Lazy weekend mornings are a great time to catch a flick that never sparked enough interest to go out of your way to see, or to re-live a film that reminds us of when movies were still part “magic”
This weekend I was briefly excited to see an influx of violent classics to finally cross paths with my hectic schedule, unfortunately my two toddlers disagreed with my bad parenting and we ended up watching Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat.
Parenting is a constant battle that none of us can win
Dr. Seuss books are a slice of childhood that transcends time. The books read to me as a child are now read to my little ones, only now can I appreciate the degree of self medication this so called “doctor” must have taken to the head. The books read like a bad acid trip. The imaginative stories take flight, and when a rocky sentence threatens the flow, Seuss simply creates a word out of thin air that would rhyme and make everything seem better… “And in time we shake and sing sneemvedder” (See what I mean. I woulda kicked ass as Dr. Seuss)
“Now F off with you, and try not to step in my poo”
With the evolution of CGI, Hollywood has been able to translate these imaginative works of art into film. The results are mixed. While the animated films such as Horton Hears a Who are watchable…even enjoyable, it’s the live action films such as The Grinch that feel like a never ending root canal.
In Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, Mike Myers plays Cat, who intrudes in the lives of two young siblings Sally and Conrad (Dakota Fanning and Spencer Breslin) while their high strung, yet gullible mother (Kelly Preston) is called into work.
Cat proceeds to destroy the house with off the wall wackiness that somehow teaches responsibility to Sally and Conrad. Simultaneously the evil neighbor Alec Baldwin plots to send the kids to military school so he can “move in” on their mom, literally and physically. Aided by the Cat, Sally and Conrad set out to foil his evil plans.
Kelly Preston? Before this movie I couldn’t pick her out of a lineup. The only fact I knew of her was that she was John Travolta’s wife. I guess due to that I was never tempted to look, but for the mere reason she resembles the blonde from Modern Family, the “Dad” audience stuck watching this tends to side with Baldwin on this one. Who can blame him for trying to ship off the kids to get a clear shot at the yummy mummy’s nest?
Speaking of Alec Baldwin, he is the main source of laughs in this movie despite the endless yet well known by now characters Mike Myers delivers as the Cat. There were a few laugh out loud worthy lines, but mostly due to Alec’s “asshole-ness”. Alec plays a great asshole, and according to Kim Basinger, he is not acting, this is what he is like in real life. In most comedies I tend to find the one dimensional antagonist the most appealing…
…and now you do too.
I also toast the vibrant and imaginative environments of this film. The bright colors and “circular” texture of this film really do relay the welcoming world that we see in the pages of Dr. Seuss’ actual books. In a world like that, there would be no such thing as war, depression, or condoms.
This Cat is sooo god damn creepy. Mike Myers is born to voice characters, but with this over the top makeup and those gestures, the Cat come off as a pedophile clown strung out on cocaine at a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party.
Not only is the cat creepy but Thing 1 and Thing 2 are downright terrifying. They look like they saw the girl from The Ring crawl out of the TV and lived.
Not to sound as if Mike Myers wasn’t perfectly cast in this, but the truth is, it doesn’t feel right. The voice of Cat can only come from Martin Short to sound authentic. For those of you without kids, Martin is the voice of the Cat on the television show. With Mike Myers filling in, it felt like when they used to substitute the voices of the Muppet Babies and expected us not to notice.
What do you mean Nanny isn’t Asian?! Just look at the outfit!!
Due to the awkwardness of the forced “zaniness”, its over the top moments feel like you’re watching an amateur standup comic bombing on stage. I almost feel bad for Mike Myers…then I think of the cash he made from Shrek and Austin Powers, and I don’t feel so bad anymore. With as many great laughs he has given us, I get the feeling this one will be left off his tombstone.
Are my kids entertained or flat out terrified? I just cannot get past the overwhelming creepiness of the characters. I might even have nightmares about these Things 1 & 2. Wish they would just show Kelly Preston more.
“What’s your favorite scary movie?”
Five beers instead of six because it was short enough. Alec Baldwin saved this one from complete torture.
Bonus Drinking Games
Take a Drink: everytime Cat laughs at the end of a sentence
Take a Drink: for every dick and balls joke
Take a Drink: whenever the Cat in the Hat makes a joke about murder or death
Down a Shot: Paris Hilton and her sexy back…not used to seeing it because she’s usually on it!
Down 2 Shots: For Thing 1 and Thing 2