Wednesday, March 18, 2020

#cats_the_mewvie (2020)

I suppose the apolitical version of propaganda would be the infomercial.  It’s designed to look like a movie or documentary, but is basically long-form advertising.  The main difference is that an infomercial is basically called what it is.  That’s why #Cats_The_Mewvie is so frustrating.

#Cats_The_Mewvie is billed as a documentary.  And for the first 20 or so minutes, it is.  We’re treated to the rise of cats as a meme.  After that, it’s full hour of Instagram.  There are Instagram cat influencers.  We have people who post all manner of cats to Instagram.  Cats of Instagram.  Instagram ‘R’ Us.  Instagram ‘B’ Cats.  Special-needs cats on Instagram.  Did I mention Instagram?  Because we have Instagram!

It gets a little tiring after a while, especially considering that there’s no mention of any other platform, like Facebook or Twitter.  For that matter, there’s exactly one mention of any cat meme that I had ever heard of, and that was Grumpy Cat.  There are all sorts of cat memes and we’re treated to a select group, and the selection was probably done by Instagram.

Sure, the cats are cute.  The people seem mostly normal.  But I came into this expecting a history of the cat meme.  I really think there was so much more that could have been done with this.  There’s so much more to cats on the Internet that was missed.

Why cats?  Why not dogs or elephants?  That’s touched on briefly.  Seriously, though.  You could have probably done a solid 30 minutes on that alone.  Instead, we get 30 seconds.  There’s also a little bit on the ethics of using cats for profit.  And by a little bit, a few of the people mentioned putting money back towards feline issues.

It started out looking interesting, but I don’t think this is going to be for everybody.  And by everybody, I mean anybody.  People coming into this expecting a cat-meme documentary will be disappointed.  Anyone coming into it looking for cute cats might be able to stay for a few minutes, but it’s going to get repetitive.

I feel like the movie got sidetracked.  Maybe Rickrolled would be a better word.  I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had actually been Rickrolled 20 minutes into the movie and that was the end of it.


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