Movie Review – “Catwoman”

I’ve finally seen this comic adaptation. I finally understand all this talk about the biggest mistake of Halle Berry’s career.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Halle Berry as Patience Phillips / Catwoman

Benjamin Bratt as Tom Lone

Sharon Stone as Laurel Hedare

Written by John D. Brancanto & Michael Ferris and John Rogers, based on a story by Theresa Rebeck and John Brancanto & Michael Ferris.

Directed by Pitof.

Complete information is available from the IMDB.

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

Premise

An artist accidentally overhears some damaging information. She is killed, only to be resurrected by an Egyptian cat, and granted all sorts of cat-like abilities.

High Point

Sally’s reaction to meeting Tom Lone was somewhat amusing. We’ve seen it many, many times before, but it’s still the best writing this script has to offer.

Low Point

The “evidence all points towards” a woman who, if given a blowback test, would be shown to have been nowhere near a firing gun.

The Scores

This is a somewhat original take on the character of Catwoman and her abilities, in the sense that it’s completely unlike any other version of the character. We’ve seen heroes like this before; in fact, I’m convinced that producers were hoping to capture the same fun of Spider-Man with his agile, animal-granted combat skills. The idea of an evil cosmetics conspiracy hasn’t been seen elsewhere to my knowledge, either. (This is probably because it’s such a bad idea.) I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were primarily made from a rubbery CGI version of Halle Berry. They did not look good. Some of the special photographic effects could have worked, but the edited used to go along with them was terrible, preventing us from really understanding what was going on from time to time. I give it 3 out of 6.

The story is strained and frequently nonsensical. There are just too many inane little moments to hold things together, and a lack of caring or understanding needed to hold a script together. I give it 2 out of 6.

The acting was not as bad as I expected. Berry did a decent job during her interrogation, as well as with the change in body language. Bratt did decent work with the shallow boy scout. Stone lived up to her name. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was in no way positive. This was bad, but not bad enough to become amusing in its own right. It was just weak throughout. At no point did I care about whether or not the conflict would be resolved. I give it 1 out of 6.

The production was awful. The setups made continuity editing difficult if not impossible. The colour filtering was far too blatant, and really overdone. (It was also inconsistent; take a look at the fight scene on the catwalk when Lone first meets Catwoman. With the green filter in place, Catwoman’s red lipstick would film as black. Some shots have digitally restored the colour, but others haven’t.) The camera work and editing in action sequences made the action extremely difficult to follow. (Not even Batman Forever was this bad.) Pitof just screwed everything up. The pointless sweeping city shots weren’t needed to establish the location of Hedare’s company, so the only conceivable reason for having them was to try and capture more of the Spider-Man feel. I give it 2 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a lousy superheroine film. We need a good superheroine film to show people that it can be done. (Supergirl was the only other real attempt I can think of.) This is bad, but it’s not the complete and utter train wreck it’s often regarded as, which precludes the opportunity for MST3K-type fun with it. The only remaining reason to watch it is for Halle Berry in leathers. If looking at Halle Berry is the only reason to watch this, you’ve got her in leathers in X2 (a vastly superior movie), topless in Swordfish (which wasn’t great, but was better than this) and completely naked in Monster’s Ball (which is a great movie in its own right, although it’s not similar in tone to these in any way.) I can’t think of anyone I’d recommend this to. Even Catwoman fans are better served by Batman Returns. I give it 1 out of 6.

In total, Catwoman receives 17 out of 42.

19 replies on “Movie Review – “Catwoman””

  1. Trekkie says:

    bah
    Won’t even watch it if it comes on free on broadcast TV. I think the reason
    they made her costume the way it was in an attempt to draw the Comic Book
    Guy out of his basement, and that’s it. I’m really surprised she starred in
    this, doesn’t she read scripts? Or was she thinking this was the Jinx movie
    until it was too late?

    • Timeshredder says:

      Well, a cosmetics-related conspiracy played a part in Batman

      One great thing about bad movies is the reviews they garner:

      Catwoman has all the appeal of a hairball.–Jeffrey Bruner, Des Moines Register

      Arguably the worst superhero movie ever made.–Jay Boyer, Orlando Sentinel.

      So much talent wasted. So much money squandered. So much opportunity missed.–Winda Benedetti, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

      Catwoman doesn’t belong on the big screen. It belongs in the litter box.– Connie Ogle, Miami Herald

      …a film without an audience–Rick Curnutte, Thefilmjournal.com

      Putting Halle Barry in a tight leather suit is a good idea. The rest of the movie is not.–Boo Allen, Denton Record Chronicle

      Catwoman belongs to another animal family– it’s either a dog or a turkey. Take your pick.–James Berardinelli, Reelviews

      The Showgirls of superhero movies.–Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune

      The director, whose name is Pitof, was probably issued with two names at birth and would be wise to use the other one on his next project. –Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

  2. Babbster says:

    Evil Cosmetics Companies
    There are two examples that I can think of. One would be the Mary Kay Commandos from whom Opus the penguin tries to rescue his mother in the comic strip Bloom County. The other was done recently (before the movie, concurrent with it, I don’t recall) in the comic book Mystique where a company was using the shapechanger’s DNA to create the ultimate in beauty products (if I remember correctly, they were cloning from her DNA and harvesting the fetuses – yuck!).

    • BuellBoy says:

      Re: Evil Cosmetics Companies

      There are two examples that I can think of. One would be the Mary Kay Commandos from whom Opus the penguin tries to rescue his mother in the comic strip Bloom County. The other was done recently (before the movie, concurrent with it, I don’t recall) in the comic book Mystique where a company was using the shapechanger’s DNA to create the ultimate in beauty products (if I remember correctly, they were cloning from her DNA and harvesting the fetuses – yuck!).

      What about “The Umbrella Corporation” from the Resident Evil movies?

      • y42 says:

        Re: Evil Cosmetics Companies

        What about “The Umbrella Corporation” from the Resident Evil movies?

        You beat me to it. The teaser for RE2 was a spoof ad for a face cream that “brings dead cells back to life”. Fiziko, you need to take off some of those originality points.

        Hell, the 1989 Batman had the Joker in charge of a cosmetic chemicals company, using it to kill people. Come on!
        Not to mention the make-up origin of Clayface’s power… I don’t know if the evil cosmetics in this flick differ from all these evil cosmetics, I have no intention of subjecting myself to a viewing of this movie, but evil cosmetics are hardly original.

        • fiziko says:

          Re: Evil Cosmetics Companies

          You beat me to it. The teaser for RE2 was a spoof ad for a
          face cream that “brings dead cells back to life”. Fiziko,
          you need to take off some of those originality points.

          Hell, the 1989 Batman had the Joker in charge of a
          cosmetic chemicals company, using it to kill people. Come
          on!

          Not to mention the make-up origin of Clayface’s power… I
          don’t know if the evil cosmetics in this flick differ from
          all these evil cosmetics, I have no intention of
          subjecting myself to a viewing of this movie, but evil
          cosmetics are hardly original.

          I haven’t seen the Resident Evil movies or played
          the games. The distinction (in my mind) anyway between
          this and the other examples is in the approach and intent.
          The Joker was trying to kill people, and everyone stopped
          using the products. Clayface happened to get his powers
          from cosmetics, but he tried to keep it his own personal
          secret for as long as possible. In this movie, a beauty
          cream turns out to be addictive. People who use it
          (except Sharon Stone who, for no apparant reason, becomes
          almost invincible because her skin becomes so hard,
          although it still bends when she wants to move even though
          she has no super-strength) suffer from headaches, dizzy
          spells, etc. and can get hospitalized because of it, and
          even get scars and disfigurments if they ever stop using
          the product. This is a case of trying to sneak
          detrimental side effects past the approval boards. Yes, I
          was probably too generous in that category, but there are
          differences between this and the other examples cited here
          that I’m familiar with.

      • Babbster says:

        Re: Evil Cosmetics Companies
        I have to admit, I haven’t watched the Resident Evil movies since I hated the video games with a passion – bought 1&2 when I finally got a Playstation and I couldn’t believe that those hideous controls were a “feature.” I was incredibly bitter against Capcom until they gave me Steel Battalion. :)

        The Batman example I completely forgot about since it’s been so long since I’ve seen the movie (amusingly, I bought the DVD years ago, along with a stack of others, and still haven’t watched it).

  3. smeep says:

    Bad CGI
    Here’s what I want to know… When Midnight (the cat) goes to give life to Berry, they switch to a CG cat. This is the worst CG animal I’ve ever seen in my life (it’s too big, the fur is horribly plastic looking, the eyes are wrong). Not to mention there was no reason for it. I’m sure I’ve seen other movies have a trained cat walk where they needed it to. This was my low point. You know, it wasn’t a bad movie, if you discount the plot, the CG, the wooden acting, the bad directing. Oh wait, that’s the whole thing. Never mind.

    Funny you mention Swordfish. I still think that Swordfish is the worst “computer/hacker” movie ever. Halle’s nude scene was the only thing worth watching in that movie. I’m a programmer, and even I think Hollywood should stop trying to make programming and hacking look exciting.

    • y42 says:

      Re: Bad CGI

      Funny you mention Swordfish. I still think that Swordfish is the worst “computer/hacker” movie ever. Halle’s nude scene was the only thing worth watching in that movie. I’m a programmer, and even I think Hollywood should stop trying to make programming and hacking look exciting.

      You’re one of those people who got all excited when Trinity logged in to the power plant with SSH, aren’t you?

      The second time I went to see Matrix2 I sat at the back so I could spot the programmers in the audience : )

    • madgnome says:

      Re: Bad CGI

      Funny you mention Swordfish. I still think that Swordfish is the worst “computer/hacker” movie ever. Halle’s nude scene was the only thing worth watching in that movie. I’m a programmer, and even I think Hollywood should stop trying to make programming and hacking look exciting.

      At least Swordfish has other qualities about it that make it almost watchable. The Net with Sandra Bullock gets my vote for worst ‘computer/hacker’ movie.

      • Trekkie says:

        Re: Bad CGI

        At least Swordfish has other qualities about it that make it almost watchable.
        The Net with Sandra Bullock gets my vote for worst ‘computer/hacker’ movie.

        Thank you! I was screaming at the screen a few times about no nurse in her
        right mind would bar code a pill and then put it in a patient without knowing
        for certain what she was doing and then claim ‘the computer said’ . There’d
        be visible tags color coded on the guy that would indicate a ‘i’ll die if I get
        this’ allergy.

        Not to mention the 500 other things a minute when she was in front of a
        computer that was oh so evil.

      • Babbster says:

        Re: Bad CGI
        The Net had Dennis Miller in it. I love the guy as a comic, but you know a movie’s going to be bad if he makes an appearance.

  4. Drew1Down says:

    profile by race?
    i am not a racest but cat woman is not black, and Kingpin is not black, are we so uncomfortible with ethnic groups we have to have the united nations in every movie, whats next? oh wate i know, The fantasic 4, reed richards can be asian, and thing can be hispanic, invisible woman can be russian. this is so we don’t offend anybody but the fans. We need to grow up ppl and not be so worried by what others will think if you don’t get the mix of cultures in tv, movie, media, ect.

    • Philo says:

      Re: profile by race?

      i am not a racest but cat woman is not black, and Kingpin is not black, are we so uncomfortible with ethnic groups we have to have the united nations in every movie, whats next? oh wate i know, The fantasic 4, reed richards can be asian, and thing can be hispanic, invisible woman can be russian. this is so we don’t offend anybody but the fans. We need to grow up ppl and not be so worried by what others will think if you don’t get the mix of cultures in tv, movie, media, ect.

      The original Kingpin was black, IIRC. You could argue this was being more ‘faithful’ to the comicbook. It sure didn’t distract me as much as the rest of the crap in that movie. They should have cast Daredevil as an Ethopian, because at least Ben Affleck would have been disqualified from the role.

      As for this Catwoman, well, she’s not “the” Catwoman, just a series of Catwomen imbued by mystical powers. So your not-racist-just-offended-by-skin-color take on it is saved, thank god.

      Really, if you get worked up about the skin color of the people being cast over other deviations from the comic book, then yeah, you do have issues in my book. There’s a lot more by which to be offended in Catwoman than the damn ethnicity of the lead.

      • fiziko says:

        Re: profile by race?

        The original Kingpin was black, IIRC. You could argue this
        was being more ‘faithful’ to the comicbook. It sure didn’t
        distract me as much as the rest of the crap in that movie.
        They should have cast Daredevil as an Ethopian, because at
        least Ben Affleck would have been disqualified from the
        role.

        The original Kingpin was white as well. Personally, I
        think the defining physical aspect of the Kingpin is size,
        so I have no problems at all with the casting of Michael
        Clarke Duncan.

        • Drew1Down says:

          Re: profile by race?
          see i knew this would blow up into me being a racest, im not, im not judging by color, im judging by fact. Ok, how about the fact that they have to put some main-streem actor in our comic-book movies just to get ppl to go? How about making an actor, like toby mcgyer (spl^), he was a great actor b4 but sence spiderman, he is a household name. i meen, ben aflack, holly berry, michael duncan, give me a break. So what i have been trying to say from the begining, Cast actors to fill the roll, not fill the box office!

          • y42 says:

            Re: profile by race?

            see i knew this would blow up into me being a racest, im not […] So what i have been trying to say from the begining, Cast actors to fill the roll, not fill the box office!

            You’re not a “racest”, bout you are racist.

            Find me one actor the size of King Pin that isn’t Michael Clark Duncan. And there was a black Catwoman in the 60’s Batman TV show, although that show isn’t to be taken as a basis of anything, but still. And, as it has been pointed out above, this movie has nothing to do with Batman’s Catwoman.

            Additionally, I don’t think Halle Berry is black, but that might be because I know blonde people with blue eyes that have darker skin than her.

            P.S. You’re in denial about racism. It’s ok, from your typing I’m guessing you have plenty of time to grow up yet ;-)

            • Drew1Down says:

              Re: profile by race? / BBS rules 2 new ppl
              Ok, look at the time I was typing that, 3:00 AM, how good is your spelling that late at night, Read the whole thing again, im talking about Hollywood and how they are money grubbing whores.

              60’s batman IS NOT batman! lol

              1. John Goodman
              2. any actor, (its called a body suite and make-up!)

              P.S. You may be new to this, BBS are open to constructive comments only about topics headlined, not for people to judge others on there spelling (grow up). If you want to comment on my point of view, fine, but stick to the topic, you don’t know me.

              • GrimSean says:

                Re: profile by race? / BBS rules 2 new ppl

                60’s batman IS NOT batman! lol

                The sixties Batman is more Batman in one episode than Batman & Robin and Batman Forever put together.

                Also, I prefer Eartha Kitt to Halle Berry (comparing them at the age of 30, that is).

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