Sunday, February 10, 2019

Can a movie be so bad that it's IMMORAL?

There's something intensely gratifying about listening to a reviewer who becomes so incensed at how abysmally rotten a movie is that he literally begins screaming. This review had all the beauty and sincerity that the movie (apparently - I didn't see it, and won't) lacked. The thing is, everyone constantly says "don't  be negative!" and "find the good in things!" But if a movie is an absolute insult to the buying public, if it's so poorly, slap-dashedly made, if the actors are so ill-motivated that they aren't even phoning it in, and - worst of all - if CATS are being exploited (even if they're artificially-generated, not-real cats), then a critic ought to let rip with every bit of vocal protest he can muster.

This guy, I can tell, knows cats, "has" cats (meaning he is possessed by them), gets them, and thus finds it utterly offensive that this moviemaker has allowed them to be portrayed in such a horrendously disrespectful fashion. Of course Christopher Walken is in this movie playing the Magic Cat Man, or whatever he is, and tons of people praised his performance even if he seemed somewhat "cat"-a-tonic in it (I have a theory his brain battery is slowly running down, perhaps from too much smoking). I am learning there are those who praise EVERYTHING Christopher Walken does, and it confuses me. He seems to inspire a die-hard loyalty that has nothing to do with the quality of his performances.

Meantime, this critic, this wonderful man, absolutely lets go with great shouts of protest over this badly-made and nonsensical thing. The premise of it - hard-nosed businessman magically changes bodies with a house cat in order to learn an Important Life Lesson - sounds like something out of the '90s, if not the mid '80s. And it's Kevin Spacey, people - by all that is rotten, it's Kevin Spacey.

Now that we know a little bit more about Kevin Spacey (you know, the guy who was accused of molesting an adolescent boy and tweeted in response, "Gee, too bad about that, if it happened I mean, but I was too drunk to remember", then went on and on about his wonderful new gay lifestyle, as if anyone was surprised), which no one did back in 2016, it only lends the production ever more abysmal depths of wretchedness. It sinks to the level of immorality, which for a lighthearted family comedy is perhaps a first.

I don't know why this is, but Kevin Spacey reminds me of a pair of navy blue polyester pants from 1970 that someone has worn every day for the past six years without washing them. Ever. His personality stinks in just that rancid, unavoidable, inexcusable, unforgiveably embarrassing way. He is contesting the assault charges and smirking around and happily finding his weaselly, rancid way back into the public's good graces. No doubt he'll win, but as far as I am concerned, the damage has been done. He will always be stinking pants to me.

And Walken. I'm not sure. I've been sort of dissecting him as a subject lately, just because that's what I do on this blog, I sort of get stuck on one subject until I go on to the next one. It's interesting to go on YouTube and see ten-minute chunks of his movies from the past forty (!) years, because he seems to leap from age to age, until he is somehow every age at once. He's not. He's an old man now and mighty saggy, and his  brain seems to be in a fog. 

When he played Captain Hook, he put no energy into the part at all. His singing was even more wobbly and unmusical than usual. I watched just a snippet of Cyril Ritchard, the original Broadway Hook, and could not fail to notice the roistering, heel-clicking glee of his performance, the ripping good time he was having up there, and the spooky old-school ability to touch his audience, visible even on an old TV kinescope from 1953. Ritchard founded the subversive notion of pirate as King of Camp, glamourous eyes, long curly wig, beauty mark and all - an image endlessly replicated in movies like Pirates of the Caribbean. Walken merely looks as if he has been given a temporary face-lift, rendering his face tight, immobile, and queerly Asian (and with the worst painted-on eyebrows in stage history).

So what's my point? It's late, I don't have one, I'm rambling. It's all about cats, bad movies, Walken, pirates, and people who have run out of  steam. But not this guy! I've watched his rant several times, and it's a good antidote to apathy and frustration. Just blows it out of the ball park. I think I will watch it again.