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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
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.