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movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Catwoman

Starring: Halle Berry, Sharon Stone
Director: Pitof
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 104 Minutes
Release Date: July 2004
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Benjamin Bratt, Lambert Wilson, Alex Borstein, John Cassini, Frances Conroy, Michael Daingerfield, Aaron Douglas, Frances McDormand, Byron Mann, Michael Massee

Review by Susan Granger
0 stars out of 4

When there's a big-budget, major studio cat-astrophe like this, it's often interesting to analyze what happened. Back in 1992, the Catwoman movie concept was conceived after Michelle Pfeiffer embodied the character in "Batman Returns." When Pfeiffer bowed out of a reprise, Halle Berry, who'd just won an Oscar for "Monster's Ball," pounced. Not only did she bank $12.5 million for the title role, she also became the first African-American actress to propel an expensive, effects-laden action film. "This movie presented to me a whole new challenge, something I haven't done. It allowed me an opportunity to prove...a woman of color can open one of these summer movies," she explained. Previously, Berry had scored big as Jinx, a sexy, supporting player to Pierce Brosnan's James Bond in "Die Another Day."

In "Catwoman," Berry is Patience Phillips, a graphics designer at a cosmetics firm who finds out that her boss (Lambert Wilson) and his ex-model wife (Sharon Stone) ready to market new, anti-aging product, "Beau-Line," that is toxic and addictive. This discovery leads to her drowning death, but she's resurrected by a cat and admired by an adoring cop (Benjamin Bratt). Now imbued with wall-scaling powers and a dominatrix outfit, Patience/Catwoman wreaks revenge.

Episodically written by John Brancato, Michael Ferris and John Rogers, based on Bob Kane's characters, it's directed in quick-cut MTV-style by a Frenchman named Pitof. What unfolds is dull feline drivel, so deadly serious in tone that it can't even be enjoyed as camp. It's cliché'd, boring and a dreadful embarrassment. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Catwoman" descends to a dull, preposterous, outrageous 1. If a cat has nine lives, save us from the sequels.

Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger

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