‘Catwoman’ belongs in litter box
For the record, this isn’t the worst movie ever made. Close, but not the worst I’ve experienced. I know word-of-mouth has been horrid, but I was able to sit through the whole screening. OK, maybe it’ll be a stinker as far as summer releases go, but fear not. Summer isn’t over, so I’m sure one of the studios will release something crappier. Is that a word? It reflects the dialogue throughout “Catwoman,” that’s for sure.
What happened? Ever since Halle Berry won the Oscar for her performance in “Monster’s Ball” she has had some weak scripts tossed her way and has accepted them. Still, she is one of Hollywood’s more talented actresses working today, but I fear that too many more movies like this and she’ll go the way of Marisa Tomei. Who? Exactly. After her Oscar nod for 1992’s “My Cousin Vinny,” we haven’t seen or heard from her lately except in secondary roles from second-rate movies.
First off, purists of the comic book diva will be outraged. I mean, no Gotham City? What’s up with that? When you take a character from a very popular comic book series and from a successful Tim Burton movie and change it all around, how can you not tick off your main fan base? All I kept thinking to myself while watching this was that I bet Michelle Pfeiffer (who played the role in Burton’s 1992 “Batman Returns”) is having the last laugh. Even the TV Catwomen (Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwhether and Eartha Kitt) were better than this.
Halle Berry plays graphic designer Patience Philips who works for Hedare Beauty, a large cosmetic company owned by George Hedare (Lambert Wilson). Patience is a character borrowed directly from the Batman character Selena Kyle. Like Patience she is shy, insecure and possess no self-esteem. But that’s where the similarity ends between the two characters. Patience lets everybody walk all over her, so when she is caught overhearing that their latest anti-aging cream will melt people’s faces off, she is eliminated. Who will miss her anyway? Up until then the movie wasn’t too bad.
Sharon Stone is introduced as Laurel Hedare, the wife of the company owner and spokesmodel for their products. She is diabolical to say the least and we know pretty much from the outset that she’s no good. OK, so far not too bad. We know she is equally cunning and at some point will face down Catwoman.
But when Patience is transformed into Catwoman, well, that’s when things run amok. Oh sure, she is more confident now and sexier than ever (got whips?) but it’s at this junction in the movie where the dialogue starts to run away from the performers. It’s hysterical in an almost embarrassing way, and I couldn’t decide what was funnier – the diatribe of words or the action sequences?
“Mad TV’s” Alex Borstein, the supposed comic relief for the movie, is upstaged by the principle players, which wasn’t supposed to happen. I liked Alex in last year’s “The Lizzie Maguire Movie,” but here she seems so out of step as Sally, Patience’s man-obsessed co-worker. I wish they would have let her ad lib her own lines, because the one-liners here were lame and she is far better than that. Alex, listen to me. You can only go uphill from here, OK? At least you can say you worked alongside an Oscar-winning actress.
Enter Tom Lone (Benjamin Bratt), a police detective (what a shock, huh?) who is not only attracted to Patience but also purrs for Catwoman, yet still can’t put two and two together to realize that they are one and the same. And he’s a detective? Hopefully he can track down a new agent or ask Dick Wolfe if there’s an opening in his “Law & Order” franchise. I mean, he does have experience.
I can’t help but think how much I liked Halle Berry as Storm in the “X-Men” franchise, so she’s lucky that they’re planning a third installment, since I doubt a “Catwoman” franchise is going to happen. Maybe “Catwoman” and “Garfield” will do a “Cat in the Hat” sequel and call it “My Life in the Litterbox.” Could happen. Maybe they can get Pitof to direct it since he did “Catwoman” and can go back to the box for source material.
Hollywood seems to get much of their inspiration from leftovers lately. Go see “Spider-Man 2” again instead. You’ll feel much better and get your money’s worth; trust me.