F.I.L.M. of the Week (January 8, 2010)

8 01 2010

This week’s “F.I.L.M.” is one of my most unconventional picks yet.  It is not independent, but it is most assuredly first-rate and little-known (at least relatively forgotten).

As soon as I finished my last grueling final in December, I plopped my behind on the couch and began watching a movie.  Scrolling down past HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, TMC, I finally found exactly what I needed as catharsis from the exams.

The movie was “Cats Don’t Dance,” a fun-loving musical that was a staple of my childhood.  I remember how much I loved it when I first saw it at the age of 5, and that passion has not faded a bit as I watched it for the first time in years.

The movie is a celebration of dreams as Danny, the singing cat from Kokomo, heads to Hollywood to light the world on fire.  But things are not what he imagined, and he soon finds that life isn’t easy for an animal actor – especially when his co-star is a tyrannical child actor who refuses to be upstaged. He refuses to be crushed, keeping his optimism while bringing together a large group of animals to recapture their dreams. There are some hilarious characters, including a hippo voiced by Jennifer Tilly and a surly goat voiced by Hal Holbrook, as well as some rousing musical numbers (thankfully all are easily found on YouTube).

It may be a movie for kids, but I think it has one of the most profound quotes I have ever heard in a movie of this style: “They can smash your cookie, but they can never take your fortune.” It’s a great helping of nostalgia for me, but I think anyone can enjoy “Cats Don’t Dance.” It really is that disarming.

Random Factoid #84

20 10 2009

Because I call these “random” factoids, I feel no hesitation in throwing some really bizarro stuff at you.  I feel like putting your feet up on the chair in front of you at a movie theater, given that no one is sitting in that seat, is a virtually inalienable right.  If there were movies back in 1776, Thomas Jefferson would have written it into the Declaration of Independence.  Can’t you just hear it: “life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the ability to rest your feet on the chair in front of you while enjoying a quality movie.”  It really rolls off the tongue.  However, while watching “The Informant!” at the prestigious ArcLight theater in Hollywood, I decided to kick back in my chair and pop my feet up on the chair in front of me.  But almost instantaneously, I was approached by the manager and told to put my feet on the ground.  According to him, it was a health risk because they served food in the theater.  It seemed like a non-sequitur to me, but I had just paid $15 for a ticket and didn’t want to get kicked out of the theater.  No one sat in the seat during the movie, and it was so hard to resist the temptation to rest my feet on the headrest.