Roger Ebert reviews YouTube cat videos

Many too small boxes and Maru

This may be billed as an “experimental” film for the cat who loves to jump into boxes, but don’t be fooled. What we’ve got here is yet another iteration of Maru doing what he does best: playing Maru. Don’t expect a drastic departure from his previous hit films, A box and Maru 8 and Maru moves with the box. Though there is a brief moment of self-reflexivity after the travails of trying to jump into a small file-folder holder, Maru lacks the gravitas to drive this moment home with the audience, and the obtuse subtitles (“Result: Maru never gives up entering as long as there is a box there”) have to stand in for his lack of acting chops.

At least he does his own stunts.

Like Mark Wahlberg, this cat was born to play a protagonist that ends up in predictable dilemmas that require feats of unlikely physical prowess to overcome. Perhaps a guest spot for this feline on the Funky Bunch reunion tour is in order.

Keyboard Cat

Like the cast of the musical Rent, this cat is so busy being bohemian and countercultural that he forgets to simply be himself and let us see his motivation. This film could have benefitted from a more expansive cast and storyline. Who was this cat’s mother? What mockery did he face as a kitten? What New Order song did he first hear over the radio as a gangly adolescent that inspired him to write music of his own?

We do get a bit of an arc within the movie’s soundtrack, at least. While Keyboard Cat starts out playing nondescript, jazzy synth beats, by the end he literally finds his voice and incorporates some groundbreaking “meows” into his final opus.

A tip of the hat goes to the costume designer, who was clearly channeling The Dude from The Big Lebowski when outfitting Keyboard Cat in a button-down shirt fashioned into a bathrobe-like garment.

Rascal the cat and the toilet rat

Some groundbreaking stuff here. This film takes the metaphor of a mouse on a wheel as representative of the daily grind and turns it on its head. We can’t help but be gripped by the plight of the rat as it tries to climb out of the toilet bowl and fails. Expect Clint Eastwood to cast this new talent in his next sombre film about an average American rat slouching on a horse, solving a murder and coaching a winning baseball team.

Rascal must have watched one too many ’50s gangster movies while in his trailer when filming this. He is subtlety’s nemesis, a one-dimensional baddie who is simply out to get the rat.

The cliffhanger ending is in the tradition of David Cronenberg’s work, and the content is just as harrowing. Looking forward to what formidable auteur “TheDecn” posts next.

Fluffy kitten does not know what to do

I’d argue that this kitten, who is sweeter than Shirley Temple crossed with a bag of Skittles and a bottle of rosewater, knows exactly what to do: feed into audience expectations of how a kitten will react to a sparkly, bobbling toy dangled in its face. No surprises here, though it’s palatable in a Meg Ryan rom-com kind of way.

There seem to be some subtitling issues, however. I’m not sure what the “10 Ugly Mistakes That Women Make That Ruin Any Chance Of A Relationship” (courtesy of CatchHimAndKeepHim.com) have to do with the plot.

Scottish fold munchkin

This ain’t your freaky, orange, oompa-loompa munchkin here. Two words: Oscar nod.

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