FILM

Jack Waz Is on a Mission to Release the Butth*le Cut of "Cats"

His inside source says that 400 shots of cat butth*les were censored from the final cut, and Jack believes they can still be retrieved

Update 4/2/2020: A fan has stepped up to produce a trailer with restored buttholes, and it is glorious.

CATS: The Butthole Cut www.youtube.com


In recent months writer Jack Waz has made it his mission to gift the world what we were deprived of on December 20 of last year.

In the rush to prepare a final cut of Cats—including edits that continued until just 36 hours before the film's premiere—Director Tom Hooper made a grave error: He deleted the butth*les. Jack Waz is the absolute unit of a Hollywood writer who has devoted himself to righting that grave injustice.

If you saw the film, you may have assumed that the utter lack of visible butth*les on any of the humanoid cat-monsters was simply a gross oversight. For a film that features Sir Ian McKellen perfectly embodying the physicality of an aging stage cat—complete with meows, grooming, and lapping up milk—it was instantly off-putting to not see the entire cast constantly displaying their butth*les to one another and the camera.

Anyone who's ever been intimately familiar with a cat knows that, along with rubbing their cheeks against you, letting you get a good look at their naked pink butth*les is among the best ways they have of showing their affection. Did Tom Hooper and the effects team seriously forget to include that? How much work are we as the audience supposed to do in suspending our disbelief? For the true cat lovers among us, it lent an eerie sense of unease to all the Jellicle interactions—as though these hideous cat-creatures, that are supposedly all members of a tight-knit organization, were holding onto a secret distrust of one another. In every shot of the film—even when butts were prominently on display—there was nary a butth*le to be found. Were they all clenching so tightly? Why were they concealing their butth*les?!

Jack Waz has the answer, and has spent the last three months trying to spread the word of the Butth*le Cut to a world that ignored him—until Tuesday night, when his message finally got some attention and became a trending topic on Twitter—even receiving an endorsement from Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. Maybe it's because social-distancing for the coronavirus pandemic has pushed culture increasingly online, or because Cats has recently become available through on-demand streaming services—prompting Seth Rogen to live-tweet his first viewing while high. Whatever it was that got people to finally notice, Jack Waz had the inside scoop.

According to a tweet from Waz, an acquaintance who works in visual effects was brought onto the project in its final months to remove butth*les from around 400 shots of what would have been a much better movie. To put that in perspective, the final cut of Avengers: Infinity War contains around 2,900 visual effects shots in total. In other words, 400 altered shots represents a huge chunk of the movie that originally featured the butth*les that we all went to this movie expecting. How much time and money went into removing the most expressive part of a cat-chimera's body from the film? Those resources could have been spent on improving scale issues, replacing human hands, and cleansing the world of the image of tiny, line-dancing mouse and roach-people being swallowed by Rebel Wilson.

If censoring the butth*les was deemed necessary to maintaining the film's baffling PG rating, they could have at least allowed the cats the dignity of Twinkle Tushes—the only jewelry designed to hang from a cat's tail and cover its butth*le. Instead, they opted to rob them of their essential character, their felinity, their butth*les.

Twinkle Tush

Thankfully, now that Jack Waz has brought this issue to light, we can abandon juvenile fantasies like the #SnyderCut and the #JJCut, and focus on a movement that can unite the world. In one voice we must rise up against this injustice and demand that Universal Pictures release the butth*le cut. #ReleaseTheButth*leCut

New Releases

Airports Drops Silky “U FEEL IT 2”

Sincere, vulnerable, and seductive.

Press Photo

Airports

Australian DIY pop artist Airports, AKA Aaron Lee, releases "U FEEL IT 2," following on the heels of his dreamy lo-fi banger, "Don't Sleep Anymore."

Aaron explains the double entendre of the song, "It started out being written as a song about a haunting relationship with depression in contrast to uplifting music, but when some of the lyrics started to spill out I realized I was also writing about positive romantic feelings for my partner." Featuring bleeding synths, blushing harmonies, and Aaron's velvety falsetto, "U FEEL IT 2" is a perfect summer anthem.

U Feel It 2


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TV Features

Before Its Time: "Freaks and Geeks"

20 years ago, Freaks and Geeks aired for an audience that expected a modern Wonder Years but instead got something closer to Dazed and Confused.

Photo credit Den of Geek

The main cast of Freaks and Geeks pictured.

If Netflix announced a new, upcoming series produced by Judd Apatow with a cast including Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, James Franco, Martin Starr, Busy Philipps, Lizzy Caplan, and Shia LaBeouf, it would be one of the most anticipated projects in Hollywood.

www.youtube.com

Except that show already came out on NBC over 20 years ago, and it was canceled after a single season.

Before Freaks and Geeks, most high school coming-of-age sitcoms were still in the vein of The Brady Bunch. One of the most common tropes in these shows were the single-episode "bad kids" who'd waltz into school, convince the protagonist to smoke or drink or join a gang, and then quickly get expelled/arrested/murdered in order to illustrate that drugs are bad, or whatever. Saved by the Bell, Family Matters, and Full House were all smash hits in the '90s, and they all followed the same script: Within 30 minutes, all problems were solved, so the adults could provide their life-changing advice before forgiving, forgetting, and moving onto the next episode.

But Freaks and Geeks changed the playbook by focusing on the outsiders, the bad kids, the...well...freaks and geeks. Lindsay and Sam Weir, played by Linda Cardellini and John Francis Daley, were the intermediaries for the two groups. Lindsay was the older sister attempting to stray from her persona of an uptight "brain." Younger brother Sam was a freshman who spent a lot of his time trying to avoid bullies, but his efforts usually proved unsuccessful. Their journey through the school year allowed us to recall our own high school experiences. Sam and his freshmen pals, Bill and Neal, strived to transition from playing Dungeons and Dragons to finding girlfriends. Meanwhile, Lindsay's new group of friends introduced her to sex, drugs, and rock and roll as she worked to parse her identity between mathlete and rebel.

As for casting and character development, the young actors didn't look like the typical all-American protagonists. Busy Phillips later reflected, "...I was reading things in the press about how we were the anti-Dawson's Creek. There was one quote I remember very clearly, like, "You won't find any pretty people on Freaks and Geeks." That was interesting as a 19-year-old girl to read. We were not standard packaging."

Reunion cast photo in 2011 at PaleyFest The cast reunited at PaleyFest in 2011.Photo credit popculturegeek.com

Freaks and Geeks never attempted to tackle social issues or instill heavy-handed values in their viewers. It's a truly objective examination of life for high schoolers, allowing it to remain relevant even decades later–timeless, even. Perhaps ironically, this realism (which broke the mold of the standard sitcom formula) made any lessons the show did convey much more practical for the average teen than those from any show before it.

Watching Lindsay and Sam trying their best to be good people and constantly being met with embarrassment and failure rarely granted the viewer the uplifting feeling expected from a weekly sitcom. The evolving relationships between Lindsay, Sam, and the rest of the freaks and geeks represented the fluidity and instability of high school dynamics. Groups of friends had ups and downs. Cliques changed alongside interests. While the characters rarely experienced "wins," when they succeeded, the audience felt real validation. Here was a show where it was easy to say, "I was that kid!" Whether you identified with the freaks, geeks, bullies, or cheerleaders, everyone had their own high school problems and experiences to learn from.

The depiction of characters navigating emotions they don't understand—all under the guise of acting cooler than they feel–is an eternal teenage struggle. Rather than shying away, Freaks and Geeks reveled in the awkwardness. In fact, it embodied many of the same characteristics we've grown accustomed to with Judd Apatow's later work, both as a director and producer, including 40 Year Old Virgin, Funny People, and Girls.

But while Freak and Geeks might not have succeeded with mainstream audiences, it garnered a dedicated cult following that served as a career boost for Apatow, Feig, and many of the actors. There's always been support for a reunion and reboot, too, with creator Paul Feig even discussing what season 2 would have looked like. Seth Rogen also famously tweeted about confronting the NBC executive that axed the show.

Freaks and Geeks was released too early, too late, and maybe also at just the right time. It's a time capsule that gets everything right, and additional seasons could've changed that. Since the show was taken off the air, Feig, Apatow, and many of the actors have helped to change the Hollywood landscape. So even if Freaks and Geeks could have achieved more commercial success in the age of Netflix, its legacy wouldn't be the same. Perhaps it's fitting that a show about misfits didn't quite fit in either.