Monthly Archives: November 2017

Focus (2001)

Focus poster

Carros Pictures
Starring:
 William H. Macy, Laura Dern
Directed by: Neal Slavin

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

Synopsis: Based on the novel by Arthur Miller. Lawrence Newman (William H. Macy) is a man surrounded by antisemitism and racism which starts to affect him personally when a new set of glasses makes him appear different to others.

Purr Blur: In one scene Lawrence and his wife Gertrude (Laura Dern) are walking down the sidewalk toward their home. People are watching them from behind their windows. In one shot a tabby cat is seen approaching the sidewalk and then crossing in front of the couple as they walk by.

Focus - gray cat crossing street to sidewalk

Focus - gray cat passing by Lawrence William H. Macy and Gertrude Laura Dern

Final Mewsings: Cats ignore all people equally.


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L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo (1970)

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage poster

English Title: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage
Central Cinema Company Film (CCC)
Starring:
 Tony Musante, Mario Adorf
Directed by: Dario Argento

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

Synopsis: Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante) witnesses the attack on a woman in an art gallery and becomes obsessed with trying to find the man behind the crime.

Kitty Cameo: In an early scene Sam is walking through a collection of stuffed birds while talking to a friend. A long-haired ginger tabby is seen sitting among some of the birds in two quick shots.

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage - long haired ginger tabby cat sitting among stuffed birds

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage - long haired ginger tabby cat sitting among stuffed birds

Cat Cattle Call (with implied Kitty Carnage Warning!):  One of the clues in the case is a strange painting showing a man killing a woman in a park. Sam tracks down the reclusive artist who is living in a barn with the entire lower half sealed off. The artist, Berto Consalvi (Mario Adorf) offers Sam some meat to eat as they talk about the painting. Berto goes to retrieve the original when something slips past him. He calls to Sam to seal off the window as he chases the escapee around. Finally Berto catches the fugitive and it turns out to be a tuxedo cat.

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage - Berto Consalvi Mario Adorf catching tuxedo cat

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage - Berto Consalvi Mario Adorf catching tuxedo cat

Berto takes the cat back to a row of cages where several other cats are being held. He complains about how they manage to slip out of any hole. When Sam asks why he keeps the cats penned up Berto explains it helps them to get fat. Sam is slow on picking up on the fact that Berto eats the cats and that he has, in fact, been eating cat meat himself.

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage - Berto Consalvi Mario Adorf carrying tuxedo cat

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage - Berto Consalvi Mario Adorf putting tuxedo cat into cage with other cats

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage - Berto Consalvi Mario Adorf putting tuxedo cat into cage with other cats

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage - numerous cats inside cages

Final Mewsings: Being a crazy artist is no excuse to eat cats!

Many thanks to Nick Wale for letting us know about the cats in this movie!


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Fair Game (1995)

Fair Game poster

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Cindy Crawford, William Baldwin
Directed by: Andrew Sipes

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

Synopsis: Kate McQuean (Cindy Crawford) is a civil law attorney who suddenly finds herself the target of assassins and is protected by Det. Max Kirkpatrick (William Baldwin).

Kitty Cameo: Kate returns home not realizing how serious the threat against her really is. She is seen giving her orange tabby cat a saucer of milk.

Fair Game - orange tabby cat drinking milk from bowl

Kate then walks out onto the balcony before turning back and asking the cat, “You wanna watch Headline News with me?” The cat meows and turns, scurrying away from her. “No?” Kate asks, amused. “It’s not gonna kill ya.” She then presses the button on the remote control and the television explodes, sending her flying over the balcony. We assume the cat was killed in the explosion but the cat is not mentioned again.

Fair Game - orange tabby cat standing by saucer on floor

Fair Game - orange tabby cat looking away

Final Mewsings: What kind of sick killers blow up a cat?


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Bob – “Mad Dog Returns”

Bob DVD

Original Air Date: September 18, 1992
Starring: Bob Newhart, Carlene Watkins, John Cygan
Directed by: Andrew D. Weyman

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

Synopsis: The pilot episode of this series finds artist Bob McKay (Newhart) being asked to revive his comic book character Mad Dog but with some drastic changes he just can’t accept.

Featured Feline: The McKay’s own a cat named Otto who is featured throughout the series. In this first episode, Otto is seen sitting on the couch in the background as Bob is working at his drawing board.

Bob - Mad Dog Returns - Bob Newhart at drawing table with cat Otto on couch in background

The man who wanted to make so many drastic changes to Mad Dog, Harlan Stone (John Cygan) shows up to try to talk Bob into bringing Mad Dog back. Harlan talks about how no one likes him because he is insensitive as he sits on the couch. “You’re sitting on our cat,” Bob points out.

Bob - Mad Dog Returns - Bob Newhart at drawing table with Harlan Stone John Cygan in front of cat Otto on couch

Harlan goes on to plead for Mad Dog’s return, petting Otto as he talks.

Bob - Mad Dog Returns - Harlan Stone John Cygan with cat Otto on couch

Bob - Mad Dog Returns - Harlan Stone John Cygan with cat Otto on couch

After getting up and walking around, telling the story of how Mad Dog influenced his life, Harlan sits back down on the couch, dejected. “Nothing really matters,” he sighs. “Nothing.” He looks down at Otto, who is looking at him, and repeats, “Nothing!” Otto looks straight ahead as the audience laughs at the cat’s perfect reaction.

Bob - Mad Dog Returns - Harlan Stone John Cygan looking at cat Otto on couch

Harlan continues to sit on the couch petting Otto until Bob agrees to revive Mad Dog.

Bob - Mad Dog Returns - Bob Newhart with cat Otto on couch in background

Bob - Mad Dog Returns - Bob Newhart with cat Otto on couch in background being petted

Bob - Mad Dog Returns - Harlan Stone John Cygan on couch with cat Otto and Bob Newhart

In the closing credits of the show, Otto is seen running across Bob’s drawing desk, leaving smeared paw prints in paint behind.

Bob - Mad Dog Returns - cat Otto running across drawing board

The cat playing Otto was not credited in the series, however in an Amazon review of the DVD a fan of the show named George shared some information he obtained while participating in a bulletin board for the series while it aired. Having befriended Bob Newhart, who also followed the boards, George mentioned that Bob noticed how much everyone was talking about the cat named Otto on the series. George thought the cat actor’s name may have been Samantha. The fan comments encouraged those working on the series to include more interactions with the cat. Bob said that no matter what they came up with for the cat actor to do, Samantha would do it.

Bob - Mad Dog Returns - Harlan Stone John Cygan looking at cat Otto on couch

Final Mewsings: Television cartoonists always seem to own cats.

Many thanks to Stevie Holcomb for letting us know about Otto in this series!


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Puss ‘n Boots (1983)

Music Artist: Adam Ant

Synopsis: A pussycat (in the form of a woman) goes to London to find love and fame.

Kitty Cameo: At the very beginning of the video a white cat is seen.

Puss 'n Boots - Adam Ant - white cat close

Later when Pussycat has been hired to catch the King’s mice the woman turns into the same cat to squeeze through the hole in the wall, thus catching the mice and winning the crown. The actress playing the part of Pussycat is Karen Landau and the cat actor was reportedly named Shabs.

Puss 'n Boots - Adam Ant - white cat close

Puss 'n Boots - Adam Ant - white cat looking into mouse hole

Puss 'n Boots - Adam Ant - woman turns into cat to squeeze into hole animated gif

Final Mewsings: All female cats are queens.

Many thanks to Nick Wale for reminding us of the cat in this video and providing information on the actors!


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