Monthly Archives: December 2016

Red Lights (2010)

Music Artist: Holy F***

Synopsis: A cat band performs while another cat is in an intense car chase with a dog.

Featured Felines: The cats are sitting in for the musicians, playing guitar, keyboards and drums.  The effect of them keeping a beat is accomplished by running the video back and forth.

Holy Fuck - Red Lights - cat with guitar

Holy Fuck - Red Lights - cat with keyboards

Holy Fuck - Red Lights - cat with drums

In other shots backlit cats are seen dancing in front of a colored background.

Holy Fuck - Red Lights - cat dancing in front of pink background

The other segments of the video cleverly intersplice the latter half of the famous car chase from Bullitt with a cat driving the lead car being chased by a dog driving the second car.

Holy Fuck - Red Lights - cat driving cat in chase from Bullitt

Holy Fuck - Red Lights - cat driving cat in chase from Bullitt close

Final Mewsings: Toonces, eat your heart out!


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Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

Christmas with the Kranks poster

Revolution Studios
Starring:
 Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Elizabeth Franz
Directed by: Joe Roth

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

Synopsis: Luther and Nora Krank (Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis) face the prospect of their first Christmas without their adult daughter and decide to take a cruise and skip Christmas altogether, much to the consternation of their neighbors.

Featured Feline: Muffles is the white Persian cat owned by Walt and Bev Scheel (M. Emmett Walsh and Elizabeth Franz), the Kranks neighbors from across the street.  Luther and Walt have a feuding kind of friendship and Walt delights in calling Luther an “old man.”  Muffles the cat always seems to be underfoot when Luther comes out of the house and several times during the film Luther steps on Muffles’ tail, sending the cat screeching.  According to the American Humane Society, Tim Allen wore shoes with cutouts that fit over the cat actor’s tail and was very careful to not put his weight down on that foot.

Christmas with the Kranks - Luther steps on white Persian cat Muffles tail

The first time this happens Bev gathers up the cat and walks over, asking if Luther and Muffles will ever be friends.

Christmas with the Kranks - Bev and Walt Scheel with white Persian cat Muffles

Muffles hisses at Luther.

Christmas with the Kranks - white Persian cat Muffles hisses

Later when things are escalating between the Kranks and their neighbors, Luther goes outside to water down the walkway to their house to give it a sheet of ice.  Luther sees Muffles and sprays the water at the cat, causing the cat to run away.

Christmas with the Kranks - Luther sprays white Persian cat Muffles with water

Kitty Carnage Warning! When Nora runs outside to try to help a bunch of carollers who have slipped on the ice she ends up sliding down the length of the walk.  At the end of the walkway she is shocked to see Muffles, covered in ice and frozen into position.  The frozen cat was, of course, a prop and the eyes were animated.

Christmas with the Kranks - white Persian cat Muffles frozen on walk

Christmas with the Kranks - white Persian cat Muffles frozen on walk close

Finally at the end of the film Luther makes a kind gesture toward the Sheel’s, offering them the cruise they were going to take.  Bev is concerned about who will watch Muffles and Luther finally agrees he will take the cat.  He reaches for the cat, which screeches at him at first, but then they seem to bond a little, proving to the Scheels that everything will be okay if they take the trip.

Christmas with the Kranks - Luther holding white Persian cat Muffles at arms length

Christmas with the Kranks - Luther holding white Persian cat Muffles in arms

Final Mewsings: Even cats can put aside their anger at Christmas.


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Lady on a Train (1945)

Lady on a Train poster

Universal Pictures
Starring:
 Deanna Durbin, George Coulouris, Allen Jenkins
Also Starring: Whitey
Directed by: Charles David

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

Synopsis: Nikki Collins (Deanna Durbin) is a young woman visiting New York who witnesses a murder from her train window just before reaching Grand Central Station.  Her determination to solve the crime brings her into contact with a wide variety of characters and even puts her life in danger.

Featured Feline: Throughout the film a character named Mr. Saunders (George Coulouris) is seen carrying a white cat practically everywhere he goes.

Lady on a Train - George Coulouris Mr. Saunders holding white cat on stairs

Mr. Saunders is the manager of a nightclub called The Circus Club where the murdered man’s controversial fiancé was employed as a singer.  When Nikki sneaks into the house of the man she saw murdered, she is mistaken for this singer whose name is Margo Martin.

Lady on a Train - George Coulouris Mr. Saunders holding white cat in spotlight

Lady on a Train - George Coulouris Mr. Saunders holding white cat closer

Lady on a Train - George Coulouris Mr. Saunders holding white cat wide shot

Mr. Saunders is a prime suspect throughout the film, trying to thwart Nikki when she finds a pair of the dead man’s slippers which could prove his death was indeed a murder.

Lady on a Train - Nikki Deanna Durbin hiding from George Coulouris Mr. Saunders and white cat

Danny (Allen Jenkins) works for Saunders and is sometimes given the job of holding or caring for the unnamed white cat.

Lady on a Train - Allen Jenkins Danny holding white cat

Lady on a Train - Allen Jenkins Danny with George Coulouris Mr. Saunders holding white cat

There’s never any explanation as to why Mr. Saunders carries a cat everywhere he goes, he just does.  The cat even holds on tight when Saunders loses his temper and nearly attacks Nikki.

Lady on a Train - George Coulouris Mr. Saunders rushes Nikki while holding white cat

Lady on a Train - George Coulouris Mr. Saunders holding white cat with Deanna Durbin Nikki

This cat has to be one of the most mellow and patients cats in film history, as he is literally dragged throughout the film by actor George Coulouris.  This makes sense when one learns it is Whitey, the same cat who was so tolerant about letting Eve Arden drape him around her neck, although it appears that Whitey did run away at one point during production.

Lady on a Train - beat up George Coulouris Mr. Saunders holding white cat

Final Mewsings: Men who carry cats around constantly are kind of creepy.


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Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas or Silent Night, Evil Night poster

Also Known As: Silent Night, Evil Night
Film Funding Ltd. of Canada
Starring:
 Olivia Hussey, Lynne Griffin, Marian Waldman
Directed by: Bob Clark

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

Synopsis: An unknown killer terrorizes a group of sorority sisters with obscene phone calls as he stalks them over Christmas break.

Featured Feline: The house mother, Mrs. Mac (Marian Waldman) owns a big white Persian cat named Claude.  Claude can first be seen early in the film sitting in the background when the girls gather to listen to another one of the obscene phone calls (although in this shot it looks like another cat altogether).

Black Christmas - Claude cat behind girls listening to phone

Right after the phone call happens, a girl named Clare (Lynne Griffin) goes upstairs to pack her bags.  She finds Claude sitting on her bed.

Black Christmas - Claude cat sitting on Clare's bed

Clare picks up Claude and pets him, commenting on how Mrs. Mac has been looking for him.  Moments later she hears a meowing coming from the closet and goes to investigate.  In fact the killer is meowing like a cat to lure her to her doom.

Black Christmas - Claude cat being held by Clare Lynne Griffin

Claude isn’t seen much in the film but is heard several times, meowing in the distance … or is it really the killer?  Mrs. Mac seems to be in a perpetual search for the cat, calling to him and then getting mad when she accidentally drops something, blaming Claude for her clumsiness and threatening to have him fixed.  We actually only see Claude one more time in the attic licking at the plastic bag covering Clare’s head (according to one report, catnip was sprayed on the actress to get the cat to climb onto her).

Black Christmas - Claude cat licking Clare's Lynne Griffin face with bag over it

Final Mewsings: The killer should add cat impersonator to his resume.


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A Heavenly Christmas (2016)

A Heavenly Christmas poster

Hallmark Hall of Fame
Starring:
 Kristin Davis, Shirley MacLaine, Eric McCormack
Directed by: Paul Shapiro

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

Synopsis: A workaholic broker named Eve (Kristin Davis) dies unexpectedly and finds herself assigned as an angel to assist a lonely musician named Max (Eric McCormack) who is trying to raise his niece.

Kitty Cameos: In the beginning of the film we see that Eve owns a Maine Coon cat named Forbes.

A Heavenly Christmas - gray and white Maine Coon cat Forbes

She feeds Forbes before leaving for work.

A Heavenly Christmas - gray and white Maine Coon cat Forbes eating from bowl

Later after Eve has passed we see her neighbor come to take Forbes to her place.

A Heavenly Christmas - gray and white Maine Coon cat Forbes being taken by neighbor

Near the end of the film when Eve returns, her neighbor brings Forbes back to her.

A Heavenly Christmas - gray and white Maine Coon cat Forbes being returned by neighbor

Forbes is also seen briefly in the party scene at the end.

A Heavenly Christmas - gray and white Maine Coon cat Forbes held by woman at party

When Eve awakens to find herself in an all-white world, she has a white cat next to her.  She recognizes this cat as Snowball, the cat she owned as a child, complete with a black tail.

A Heavenly Christmas - Eve Kristin Davis waking up to find white cat Snowball

A Heavenly Christmas - Eve Kristin Davis picking up white cat Snowball

At one point Snowball walks through a wall.  Eve knows she isn’t just in some hospital then.

A Heavenly Christmas - white cat Snowball walking through post

Final Mewsings: Cats are our own angels.


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