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(2004 Film)

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Catwoman (2004):  Although DC Comics was behind this film, this Catwoman has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CATWOMAN FROM DC COMICS!  Right away, a lot of die hard comic fans were put off by the fact that this character was called Catwoman.  This movie did okay at the box office, but wasn't nearly as big of hit as they envisioned.  I think this movie could've been a much bigger hit had they called it something besides "Catwoman".  It is actually a good movie.  A bit hokey in places, but I really feel the popularity was only hindered by the fact that they were trying to make too extreme of change in the classic Catwoman character we know while still calling her "Catwoman".

Halle Berry

    Catwoman's real name in this movie:  Patience Phillips; not Selina Kyle.  The fact that this Catwoman is black is not such a big deal, but it does seem weird that the makers of this film wanted to go down that road again.  I think they were trying to go Eartha Kitt on us.  The bad thing about doing that is that a lot of people automatically think that Halle Berry as Catwoman is going to be like Eartha Kitt as Catwoman in the campy "Batman" TV show of the 1960s.  People at the time of this movie's release are definitely not into campy shows so that is another bit of social psychology that held "Catwoman" back.  There are a lot of good caucasian actresses they could have used, too.  Or how about an Asian or a Hispanic?  As a matter of fact, Ashley Judd was going to be Catwoman in this film before the last-minute cast change. 


    Another HUGE difference between this Catwoman and the Catwoman from comics is that this Catwoman has super powers.  There really hasn't been any other incarnation of Catwoman that has had super powers, although she was always a remarkable athlete.  Halle's Catwoman has cat-like senses and the ability to move like a cat and leap like a cat.  Those qualities in this character are actually very good and movie-worthy.  Definitely more exciting than a criminal in a cat suit who just sneaks around.

    The biggest difference between this Catwoman and previous Catwoman characters is that there is NO MENTION OF BATMAN AT ALL and this film is NOT EVEN SET IN GOTHAM CITY!  For all these greatly significant differences, this "Catwoman" can't and shouldn't even be compared to the comic book "Catwoman", but as its own movie, this "Catwoman" is really quite sensational!

    Halle Berry gives a good performance and really moves like a cat.  She definitely isn't as sexy as some of the other women who have played Catwoman over the years.  Julie Newmar as Catwoman was the most overtly sexual of all Catwomen.  She oozed it and used it.  Truly catty.  Lee Meriwether was a cuter, kittenish type of sexy.  Like a playful high school cheerleader.  Eartha Kitt's Catwoman wasn't a sexy personality at all, just very feline and sinister...smart like a cat, but that's where it stopped.  She was the most "mad genius" of them all.  Michelle Pfieffer brought back the sexy personality in Catwoman again that had been missing since Newmar's tenure.  Besides showing a lot of skin, Berry's Catwoman doesn't have that really sexy personality like "she wants to do it 24-7" as did Newmar or some of the others.  Her alluring costume contradicts with her personality.  The good thing about her costume, though, is that it's functional and not just for glamour.

    Of special mention is Alex Borstein as Patience's friend Sally.  I've always enjoyed Alex as a regular on "MAD TV" and especially for her voice work in the TV series "Family Guy".  She really gives this movie a lot of personality.  Benjamin Bratt is good as always.  Sharon Stone's character is interesting because she's a villainess you sympathize with.  You don't really want her to get killed because we know we'd feel the same way if we were betrayed or cast aside...especially by your spouse. 

    The action in this movie is great and it's filmed magnificently!  Plotwise, it moves very fast, but doesn't try to go over your head or get too complicated.  Some of the CGI is pretty apparent.  For instance, when Midnight the cat saves Patience or when Catwoman runs/jumps around on the rooftops it definitely looks digitized.  But to their credit, I'd imagine it would be very difficult, nearly impossible, to do what they did so well.  All in all, this is a terrific movie that I recommend to any superhero fan...just don't expect anything like you would see of Catwoman in the comic books.