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PCR # 192  (Vol. 4, No. 48)  This edition is for the week of November 24--30, 2003.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Cat In The Hat"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Two and a half stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

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 by Will Moriaty
"The Cat In The Hat"
"The Haunted Mansion"
 by Mike Smith
"Bubba-Ho-Tep"  by ED Tucker
Another List....Give This Man A Prize....Remembering The Past....Movie Notes....Moving On
 by Mike Smith
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Universal Pictures     
Starring: Mike Myers, Alec Baldwin, Kelly Preston, Dakota Fanning, Spencer Breslin and Sean Hayes
Directed by: Bo Welch
Rated: PG
Running Time: 1 hour 18 mins

Following in the same formulaic footprints of "The Grinch" from a few years ago, "The Cat In the Hat" does it's best to stretch a 225 word book into a full length film. Actually, full length is almost a misstatement. At one hour and eighteen minutes in length, it's one of the shortest feature films released in some time.

In case you are not familiar with the story, mom (Preston) leaves the kids (Fanning and Breslin) at home with strict instructions. The children are visited by a 6 foot tall talking cat who proceeds to turn their lives upside down. Hijinx ensues! The film is pretty faithful to the book, except that, unlike in Dr. Seuss' story, the mother doesn't leave the kids alone. However, her choice of baby-sitter, the narcoleptic Mrs. Kwan, isn't the best choice. They've also given mom a job (realtor) a boss who's a clean freak (Hayes, who also voices the children's pet fish) and a suitor (Baldwin, in a rare, but excellent, comic performance). And of course, there's the cat. Or just CAT as the kids call him. Myers does a fine job as the troublesome feline. It appears that he has drawn his performance from watching lots of "Top Cat" cartoons and Bert Lahr in "The Wizard of Oz." He also gets the opportunity, ala Austin Powers, to dress up as other cats the children encounter. While the rest of the cast seem to be following the script, it is obvious that the best of Myers lines are improved, and they are the highlights of the film. And, like the Grinch before him, the Cat has quite a double entendre' filled vocabulary. Most of the more adult stuff should fly over the little ones' heads, though I must admit that the youngsters in the screening I sat in seemed to laugh more then their folks when Myers pushed the PG envelope. Credit director Welch, making his feature film debut, for keeping the film interesting with his various set pieces. The former production designer on such films as "Batman Returns," "Edward Scissorhands" and the "Men In Black" films, Welch draws on his pastel city and houses for much of the films inspiration. On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "The Cat In the Hat" Two and a half stars

This week's movie review of "The Cat In The Hat" is ©2003 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2003, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.