay money for a decent night’s entertainment and get that served up to them instead and I would in no way recommend it to anyone for any reason, seeing a film that messed up was a vital reminder that there is still some humanity involved in all this. Crazed humanity that was making wild and clearly erroneous assumptions regarding what people can cope with visually and intellectually, but better that than the scriptbots that turn out those kids movies where some sassy pre-teen is teamed up with a disgruntled action hero.
And the really good news is that January is the dumping ground month where cinemas are full of shockers like Cats. Well, not exactly like Cats because nothing is really like Cats aside from some demented horror stories I read in the 80s, but if you’ve seen the trailers for Bad Boys For Life and thought “wow, Martin Lawrence quit acting a decade ago and he’s not starting up again now”, then you’ve still only just scratched the surface of what’s to come.
Kirsten Stewart has a movie called Underwater where she’s trapped underwater! There’s an Australian movie about go carts called Go! And then there’s Dolittle, which has largely flown under the radar but if you’ve read literally anything about it then you know there’s a very good chance Cats is about to lose that crown that reads MOST MESSED UP ANIMALS across the front. When a director is basically fired in part because he refuses to understand how CGI works in a movie full of CGI animals, and in part because he has a – I’m not making this up, the internet is aflame – racist dog, not even Robert Downey Jr talking to random animals for a hundred minutes can save a film. Especially if there’s a chance those animals might also turn out to be racist.
Written by Anthony Morris