Phillip Duggan (sparhawk2k) wrote in celluloidraving,
Phillip Duggan

Cats (1998) (TV) ... 8.0/10


Most of my complaints again fall with the production of this VHS as opposed to the Broadway show itself. I just don't like seeing things like this on TV. I can't wait for the Producers to come out on DVD but that's just 'cause I'm obsessed. I do have to admit though, they did a much better job with this one than Sunday in the Park With George. They very rarely just sit there staring at the stage. They jump around to close ups and pan around and everything else they can think of to make it more exciting. But it still doesn't come close to picking up the energy and life from actually being there. There were also quite a few times when I was rather annoyed that I couldn't glace around looking at where ever my fancy took my but I got used to that quickly. I couldn't do it with other movies so I shouldn't expect to do it with this one. Though the extra special effects for the film were an interesting touch you wouldn't see in person. They probably would have been good too if I hadn't spent the entire time they were on screen wondering how it was different from the stage production or which parts were post production and which were actually done on stage.

My other small problem is that I sat down expecting a plot. Sorry for jumping to conclusions but I did. And ok, I'm being a bit unfair. There is a small story running throughout� But it doesn't quite count in my book. This is really about setting a stage for each musical number and maybe blending them together just a bit. Most of the time is spent hearing about the different kinds of cats as they "introduce" themselves. From all of the Jellicle cats to Gus the Theatre Cat... Or Magical Mr. Mistoffelees and Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat�

Again I hit a wall with this because I haven't actually seen the original. But I should point out that I've actually seen reviews that think this version is better than the stage. They cite the choppiness and lack of coherency and organization in the original and say that the quick cuts and the refinement of the editing helped a great deal. I can't agree or disagree without more information but that's a rather scary thought. The film version was one of the choppiest and most disjointed things I've seen in ages. I can't imagine how the stage version could be any worse.

And yet I really did enjoy this film. Especially once I gave up on the plot and trying to follow everything and just enjoyed the music, the dancing, the sets, the costumes, and the wonderful actors and actresses. And those were really the main things I enjoyed about Cats. It seems quite short compared to the list of things that bothered me but they really do balance it out. I'm not going to go into great detail on them because with this I really think you should just see it on your own. If you enjoy Andrew Lloyd Webber or are just looking for a bit of silliness to keep you entertained than this just might be a movie for you.
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