Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Although it's been years since I've seen STOMP, this exhilarating show's inventive percussion using everyday items is unforgettable. From Zippo lighters to trash cans, you can find rhythm in anything.

Watch this behind-the-scenes taste of STOMP, if you haven't yet experienced it:

CNN feature on STOMP ( 

The Kitties love STOMP too, mainly because they can practice its moves at home (to the dismay of our neighbors). Check STOMP's schedule to see it live in New York City or on tour, and after the show, you might end up just like them.

Stomp (March 21, 2017)
(Illustration Friday: February 17, 2017)

Thursday, March 16, 2017


This is a true story. Note to self: Don't leave your cup of tea on the floor during commercial-break trips to the kitchen.

Tea (March 15, 2017)
(Illustration Friday: February 10, 2017)

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Johnny Kitties: Celebrating Johnny Depp Film #52. Yoga Hosers (2016)

[What is Johnny Kitties? See Johnny Kitties: Celebrating Johnny Depp for all the details. Visit the Johnny Kitties page for a full list of Johnny Depp's filmography and links to all previous Johnny Kitties blog posts.]

"That's what I've done historically, buddy movies....And, this is like that; it's just a different world than I've ever explored before. I just kind of like the idea of the two girls going on an adventure." Director Kevin Smith onYoga Hosers

"It's such a good script. And, it's a girls movie. And, the girls are kicking ass. I'm so happy Kevin is taking these risks and being so creative in giving people things that they haven't seen before." Genesis Rodriguez, who plays Ms. Wiklund in Yoga Hosers

Yoga Hosers is far from basic. 
A follow up to Kevin Smith's 2015 film, Tusk, Yoga Hosers catches up with the two teenage clerks – Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Depp) and Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) – from the Canadian convenient store Eh-2-Zed. These two best friends spend their days on their phones, posting to social media – whether at school, their after-school job, or yoga class. When they are invited to a Senior Party by the cutest senior in school, they uncover an ancient evil plot. Pairing up with legendary man-hunter Guy LaPointe (Johnny Depp), the girls aim to conquer invasive beings one splat at a time. 

How are we doing now? 
By the time Yoga Hosers was released, I was aching for some good Johnny news. His divorce saga was in full swing with no end in sight. I worried that the details of this tabloid nightmare would pop into my head whenever I saw him somewhere or watched his movies. I felt down in the dumps about everything and hoped that Yoga Hosers would cheer me up.

Completed in 2015, Yoga Hosers was released in theaters last September. Opening weekend, it  played at only one local theater as a Fathom Event. Fathom Events are usually special one-time-only events, like live operas, concerts, or Broadway shows; according to its description, this Fathom Event included the movie followed by a question-and-answer session with its director, Kevin Smith. I got my ticket, hoping that Kevin had some happy Johnny stories to tell. 

What happened at this Fathom Event?
Here is my disclaimer about Yoga Hosers: this movie isn't for everyone. Like Tusk, the story is ridiculous. Unlike TuskYoga Hosers is a silly comedy written with teenage girls in mind. If you're not a fan of Kevin Smith, Tusk, or Johnny Depp, then you might not like this movie. Fortunately, I am, so I had one of the best times ever. 

Harley and Kevin Smith
(Courtesy of Yahoo Movies)
Of course, I arrived early, expecting a sold-out crowd and long lines. None of that materialized, and the small theater was mostly occupied by men (some with girlfriends) who were obvious Kevin Smith followers. Only one other girl arrived on her own, and I assume she was there for the same reason I was. 

Instead of the post-movie question-and-answer session with Kevin Smith that we expected, the Fathom Event started with an introduction during a packed Yoga Hosers screening in another city. Harley Quinn Smith introduced her dad, who talked and talked and talked (as he does). He explained: 
  • How Johnny got involved with Tusk
  • How Johnny developed the character of Guy LaPointe, would call him on the phone speaking as the character and reciting parts of the Tusk script – long after the film had wrapped – and encourage Kevin to write another movie so that he could play Guy again, 
  • How Lily-Rose came to the Tusk set one day to watch her best friend Harley act in a scene with her dad and was asked if she wanted to be in the scene with her, 
  • How these friends' one scene together in Tusk as the Colleen characters inspired Kevin to write Yoga Hosers for them, and 
  • How we finally got here with the finished product.
Vanessa Paradis! 
I wish this rambling introduction was included as a DVD special feature because I can't repeat most of what Kevin Smith said. (Some of it is rated R.) But everything he said made me happy. Kevin is a great storyteller. As I may have mentioned in my Tusk review, he originally asked Quentin Tarantino to play Guy LaPointe. When he declined the offer, Kevin tried to think of who else would be crazy enough to play the character. 

Knowing Johnny mainly from their kids' school functions, he e-mailed him to see if he'd be interested in participating in Tusk, a comedy-horror film, playing a detective who is hunting someone who has been turned into a walrus. To this, Kevin's wife Jennifer exclaimed, "You bothered the Depps?! We have to see them at school!" 

Guy LaPointe!
Don't worry, everything worked out. He remembers being pulled aside on the set of Tusk by Johnny's assistant, who said, "Mr. Depp would like to see you in his trailer." He headed over there as if it were the principal's office and instead experienced Johnny's big reveal in Guy LaPointe makeup: "What do you think?!" he asked. 

For Yoga Hosers, he e-mailed Johnny again to see what he thought about writing a movie starring their girls as the Colleens. He worried when he didn't receive an immediate response, but when they saw each other a little later, Johnny brought it up: "I got your e-mail, man. I think we can't waste this opportunity." With that, he wrote the script for Yoga Hosers and sent it to both Johnny and Lily-Rose's mother Vanessa Paradis for their blessing. He also asked Vanessa if she wanted to participate in the movie. Kevin's wife found all this out eventually and said, "You bothered the Depps again? Don't bother the Depps again, Kevin!" Don't worry, everything worked out. 

Kevin Smith's making-of stories kept us laughing, and all his quotes from Johnny were very Johnny, which warmed my heart. By the end of this introduction, I still wasn't sure what I was in for, but I had a good feeling.

But is the movie any good?
The Bratzis!
It's true that Yoga Hosers performed badly at the box office, was only in theaters for a split second, and received lots of bad reviews. I understand that assessment from unbiased viewers since we all left the theater slightly bewildered and laughing about what we had just seen. However, it was exactly what we expected as fans of Tusk and Kevin Smith's crazy mind: of course we were bewildered and laughing about this plot about teenage girls fighting a cryogenically frozen but now reanimated German bad guy who learned English from watching everything on Netflix and could therefore do lots of impressive movie-star impressions, who created an army of one-foot tall Canadian Nazis made of bratwurst (Bratzis, performed by Kevin Smith), and who ordered them to kill all of the art critics of the world since he'd been insulted by them about his own work. Who else but Kevin Smith is going to come up with these ideas? 

Jack! (with Ashley Greene)
Also, I was slightly delirious as the lights came up; seeing Johnny's whole family acting in one movie – including Lily-Rose's little brother Jack – overwhelmed my inner teenybopper. Kevin Smith's wife and daughter usually make some sort of appearance in his movies, but as he describes it, this one is a little different: "Have you ever seen those TV shows where two families go to camp together? It's kind of what it felt like, like you know, we went to family camp with the Depps, and we put on a show. And it just wasn't a little stage at camp, it was a movie at the end of the day." (I concur with this feeling.) 

I inadvertently saw a critic's meaner comment, saying  that Yoga Hosers was no better than a collage of home movies strung together by a thin, ridiculous plot. (If you don't have anything nice to say....) I wonder if critics ever gave this movie a chance. The more I watched Yoga Hosers to work on my Johnny Kitties drawing, the more I laughed and loved it:
  • Yes, this story is crazy. You read the above plot description correctly – these teens are fighting one-foot tall bratwurst Nazis – but the well-written script is clever and funny. 
  • I appreciate that this story portrays two young girls who save the day without help from any boyfriends or grown-ups. "Women don't ever get to do anything," says Natasha Lyonne (who plays Tabitha, Colleen Collette's dad's girlfriend). "I think this is an excellent case of, you know, girls getting to be the centerpiece." 
Tony Hale and Natasha Lyonne!
  • Everyone is good in this movie, but I was especially excited to see Tony Hale as Colleen Collette's dad, Bob. Everyone who was involved in Tusk is involved in Yoga Hosers too; many, some of whom I didn't recognize until later, play new characters. Stan Lee also makes a cameo! 
  • The dads are right: Lily-Rose and Harley are naturals in front of the camera. As Ralph Garman (who plays the German bad guy) says, "To watch both Lily and Harley show up and have such natural charm and ease in front of the camera and do such good work is alternately a pleasure and a little bit annoying, too – to watch two green actors come out of the gate so good." Granted, they are 15-year-old life-long best friends in real life, but the talent is real!  
  • Johnny deserves an Oscar for his work as Guy LaPointe. I can't wait for Kevin's next movie, Moose Jaws, which tops off this trilogy of films. I want to go to family camp with the Depps again! 

The Colleen Kitties Save the World!
One of my favorite things in Yoga Hosers is the snapshots from social media whenever a significant person in the girls' lives shows up. They serve as introductions to the characters but from the girls' points of view, including Snapchat-like doodles, hashtags, and comments about whatever image they posted. 

For this Johnny Kitties tribute, someone snapped the moment that the Colleens (Lily and Mini) took down this story's gross mechanical monster (operated by the Bratzis). Trapped Guy LaPointe (Gordon) looks on, impressed by the teens' heroic yogic moves.

52. Yoga Hosers (January 22, 2017)
What's next? 
Captain Jack returns in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, in theaters May 26! A Johnny Kitties tribute will be posted after its DVD release. See you at the movies in May!

All images © Invincible Pictures, unless otherwise noted. 

Monday, March 06, 2017


It's hard to say what the Kitties are up to here. What do you think? (They won't tell me.)

Up (February 16, 2017)
(Illustration Friday: February 3, 2017)