Directed by Pitof.
Written by John Brancato, Michael Ferris, and John Rogers.
Based on a character by Bob Kane.
Starring Halle Berry, Benjamin Bratt and Sharon Stone.
Release Year: 2004
Review Date: 7/19/04
I was trading e-mails with Tricia "Hot"
Ocampo today and she mentioned that she had a freebie to go see "Catwoman"
over at the Mazza Gallerie. Now, even though I had originally
planned to get ready for my upcoming move tonight, I saw the open
door created by the freebie and decided to run through it. I
really wanted to see "Catwoman" for free because, as I have noted to
anyone within earshot for the last two months, I was absolutely sure
this flick was going to blow.
And, not kind of blow. It would be the
kind of film that, like a old friend of mine used to predict, would
probably "suck hard." It had all the makings of a shitty film,
and with the comic-book-characters-gone-mad progress of comic flicks
the last couple of years, this was a property that was better left
for dead after Michelle Pfeiffer nailed this role nearly ten years
ago for "Batman Returns." So, I got my friend Colleen "I Loved
Yushchak to tag along and check this puppy out.
Patience Phillips (Halle Berry) is a
mid-level manager at a big skin care firm in what looks like New
York City, and her career is flatlining at the hands of management,
notably the boss's wife and co-partner, aging queenpin Laurel Hedare
(Sharon Stone). When Patience learns of the devastating
effects of what happens when people start and continue to use a
particular Oil-of-Olay-like beauty cream, she is offed by Hedare and
the nefarious company...but, little does she know that she's just
offed a Catwoman! 15 minutes later, Patience has the ability
to outrun gunfire, cling to walls, and move very ably in skintight
"Catwoman", by its own design, parallels the
"Batman" films in so many ways that you get to thinking that the
writers didn't even try to come up with anything original...so, from
the costumes, to the main plot of "Catwoman" (another chemical that
makes people's skin go creepy? A building that looks not
unlike Axis Chemicals, from the first "Batman"?), to the main
character duality that is supposed to make all of this really cool
and/or interesting, "Catwoman" just feels like one large charade, a
pitiful attempt to join the ranks of successful movie comicdom that
hits closer to the sloppy
"Daredevil" than a
quality comic flick like
Wow, this movie was bad. The action
really is "stylized action", like the MPAA says it is...what makes
this difficult is that because it is "stylized", it is incredibly
difficult to watch, what with all of the CGI, the swooping, zooming
camerawork, and the scattershot editing. Some of the fight
scenes are almost impossible to watch; the way they are cut, you
almost wish they would end soon after beginning. Because
Catwoman is cut out of an only partially-costumed human being, the
CGI of her flying all over the place looks worse than it does in a
"Spider-Man 2", where the main character is fully in costume and
doesn't look as silly flying all over the city on his webs. In
"Catwoman", we go from sweeping cat-crawling-up-side-of-building
shots to Catwoman standing on two feet, walking like she has the
greatest ass of all time (not an argument) and then jumping off
another building, right back to the CGI.
The dialogue is mostly bad, the token gay
character is just plain bad (even Colleen couldn't take it anymore
with the now-requisite funny gay co-worker token; why couldn't we
just get another woman that looks other men in the office up and
down??), the reasoning behind the Stone character's invincibility is
just fucking inane...even an extended third-tier subplot featuring
Patience's best friend from work is given too much screen time.
Overall, "Catwoman" is just plain bad.
Two things, and only two things, save it from Hard Vice status:
I saw it for free. This cannot be
understated: if I had paid money--ANY money--to see "Catwoman",
I would have been angry. As it was, it only cost me Metro
fare to see it, and for that, I was quite happy, no matter how
good or bad the movie was.
For my money, there won't be a movie
this year that has three better-looking people in lead roles
than the triumvirate of Halle Berry, Ben Bratt and Sharon Stone.
The real revelation of "Catwoman" has got to be Stone, who you
probably thought had gone off and died, but she looks
unbelievable in this flick! She's got to be 50 by now but
she looks right at home trading catquips with Berry throughout
the film. Bratt is a good-looking man, and even other men
will look at him saying something like I was muttering: "Damn,
I'll bet you Ben Bratt is getting laid RIGHT NOW!" And
Berry...well, you know.
Otherwise, you need to seriously look at the
money in your wallet before pulling it out and dropping it on this
shit. Not very good, but quite pleasant to look at, and not a
bad little soundtrack either.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard