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Best day of the year?

I don't know. Is it because I'm now officially on holiday, so for the next three weeks there's no morning alarm, no daily grind. I can stay in bed until noon, drink tea all day long, and taunt the cat by busting out my dance moves (which isn't that unlike a lurking zombie).
Or is it because the infernal heat has passed? I have my window open, and a desk fan placed to blow cool air into the room. It's 20°C outside, about 26°C inside (slowly going down). It's eight o'clock as I write this. This time yesterday (and the day before and before that) it would have been in the thirties.
I mean, I know it's summer and it's sunny and hot in summer, but if I wanted this sort of weather I'd have moved to central Spain...



You know a few years ago I said that Theresa May would be a god-awful Prime Minister because her record at the Home Office was anything but inspiring? Well, now we have Boris Fu*king Johnson as the titular leader of the United Kingdom. And just to make it clear how things are going to go, Rees-Mogg and Patel have cabinet positions. I would be worried if I was a foreigner in the UK, given that the cabinet is now mostly hard-Brexit far-right nutjobs.
Oh, yes, Boris has said he wants to safeguard citizen's rights. At least May was enough of a shit to openly try using citizens as bargaining chips (which is why it never got ring-fenced in the beginning when the EU was asking for this). Boris? What he says and what he does are randomly different. I'm not sure I can apply any measure of confidence to the man who has stated that the UK is leaving at the end of October, with or without any sort of agreement in place.
I'm not going to think about this any more.
I don't understand how we got to this position.
I don't understand how so many article comments on The Register (which used to be generally anti-Brexit) are now becoming vehemently pro-Brexit; especially given as how people still can't give an actual tangible benefit of Brexit that justifies the downsides. Yeah, sure, people talk big words about sovereignty, but they forget that their "friends" after walking away from Europe will be America First, and the recent shameful debacle regarding the leaked opinions of the UK's ambassador have shown, the UK will be the one holding an empty box of cards and a begging bowl. But, then, given who leaked that stuff, I'm seeing a stitch-up here. At least Farage turned down Trump's request to be the replacement ambassador.

I don't know. Every time I think the whole chaotic mess has hit a new low, it goes and outdoes itself.

So now Boris is PM with a right-wing cabinet.
Only the dipshits that believe what's written in the Daily Express would find reason to celebrate. Any sensible person... barkeep, another round please.



The other day, my news app informed me that a trailer for the movie "Cats" was available. This immediately blew my mind. If you're like the only person on planet Earth that doesn't know, Cats is a stage play by Andrew Lloyd Webber based upon a T.S. Eliot book of poems.
It is notable for basically being a group of people attempting to tell a serious story while in cat costumes, and it is also notable for some pretty ear-wormy songs (# MEM'REEE..... ALL ALONE IN THE MOONLIGHT...).
It is about as camp as you can imagine a musical production with people dressed as cats would be, and for the life of me I don't get why it is so popular. My mother wanted to watch the video a while back, and I watched some of it as well. About as much as I could stomach, which was not a lot. It was... ridiculous.

Now, I do not have a problem with making videos of theatrical productions. I'm not really that familiar with the story of Cats, suffice to say that the video version of it didn't seem that unlike watching it as a live show, only squished down to the sort of quality that you'd expect from videotape.
This movie is not a video of a performance, it is something created explicitly as a movie. There is dancing and singing, but that's to be expected given that it's a musical.

So, I downloaded the trailer and watched.


Okay, I'll be honest with you. I've not been as shocked-to-silence since that time I watched Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" and was like the hell did I just watch?!? That is... pretty much... my reaction to this.
It was...
How can I say this?
Bloody awful manic nightmare fuel.
With "Academy Award Winner" written all over it.

From what I've seen in the short preview, the cinematography looks pretty decent. The framing is effective, the neo-noir-in-the-rain and capturing all the reflections, a bit of chiaruscuro for good measure, and that bit with throwing the flowers in the air towards the camera is just lovely, the way it is set up and staged.

The problem isn't and of that. The problem... Honestly, what the hell is this?

It's a semi-real semi-CGI "cat" shaped like a human and lacking that which most cats possess. We call them little furballs for a reason.

This trailer is so ripe for savaging (as I understand most of The Internet has already done) that it would be boring if I didn't go through the rest of this unbelievably ridiculous trailer and point out some issues.
Like this shot. I actually like the subtle change in her ears (they flatten down), it's just a shame they didn't fix the obviously non-cat eyes.

Wait - hang on - that's Dame Judi Dench. Wearing a fur coat? What kind of cat wears a fur coat?

Dude on the right, wasn't he in A Clockwork Orange?

Um, where exactly is the base of that tail connected to the body?

Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson... It's that old Hollywood nonsense of taking a bunch of well known names and stuffing them into a movie instead of, say, making a movie that was good enough to stand on its own without the Big Name Billing.
If you ever wanted to know what Taylor Swift looks like as a cat, it's this. And no, I wouldn't have recognised her either.

Hang on, she's wearing shoes? She's basically cat naked except for shoes and a choker necklace?
Of course, in order to actually put her shoes on (there's a strap) she'll need to have fingers instead of paws. The next shot demonstrates this:

Now I know from experience that cats have six nipples. So this one with jiggly boobs, there's just something really wrong with this.

This cat person thing has nice moves. She's the "and introducing" part, and is a professional ballerina or something. Which, I guess, for a musical, might be better than a Big Name?


That is hideous.
I don't know who this actress is, and to be fair she does a pretty decent job on the vocals. But a cat with lips and human teeth? This is the playground of a nightmare fetishist. I'm not even noticing the bling or the fur coat, it's that face. That face that perhaps sums up everything that is wrong with the concept of this movie.

And speaking of concepts, do humans exist in Cats? Because it seems as if these cats exist in a world where everything is human sized, while they're... not.

Gratuitous neo-techno-noir shot. Just because I like it.


Apparently being released on December 20th (unless they pull it to redo the CGI into something less likely to make an entire generation fear ballet), the trailer came out mid-July and I would imagine by the time December rolls around, there will be enough of a buzz to ensure it does well. Most likely a mixture of die-hard Cats fans (they'll be the ones in tears) and curious people wondering if it is really as bad as the trailer suggests (they'll be the ones laughing).

I cannot legitimately say that this is bizarre for the original stage production was bizarre. What this is is demented. I can sort of imagine this being the result of an acid trip where I try really hard to imagine what my cat gets up to at night. Actually, the thought of her pulling that sort of ballet routine... it's just a shame that her wailing/singing part is so out of tune. When she's in heat it's quite a ruckus.

Will I watch this? I don't know. I've experienced worse (many Troma Team movies) and a weird-as-hell musical isn't necessarily a bad thing (Rocky Horror, Repo! Genetic Opera). I think it might breathe some new life into the cats concept, but what seems to me to be the best bit is that they appear to be taking it utterly seriously. This isn't a nudge-nudge-wink-wink as they point out the plot holes and tropes, or throw in some gags for those in the know. This appears to be a completely straight movie version of Cats.
And that, alone, is hysterical.

I predict it'll be pretty good on its opening weekend - hordes of people asking the same beginning to the question, even if the endings differ: did they really.......

They really.



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David Pilling, 31st July 2019, 13:47
Cats is OK - total nonsense, making something out of nothing - but pleasant enough. Evil copyright has prevented TC, Officer Dibble, Benny etc appearing in it. Fan fiction the musical.

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