‘Ello everyone! Cat in the Hat?! More like Cat that Falls Flat! (ooooooooooooooof that’s some rough stuff, but I ain’t no Dr. Seuss). Wowzers. Cat in the Hat is a legendary bad movie, it’s got street cred out the wazoo for sure. Mainly because people were already uneasy with the Ron Howard Grinch adaptation and then were met with this cat-astrophe (nailed it). It delivered. Let’s get to the BMT Breakdown!
- The Good – Some of the production design is stunning. For what was demanded of them Baldwin and Fanning did a solid job. There is something ahead of its time and irreverent here. I put that in the good column despite …
- The Bad – The irreverent adult humor has absolutely no place in a Dr. Seuss adaptation. Myers delivered on being the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen, straight horror movie shit. The storyline makes no sense in the context of even the most basic telling of the children’s book. Myers catchphrase (Oh yeeeeeeeah! He says it like 40 times) and the way he walks is …. It profoundly upsets me.
- The BMT – This is certainly a rare one. This has somewhere close to an 80 on the BMeTric (one of the worst movies according to that ever made). And … yes, that is appropriate. If someone asked me “I need a movie for a bad movie night, I’ve seen most things though, what you got?” I would say Cat in the Hat would blow a lot of people’s minds even though it is a child’s movie.
Yet another Audio Sklog-entary. This time with director Bo Welch and Alex Baldwin. I love commentaries with more than one person because there is some banter and prompting and overall a lot more interesting anecdotes. Without Alec this would have been a trainwreck with just Bo. But Alec (1) Keeps on referring to Kelly Preston as “my girl” and whispering creepily about her outfit every time she is on screen. (2) Does a really solid 5 minute impression of a hollywood producer trying to invite him to a party in Aspen which made me laugh more than the actual movie did. (3) Has a strange thread throughout the commentary about how pressed he was for time because he was always running around trying to see his daughter. Interesting because this was right at the time in 2003 when, allegedly, Kim Basinger was intentionally preventing him from seeing his daughter and actively trying to turn her against him (culminating, a few years later, in the notorious voicemail incident). Sure you learn some stuff about the film, but this commentary is genuinely amazing just for the little time capsule it creates around Bo and Alec. Verdict: B+. although I reserve the right to increase it after listening to more of these and realizing most are probably boring.
I’m glad Patrick commented on the commentary so I didn’t have to. Baldwin just seemed to have a ball doing it and kinda made it worth listening to.
It’s going to be hard to express my feelings about The Cat in the Hat. Mostly because it’s hard to interpret and convey feelings when your brain has melted. I swear that there is a part of me that believes that if this were any other movie (perhaps one starring Tom Green), I would be sitting here talking about how, ‘you won’t believe it, but this film is NOT THAT BAD and AHEAD OF ITS TIME.’ Except I can’t. I can’t sit here and say that the atrocity committed against the Dr. Suess material was anything but that. An atrocity. But if you took that out of it and said to yourself, ‘This is not a children’s film, this is not an adaptation of a beloved children’s story,’ you start to realize that the film is essentially a stoner film. Jokes on jokes on non sequiturs on jokes. A mile a minute, looking snazzy, with a ridiculous monster-cat Mike Myers literally bouncing off the walls. It’s Adventure Time before that existed. It’s Rick and Morty a decade too early. It’s a spoof of the material that they were supposed to be actually adapting. If it aired on Adult Swim at 3 AM, it would fit right in (outside of the first 15 minutes or so, before Mike Myers shows up). But because it was a children’s film and because it was an adaptation of a beloved children’s story, it was horrifying in the most absurd and ridiculous way. Was it BMT, you ask? Uh, cha.
The Cat in the Hat is obviously based on a beloved children’s story, but I won’t discuss that because it is an abomination (or more like an Obamanation, emirite?). Instead I’m going to Sklogify it. Instead of being an actual adaptation of The Cat and the Hat, Patrick and I would produce a film called The Dog in the Coat. The main character is a child left alone at home by his mom on a rainy day. He is totally fine spending the day with his nose in a book, but a terrifying anthropomorphic dog appears and insists on taking him on an interstate crime spree. The boy spends the day in a state of heightened anxiety as he gets The Dog in the Coat (aided and abetted by his unsettling crony Dr. Whatzit, played by Danny DeVito) out of the increasingly dangerous and irresponsible jams. At the end of the day The Dog in the Coat reveals that since he “learned some lessons or whatever” he will help the kid clean up the house before his mom comes home. Instead he gets drunk and falls asleep and the kid has to clean up the mess himself. This film would transition to a television show where each week The Dog in the Coat ruins the child’s life in a new and creative way. By the way, that’s pretty much what the actual Cat in the Hat film was.