February Films

It’s Going To Be A Busy Month.

February is usually home to forgettable films such as Seventh Son (2015) and Monkeybone (2001). Considered one of the dump months for the film industry, February rarely features a film that becomes a beloved classic or even a financial success. There have been a few exceptions to the rule such as Silence Of The Lambs (1991) and Office Space (1999), but those are few and far between. Many horror films such as 2015’s The Witch are released in February as well and have become staples for this time of year. With low budgets and even lower expectations, horror seems to be the only genre that really thrives in February.

It doesn’t look like February 2020 will give us any major studio successes, but there are definitely a few films that I believe will get a lot of attention. First up is Birds of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn. Say what you want about the quality of DC’s live action films, but they aren’t afraid to take a risk. Birds Of Prey hasn’t been getting as much attention as other DC films as of late, and I believe that this fact will actually play to the film’s advantage. Margot Robbie reprises her role as everybody’s favorite crazy villain, Harley Quinn, in the film. She’s recently parted ways with the Joker and decides to join forces with a few heroes to protect a young lady who is being hunted by Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). Along for the ride are Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), and Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco).

In all honesty I am not that excited about this film. The key characters aren’t even recognizable as their comic counterparts, save for Harley and Renee Montoya. I’m still going to see it at the movies being a diehard DC fan and based on the fact that the cast is very strong, especially Robbie, Perez, McGregor, and Winstead. It would be nice to see the film be successful, but my expectations are low. It hits theaters on Feb. 7.

On Valentine’s Day, Sonic The Hedgehog hits the big screen. Initially panned for its CGI, the film has undergone changes to make Sonic look more like the video game version of the character. Jim Carrey stars as the villainous Dr. Robotnik and James Marsden stars as Sonic’s ally, Tom, in the film. Most of the film’s hype came during its first trailer release when the CGI irritated viewers and the talk has lowered to a simmer. Hopefully all of the folks demanding changes to Sonic will show up to support the film. I have my doubts, however.

I believe that Sonic will speed away from theaters faster than its namesake. While the character and games are massively popular, I don’t think that there’s enough interest in the actual film. Sure, tons of people griped about the CGI on the web, so much so that Paramount “fixed” the CGI to please them, but I believe that most of the reaction was born of a longing to belong. It’s much like all of the people that threw hate on the Cats film late last year. Most of the people that complained obviously didn’t see the film based on the box office. They simply joined the bandwagon. I seriously doubt that the majority of the people that complained about Sonic will actually show up to support the film that they forced to change.

Also arriving on Valentine’s Day is Fantasy Island. The film stars Lucy Hale, Michael Pena, Kim Coates, Michael Rooker, and a ton of other people that I don’t know. It’s based on the classic television series of the same name that starred Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize as Mr. Roarke and Tattoo, his assistant. Pena will portray Mr. Roarke but Tattoo will not be part of the film. That said, there is a character named Julia played by Parisa Fitz-Henly who may or may not be similar to Wendy Schaal’s character named Julie from later seasons in the original series.

I actually want to watch this film for three reasons. The first reason is that I’ve always enjoyed Lucy Hale as an actress. No, she isn’t a great actress by any means, I’ve just always liked seeing her in films and on television. The second reason is that I want to see how different the film is from the series. Will it lean heavier to supernatural elements as the series did or will it go for more reality-based horror? From the small amount of information that I’ve read about the film, it’s going to be more of a torture horror film than an actual supernatural or fantasy film. Finally, I just want to see how bad this film will end up being. I’m under the impression that this film will tank because of bad acting, writing, and direction, but will it be intentionally bad or an honest film that just fails to impress? I’ll let you all know in a review later.

February 21st will bring two films that I want to see to the big screen but, in reality, I’ll probably just wait to stream them or check them out on Blu-ray. I didn’t even know that a sequel to 2016’s The Boy starring Lauren Cohan was being produced nor was I aware of any audience interest in seeing a second film. While I enjoyed the Cohan starring movie, I wouldn’t say that it’s one of the better horror films that I’ve watched in my lifetime. Remember, though, that horror films thrive in February, and I’m sure that a modest amount of folks will show up to support Brahms: The Boy II.

The film will star Katie Holmes as the matriarch of a family that moves into the Heelshire home from the first film where Brahms is still living within the walls. Her son befriends the porcelain doll and, I’d imagine, things go south from there. The first film was produced on a budget of ten million dollars and pulled in nearly seventy million at the box office, so it makes perfect sense that STX Entertainment and Lakeshore Entertainment, who produced the original film, would attempt to pull in a little more steady cash with a sequel.

The second film being released on February 21st has me worried. The Call of the Wild by Jack London is one of my favorite books. White Fang, another book by London, is also a favorite of mine and Disney made a valiant effort with their 1991 film of the same name that starred a young Ethan Hawke. While both stories have been adapted for the screen, I’ve got a bad feeling that 2020’s Harrison Ford vehicle is going to be a bust. Produced by the Disney-owned Twentieth Century Studios (formerly Twentieth Century Fox), the film will feature CGI animals that, in my opinion based upon the trailer, will be unrealistic. Mind you, I don’t mean that they will look unrealistic, but that they will act in an unnatural way. That’s fine for an animated flick, but for a live action film based in a real setting, I’m afraid that it will damage the film.

Hopefully I am incorrect and Disney/Fox will prove me wrong. If the film receives promising reviews, I might actually check it out in the theater. Otherwise it’s going to end up being watched from the comfort of my couch in my living room.

Finally, Universal Studios is reviving yet another classic monster with The Invisible Man. Starring Elisabeth Moss as a woman in an abusive relationship who battles an unseen enemy, the film is loosely based upon the classic novel written by H.G. Wells and the brilliant 1933 film adaptation starring Claude Rains that I recently reviewed here. The antagonist in the film, Adrian Griffin (Rains’ character and the character from the novel were referred to as Dr. Griffin), is portrayed by Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who is no stranger to horror. He’s starred in series such as Dracula (2013) and The Haunting of Hill House (2018).

Moss is perhaps best known for her work in Mad Men (2007-2015) and The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-present). She also appeared in The West Wing (1999-2006), Girl, Interrupted (1999), The Seagull (2018), and Us (2019) and a number of other television shows and films. She definitely has the acting ability to pull off a great performance, so let’s hope that the writing and directing, both done by Leigh Whannell, can keep up with Moss and the rest of the cast.

I’m very excited about seeing The Invisible Man. It’s really the only film being released in February that I am anxious to see. I’ll definitely see Birds of Prey and Fantasy Island and hope for the best, but I don’t have very high expectations for either of them. As for the rest of the films that I mentioned, I may or may not see them in the theater. Rest assured that I will review any and all of the flicks that I check out next month, so be on the look out for those reviews.

As always, thanks for reading my post. Feel free to share my posts with anyone that you might think will enjoy them.

Hurricane Pro: Queens of the Ring II

Ford Park Exhibit Hall, Beaumont, TX

Despite nasty weather, a solid crowd showed up for Hurricane Pro Wrestling’s Queens of the Ring II. The evening’s match ups were broadcast live on Title Match Network on their YouTube channel. There were seven matches in all and all of them were excellent.

Along with a few familiar favorites, Hurricane Pro offered up some new faces throughout the evening. Vert Vixen, Tesha Price, Riley X Paris, Veda Scott, Amber Rodriguez, and Madi Wrenkowski all made their debut appearances at QOTR2. I also believe that this was Ivelisse’s first appearance at a Hurricane Pro event.

The night’s action started off with a solid match between Amber Nova and Madi Wrenkowski. Wrenkowski held her own with Amber throughout the match, but Nova’s speed and veteran skills eventually pulled through and gave her the win.

Amber Nova.

Next up was a triple threat match featuring the HP debuts of Vert Vixen and Amber Rodriguez and the return of fan favorite, Alex Gracia. Much like in her previous match at Hurricane Pro, Alex seemed to stay on her heels for most of the time but she eventually sprang into action. She unleashed a 619 on Vert Vixen and appeared to be poised for the win, but Vixen had plans of her own and won the match in commanding fashion.

Next up was a battle of wits between Simone Sherie and Veda Scott. The duo fought a fairly even match that ended with Sherie taking the victory. Scott had a sweet interaction with a young fan just prior to the match when she asked a young girl to hold her glasses for her.

Once the dust settled from the Sherie/Scott contest, Will Allday entered the ring full of swagger. He answered Miranda Alize’s open challenge on social media with a very hilarious video and planned to teach her a lesson in the ring. After a very entertaining match, Alize came out on top but not without controversy. During the match, Allday knocked the referee unconscious, which in turn caused Miranda’s first successful pin of Allday to be missed. The pair struggled some more and Allday exited the ring to grab a chair. Regaining consciousness, the referee stopped Will from using the chair but he didn’t see Alize spit a red mist in Allday’s face, costing him the match. Something tells me that these two still have a few more matches left between them.

Ivelisse locks up Rok-C.

The next match of the evening was my personal favorite. Former Lucha Underground star and current Shine Women’s Champ, Ivelisse, battled the young star that everybody has an eye on, Rok-C. Ivelisse successfully defended her Ladies Night Out championship against Rok-C, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Rok-C gained a ton of knowledge from the amazing veteran.

Tesha Price and Riley X Paris battled it out after the Ivelisse/Rok-C match. While Paris put up a decent fight, Price stayed in control for almost the entire bout. I was very surprised by Price, and hope that she returns to Hurricane Pro again in the near future.

Second only to the Ivelisse/Rok-C battle was the main event of the evening. Heather Monroe defended her HP Women’s Championship against Hell’s Favorite Harlot, Priscilla Kelly. Say what you want about the Killer Bae, but Heather Monroe has accepted all challenges for her belt and has successfully defended it each time. This Saturday’s match was no different, as she successfully defeated Kelly in a match that included a ton of interaction with the fans. Kelly had most of the crowd on her side, but Monroe loyalists such as myself recognized that the champion would not be defeated this evening.

After the final bell rang, most of the ladies came out to visit with the crowd. I got a photo and autograph from both Priscilla Kelly and Heather Monroe. I tried to get a photo with Ivelisse, but she wasn’t around until after I already left. Hopefully I’ll catch her next time, as she’s one of my favorite wrestlers.

Hurricane Pro’s next event is scheduled for February 22nd. It looks like the New Warriors and Great Sexy Love will put an end to their feud at this event. The first match has already been announced, and will feature the reigning Hurricane Pro Cruiserweight Champion, Bu Ku Dao, facing off against Barrett Brown.

If you’re in the southeast Texas/southwest Louisiana area, be sure to check out a Hurricane Pro event. You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for reading my post. I’ll have plenty of things to talk about in the very near future!

All non-action photos taken from the Hurricane Pro Facebook page. All other photos taken by myself, except for the two photos that I’m in, which were taken by my daughter.

Upcoming Conventions!

Finally Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things…

I attended three conventions last year. Those conventions were Louisiana Comic Con in Lafayette, LA, CyPhaCon in Lake Charles, LA, and the first ever Beaumont Comic Con in Beaumont, TX. I have plans to attend all three again this year, but Beaumont Comic Con is still quite a few months away, so I’ll post about it once it gets closer. For now, let’s focus on the two that are hitting earlier this year.

Louisiana Comic Con will hit Lafayette once again on March 14th and 15th. I submitted a panel for the event and will hopefully get a notice about whether or not I’ll get to present it in the near future. The event is still announcing guests, but so far they’ve revealed a stellar lineup.

Wrestling fans will get a chance to meet Mankind, Cactus Jack, and Dude Love….all of whom happen to be one man, Mick Foley. I’m actually very pumped to have the chance to meet Mr. Foley, as I’ve been a longtime fan of his. Kevin Sorbo, star of such popular shows like Hercules and Andromeda, will also be in attendance. I’ve attended panels featuring Mr. Sorbo before and he’s one of the best panelists you’ll ever have the opportunity to hear. Other guests include actor Brett Cullen (recently in Joker), artist Rob Guillory, Suzanne’s Cosplay, and voice actor Brina Palencia.

Oh, and Louisiana Comic Con is also bringing in the legendary Kevin Conroy, arguably the greatest actor to ever portray Batman (even though it’s just his voice)! I am totally stoked to meet Mr. Conroy as well as Poison Ivy herself, Diane Pershing, who starred alongside Conroy on Batman: The Animated Series.

The Big Blue Boy Scout will also be in attendance. George Newbern, best known to fandom as the voice of Superman in Justice League Unlimited and Sephiroth in Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, will be joining Batman and Poison Ivy for a trio of DC Comics heavy hitters. Some older fans might remember him as Payne, Dixie Carter’s son on Designing Women or as Steve Martin’s son-in-law, Bryan, in the Father of the Bride films. More guests are being announced, so be sure to keep up with the convention’s Facebook page for the latest information.

Less than a month later, CyPhaCon returns to the Lake Charles Civic Center for its tenth year on April 3rd-5th. In celebration of their tenth anniversary, CyPhaCon is loading the deck with some excellent guests and events. On the first evening of the convention, CyPhaCon will host a pub crawl. This is their fifth year to have a pub crawl and sadly I’ve never been available to attend it. I might just have to check it out this year.

The list of announced guests is pretty awesome so far, but there are still more guest announcements to come! From the realm of anime, confirmed guests include Cristina Vee (Sailor Moon, Devilman Crybaby, The Seven Deadly Sins), Eric Vale (My Hero Academia, Dragonball, Fullmetal Alchemist), Sarah Wiedenheft (Tokyo Ghoul, Dragon Ball Super, My Hero Academia), and Aaron Dismuke (Blood Blockade Battlefront, RWBY, Devil Is A Part Timer).

Live action guests include Doug Jones, one of my favorite actors of all time, who has appeared in Hellboy, Star Trek: Discovery, Pan’s Labyrinth, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and The Shape of Water. You may not recognize Mr. Jones’ face because it is almost always covered with makeup, latex, or a little CGI magic. He’s one of the friendliest actors that I’ve ever encountered and can’t wait to see him again! Be sure to check CyPhaCon’s webpage for more guest announcements.

Announced cosplay guests include Space Lion Cosplay, Sarah Kathrine, and NoirFX & The Killing Draik. I’m familiar with Sarah Kathrine’s work and am especially fond of her Spider Gwen and Wonder Woman builds. Check out her Facebook page for more information.

Announced author guests include G.M. Kelso, Veronica Smith, and Chris Hayes. Other guests include the returning Take One Improv group, who always put on a great performance for attendees, the Louisiana Ghostbusters, Rachel Pizzolato, The Week in Geek Radio Show, and the Rebel Legion, Dagobah Base. There are tons of other guests, fan groups, and artists still to be announced, so check CyPhaCon’s webpage and Facebook page for updates.

I’ve applied for a media pass and also submitted a panel to CyPhaCon. Once I hear back from them, I’ll let all of my faithful readers know if I’ll be in attendance and which panel I will be doing, if any. Keep your eyes peeled on my blog for more information.

I’m sad to report that I won’t be able to attend CoastCon this year. Due to distance and finances, I’ll have to skip out on one my favorite conventions again. CoastCon is, at least to my knowledge, the oldest fan-run convention in the southern United States. This will be their forty-third year. That’s a long time, which means that they are obviously doing something right! Be sure to check out their Facebook page for updates on the upcoming event. The event will be taking place on March 6-8 in beautiful Biloxi, MS. Announced guests include voice actress Morgan Berry, author Seanan McGuire, artist Melissa Gay, and author THE Rob Cerio! It’s really killing me that I can’t attend this year. CoastCon is the biggest little convention in the Gulf South and it has more heart than any other convention that I’ve ever attended.

I’ll be sure to post about all of the conventions that I attend this year. I’m hoping to squeeze in a couple of other events this year. Thank you for checking out my post. See you again real soon!

Dracula Drains In Third Act

The BBC and Netflix Almost Had A Winner

I was excited to see that the story of Dracula was going to be getting its own series on Netflix. I became less excited whenever I heard that Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat were involved. While I’m fully aware that both of these men worked on highly successful runs of Doctor Who and Sherlock, I’m also aware that they have a tendency to run out of ideas, reuse old ones, and ultimately fall flat by the end of their runs. I personally witnessed Moffat run Doctor Who into the ground and cheered along with other Whovians when he announced his exit. I prayed that Dracula wouldn’t meet the same fate as the good Doctor.

The BBC gave the mini-series the green light and released the final product on both BBC One and on Netflix. As I suspected, the mini-series had two solid episodes and one terrible one.

The first episode, The Rules of the Beast, was told from the perspective of an undead Jonathan Harker (John Heffernan). He recounts his tale to a nun, Sister Agatha Van Helsing (Dolly Wells), who also happens to be an atheist (that bit gets explained during the episode). She asks him numerous questions, many of which are extremely personal, in order to get an idea of who exactly Count Dracula is and what he is attempting to achieve.

She then has to square off against the count himself. Played with buckets of scene-chewing (or perhaps that should be scene-draining) charisma by Claes Bang, the count tricks his way into the convent and battles the nuns, all of whom have been trained by Sister Van Helsing to protect themselves and defeat the count.

The episode has some genuinely scary moments. During Harker’s exploration of Castle Dracula, a sense of claustrophobia invaded my mind as he walked deeper and deeper into the dark recesses of the castle. The viewer never knows what might turn up at any time. The episode also recalls a few classic episodes of Doctor Who, particularly Tooth & Claw, in my opinion and also references the classic Hammer Productions film, Dracula/Horror of Dracula (1958) that starred Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. In fact, there’s one scene in which Bang’s count looks exactly like Lee’s count as he drinks his fill of a victim.

The second episode, Blood Vessel, expands upon Dracula’s trip across the sea to England. In the book, this particular story is covered in just a few pages. Moffat and Gatiss expand the trip to a full ninety-minute episode. It works quite well, in my opinion, as it develops members of the Demeter’s crew and puts a Sherlock-like spin on the reasoning behind all of the crew members’ and passengers’ reasons for being on the vessel.

This episode plays out more like a murder mystery than a true horror story as the crew attempt to uncover the identity of the murderer on the ship. Sister Agatha shows up in the story eventually, and she teams up with the remaining crew and passengers in order to snuff out the count.

I’ve read reviews that said that this episode was entirely too long and that too much focus was placed on the crew and passengers of the Demeter. I personally enjoyed how Gatiss and Moffat fleshed out this particular part of the tale. Oh, and be on the lookout for a certain Russian scientist from Season 3 of Stranger Things as a member of the crew!

As brilliant and fun as the first two episodes were, things start to derail at the end of Episode 2 with a teaser for the final installment in the mini-series. Without explaining anything, let’s just say that Count Dracula finds himself stranded in England in the year 2020. Yep, that’s right. There’s a massive time jump in the series. Things do not go well….at all.

Dracula finds himself at the mercy of the Jonathan Harker Foundation in the third and final episode of Dracula entitled The Dark Compass. Gone are the Gothic horror elements and mystery, replaced instead by a self-centered society that puts everything on social media and tries to “live its best life” in front of anyone willing to look at it.

In the episode, Dolly Wells takes on the role of Dr. Zoe Van Helsing, great great niece of Sister Agatha Van Helsing. She heads up the aforementioned Jonathan Harker Foundation who captures Dracula and locks him away to study him and his blood. She happens to be dying from cancer and is hopeful that Dracula’s blood could lead to a possible cure. Along for the ride are Lydia West as Lucy Westenra and two of her suitors from the original Bram Stoker tale, Jack Seward (Matthew Beard) and Quincy Morris (Phil Dunster). There’s no mention of Arthur Holmwood, although Zev, Lucy’s best friend portrayed by John McCrea in the series, might have been designed with Holmwood in mind.

Sister Agatha does eventually show up (although not in the way you might think) and she continues her quest to find out exactly what makes Count Dracula tick. Along with Zoe, she eventually discovers what it is that Dracula fears the most…and it’s pretty lame. The reasoning behind Count Dracula becoming enamored with Lucy is also extremely lame. It also reveals just how shallow modern society has become. Everything is tied up with a very convenient bow at the end of the episode and while things might not look to good for everybody’s favorite bloodsucker, I wouldn’t count hims out just yet!

Bang does a great job as Count Dracula. It’s sad that the third act is so terrible, as I would love to see Bang receive a better swansong. Perhaps Gatiss and Moffat will explore more of the Count’s life prior to meeting Jonathan Harker in a later series. Dolly Wells is extremely likeable as Sister Agatha, but her performance as Zoe is greatly hindered by poor writing and direction. There are a few moments of brilliance in the final episode, particularly whenever Count Dracula teaches Lucy about the children of the night. Speaking of those children, fans of the classic Bela Lugosi film from 1931 will be glad to hear a couple of quotes from that film and even a couple of shots done in homage (at least to my eyes) to the legendary film.

Two great episodes out of three isn’t all that bad. I highly recommend watching the first two installments of this mini-series, but viewing the third one is entirely up to you. I didn’t like it very much, and in my opinion it doesn’t add anything new to the Dracula mythos.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be posting about upcoming conventions in the near future AND I’ll also get everyone up to speed on this weekend’s upcoming Hurricane Pro Wrestling Queens of the Ring 2 event!

Give “Cats” A Chance

You Need To Calm Down

In July of 2019, Universal Pictures released the first trailer for Cats, a film based on the long-running Broadway and West End musical. Unless you’ve been living under a rock since July of last year, you probably know that the web had a field day with the look of the human actors in the trailer who were turned into cats through the use of CGI. People complained that the cats looked too human or that they were downright creepy. Words like “nightmare,” “haunt,” and “horrific” littered tweets, Facebook posts, and every other social media outlet. When the film was finally released, the professional critics dug their claws into the film by telling everyone that it was the worst film that they’ve seen all year long. It seemed as if they were all battling one another in order to get in the smartest and nastiest digs at the film and/or its cast.

Guess what? They are all wrong.

This film is fantastic. It’s bizarre, wonderful, and most important of all, fun. While critics were analyzing each and every minute detail of the film in order to find yet another zinger to throw into a review that everyone will read, share, and, hopefully, get the critic recognized, myself and others simply paid for our ticket, sat back in our chairs, and let the film be whatever it would end up being.

We enjoyed it for the music, the breathtaking CGI shots of the moon, the Thames, and Big Ben, and for the catchy musical numbers that celebrated all of the featured cats. We found that elusive plot that all of the critics and naysayers couldn’t pinpoint. We laughed at James Corden, Rebel Wilson, and others as they commanded our attention in their respective songs. We watched as Jason Derulo embraced Rum Tug Tugger in all of his tomcat glory. Some of us shed a tear as Jennifer Hudson’s Grizabella belted out the epic song Memory and cheered on Laurie Davidson as his Mister Mistoffelees attempted to conjure up Old Deuteronomy (Dame Judi Dench) from wherever Macavity (Idris Elba) had her hidden away.

We looked beyond the uncanny valley, a term tossed around in more reviews than I can count in an apparent attempt for critics to appear intelligent, and saw these creatures for what they were: Cats. We sang the songs we knew and left the theater singing the ones we just learned.

In short, we enjoyed the movie. You might enjoy it as well. This film isn’t for everyone, but for those that it connects with, it will become something that you’ll want to watch over and over.

Mild Spoilers Ahead

The film opens with Victoria (Francesca Hayward) being unceremoniously dumped into an alley by her owner. The music playing throughout this sequence sets the ethereal tone for the entire film. Victoria is discovered by the Jellicle Cats, a gang of cats that question her through the song Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cats in order to see if she can become part of their gang. They decide to allow her to join them conditionally and tell her about the Jellicle Ball, which is happening that very night. According to Munkustrap (Robbie Fairchild), Old Deuteronomy will choose one Jellicle Cat to ascend to the Heaviside Layer. Here, the cat can choose a new life and be reincarnated into whatever they wish.

From that point on, the film becomes a sequence of musical numbers that introduce all of the potential picks to ascend to the Heaviside Layer. We are introduced to Jennyanydots (Wilson), the Rum Tug Tugger (Derulo), Bustopher Jones (Corden), Skimbleshanks (Steven McRae), and Gus (Ian McKellan). We also catch glimpses of the mysterious cat, Macavity (Elba), and Grizabella (Hudson), an outcast that was once beautiful and is now forced into the shadows by the other Jellicles.

Victoria gets herself into a little trouble along the way with Mungojerrie (Danny Collins) and Rumpleteazer (Naoimh Morgan), a pair of cat burglars that show her how fun a life of crime can be when it’s done right. During this sequence we get to see Mr. Mistoffelees (Davidson) come to Victoria’s rescue whenever a dog attempts to attack her. Mistoffelees has an obvious crush on Victoria at the beginning of the film, and she begins to return the affection after he saves her.

The film comes to a climax at the Jellicle Ball. When Old Deuteronomy arrives to pick the feline that will ascend to the Heaviside Layer, it’s noted that all of the contestants have mysteriously vanished. Then a crescent moon descends from the ceiling. Seductively laying across it is Bombalurina (Taylor Swift), a vampy vixen that sings Macavity: The Mystery Cat. While singing, Bombalurina, Mungojerrie, and Rumpleteazer sprinkle catnip all over the Jellicles, sending them into a frenzy. Macavity appears and insists that he is the only choice to ascend to the Heaviside Layer, but Old Deuteronomy refuses to pick him. In anger he uses magic to whisk her away.

The Jellicles demand to know where Macavity has taken Old Deuteronomy and the other cats. Macavity and Bobalurina escape, leaving Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer at the mercy of the Jellicles. Victoria believes that Mister Mistoffelees can conjure Old Deuteronomy back. Mistoffelees doesn’t believe that he can do it, but with the support of the other Jellicles and through the singing of my favorite song in the film, Mr. Mistoffelees, he succeeds in bringing Old Deuteronomy back. The other cats are saved as well, and a certain feline (who’ll remain nameless) is chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer. Who is it? You’ll have to check out the film in order to find out!

I love this film. There are so many things that I love about it that I can’t list all of them. That being said, here are my favorite highlights and just a couple of negatives.


  • The music. Good Lord, the music. It’s so wonderful, catchy, and easy to sing along with both during and after the film.
  • The cinematography is brilliant. Bright neon colors and deep blues make for a beautiful backdrop to the wide shots in this film. The closeups catch all of the pain in certain characters’ faces as well.
  • The story is chaotic, but simply listening to the songs and actually watching the film with an open mind makes it easy to pick up on the plot.
  • The actors, save for one, all do excellent jobs. Laurie Davidson is the greatest surprise in this film and I was also very fond of Rebel Wilson and Francesca Hayward’s performances.
  • The overall bigness of the film. It felt like I was watching a massive movie on the big screen thanks to the cinematography.


  • While Taylor Swift definitely knows her way around a pop song, she struggled to fit into this film. She was miscast in my opinion, and her portrayal of Bombalurina was awkward. I understand why Universal put her in the film (to draw in young female viewers and a few older weird guys that want to see Swift as a cat), but she just wasn’t the best fit for her role. Vocally, she wasn’t up to par with the rest of the singers in this film, either.
  • The lone new song in this film, Beautiful Ghosts, fails to make any real impact. Written by Swift and Webber, it’s the weakest track in the entire film. Both Hayward (in the film) and Swift (in the credits) perform the song, and while Hayward’s vocals are stronger, the lyrics just drag the entire performance down.

Yes, this film features singing and dancing cockroaches and mice. I understand that some folks might be creeped out by the look of the cats in the film. I’ll even admit that the CGI is a bit dodgy at times. That being said, this film is just too much fun to pass up. There has already been talk of the film becoming the next Rocky Horror Picture Show and, as far as I’m concerned, that sounds great. This film is bizarre, insane, beautiful, and fun all at the same time.

Give it a chance.

As always, thanks for reading. Feel free to give your own thoughts in the comments section.