Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Middle – “Sleepless in Orson”

The Middle DVD

Original Air Date: January 8, 2014
Starring: Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn, Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher, Atticus Shaffer
Directed by: Blake T. Evans

Synopsis: Frankie (Patricia Heaton) and Mike (Neil Flynn) become concerned about Brick (Atticus Shaffer) when he takes to sleeping in the kitchen and appears to be afraid of everything.

Cat Cattle Call: Frankie decides to take Brick to his former school counselor, Dr. Fulton (Dave Foley) to get some advice.  Dr. Fulton’s apartment is filled with cats, some of which he addresses as he tries to ease Brick’s fears.  But the man ends up venting about his own personal relationship problems as well.

The Middle - Sleepless in Orson cats

The Middle - Sleepless in Orson cat

Final Mewsings: Cats are usually very therapeutic but in this case Dr. Fulton may actually need more of them.


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Felix in the Swim (1922)

Pat Sullivan Cartoons
Directed by:
 Otto Messmer

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Felix the Cat rescues a mouse from a trap and is promised a favor in return, which he collects on when his human friend, a boy named Willie, has to practice piano instead of going to the swimming hole.

Cartoon Cat: Felix the Cat starred in many silent short films, including this one in which he spots a mouse caught in a trap and is anxious to eat him.  But when the mouse begs for mercy Felix shows pity and frees him instead.

Felix in the Swim - Felix the Cat releases mouse from trap

Felix apparently likes to swim and wants to go to the watering hole with his friend Willie.  But Willie’s mother orders the boy to practice his piano instead.

Felix in the Swim - Felix the Cat can't go to the swimming hole

Felix does his trademark thinking walk, trying to figure out what to do.  The mouse then suggests he gets his brothers to help and they fix it so that Willie can sneak out of the house.

Felix in the Swim - Felix the Cat trademark thinking walk

At the watering hole Felix and Willie don swimming shorts and dive into the water.  But while they are swimming a goat eats Willie’s clothes.

Felix in the Swim - Felix the Cat diving into swimming hole

That night they return to Willie’s home wearing barrels.  Willie’s mother beats him and Felix, in turn, beats up the mouse.

Felix in the Swim - Felix the Cat and Willie wearing barrels

Final Mewsings: Did Felix really need a barrel when he usually walks around without clothes anyway?


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Falling Cat (1894)

Directed by: Étienne-Jules Marey

Synopsis: An example of Marey’s “Chronophotography”, this very short sequence of photos on celluloid spotlight a white cat being dropped to demonstrate how it twists in the air to land on its feet.

Cinema Cat: This is considered to be the first cat to ever appear on film, hence the world’s first Cinema Cat!

Falling Cat - white cat dropped and falling

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t care how they land on their feet, only that they do.


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And Then There Were None (1945)

And Then There Were None DVD

Rene Clair Productions
Starring:
 Walter Huston, Barry Fitzgerald, June Duprez
Directed by: René Clair

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film (but not the end!)

Synopsis: Based on Agatha Christie’s classic mystery.  Ten people are invited to a secluded island for a weekend without knowing exactly why.  They soon learn they are there to pay for past crimes and one by one they find themselves being murdered.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): Throughout much of the film a small tabby cat is seen as the eleventh guest, although it is not clear how the cat came to be in the estate or on the island for that matter.  The nameless cat is first seen when the butler opens a door to enter the dining room and the cat walks in ahead of him.

And Then There Were None - tabby cat walking through doorway

The cat is next seen outside the bedroom window of Judge Quincannon in the morning.  He picks up the cat and carries it as he walks from his room to the corridor.

And Then There Were None - tabby cat with the judge

When several of the men become convinced that their host, the mysterious Mr. Owen, is on the island with them they search for the man.  They check a small shed outside and think they hear something in the woodpile.  As they look, the cat peeks out from amongst the logs.

And Then There Were None - tabby cat looking up from woodpile

One of the guests, an older woman named Emily Brent (Judith Anderson) is seen knitting and the cat likes to play with the ball of yarn on the floor.

And Then There Were None - tabby cat playing with yarn

Emily finally takes the yarn from the cat and goes to bed.

And Then There Were None - Emily takes ball of yarn away from tabby cat

Later they see the ball of yarn roll over the edge of the landing upstairs.  When they go to investigate, the cat has been playing with the yarn and rolled it off the landing.  Needless to say, Emily is no longer in any shape to care.

And Then There Were None - tabby cat looking through railings for ball of yarn

The cat is also seen sitting on the staircase as several of the guests walk upstairs.

And Then There Were None - tabby cat sitting on stairs

And finally, the cat is seen in the final pivotal moment when the killer is revealed, but we won’t spoil that for you here!  This is one movie mystery you should see for yourself!

And Then There Were None - tabby cat in woodpile animated gif

Final Mewsings: Cats love a good yarn, especially when it’s a mystery!


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Enter the Dragon (1973)

Enter the Dragon DVD

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Kien Shih
Directed by: Robert Clouse

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Shaolin martial artist Lee (Bruce Lee) takes part in a mysterious martial arts tournament held on an island owned by Han (Kien Shih), a fellow Shaolin who has gone rogue, in order to bring honor back to the order and to help an agency get evidence of Han’s heroin and sex slave dealings.

Featured Feline: In what appears to be a kind of tribute to the James Bond films, the villain Han shows island visitor Roper (John Saxon) his exclusive museum of hands while carrying a white Angora cat.

Enter the Dragon - Han and white angora cat with Roper

Han invites Roper to step up to a guillotine.  Roper wants to keep his distance from the device so Han places the cat down upon the space where a person’s neck would go.

Enter the Dragon - Han and white angora cat with Roper at guillotine

Han holds the pull connected to the guillotine, waiting to see what kind of man Roper is as he explains that being ruthless takes more strength than one can imagine.

Enter the Dragon - white angora cat sitting on guillotine

Roper cannot stand it and reaches down to lift the cat from where it sits.  “Now you’ve got eight more,” Roper tells the cat before setting it down on the ground.  The cat hurries away down the stairs.

Enter the Dragon - Roper reaches down to pick up white angora cat from guillotine

As it turns out the pull actually worked an elevator that went into the bowels of Han’s operations.  The film’s producer Paul Heller noted about the cat on the commentary track, “It was all we could do to get it to sit still.”

Enter the Dragon - Roper with white angora cat

Final Mewsings: We feel sorry for the cats of villains.  They always seem to be treated as if they are disposable.


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