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Overall Rating
1.53

Awesome: 4.24%
Worth A Look: 4.85%
Average: 6.06%
Pretty Bad: 9.7%
Total Crap75.15%

8 reviews, 117 user ratings


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Cat in the Hat, The
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by Rob Gonsalves

"How many more times will they piss on Dr. Seuss's grave?"
1 stars

It doesn't speak very well of 'The Cat in the Hat' that the only thing that got anything close to a laugh out of me was Paris Hilton's cameo.

She plays a party-goer in some weird, G-rated rave club where the denizens all wear versions of the Cat's familiar striped hat, which may be a reference to the way ravers have adopted Dr. Seuss garb (yeah, that was big ten years ago -- I saw dorky stoners wearing those things at Lollapalooza '93). But getting back to Paris Hilton: this may be the only time in history that someone has appeared in an X-rated video (albeit made public without her consent) and a big-budget kiddie flick within the same season. Ron Howard must be sighing with relief that his name isn't anywhere near the credits.

Howard, of course, gave us How the Grinch Stole Christmas three Novembers ago, and his producing partner Brian Grazer, noting the hefty box-office returns even though nobody seems to have liked the movie much, has turned his attention to another Dr. Seuss book and hired another big comedy star to wear pounds of face-obscuring latex as the eponymous character. (Who's next? Adam Sandler as the Lorax? Reese Witherspoon as Daisy-Head Mayzie?) Make-up artist Steve Johnson has taken over for Rick Baker, who won an Oscar for turning Jim Carrey into the Grinch. But the Grinch was supposed to look menacing and creepy; the Cat in the Hat, with his long thick eyelashes, snub nose, and wide mouth that seems to move independently of the rest of his face, looks like nobody so much as ... well ... Michael Jackson.

Another Michael, Mike Myers, is under the latex, and he never lets us forget that Mike Myers is under the latex. Myers gives a restless, noisy, pop-culture-in-a-Cuisinart performance -- his Cat is a direct lineal descendant of Robin Williams' Genie in Aladdin (a bad precedent, it now appears). These movies insult intelligence across generational lines by providing flatulent slapstick for the kids (the lactose-intolerant Cat at one point unleashes the mother of all burps) and tired parodies of TV for parents. And there are about a hundred too many cut-aways to the bored kids Sally (Dakota Fanning) and Conrad (Spencer Breslin), whose house the Cat has invaded, as they stare at each other in bewilderment after one of the Cat's many unfunny gags. (And you can take "gags" literally: the Cat also horks up a hairball, and is seen filling up a barf bag during a bumpy ride. Is Dr. Seuss rolling in his grave yet?)

The kids have been charged by their busy single mom (Kelly Preston) with keeping the house clean so that she can throw a party attended by her business clients and her germ-phobic boss (Sean Hayes, snipping like Will & Grace's Jack on overdrive). Conrad's fate also depends on it, as Mom's skunky boyfriend (Alec Baldwin, a long, sad distance from David Mamet) has threatened to send the kid to military school if he doesn't shape up. Dr. Seuss's book got along fine without any of these witless complications.

The visuals are as cluttered as the plot. The first-time director is Bo Welch, who made his name as a production designer for Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns) and Barry Sonnenfeld (Wild Wild West, the Men in Black movies). Proving my theory that a creative whiz in another field promoted to director will focus on his field to the exclusion of all else, Welch makes the town of Anville (Cat's setting) an elaborate Pez-colored fantasyland. There's even a mini-commercial for the "Seuss Landing" ride at Universal Studios (complete with a winking plug from Myers that's so blatant it goes beyond irony and into conscious pimping -- Mike, what has happened to you?). But look at the Seuss book and you find nothing more fancy than a few doors and windows.

Seuss knew how to tell a simple, enthralling, and funny story without hectic scenery or near-obscenities (a running "joke" in this PG-rated family film involves characters almost saying things like "ass" and "balls" before being interrupted). Brian Grazer, judging from the two Seuss movies he has uncorked, only knows how to corrupt those wonderful, simple tales. Doing Seuss in live-action isn't doomed to failure: 1953's The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, written by Seuss himself, contains more wonder and vision in five minutes than the entireties of the Carrey Grinch and the Myers Cat put together. Of course, it was released fifty years ago.

Will people still be watching this 'Cat in the Hat' in 2053? I bet Paris Hilton hopes so.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8346&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/10/07 12:26:32
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User Comments

8/11/14 Mario is the Best Awesome!! One of the best movies I've ever seen! Not joking. 5 stars
8/07/14 mtbydeu USA 4 stars
7/17/14 jrhlhp USA 2 stars
5/24/14 dprvxxw USA 4 stars
3/11/14 Dalen the Crusader Alvin and the Chipmunks is better than this, AND I HATE THAT MOVIE TOO! 1 stars
2/01/14 Xwdlhqjz The signature bank mark connected why this hasn't been handled after i called in the day be 4 stars
10/14/13 Twilight Sparkle THIS MOVIE IS TERRIBLE! 1 stars
4/24/13 nathaniel multiple adult jokes 1 stars
4/23/12 Noah Eckenrode Total Fucking Shit! 1 stars
9/05/11 Lizzie This film was so bad, the other film, Shark Tale, laughed at its ass! 1 stars
8/25/11 TWD You're not just wrong, you're stupid! 5 stars
8/05/11 max you inner child will be violated,HARD and WITHOU MERCY 1 stars
2/04/11 Danni cat in the hate is purely amazing. 5 stars
4/15/10 Tim C Appalling, just appalling. Seriously, "S.H.I.T." as an acronym for the Cat's car? Painful. 1 stars
5/30/09 Muse They should of kept it as a book...Purely discusting. 1 stars
12/04/08 Rac Ew. This was SUPPOSSED to be a KIDS movie. Cursing, sex jokes! What were they thinking? 1 stars
11/01/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was stupid! 1 stars
9/15/08 Ashley the movie should not be for children. 2 stars
7/02/08 jointz Hey Souter, we get it, you hate MJ! Now why not focus on your actual film review? 1 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT POORLY MADE MOVIE FOR CHILDREN, FULL OF CRASS, BODILY-FUNCTION HUMOUR AND BAD ONE-LINERS 1 stars
6/11/07 Sugarfoot A bad idea made into a a very bad movie. 1 stars
5/20/07 Faye Good Lord, this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. 1 stars
4/04/07 David Pollastrini Stick with the book! 2 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Cat has a some screws loose, but makes good fun for kiddies. 3 stars
11/30/06 Stanley Thai Although not appropriate to kids, this is an insanley funny film. 4 stars
10/01/06 Ryan_A Day-glo hell. Geisel is spinning. 1 stars
9/20/06 SkyBabey12 Okie EXCUSE ME? ! Cat In The Hat is a great movie ! i am 19 years old and Enjoy'd this movi 1 stars
7/19/06 Joanie bad as Battlefield 1 stars
7/11/06 David Cohen I am only glad Dr. Suess did not live to see this 1 stars
5/06/06 Cuenzie Wunzie N-n-n-not as crappy as you think . worth while 4 stars
12/28/05 Jeff Anderson Pure tripe, joyless, annoying & Myers goes WAY overboard. A disaster of all disasters!!!!!! 1 stars
12/10/05 The Grinch Mike Myers phones it in. Not THAT bad, but pretty unnecessary 3 stars
10/20/05 PAG Terrible kids movie. Unwatchable. 1 stars
7/19/05 Brandy Harrington No no no no no no no no no no no no non no no no no no no no no no no. 1 stars
5/25/05 Jake It's So bad that's it's fun to watch. 2 stars
5/24/05 peter worst ever EVER arrch 1 stars
5/18/05 Cindy Lovell at least my son liked it 3 stars
5/15/05 Graeme I thought this movie was pretty funny; Alec Baldwin was a humourous villain. 3 stars
4/23/05 Heather Tarlecky I thought it was worth seeing 4 stars
4/15/05 craig varney smells like a soiled cat box 1 stars
4/05/05 kalamazoo Dr. Suess is turning in his grave. 1 stars
3/28/05 Zelemont WOW. ridiculously awful movie.... 1 stars
3/24/05 Holly Dawson very ho-hum. took forever to end! 2 stars
3/24/05 Colleen Goldrick cute for the kiddies 3 stars
3/23/05 Sharon Sharen not a adult movie to any degree, kid didnt like either 1 stars
3/16/05 tatum Myers made me laugh just enough 3 stars
3/10/05 Steph wierd... 3 stars
2/23/05 Colleen Goldrick Kids will love it, adults oh well 3 stars
2/05/05 Susan Chamberlain It was worth watching to know not to watch it again 2 stars
1/30/05 MARION BURGESS WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS FILM? 2 stars
1/29/05 terri shaw Austin Powers in a cat suit, yuck!! To much induendo for a kids movie and to lame for adul 1 stars
1/16/05 Jeff Anderson THE ABSOLUTE PITS!!! I can't express my outright disgust for this film enough. D.O.A. 1 stars
12/12/04 AlbieOne Torture,,,,,pure Torture. 1 stars
11/17/04 psycho black dwarf Myers' voice is Linda Richmond meets Charles Nelson Riley w/ hairballs...blech! 1 stars
9/21/04 Zee this film was amazing 5 stars
8/23/04 Bruce Lamb very depressing 1 stars
8/06/04 ELI Jeeeeeeeeez. I didn't know a movie could suck THAT bad 1 stars
7/22/04 Moblar Review kicks ass, movie sucks balls. 1 stars
7/20/04 Valerie White What a dissapointment! 1 stars
7/20/04 N. Christopher Bell It offends me that his dialogue was written to sound "Jewish". What, didn't ebonics work? 1 stars
7/06/04 Spiderfan720 Man, the funniest thing they could come up with was "almost cuss". NO HUMOR HERE!!! 1 stars
7/06/04 tyger,tyger how many ways can a movie suck, this has'em all 1 stars
7/06/04 Talonsoft This could be the worst movie ever made 1 stars
5/31/04 Troy Kuprash Laughed Hard At Times, Other Times I Cried 3 stars
5/17/04 jayden dr suess is a fucken asshole and a dickhead 1 stars
5/17/04 intelligent single woman Shame on you Mike Myers and Kelly Preston---totally vile and fucking retarded! 1 stars
5/01/04 susan lee book ruled, dr seuss probably turning in grave 1 stars
4/27/04 4x4 Wife walked out after 20 min. 8 year old begged to leave after 30. Ruined a good nap. 1 stars
4/24/04 Terry H Inane, lascivious and completely unnecessary! Mike butchered this one. 1 stars
4/18/04 American Slasher Goddess Even worse then I imagined. 1 stars
4/15/04 Jeff MacIver Pathetic. Even worse than the excremental Grinch remake. 1 stars
4/14/04 barry mcmullen my little brother asked me to explain rather rude jokes my other brother was laughing at 1 stars
4/11/04 Wildcarde1 even my 3 year old was offended just really really bad 1 stars
4/08/04 i strongly dislike the cat in the hat fuck u producers! wat kind of fucking assholes r u, goddamn it? 1 stars
4/08/04 el yo sharta The book was better! No sharting again! what is wrong with hollywood? 2 stars
3/28/04 emily excellent best film i have seen,its realy funny and percy! 5 stars
3/27/04 Brian Horn Kids loved it. Not sure they get the dialogue, but the antics & effects keep them watching 4 stars
3/22/04 David Bakker Very funny for Canadians who get real humour. 5 stars
3/08/04 movieguy a great film for kids 5 stars
3/07/04 fug i want my 75 mins of life back 1 stars
3/05/04 matthew all involved in this junk should burn in hell 1 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge Disturbing. 1 stars
1/18/04 matt n fliss a pile of festering poo 1 stars
1/14/04 Blythe Guvenen Yuck! The money used making this movie could have been put towards breast cancer research! 1 stars
1/13/04 MelissaNYC Only parents who truly hate their children take them to watch this shit feast. 1 stars
12/31/03 throwup181 Sucks dick 1 stars
12/27/03 Edler Mike Myers sucks major ass. His career is ober!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
12/26/03 Vanilla Ice People need to quit doggin' me so much and focus their anger on this piece of crap... 1 stars
12/21/03 Jennifer Jones totally inappropriate for any child; Not even close to the book 1 stars
12/14/03 movieman This movie is bullshit. Bullshit. BULLSHIT! 1 stars
12/10/03 i dislike the cat in the hat i think they should have sat 2 stars
12/09/03 Dana Carvey I can't fucking believe it! Someone finally made a worse film than my Master of Disguise! 1 stars
12/06/03 Bob Cratchet This films sucks ass. Please don't bother paying to see it. DO NOT take small children!!! 1 stars
12/05/03 Jacque Disgusting....sexual overtones...creepy 1 stars
12/03/03 paul williams Worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life..........run away! Shame on you hollywood 1 stars
12/02/03 (anonymous) yuck! this movie was beyond awful 1 stars
12/02/03 Chris I was so disappointed. Families run away. The sets though were cool but see The Grinch. 2 stars
12/02/03 kawaii50 There was a bit to much Austin Powers coming out of that cat! 3 stars
12/02/03 Matt Norris It's supposed to be campy and over the top. That's what makes it funny 4 stars
12/01/03 Mark A disgusting abomination! 1 stars
12/01/03 critic jim carry would have been much better 1 stars
11/30/03 john an insult to the audience 1 stars
11/29/03 Jack the Dagger worst movie ever 1 stars
11/28/03 Mike A testament to the breakdown of modern civilization. 1 stars
11/28/03 Donald Hyperactive does not mean "funny". Chaotic and boring. 1 stars
11/27/03 Chance Terrible. They should be ashamed. No more Suess movies 1 stars
11/27/03 Lord Jiggy haven't seen the movie, but Collin's review rocked! 1 stars
11/27/03 Dave Where will you be when your laxative kicks in... 1 stars
11/27/03 me a bad film 1 stars
11/25/03 Eric S. Who shat in the hat? 1 stars
11/25/03 KingNeutron Wow, ScottW - stop holding back, tell us what you REALLY think! ;-) 1 stars
11/25/03 Alfred Richard I have known DETERGENTS that have left a better film than this piece of cowflop. 1 stars
11/25/03 the lol man mike Myers should hang, period. 1 stars
11/24/03 Rose Kaleski Not ment for children 1 stars
11/23/03 horndog and you thought the Grinch was as bad as it could get.....fool!! 1 stars
11/22/03 Jack the Dagger worst movie I have seen all year. Embarassing..Mike Myers should hang his head in shame 1 stars
11/22/03 Brian wow, i was actually expecting something good... 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Nov-2003 (PG)
  DVD: 16-Mar-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  01-Apr-2004


Directed by
  Bo Welch

Written by
  Alec Berg
  Jeff Schaffer
  Dave Mandel

Cast
  Mike Myers
  Spencer Breslin
  Dakota Fanning
  Alec Baldwin
  Kelly Preston
  Sean Hayes



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