Thursday, November 13, 2014

Unhappy, Texas

What is it about a Texas motif that has to change everything?  We forego the usual Tom and Jerry theme this time and go with an old country western song.  Maybe that's the wrong label for it.  Apparently it's an old-timey song called "Riding down the Trail to Santa Fe."  The lyrics are pretty funny, I must admit.  Things haven't changed a whole lot, have they?
ACT ONE - And so, we find Tom and Jerry going through the usual ritual, but with aforementioned Texas theme.  Instead of a fishing pole like in Sufferin' Cats, Tom is letting Jerry run away, then he lassos him and pulls him back.  The forces of gravity are on Tom's side for now.  But Jerry will ultimately get some sweet, sweet revenge.  After slapping Tom's face with a bit of cactus, Tom's about to shoot Jerry with a six shooter.  Jerry blows out the bullets of the gun with one big breath, and the bullets end up in Tom's mouth.  Jerry whacks Tom on the back of the head with the empty gun and BOOM!  All six bullets explode while still between Tom's teeth.  Tom's teeth seem to be okay.  Kids... do NOT try this at home yourself.  Have we learned nothing from Hope and Glory, for one?  I don't seem to remember that part from cable TV...

ACT TWO

And then... she arrives.  It's never explained why, and the mystery driver in the dorky 50s era sedan is never seen again, but really, why complicate things?  This picture needs a token chick to woo, and now it's got one.  Arguably, a rather thankless role compared to Salt Water Tabby, but you can't win them all.  Tom's yellow eyes bug out all big as ya please and, after a cold shower or two, he lays on the charm.  I believe they use this sequence again someplace... Smitten Kitten!  That must be it.  After the into, time for a song.  Jerry runs the record player for Tom, but then starts fiddling with the speed control.  Same thing happened to Harpo in Monkey Business.  Let's watch that now instead!... hmm.  Can't seem to find it.  Well, here's the song, anyway.
Well, can't argue with results!  I tell you darling, this pretty but kinda dull cat chick is getting into Tom!  Is she the Tom and Jerry equivalent of Sharon Stone in Broken Flowers?  Maybe as close as the Hays Code will allow.  But then, at some point, Jerry's antics go too far and Tom does the old lasso routine again.  Remember, folks: in the world of Tom and Jerry, chasing Jerry comes first.  Everything else?  A distant second.  Enter the bull and the giant bale of hay.  Genius, I tell ya.  Jack Brown Genius.

ACT THREE

And so, in Tom's adrenaline-fueled fit of rage, not only does he have the strength to drag a hay-covered bull over to him from round the corner, but he accidentally rips off one of the bull's horns.  As with the Stooges and time wasters, Tom kills some time putting the horn back on.  Now it's Tom's turn to get chased.  After scaring the chickens out of the outhouse... doesn't their coop look more like an outhouse?... the cat runs and runs and runs, then stops.  He's trapped!  The bull is still charging and Tom is trapped... well, not really.  I mean, really?  Seriously?  All of a sudden, Tom can't climb over a wooden fence like that?  Or maybe slip under it?  I mean, seriously?  Really?  Frankly, he's just not trying at this point.  It's near the end of the cartoon and we need a big finish.  And so, Tom ties a kerchief around his eyes and takes a puff on one last cigarette.  Boy, you gotta hand it to those cigarette companies.  Their product is there with you at your downfall, one way or another.  Yes, Tom is going to be hit by that oncoming train of a bull cow, and he has accepted his fate.  Hmm!  Chicks kinda dig that.

EPILOGUE

...I thought Tom ran away from the ranch house!  Oh well.  One way or another, Tom goes flying through the air, and where he lands the screenwriters don't care... I mean, they do care, because he has to be at the ranch house to witness Jerry's ultimate revenge.  The logical consistency of the means toward said end will have to be denied.  And so, since Jerry had to aid in Tom's wooing, so now he will succeed where Tom clearly has failed.  Jerry walks up in a similar nice-looking cowboy outfit, leaps up and plants a big ol' smooch on the girl cat's lips.  To be fair, she has the same confused look on her face, but Jerry seems to be happy.  Jerry then rides a dazed Tom into the proverbial sunset, poking him all the way with his tiny spurs.  You know, just once I'd like to see the girl cat just eat that little rat.  Just once.  Maybe Tom and her could fight over the guts.  Get to work on that, Sick and Twisted!

***1/2
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

1 comment:

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