Monday, January 27, 2020     Volume: 20, Issue: 47
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
AD ASTRA
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: INTO THE DARK
BINGEABLE: MAGIC FOR HUMANS
BINGEABLE: NATHAN FOR YOU
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: LONE WOLF MCQUADE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: ROBOCOP
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BOMBSHELL
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
CATS
DARK WATERS
DOCTOR SLEEP
DOLITTLE
DOWNTON ABBEY
FORD V FERRARI
FROZEN II
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)
HAEWATCH: THE WITCHER (2019)
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
KNIVES OUT
LIKE A BOSS
LITTLE WOMEN
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
RICHARD JEWELL
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
SPIES IN DISGUISE
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE GRUDGE
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
THE TURNING
UNCUT GEMS
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
UNDERWATER
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

CATS

PHOTO BY COURTESY OF UNIVERSAL PICTURES

CATS


Where is it playing?: Santa Maria RPX, Parks Plaza

What's it rated?: PG

What's it worth?: $Rental (for first-timers); Matinee (for Webber buffs, aka Webheads) (Caleb Wiseblood)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables, The Danish Girl) directs this adaptation of the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, based on the poetry collection, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, by T.S. Elliot. Over the course of a single night, a tribe of cats called the Jellicles make what is known as “the Jellicle choice” and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and gain a new life.

I can’t predict what my reaction to Cats would have been had I not been a longtime fan of the original musical. The current consensus on the adaptation seems to be that critics absolutely despise it (at least according to its score of 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), while audiences’ reactions are lukewarm at best (with an audience score of 62 percent). I was actually hoping to fit in with the former crowd, but alas, I’m obliged to take a contrarian stance as there was hardly a moment where I was not smiling during my screening. I’m not kiddingor should I say, kitty-ing. Admittedly, there were a fair amount of instances where I was laughing at Cats, rather than with it. Still, that’s genuine joy nonetheless.

Again, full disclosure: I went in to Cats already loving the songs. I wouldn’t recommend the film as an introduction to the musical; I think first-timers are prone to become distracted by most of the laughably unsettling CGI. But if you are a Cats fan, or a musical lover in general, I can’t stop myself from recommending seeing this on the big screen. Even if you end up hating the gaudy production design, the most positive thing you’ll be able to claim leaving the theater is you’ve never seen a film quite like Cats. It’s a flamboyant mess at times, but the moving performances (especially from Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, and Ian McKellan) and bizarrely beautiful dance sequences made this cinematic adaptation worthwhile for me. Even its most criticized absurdities work in its favor. Don’t buy in to the hate. Cats is far from purr-fect, but it ain’t kitty litter either. (120 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood




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