Critters (1986)

Critters poster

New Line Cinema
Starring:
 Dee Wallace Stone, Scott Grimes
Directed by: Stephen Herek

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

Synopsis:  A spaceship filled with vicious, hungry aliens lands near a remote farm owned by the Brown family.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): The Browns own a Bengal tabby cat named Chewie. In an early scene, the family is gathering for breakfast in the kitchen. As the young boy Brad (Scott Grimes) enters the kitchen his dad Jay (Billy Green Bush) tells him to get Chewie off the table. Brad lifts the cat away from a plate where he is eating.

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes lifts Bengal tabby cat Chewie off table

Moments later when the mother Helen (Dee Wallace Stone) serves out some food Chewie jumps up into Brad’s lap to try to get something off the table. Moments later Brad sets Chewie on the floor again.

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes with Bengal tabby cat Chewie looking over edge of table and Brown family eating Billy Green Bush Dee Wallace Stone and Nadine Van Der Velde

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes setting down Bengal tabby cat Chewie with Brown family eating Billy Green Bush Dee Wallace Stone and Nadine Van Der Velde

Later in the film Brad is grounded and sent to his room. He hears Chewie meowing outside and opens the window. Chewie climbs up to Brad who hugs him and says “At least you like me!”

Critters - Bengal tabby cat Chewie on roof

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes holding Bengal tabby cat Chewie in window

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes kissing Bengal tabby cat Chewie in window

When Brad goes to sneak out of his room later that night, he sets a plate of food his father has brought him on the floor for Chewie.

Critters - Bengal tabby cat Chewie eating from plate on floor

As the night progesses, the alien critters close in on the house. As they approach, the cat Chewie is sitting on a garbage can outside the kitchen window where Helen is washing dishes.

Critters - Bengal tabby cat Chewie eating in garbage can in front of kitchen window with Helen Dee Wallace Stone inside

The critters startle Chewie who scrambles to run away, knocking a lid off the garbage can and scaring Helen.

Critters - Bengal tabby cat Chewie on top of garabage can

Critters - Bengal tabby cat Chewie hissing on top of garbage can

The family is eventually attacked and take shelter in the house as a couple of alien hunters arrive to capture or kill the renagade Crites (what the family calls critters). Brad hears Chewie and goes to find the cat. He sees Chewie jump onto the bed in his bedroom.

Critters - Bengal tabby cat Chewie on bed

Brad picks up Chewie and then hears his sister calling from below. As he turns to the window, Chewie starts to growl and hiss, reacting violently to something behind them. Brad turns to find a giant critter closing in. Chewie wisely runs away.

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes holding Bengal tabby cat Chewie

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes holding hissing Bengal tabby cat Chewie

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes holding Bengal tabby cat Chewie who hisses and struggles to get away animated gif

Chewie is not seen again until the end of the film when the family is surveying their destroyed home, which the Crites blew up as they tried to escape. Brad finds Chewie outside the ruins and picks him up.

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes reaching down to pick up Bengal tabby cat Chewie from ground

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes kissing Bengal tabby cat Chewie with Billy Green Bush in background

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes holding Bengal tabby cat Chewie with Browns Billy Green Bush Dee Wallace Stone and M. Emmett Walsh

A moment later a device which one of the alien bounty hunters left for Brad starts to beep. Brad sets down Chewie to look at the device. Suddenly all of the debris starts to move toward the foundation of the house. Chewie is caught up in this pull and is dragged back toward the house as it reassembles.

Critters - Bengal tabby cat Chewie being dragged back toward reassembling house

Once the house in intact, Brad and the family find Chewie sitting in the mailbox. They all gather around to pet him.

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes pulling Bengal tabby cat Chewie from mailbox

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes holding Bengal tabby cat Chewie with Brown family gathered around Billy Green Bush Dee Wallace Stone and Nadine Van Der Velde

Critters - Brad Scott Grimes holding Bengal tabby cat Chewie with Brown family gathered around Billy Green Bush Dee Wallace Stone and Nadine Van Der Velde

Final Mewsings: It takes a brave actor to hold a cat which is freaking out.

Many thanks to Nick Wale and T.j. Dotson for letting us know about the cat in this movie!


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Unleashed (2016)

Unleashed poster

Level 33 Entertainment
Starring:
 Kate Micucci, Sean Astin
Also Starring:  Pepper
Directed by: Finn Taylor

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

Synopsis: A lonely woman named Emma (Kate Micucci) is close to her pet dog Summit (Riley) and her pet cat Ajax (Pepper) and wishes she could meet men like them. Little does she know her wish is about to come true!

Featured Feline: At the beginning of the film, tuxedo cat Ajax is seen as a kitten.

Unleashed - tuxedo kitten

Ajax grows into a long-haired tuxedo. He and the dog Summit are rescue animals that Emma comes to visit on a regular basis. But she can’t adopt them because her boyfriend is allergic.

Unleashed - Emma Kate Micucci visiting tuxedo cat Ajax and dog Summit outside shelter

Her boyfriend not only runs out on Emma but steals the idea for her app, so she adopts Ajax and Summit and moves to San Francisco.

Unleashed - Emma Kate Micucci adopting tuxedo cat Ajax and dog Summit

Emma builds her life again but has serious trust issues. She spends her life with her animals who she knows will never judge her or treat her badly.

Unleashed - Emma Kate Micucci watching tv with tuxedo cat Ajax and dog Summit

Unleashed - Emma Kate Micucci reassuring tuxedo cat Ajax

She even sneaks Ajax and Summit into work with her.

Unleashed - Emma Kate Micucci sneaking tuxedo cat Ajax and dog Summit into work with her

Unleashed - tuxedo cat Ajax and dog Summit sitting under desk

In the bathroom at work Emma switches clothes with her friend Nina (Hana Mae Lee) to go on a date. Nina is amazed that Emma can get undressed in front of her cat and dog.

Unleashed - tuxedo cat Ajax and dog Summit in bathroom

Unfortunately a rude bike rider knocks into Emma’s bike as she rides home.

Unleashed - Emma Kate Micucci holding tuxedo cat Ajax after bike crash

Feeling dirty and disheveled, Emma is too embarrassed to go on the date and instead consoles herself listening to a sad playlist and dancing with Ajax.

Unleashed - Emma Kate Micucci dancing with tuxedo cat Ajax

Emma wishes she could meet guys like her pets. That night a mysterious light from the constellations fills her room and Summit and Ajax go outside.

Unleashed - Emma Kate Micucci sleeping on bed with tuxedo cat Ajax and dog Summit

The animals look up at the sky and moments later they are both transformed into men. Oddly enough the cat in the tree appears to be another member of the Ajax team without as much white. (Kudos to actors Justin Chatwin and Steve Howey for bringing believability to the human forms of Ajax aka Diego and Summit aka Sam respectively).

Unleashed - tuxedo cat Ajax in tree looking up

The now-humans vie for Emma’s affection and learn to adapt to the human world. In the end they are transformed back to their former selves. Ajax has told Emma that he is going stray for a while. Emma has now fallen for a nice guy named Carl (Sean Astin) who has helped her since she moved to San Francisco. He owns a tiny house on wheels and leaves the city every so often. As they prepare to go, Emma begs Ajax to come back from wherever he is. He is actually nearby, looking down at them.

Unleashed - tuxedo cat Ajax looking down from above

They drive the tiny house to a secluded ocean-front spot and there Emma hears a noise in a cupboard. It is Ajax! There is a happy reunion.

Unleashed - Emma Kate Micucci hugging tuxedo cat Ajax

Unleashed - Emma Kate Micucci hugging tuxedo cat Ajax with Carl Sean Astin and dog Summit

In the end Ajax and Summit are seen watching TV, Ajax using the remote control he learned how to operate as a human and Summit licking at a bottle of tequila, something he indulged in while human.

Unleashed - tuxedo cat Ajax working remote and dog Summit licking at liquor bottle while watching television

Both cat actor Pepper and dog actor Riley were provided by Steven Beren’s Animals of Distinction. Oddly enough, the cat seen on the poster for the film is a black cat with a white chest and not Pepper.

Unleashed promotional poster

Kitty Cameos:  There are also a couple of cats seen as rescue animals in the film.

Unleashed - calico cat in cage

Unleashed - Siamese kitten in cage

Final Mewsings: Cats make better cats than people.


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The Kingdom (2007)

The Kingdom poster

Universal Pictures
Starring:
 Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner
Directed by: Peter Berg

Synopsis: A group of government agents travel to Saudi Arabia to investigate a terrorist attack on a U.S. housing compound.

Purr Blur: In one scene one of the agents, Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) questions a family living at the compound about the attack. The couple’s mother Maddy (Sarah Hunley) is sitting to one side with a cat in her lap as she explains how she hit the deck during the attack because ” . . . the place was goin’ Rambo.” The cat is only seen on screen for a moment. On the DVD commentary track director Peter Berg explained how fifteen minutes after the scene was filmed the cat went completely crazy and attacked Sarah Hunley, inflicting serious scratches on her arms. Berg added that production was almost shut down because of it but the actress continued and got through the shoot, but “That cat didn’t like her!” The cat’s ears are clearly back during this scene, indicating the cat was indeed very unhappy. This particular shot was not monitored by the American Humane Association.

The Kingdom - Maddy Sarah Hunley holding cat on lap in background

Final Mewsings: You don’t want to be near a cat when it goes Rambo.


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Poetic Justice (1993)

Poetic Justice poster

Columbia Pictures Corporation
Starring:
 Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur
Directed by: John Singleton

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

Synopsis:  A young poet named Justice (Janet Jackson) suffers an unthinkable tragedy and releases her emotions through poetry.

Kitty Cameos: Justice owns a long-haired white cat she calls White Boy. The cat is first seen in a quick shot while Justice is sitting at home.

Poetic Justice - long-haired white cat White Boy close up

Poetic Justice - long-haired white cat White Boy close up

The next day Justice prepares for a trip to Oakland. The cat is washing itself as Justice moves around the house.

Poetic Justice - long-haired white cat White Boy sitting and cleaning while Justice Janet Jackson prepares for trip

Poetic Justice - long-haired white cat White Boy sitting and cleaning next to suitcase

After packing Justice tries to remember anything she may have forgotten. She then remembers White Boy and walks out on the patio where the cat’s dish is sitting. She pours a ton of dry food into the bowl as White Boy comes out to eat.

Poetic Justice - long-haired white cat White Boy next to bowl being filled with dry food

Poetic Justice - long-haired white cat White Boy next to bowl being filled with dry food

As Justice walks away, three other cats approach the bowl of food.

Poetic Justice - Justice Janet Jackson next to long-haired white cat White Boy and bowl of food on porch

Poetic Justice - Justice Janet Jackson standing next to long-haired white cat White Boy and bowl of food on porch

Poetic Justice - three cats approaching long-haired white cat White Boy and bowl of food on porch

Poetic Justice - Justice Janet Jackson feeding long-haired white cat White Boy on porch and three other cats approach when she steps inside animated gif

A short time later as Justice prepares to leave, White Boy can be seen in the background eating on the porch, although the other cats are now gone. Her friend Iesha (Regina King) notices the cat and says she will kick it one day. “Girl, you kick my cat I’m gonna kick your ass!” Justice replies.

Poetic Justice - Justice Janet Jackson and Iesha Regina King walking away from house with long-haired white cat White Boy eating on porch in background

Final Mewsings: Friends do not threaten to kick your cat.


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The Patty Duke Show – “Patty Leads a Dog’s Life”

The Patty Duke Show Season Three DVD

Original Air Date: February 9, 1966
Starring: Patty Duke, William Schallert, Paul O’Keefe
Directed by: Bruce Bilson

Synopsis: Patty (Patty Duke) agrees to dogsit for a precosious pup named Pierre whose owner is a client her father would like to have sign a contract.

Kitty Cameo: After numerous misadventures with Pierre, Patty and her father (William Schallert) are seeing the dog off with his owner, Eloise Sutton (Rita Shaw). As they reach the front door, Ross (Paul O’Keefe) enters holding a long-haired tabby cat. “Look what I found in the front yard!” he exclaims.

The Patty Duke Show - Patty Leads a Dog's Life - Patty Duke and father William Schallert and Eloise Rita Shaw with Pierre dog meet Ross Paul O'Keefe at door with long-haired tabby cat

Pierre freaks out upon seeing the cat and jumps down from Eloise’s arms, running away.

The Patty Duke Show - Patty Leads a Dog's Life - Pierre dog sees long-haired cat

They start to call after Pierre but Eloise warns them that is not the way to get the dog back. Instead they all start to sing Rock-a-Bye Baby, something they have done throughout the episode to soothe Pierre. At this point the cat looks like it is falling asleep in Ross’ arms.

The Patty Duke Show - Patty Leads a Dog's Life - Patty Duke father William Schallert Eloise Rita and Ross Paul O'Keefe with long-haired tabby cat in doorway

The Patty Duke Show - Patty Leads a Dog's Life - Patty Duke father William Schallert Eloise Rita and Ross Paul O'Keefe with long-haired tabby cat in doorway

The Patty Duke Show - Patty Leads a Dog's Life - Patty Duke father William Schallert Eloise Rita and Ross Paul O'Keefe with long-haired tabby cat in doorway

Final Mewsings: Lullabies apparently work on cats, too.

Many thanks to Erin. T. Aardvark for letting us know about the cat in this episode!


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