Hey gang, Valkor here. And let's chalk up this next MediaView piece into the area of "something truly strange". I mean I've sat through my share of weird, but this one even has me weirded out. It's called "A Talking Cat!?!" DVD and it's probably one of the goofiest films I've ever sat through. Is it a bad film? Well… you'll have to read on and find out.
A Talking Cat!?! centers on… well, a talking cat named Duffy (voiced by Eric Roberts) who calls itself a "human whisperer" and intervenes in the lives of two families in hopes of bringing them together. While Duffy can actually speak to the families directly, he can only hold a conversation with them once. After that, it's back to cat mode. On the one side you have father and son Phil (Johnny Whitaker) and Chris (Justin Cone), who don't connect well; Phil just recently retired from a tech gig and is looking for something to keep himself occupied, while Chris is socially awkward and doesn't know how to say the right things when it comes to his love interest Frannie (Alison Sieke). Also, she wants to swim in his pool and he keeps passing on the opportunity to see that bikini clad bod because he can't swim. I wouldn't let that stop me because Frannie is freaking gorgeous. Ahem! On the other side, we have Susan (Kristine DeBell) and her family, daughter Tina (Janis Peebles) and son Trent (Daniel Dannas). Susan is a hardworking mama, who runs a catering service and just wants to do right by her kids. Trent has no real direction and Tina wants to be an entrepreneur, working on her own software creation. Duffy will bounce back and forth between the two homes, opening up – just once, to each individually, not so much giving advice but more like pointing them in the right direction. The two families eventually come together as a newfound family and ultimately work together in trying to save Duffy, who has been mortally wounded after being hit by a car. But not to worry, the film has a happy ending and Duffy will live on for another adventure.
"A Talking Cat!?!" gets the award for making me say "WTF???" throughout the entire film. It's just so goofy! And not the ha-ha kind, but… I don't even… let's just move on to the breakdown, shall we?
First up, the story for "A Talking Cat!?!" isn't so bad; I mean how many films can you name where an animal intervenes with humans to set them on the straight and narrow? Quite a few, right? So storywise, this film fits right in with that lot. In the end, it's not a terrible film and it does have its charm; it's cute, whimsical, and very, very silly. Not my typical film as I prefer stuff blowing up – a lot! But if you're extremely bored then this film will do in a pinch. The acting sells it and everyone brings their cheesy B game to the table. It's not like they HAVE To be Oscar stunning; everyone just has to do well enough to make the film watchable. And that they do. Even Roberts "phoning it in" voice work as Duffy is pretty passable even though the quality is bad (more on that later). Finally kudos with the work of Duffy or Squeak as he is actually called; there were moments you can clearly see how they get him to do stuff, otherwise he's a pretty cool cat. I enjoyed the first few minutes where he doesn't say much, but it's more like he's assessing the situation as if to see if the people actually need his help. So, overall the film isn't all that bad.
However, I have to say that the film is laughably bad and that's not entirely a good thing. First up there's waaaaaaaay too much dialogue; If much of it actually fit in with the story I'd be ok with it. But most of it is just fluff. The pacing is awkward even though the film's run time is short. I think it has to do with all the dialogue, oh and not much else happening in between. I wonder how the hell progress was even made in getting this family together when most of the characters do nothing. I mean do we even need a talking cat to get them motivated? I also didn't care for Roberts hollowed out voice; I mean they couldn't get a decent mic on the guy? Where was his voice recorded? And the mouth animation on the cat is just silly; it looks like a smoother South Park mouth animation, which just opens and closes totally out of sync to what Roberts was saying. If you're not gonna do it properly, then don't do it at all. Finally, there's a huge misstep in the character Chris, who should have been gay. I don't mean to say because he's effeminate and he's clumsy around women (or woman), but I'm talking about his poolside interaction with Trent that leads to the duo frolicking in what's supposed to be a swimming lesson. Come on, son. Dude's gay, that whole scene was gay (and not in a negative), so the film should have gone with it. Ah well. Oh and worse "cat near death" ever! Duffy gets hit by a car and is "fatally wounded" but when they show him he's wrapped in bandages looking lively as ever. I mean why not capture the cat when it's asleep with the bandages on?
Towards the end of the film, Phil is in the home of Susan who is going crazy as she is getting ready for an investor's meeting with her famous cheese puffs that Tina had helped to prepare. She reaches into the oven, sans gloves, and grabs the pan that I assumed would be hot, but she takes it out unfazed and holds it with no problem. However, Phil then takes the pan and drops it as to him it's too hot. Wait… what… just… happened?
If you're in the market for super cheesy, yet bad film then you need to check out "A Talking Cat!?!", which you can find on DVD over at Amazon or queue it up on Netflix. I didn't think it was a terrible film, even with the missteps and it's definitely the kind of film that's a perfect time waster, filled with so many WTF moments you'll wonder "why does it even exist?" Wait… so do I want you to watch it or not? I'll let you guys decide and then head back on over to our comment section and tell us what you think. But out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving "A Talking Cat!?!" a 2. After this, I'm gonna need some ninjas and explosions in my next film. For realz.