September 19, 2019

Answers to All Your Questions About "Cats"

“If you’re not familiar with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats — or even if you are — then you probably have many, many questions after glimpsing December’s film adaptation, whose trailer pounced upon an unsuspecting and baffled nation this week.

Sporting a surprising, A-list cast including Taylor Swift, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Rebel Wilson, and Idris Elba, the film has been helmed by Les Miserables director Tom Hooper with, apparently, all the subtlety of original Cats star Elaine Page belting an E-flat.

But as weird as the trailer is, with its blurry CGI fur, oversized set pieces, and completely literal, straight-faced commitment to the concept of singing cats, there’s one very important thing you have to know:

Judging by the trailer, this movie, relatively speaking, isn’t that weird.

That’s because Cats has always been so much weirder than most people remember.

Just listen to the overture — here’s the original London version, from 1981 — and you’ll immediately hear Cats announce itself as quirky and slinky and spectacular, and wildly off-kilter from the typical Broadway milieu. So if you’re wondering what on earth this Cats movie is going to be like, strap in for a journey to the Heaviside Layer, we have answers, and they probably aren’t what you’re expecting.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"Blackface. I’ve been writing about, and researching – and opposing – racism for more than thirty years. And make no mistake: blackface isn’t funny. It’s racist. Ask Megyn Kelly. A year ago, the former Fox News star was filming a segment about..."

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “selfie line” may be a “political phenomenon,” according to CNN, but it’s also a misnomer, twice over: The photos that supporters end up with aren’t technically selfies—campaign aides snap them—and no one waits in a line..."

"In the archives of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, there is an old postcard from the city aquarium of a large sea turtle with four boys straddling its back. The turtle lies flattened upon a pathway in front of a fence. At the feet..."

"As we celebrated my granddaughter’s third birthday this summer, I made the following rough calculation: I’d trekked from my home in New Jersey to her Brooklyn apartment roughly 150 times to provide once-a-week day care, plus other times as needed."

"That seems to be the emerging bipartisan consensus. “On the evidence we have, the meritocratic ideal ends up being just as undemocratic as the old emphasis on inheritance and tradition,” writes New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. “Our..."

"It was the 2019 Pet Sematary that finally broke me. Was this really necessary? I seethed in a theater earlier this year, at a loss for why anyone would green light a self-serious update to a 30-year-old so-bad-it's-good movie. "Update," even, was.."

"Tuesday was election day in Israel. But no winner has yet been declared. As of this writing, it appears that the parties committed to supporting Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister will not win a majority in Knesset. At the same time, the..."

"The last time Netflix asked me “Are you still watching?” I had to think really hard about it. Was I still watching? Or at least enough to make my $16-a-month payment worth it? The subscription economy can be a wonderful thing. We don’t have to..."