This sums up the next scene.
This sums up the next scene.
EDIT: spinolson pointed out that I said Tina instead of Frannie. This has been corrected. I’d like to say this is the last time I mistake the two girls, but it won’t be.
Don’t mention ham in a movie where Johnny Whitaker acts. You don’t want to draw the comparison.
In this scene from A Talking Cat!?!, Chris is helping Frannie study Hamlet. Frannie is really dumb. Or she pretends to be dumb. I think she’s really dumb. She says Hamlet is about a guy who likes ham. Even if you were pretending to be dumb, you could think of something funnier to say than that. So Frannie is dumb dumb.
Frannie also won’t shut up about swimming. She’s like a black hole of character depth. Frannie has taken the infinite amount of character choices in the universe and refined them all into a singular one-dimensional point in space that destroys all it touches. “FRANNIE SWIM,” screams the black hole. But you can’t hear it, because not even light can escape from FRANNIE SWIM.
Also, during this scene there is acting!?!
Chris is nervous because he likes girls (no he doesn’t) and doesn’t like swimming (true). In a situation with girls and swimming, Chris is close to tears. There is only so much stammering you can do to prove you’re nervous about girls and swimming.
Frannie touches Chris and tells him what Hamlet is really about. A man who can’t make a decision in the face of the obvious. Hey! Dummy! What’s the deal? Quit being a dick! If you know what Hamlet is about, quit wasting everyone’s time! Use the public pool like everyone else and leave Chris and his pool alone. He obviously doesn’t like you.
Hamlet hasn’t been this sullied since Mel Gibson tried to play the 17-year-old.
Alan Joyce edited together all the clips from A Talking Cat!?! referencing technology. Namely, beeping machines. Enjoy!
Finally, A Talking Cat!?! has made its way across the pond! But what’s this? The movie’s punctuation must have been lost over the ocean. It was probably like that episode of Wings where they had to dump stuff out of the plane so they wouldn’t crash. Wings.
Not only has the punctuation been dropped, but the movie is now titled Duffy the Talking Cat. Which is sad, really. The mark of a good movie is when the title of the movie is said by one or more of the characters. There are plenty times “a talking cat” is delivered on screen. But nobody says “You know, Duffy. The talking cat.”
You’ll also notice that the cat in the art still isn’t the cat from the film. Nor is the dog back there in the film at all. Especially a dog that is thinking “a cat with sunglasses? I’ve got to lay off the sauce.”
And last, but not least, we have “Wonderfully funny” said by Dummy Quote. Now, this is probably a placeholder until someone actually says something nice about Duffy the Talking Cat (don’t hold your breath), but I’d like to think that they’re just quoting some dummy who said “Wonderfully funny” sometime. Probably about a chicken parm sandwich. What a dummy.
So, keep it straight everybody. Elevators are lifts. Apartments are flats. And A Talking Cat!?! is Duffy the Talking Cat.
Things are getting tense at the Phris house. That’s Phil and Chris put together. Try and keep up, okay? Obviously, this blog moves at lightning speed.
Phil walks in the door, which causes Chris to remark “you look terrible.” I’d like to think that Chris says this every time he sees Phil, not just when he’s sweaty. The image below is how Phil should have reacted.
Instead, Phil takes insults from his son with a dopey and ignorant smile. It’s like insulting a brick wall with bad hair. Nothing gets to it.
You know, we haven’t talked about how gay Chris is. I mean, he is gay. I know the plot is that Chris likes Frannie, but Chris is gay. This isn’t an insult, because being gay isn’t insulting, but it is a fact. Is this poor directing, poor acting, or both? I’d much sooner believe that Harvey Fierstein likes girls than Chris. In fact, Duffy’s universe ending scare mouth is more believable than Chris’s motivations.
This is an issue because Chris wants to learn how to swim to impress girls. That’s his plot line. A plot line that his cutoff jean shorts directly conflict with. So that’s item 4,047 that is wrong with A Talking Cat!?!
Anywhooooooo, Chris says “girls are weird.” Phil agrees and says more things about girls. Because bonding. Phil and Chris exchange 6 lines about girls and Phil comes away thinking it was a positive exchange that moved their relationship forward. And, as all conversations between Chris and Phil end, they decide to get food of some sort. This time, it’s Chinese. That’s as good a place as any to stop talking.
Pizza, waffles, Chinese food, cheese puffs. This film is a gourmand’s delight.
“La Cucaracha” is Spanish for “the cockroach.” Sure, a soulless version of “La Cucaracha” is the backing music to this scene because it’s in the public domain. But imagine for a moment that Samsa from The Metamorphosis turned into Phil, not a cockroach. Sweaty, messy, melty faced Phil. The story would be about equally horrific, don’t you think? His mother would faint and then he’d scuttle around the ceiling for a while.
Anyway, Phil is walking in the “woods” and forgot to bring water. Because he’s a retired genius. So the Frankenstein’s-monster-on-a-bad-day that is Phil stumbles up to a random house to ask for some water. When someone with the same distinguishing features as a half-filled water balloon looking for the sweet release of death shows up on my doorstep, I let them in! In that way, I can relate to horrible mother Susan because she lets the walking-dog-bed-that-hasn’t-been-washed-for-five-years into her home for a glass of water.
In terrible Susan’s defense, she asks Phil if he is a crazy person. Because, like the police, they have to tell you. Otherwise, it’s crazy person entrapment and you’ll never get a conviction.
Susan proceeds to give Phil the smallest amount of water possible. But Phil is all, like, “Thanks for the tiny glass of water, but now it’s more water. I’m magic. What up now?”
Phil doesn’t actually say that. Instead, he slurps the water down like a vacuum sucks up Legos. Loudly. Then he brings up his son for the second time, to which Susan replies “oh, you have a son?” This is the second time he mentioned it, Susan! You’re the worst! You need to work on your listening skills or admit that you finally need to get that hearing aid.
It should be noted that all the parents in David DeCoteau’s “family” films are single parents. If this is due to budget restrictions, because he’s lazy, or because he’s a real Murphy Brown fan, it’s hard to say. Sure, he might be making a statement. But so far, that statement is “single parents don’t listen to you and consume the attention of their children.”
By the way, Duffy (the talking cat!?!) is sitting on a couch listening to all this. Creeper!
This might be the longest scene of dialogue (sad that I need to specify) in the entire film. Susan and Phil talk about not being married, home decor, children, and Humphrey Bogart. No one in this movie is a great actor (sorry, Eric Roberts), but Phil and Susan are by far the worst. Why they get the long scene about nothing is beyond me.
Actually, everything in this movie is beyond me. I can’t imagine anyone thinking any of the choices made in the production of this movie were a good idea. There isn’t one thing done well. Not one! This scene makes me hate A Talking Cat!?! Let’s just push past the rest of the scene, okay?
Fine. The scene ends with Duffy thinking “I am tooooo good.” Because he told Phil to take a walk in the “woods” and then this happened. Great job, cat. I can take credit for coincidences too. Scene over.
First off, Trent turns out to be a big fat liar. He told his horrible mother Susan that he was going to go for a walk. So he left the inside couch to sit on the outside couch. I mean, technically he walked there. Trent’s logic does match up with Duffy’s “I can only talk to someone once” rules. Fine. Sorry, Trent. I take back my “liar” remark. But you’re on thin ice, bud.
Trent looks for understanding in the dead eyes of Duffy. When a stray cat is your confidant of choice, something is wrong at home. No matter how many times your mother reminds you that you’re a special boy. “What’s up with you, cat” starts Trent, to a cat he doesn’t know can talk.
Then Duffy shits a black hole from his nose. This dreamless death hole opens up and tells Trent “I’m a TALKING cat,” like Trent is a dummy for not knowing that. Trent is a dummy, but not because he didn’t know a pitch black atrocity flower would blossom from a cat’s face and begin to speak.
Are you ready for the entire mysticism of this film to be vomited out in 25 seconds? Okay. Here is what Duffy says immediately after berating Trent for being thick.
“I can only talk to a person once. And there’s a collar my original owner gave me, buried under a grove of magical trees due north of here. It’s a big fallen tree and just through a thick hedge that looks like a fuzzy green wall. That collar is what lets me help people.”
This subtle foreshadowing caresses our brains like a hook used for mummification. You think they might need to find this buried magical collar later?
Hey, wait. Shouldn’t you be wearing a magical collar to make it work? If this magical collar has some sort of area effect, why aren’t there talking squirrels all over the woods? Also, you kind of glossed over your whole “original owner” thing. Did you murder them? Eh, it probably isn’t important.
Duffy uses his ability to “help people” to tell Trent he has a great imagination. Which is Trent’s big problem, I guess. Not his horrible family, or his twin sister. Twin sister? Man, how can this scene be so full of information when all the others have so little. Spread it out a little, screenwriter Andrew Helm!
This movie treats the words “imagination” and “ambition” as the same thing. Trent doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life, and this is because he can’t imagine what he wants to do with his life. Just look at the want ads! You don’t need imagination to find a career. It’s “what do you want to do,” not “what non-existent job do you want to make up and do?”
Duffy dumps some more logical leaps into the world by explaining that Trent has imagination because he is talking to a talking cat. I suppose I have imagination because I can use a can opener. Makes sense.
The cat leaves Trent with some advice he heard on TV and then is off. We don’t see Duffy leave, because the cat is a horrible actor and won’t do what he’s supposed to. So Trent gets to look around frantically for 5 seconds, implying that Duffy vanished into thin air. Whatever. Trent feels better about his imagination now.
One last note on this scene. The shot of Duffy talking is about .5 seconds long, and used over and over again. This cat is such a horrible actor they couldn’t get him to sit still for more than .5 seconds. So they slowed it down and stretched the .5 seconds out into 5 seconds. You can see a little bug flying in the lower left-hand corner of this clip in slow motion again and again. Just use a still frame if it’s going to be terrible anyway!
What I’m trying to say is, this movie is bad.
This picture is my rough guess at the house layout for terrible Tina, sour Susan, and tepid Trent. This main room contains three rooms in one! It’s a kitchen, a dining room, and a living room! It’s the Swiss Army knife of rooms! Sadly, all the knives are stuck out and can’t be retracted. Realistically, you can’t get more than 5 feet away from someone in this space. This is important to note.
We’re 34 minutes into A Talking Cat!?! and it already feels like we’ve been watching it for years. Trent is sitting on the couch (see floor plan) watching TV (see floor plan) when Tina comes sauntering into the room. “Hey loser,” she greats him, unprovoked. Did I mention that Susan, their inattentive mother, is standing less than 5 feet away from them in the kitchen? She is.
Susan quickly steps in to stop the callousness of her loin droppings. Just kidding. Susan ignores her bickering children completely.
Tina, always full of advice, recommends her brother “stay dumb.” She then states, rather loudly, that she is “off to the library” to work on something “because I’m smart and you’re not.”
Enough is enough! Susan flies across the room to put a stop to this sibling squabbling! Haha, I got you again! Susan didn’t do that at all! Instead, Susan turns around and asks Trent if Tina went to the library. You see, because Susan was all the way in the kitchen and didn’t hear what Tina said less than 5 seconds ago. This kitchen that is less than 5 feet away from everything else in the house.
Out of character, Susan asks Trent if he is okay. I’m surprised Trent hears her because Susan is all the way behind the couch and Trent is on the couch. There must be miles between them. His hearing must be stellar.
And then Trent does what Trent does best. He pushes down his feelings and says he needs to go for a walk. Nice work, Trent. Don’t cry out loud. Keep it inside. Learn how to hide your feelings.
This is the second time Trent gets away from his mother with the old “gotta go for a walk” excuse. That is an excuse for someone in an unhappy marriage, not a teenager. There is a TV to be watched (see floor plan) and a couch to be sat on (see floor plan).
Next up? Trent talks to a talking cat. A talking cat!?!
Phil 2.0 is off for a walk in the woods, to clear his head. This is followed by 35 seconds (yes, I timed it) of slow, shaky, panning shots of nature. This is scored by the same jazzy track from the beginning of A Talking Cat!?!, where they slowly and shakily panned over nature for more than 35 seconds. Guess the producers ran out of songs in the public domain. And cameramen that weren’t having nicotine fits.
Anyway, Phil. He’s wearing his standard “walking in the woods” outfit. Hoodie. Sweat pants. Shirt that says “un pinche dia a la vez.” Huh. I wonder what “un pinche dia a la vez” means. Go to Google Translate and…oh. It means “a fucking day at a time.” That…that’s not appropriate for children at all.
Phil’s idea of “a walk in the woods” is meandering by the palm trees at his neighbor’s house. All this time living in his home and he never thought to sneak into his neighbor’s backyard and skulk around. Soon he’ll become lost, pee in the birdbath, and fall asleep on their patio. Being retired sounds great.
This update feels a little short. I’d combine this with the next scene, but I love it too much to cram it in here. You guys, it’s so good. Wait until you read about it!
Just in case you thought the theme song to A Talking Cat!?! was an original composition.