The Cat in the Hat
May 23, 2015
(Doug and Rob are sitting in two chairs)
Doug: What is this? Cat in the Hat? Piece of shit. (Chuckles)
Rob: Fucking hate this movie.
Doug: If you can't find it on YouTube, by the way, just go to Channel Awesome. It's there. Uh, we're fighting all the...all the ones are getting taken down on YouTube, by the way. We are fighting them. I mean, when the...
Rob: I thought it was always the piece of shit movies, too.
Doug: Yes. (Imitates a lawyer) "We have to preserve the sanctity of Mamma Mia!"
Rob: (Imitates a lawyer) "Of Cat in the Hat! Mike Myers has deep pockets!"
Doug: "People might actually think it's a bad movie." (Chuckles) I'm sure we're the only ones to say it. Uh, but, hey, what...oh, fuck this movie. Uh...God, can we just make this V-log nothing but us saying over and over, "Fuck this movie"?
Rob: Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck this fucking movie in its motherfucking ass!
Doug: You know, it's the first film from Bo Welch. This is, I think, his first directing effort. What a horrible film to start on, 'cause what a phenomenal talent he...Bo Welch is a production designer who's done a lot of the Tim Burton stuff.
Rob: A lot of the Burton stuff, yeah. Men in Black.
Doug: Yeah, I mean, just unbelievable talent.
Rob: He didn't direct, he did the production design.
Doug: And I have no idea if this was mostly him or the studio. If I had to guess, I'd say it's the studio.
Rob: The studio that's trying so hard to make sure we never run it.
Doug: Yeah, and it's one of those things where, 'cause...
Rob: God help us if we tell the truth about Cat in the Hat.
Doug: 'Cause fucking Grinch came out, and I still... (Beat) How can any of you like that movie?! I don't get it! Uh, but...
Rob: People like that movie?
Doug: Oh, people love that movie!
Rob: Oh, wow. That's...
Doug: That's what the ending of that thing was about.
Rob: That's really kind of soul-crushing.
Doug: I, no, I, I mean...
Rob: I will say this is not the worst of those movies, but, I mean, this, I think, is the worst of those movies.
Doug: I'd say second, honestly. I think this is just under Cat in the Hat. I mean, 'cause you have The Lorax, which, at least...
Rob: Lorax, I think, is the best of them.
Doug: No, Horton Hears a Who is probably the best.
Rob: I haven't seen Horton yet, but my guess is that I would agree with you. I would say Horton, then Lorax...
Doug: Then Grinch, then Cat in the Hat. So it's just ugly.
Rob: Yeah, this is rock bottom.
Doug: Um, it is, but, like, the only thing I can figure is that it's kind of like Space Jam, where people just kind of grew up with it, and, like, Jim Carrey, and it is visually, you know, kind of interesting.
Rob: I liked Jim Carrey, too, when I was young, but, you know, at some point, you grow up.
Doug: No, no, I mean...I mean, maybe...
Rob: Just because I like Jim Carrey in some things doesn't mean I have to like him in everything. It doesn't mean I can't look back on films that I saw when I was, like, 10 and be, like, "Yeah."
Doug: No, my favorite is the Robot Chicken when it's like, it's some sort of Christmas rhyme, and it's like the Grinch That Stole Christmas, or something like that. And this kid goes up, and he goes, "Oh, no! It's the piece of shit Jim Carrey Grinch, not the real Grinch!" And he's like, "Ho-ho-ho! What are we gonna do here?" It's just like, "Ugh!"
Rob: "The Grinch!"
Doug: You know, 'cause everyone, when that movie came out, the critics didn't like it, but everyone was like, "Wasn't that great? Wasn't that great? Wasn't Jim Carrey amazing? Wasn't that great?" And it was like, "Oh, no!" And I was like, "This is gonna be everywhere now!" And it fucking was, and then we finally climax with the worst with Cat in the Hat, and people were like, "You know, maybe this whole thing we're doing with Dr. Suess, you know, anal raping his grave, isn't the best, and we should actually try to put effort into this shit." And they...
Rob: Anal raping's not harsh enough. Skull fucking.
Doug: Yeah, I think that's better. And, you know, so then, when Lorax came out, they tried a little harder, I guess. You know, at least it looked like the book, but still, just missed so much with the story.
Rob: Lorax missed the point on a lot of things, but in the grand scheme of things, I find it way more mostly harmless, like, to me, it's mostly harmless, just, "Yeah, you missed the boat on that one, but you know what? It's...it's not Cat in the Hat."
Doug: No, I mean, for me, it's...the big thing for me is what they're doing with Dr. Suess is in the movies, anyway, is that there...is one of the few times where I say this feels like an insult. And, 'cause, you know, people work hard on these movies.
Rob: It's like taking Mister Rodgers and turning it into some cheap corporate show product.
Doug: Yeah, and it's just...
Rob: It's just so wrong to do.
Doug: Something that was so perfect and so wholesome and so brilliantly done and well done and had a perfect message, just everything about...it's just about as perfect a product as you can get.
Rob: (Imitating a loud kid) But, Dad, that doesn't sell toys! We have to film things!
Doug: No, we need Jim Carrey having a fucking guy kiss a dog's butt, and having his head in a woman's breasts and stuff. That's Dr. Suess! That's Dr. Suess with attitude! It's that fucking dog from The Simpsons, that Homer voiced, in Dr. Suess, and fuck you for it! Just fuck you for it! I'm sorry. I get really fucking angry at this. I hate it, 'cause I go on and on about this in the reviews about how they just see it as, "Oh, it's just kids stuff! We get this, 'cause we're adults!" And, "No, you don't. You don't see what was so brilliant about this writing and about these stories and why they're timeless, and yours are going to die, and they're going to be shit, and more people are waking up and realizing that they're shit, and that they should be dead, and that this great work is gonna stand, it's gonna live forever, because he fucking tried, and he respected kids and he respected adults." (Rob applauds) Sorry.
(He chuckles as Rob continues applauding. Doug gives a salute)
Doug: Now watch all the hate that's gonna be under the comments! (Laughs)
Rob: No, I don't care. Bring it on this one. You know, I will say this. I don't think I hate The Grinch as much as you do. (Beat) It's a piece of shit. But, you know, I don't think it inspires that much hate. The Cat in the Hat does, though. This movie was so insufferable to get through. First off, Mike Myers in...probably one of the most...greatest...most spectacular failed performances, like, ever put on this screen. Like, if people think Johnny Depp is bad in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, like, this...
Doug: People like him in that, too! That was fucking weird.
Rob: Not everybody. Some people thought his Michael Jackson Willy Wonka was bizarre.
Doug: I don't get that from him.
Rob: This, yeah, one of the great failed performances of all time, but not even "entertaining to watch" failed, because if you want a great failed performance, Dennis Hopper as King Koopa. Super Mario Bros, one of the greatest failed performances. Christopher Lambert as Raiden. He is so great to watch.
Doug: Beautifully bad.
Rob: You know, we had so many great...Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr. Freeze. Just one of the great failed performances.
Doug: Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face.
Rob: Yeah, you love...
Doug: So entertaining to watch.
Rob: So miscast, so awful, but so fun to watch. It's just fun at how much they fail. It's like, "You know what? That's hilarious!" This, I, I... (After a brief pause, he looks at Doug) What scene was it where I snapped?
Doug: Okay, no. There is a scene, it's the scene where the NC snaps, too, where Mike Myers gets kicked in the nuts. And because they have him on a swing in a checkered dress, playing this song, and then it just cuts back. And what did you do? Reenact it. We're watching this, that scene plays.
Rob: Okay, so keep in mind, throughout this entire movie, I am sitting there like this. (Folds his arms and sighs in annoyance) I am like... (Puts his hand on his face) God, make it stop! And that scene happens, and he gets kicked in the balls, and I'm, like... (Moves a bit further away from Doug) I would've been way over here, like we're on the couch. Even further. I was, like, way over here. And that scene happened, and this literally happened. (Reenacts the moment. Rob jumps up and grabs a scared Doug by the shirt) WHY ARE WE WATCHING THIS?!!!
(He sits back down and crosses his arms in anger)
Doug: And...then we just sort of sat there in silence for a little bit.
Rob: I'm not making this up.
Doug: That really happened.
Rob: I literally fucking snapped. That is how much I hate this movie. (Chuckles and moves back closer to Doug)
Doug: It's, it was so hard to...
Rob: You had the look on your face. You were just like... (Makes a stunned face)
Doug: Oh, that's a first. (Laughs)
Rob: I think you were just like, "Why don't we pause?"
Doug: Yeah, we just needed a break. It was so relentless in how terrible it was. And, you know, what's so funny is that The Grinch is so bad, and...it's hard to say which one's the bigger insult, because The Cat in the Hat is worse. It's a worse movie. The Grinch, I think, is a much stronger story, if there's so much more to break down.
Rob: The Grinch was less...the thing that offends me most about Cat in the Hat is, as bad as The Grinch gets, kissing the dog's butt and all that, like, Jim Carrey prancing, as bad as it is, and even though obviously it was advertised, there were toys and stuff and movie tie-ins, I still thought in the world of the movie itself, it wasn't as much of a corporate shell. Like, it was bad, but it was its own thing, and it was like, "We're still gonna have a moral, even though it's completely derailed by all the advertising around this film." Cat in the Hat, though, I think it was the Universal ad they threw in there that insulted me the most. I'm like, okay, you know, you could argue that it's just a failed idea, a failed interpretation of Dr. Suess. But one thing I never, never would've associated with Dr. Suess is just, like, an ad for, like, Universal, like, Theme Parks.
Doug: By the way, there's a Dr. Suess Land at Universal Theme Parks. It looks gorgeous, by the way, I'd much rather just go there than watch this movie.
Rob: But to just put that in your movie, I'm like, "Okay, so that's why this movie exists." I mean, that was it. That was the reason this movie existed right there. Like, it's just a cheap ad.
Doug: And everything about it feels like while The Grinch was a hit, so try and do kind of what they did with The Grinch, just make it a hint different, 'cause Mike Myers is clearly doing, like, what Jim Carrey was trying to do, sort of a funny voice that's a little different from what we've seen, like, in the cartoon and other interpretations with some adult jokes, or they're said to be adult. They're probably the most childish things in them, and the pop culture jokes.
Rob: I don't hate Mike Myers.
Doug: No, no.
Rob: He's done a lot of things I found very funny in the past. But to think that you could do Jim Carrey...not gonna happen. Jim Carrey can only do Jim Carrey, and even then, Jim Carrey's annoying when he's doing Jim Carrey. So to think that you could imitate Jim Carrey...no. Like, he just so bombs.
Doug: I think there's something, too. I'm not saying at all that Mike Myers probably didn't try his hardest to work in this suit and stuff like that, but Jim Carrey just, like, when you hear him on interviews...and like I said, I don't like the performance in Grinch. But when you hear him on interviews how he worked with his makeup and this suit and he had to do, like, mediation, he had to do this Zen-type mental, you know, breaking down, where, I think he said, "You could hit me with a baseball bat and I'd be like "Hi, how are you?"." And you appreciate, and you see it in the performance at least, because he just OWNS that suit. He owns that makeup, and I never once thought to myself, "Oh, well, that looks uncomfortable, that looks tricky to do", 'cause he just so owns. And it must have been a nightmare, must have been probably the toughest thing he's ever done as an actor.
Rob: Mike Myers doesn't have the face. I mean, Jim Carrey has the ability to contort his face in such a way...
Doug: And his body.
Rob: And his body. But even in the face, like, the ability to contort his face in such a way that you can bring it out through the suit, and Mike Myers does not. He just does not have that talent or the muscles necessary in your face to do it.
Doug: Or, really, even in his body. And again, I'm not...
Rob: And to put him in a suit like that, it's like it's not just a Mike Myers fail, like, it's a fail at everybody involved. Nobody looked at that suit for 10 seconds and thought, "What the fuck are we doing?" (Doug chuckles) 'Cause I could look at the Jim Carrey Grinch, and as much as I don't like that movie either, I'm like...
Doug: The makeup's amazing.
Rob: I'm like, "He's the Grinch." I look at Mike Myers as the Cat in the Hat and I'm like, "What the fuck is that?"
Doug: I want to keep this thing away from my children.
Rob: I don't...I don't want this...I will let Johnny Depp as Michael Jackson Willy Wonka next to my children than this thing.
Doug: And the suit constantly looks like it's, it is what it is. It's a restricted, painful thing to be in, and even when he smiles, going, "Ha-ha-ha!" or doing whatever voice he makes.
Rob: And I will say this. He's not as hideous as Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Doug: Oh, God.
Rob: That frickin' haunted my nightmares. I did not get one wink of sleep that night, not even for a minute. Every time I closed my eyes, I would see Thing 1 and Thing 2, and I would just go, "Aaaah!"
Doug: You know, as much as we don't like The Grinch, we'll sort of acknowledge like there were some things in there that, like, either see what they were trying to do, you know, kind of in a good way, or one or two things kind of worked, but not really that many.
Rob: There is an attempt to make a movie.
Doug: Everything that didn't work in The Grinch is in Cat in the Hat, but...
Rob: Plus, as much as The Grinch bombs on a number of things, at least it's an attempt to make a movie. I'll never take that in a way that everyone want to argue that, that I'm like, "Okay, they threw some effort into this, they're trying to tell a story and a narrative. It doesn't always work, but it's there." There's just nothing, I mean, The Cat in the Hat, it's not even one of my favorite Suess stories to begin with.
Doug: It's not mine, either.
Rob: It's well at the bottom. I realize he's basically the Suess mascot.
Doug: But that's like that's not caring that much about Mickey Mouse. It's like, we get it, he's the mascot, but he's the least interesting out of most of the Disney characters.
Rob: Who makes a fucking live-action Mickey Mouse movie with, like, a guy in a Mickey Mouse suit?
Doug: (Chuckles) Bad idea written all over it.
Rob: Time for another good idea, bad idea.
Doug: And, yeah, I think it's one of those things where they obviously try to recreate what they thought worked in The Grinch, and I'm so happy that, I mean, I have yet to meet a person that liked this movie. I'm sure there's somebody out there, but I have yet to meet them. And not only do people not like it, they say, "That was awful!" I mean, they hate it with a passion, almost as much as we do.
Rob: It's one of the few films where if somebody is out there who did like it, I don't want to meet them. (He and Doug laugh) I don't think it's gonna end well. Like this is one of the few abnormally almost always I'm just like ah you know you see something good and anything you know people who like The Grinch I'm like alright I joked earlier and soul crushing my mind. I'm sure I could find a way to get along with somebody who liked The Grinch. Cat in the Hat, I'm not so sure. No. I'm not so sure I could do it. Not preserve my soul or whatever of it is left.
Doug: You know, it gave me hope... honestly... maybe... I don't- It just gave me hope that people hated this film as much as they did and people and... it- what I love is people trying to rationalize why... you know, well The Grinch had this and The Cat In the Hat like, they couldn't tell why they liked one and why they didn't like the other and and I mean it- in some respect I couldn't quite tell either but it is kind of what we said where as The Grinch was at least attempting to make a movie. Even to Ron Howard's credit, he says something that I bizarrely kind of respected because he's a huge Chuck Jones fan and he loves The Grinch and what he said about the movie is that he said you know, the Chuck Jones one is so classic and so good and so perfect that we didn't even attempt to try and retell it, which in some respect it's like then why are you directing this at all? But...
Rob: Yeah I mean it's a valid point but at least...
Doug: But in the very least there's kind of an understanding where with this one there's just... you could totally see... like you said, it was just... corporate, make money, Grinch was a hit, try one with Mike Myers.
Rob: It is one of the most shameless, cynical, corporate pieces of shit probably ever put to screen. Like it-it just... I-I don't even know how you make something this cynical where it's just like yep! Let's make a quick buck, like, off of Dr. Seuss! It just... I... How do you sleep at night (Doug laughs) having done that? I... It's like-It's like you should be put on trial, just be like war crimes, go to the hey...(Chuckles)
Doug: And here's what-here's what I found out. There's some people, some artists who work well with a blank sheet of paper...
Rob: And I'm not- and I'm not talking about Bo Welch here, I'm talking about the studio corporate minds behind this.
Doug; There-there's some artists that work well with just a blank sheet of paper and say draw whatever you want. There's other artists who need some direction- draw a pony. It can look however you want it, just draw a pony or something, and with this it-it... with Cat in the Hat I kind of feel that way because Grinch had a very specific story and even if you don't tell it well, it-it's there and with Cat in the Hat, there's kind of it's the most minimal of story so on the one hand, there's very little to go with and there's very little direction to start off and it's like well what do you do with The Cat in the Hat? It's just that there's so little, but on the other hand, you could look at it as that blank sheet of paper. Do whatever you want, the sky's the limit and I feel like they sort of went the route of yeah well we'll give you some direc- we'll give you like sir, incorporate this and get that and get this celebrity and get this tie-in and put this person in there and stuff and I think you clearly need someone who'll look at that sheet of paper and just be "Do whatever I want? Oh my god I am so happy thank you God to do this with Cat in the Hat!" cause I know Cat in the Hat... you know, they say there's like no story or anything but it's like you could make a good movie out of that just out of the possibilities of what The Cat in the Hat could do with the worlds he could create and the characters and Thing 1 and Thing 2 and what you could do with them! You could...
Rob: But you spent so long trying to figure out if you could that you didn't stop and think if you should!
Doug: No, if-if you really want to try and do a good Cat in the Hat movie, I think it's possible! It would be very difficult, but it is possible! You would have to have someone that, like, has this endless amount of imagination, like, you know, y-you need, like, a Miyazaki or something like that...
Rob: Or Miller! I-I honestly...
Doug: Yeah! Or Miller!
Rob: Babe, Babe 2, Babe 2: Pig in the City which is...
Doug: Phenomenal movie!
Rob: ...Mad Max which, like, you know... it-it doesn't...
Doug: Is less scary than Cat in the Hat! (Laughs)
Rob: Yeah! And it's not like, you know... it's not a particularly... wordy story, so it... like, he's proven he can do stuff like that where, you know, you take a little a make a lot out of it, I just...
Doug: Yeah, ugh. Yeah, no. It-it's one of those things where it's like y-you- this-this could have- I'm not against the idea of it happening, but it would have to take a lot of care and a lot of thought and somebody who would really want to do it and it's clear a- most of the people working on it- I mean I'm sure Bo Welch was happy to be working on a film finally, direct a film. Uhh but....
Rob: It-it's just not fair to Bo Welch.
Doug: Yeah. I mean, for- cause he-he's directed-he's directed, like, episodes of The Tick and stuff like that so he has done other stuff.
Rob: And-and uhh, I think Pushing Up Daisies he did some of those ones.
Doug: Yeah, like he's done some of those and stuff so I mea- he's fine, I mean, he definitely likes the really quirky awkward s- big shock from (Chuckles) a guy like that.
Rob: The production design was about the only thing that was halfway decent about the movie.
Doug: But even that, I mean, was like... such a... such a nightmare too. It-it's kinda like this colored c- everything looked like prison bars to me, like, the walls and the color and everything...
Rob: It really shows you why some things work better in animation than they do live-action. (Chuckles)
Doug: Yeah, umm... and you know, even watching, uhh... when I was doing the review, I went and I watched the old Cat in the Hat cartoon, the-the Friz Freleng one. Uhh, because I forgot actually several Warner Bros. directors did Dr. Suess and Friz Freleng I think actually did more than Chuck Jones I think, don't quote me on that, but, uh, he did The Cat in the Hat and he got the umm, I swear the (unknown), I think he was the guy doing The Cat in the Hat and what I liked about it, they had to add more than what was in the book, I mean they all do, uhh, but they gave it kind of this... edge to it, there really was kind of this mysticism, like, every time the fish would talk you could just tell he clearly wasn't listening and he's like you know we-jijijiji shh just a- he was kind of the troublemaker and I think that's why people relate to the book so much.
Rob: It's-you know what's...
Doug: It's the first book to kind of say, you know, what Dr. Suess is saying "A little bit of trouble is okay." and how often do you see a kid book saying that?
Doug: It's not often. This one is just like "ANARCHY! THE FUCKING JOKER'S ON THE LOOSE! HE'S GONNA KILL YOU!"
Rob: (Makes an opera noise) Like, he is so fucking psychotic that it- you know what it plays like? It's almost like one two hour long Robot Chicken joke. Like, it's a spoof of Cat in the Hat where it's like oh! The Cat in the Hat's really psychotic! That's the joke!