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Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Benjamin Bratt, Lambert Wilson, Frances Conroy, Alex Borstein, Michael Massee, Byron Mann, Kim Smith
Writing Credits:
Bob Kane (characters), Theresa Rebeck, John D. Brancato, Michael Ferris, John Rogers

Catwoman is the story of meek, mild-mannered artist Patience Philips, who works for Hedare Beauty, a mammoth cosmetics company on the verge of releasing a revolutionary anti-aging product. When Patience inadvertently happens upon a dark secret her employer is hiding, she is attacked and killed. But Patience is given a second chance - a second life in which someone not quite human resides. Someone with the strength, speed, agility and ultra-keen senses of a cat. With her newfound power, Patience becomes Catwoman, and sets out to stop Hedare's callous plan to unleash an appallingly dangerous product into the world.

Box Office:
$85 million.
Opening Weekend
$16.728 million on 3117 screens.
Domestic Gross
$40.198 million.

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Stereo 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 104 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 9/8/2009

• “The Many Faces of Catwoman” Documentary
• “HBO First Look” Documentary
• Additional Scenes
Chase Me Animated Short
• Trailers


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Catwoman [Blu-Ray] (2004)

Reviewed by Brian Ludovico (movie) and Colin Jacobson (Blu-Ray) (December 21, 2014)

The marketplace boasts many, many types of “bad movies”. Some – like Roadhouse - are so ridiculous that they fall into the “so bad they’re good” category. Some “bad movies” take a decent idea and just muck it up so horrendously that they make you angry in their execution. For instance, Batman & Robin lands here.

As the lowest of the low, we locate movies that had high concepts, a big budget - and just stink from frame one. For a long time, only one movie I’d ever seen pulled this Hindenberg-esque type of crash: the deplorable Showgirls. I’m sad to announce that the class has grown with the addition of Catwoman.

No, this movie doesn’t contain blatant misogyny or a gang rape as Showgirls, but it does pretend to hide some stupid “grrrrl-power” message within the folds of its inane plot. Speaking of which, I won’t spend a lot of time on it; I figure if the team of four writers who now carry this “mark of Cain” on their résumé didn’t, why should I? To me, the real interest revolves around how exactly how this movie earned its much-deserved Razzies.

Frumpy, shy, skittish artist Patience Phillips (Halle Berry) cowers in her cubicle as she works in the art department for Hedare Cosmetics. The company creates a revolutionary new skin cream that stops – and reverses – the aging of skin. President George Hedare (Lambert Wilson) and wife/co-chairperson/former spokes model Laurel (Sharon Stone) will make millions from the product, but there’s a horrible secret: it’s addictive and it destroys your face. When Patience accidentally finds the secret, they flush her down the toilet and kill her.

While she lays dead on a pile of crap, a mystical immortal Egyptian cat shows up with a gang of buddies and coughs the hairball of life onto her. This gives her special catlike powers like super agility and reflexes, strength and senses.

It also endows her with feline personality traits - or at least traits that are feline according to director Pitof and crew. She’s more confident, she wants to steal shiny jewelry, she is more outspoken, she sleeps on shelves, she’s hornier, and - in a scene certain to go down in infamy - she rolls a ball of catnip on her face. I think she was also supposed to get a cat-like gait to her walk, but Berry sways her hips so violently that she appears to have some sort of degenerative bone disorder. Sadly, if Patience can lick herself, we don’t see it – though even that wouldn’t have saved this movie.

Patience finds out what happened from a strange cat lady (Francis Conroy), fashions herself a revealing outfit to do battle and swears revenge on the people who killed her the first time. Of course there’s a final showdown with what might be the stupidest villain in superhero history.

Oh, and there’s a love angle in here too, as Patience falls for detective Tom Lone (Benjamin Bratt). Sheesh. Since he takes every crime call in the movie, apparently he’s the only cop in whatever city this is supposed to be, though he’s too dense to figure out who Catwoman is no matter how obvious she makes it. Will Catwoman clear her name? Will she get revenge? Will anyone care?

We find many more reasons to hate Catwoman than just the boring story. How about the performances? Sure, Berry looks ridiculous as she tries to move her body around like a cat, all darting and wide-eyed, and Bratt has displays charisma at all, but don’t forget, Sharon Stone is in this movie. What’s more, she gets to play the villain, whom I’ve dubbed Rockface. Her power? She can take a beating. See, her face has become “living marble” from using too much of the nefarious anti-aging cream.

This is the best that four writers could come up with as a foil to our hero? Stone, who appears to have had the makeup people apply foundation with a trowel, is her usual over-the-top self, but it’s hard to blame her here.

The love angle is pretty much nails on a chalkboard, too. It starts with one of the worst flirtations in the history of love, a ridiculous one-on-one basketball game between Patience and Tom, an impromptu affair that takes place in front of school children. Because she’s gained her cat skills by this time, Patience bats the ball back and forth between her hands before performing some of the most ridiculous moves I’ve ever seen.

Between grinding her butt into Lone’s crotch and riding his leg, she does backflips and super dunks. The best part - besides the dry humping - is that no one seems surprised! In real life, if my soon-to-be girlfriend took three steps up a wall, backflipped off of it then dunked in my face, I think soiling my pants would be an almost appropriate reaction.

While those problems loom large, they do nowhere near the damage that the calamitous direction of Pitof. This movie is so poorly directed that I think toward the end, he might have actually been trying to out-Schumacher Schumacher.

Directors are sort of like head coaches in football: they’re accountable for every play on either side of the ball. By that logic, this guy approved such scenes as Patience shorting out a speaker by shooting seltzer from a bar hose at a distance of at least thirty feet. What’s the PSI on that, a thousand?

That’s only one thing the director okayed that makes zero sense. I also love the waste water flush that empties a hundred feet in the air and has no guard grate on it. Pitof must have received a bulk deal on computer graphics because everything is CG. Cats, buildings, approaches - even Catwoman in her action scenes. It’s distracting, not to mention lazy.

I could go on forever on the many facets of suckitude that Catwoman contains, but the most succinct way I can put it is that this movie is the polar opposite of Spider-Man 2 in every way imaginable. We don’t identify with our “hero” because of her overdone nature, its villain is worse than the Governator’s Mister Freeze, the dialogue stinks, the love angle becomes hilariously unbelievable, the story doesn’t hold any real threat, and the CGI looks distractingly bad. At the risk of putting too fine a point on it, I’d rather be shocked in my genitals than ever set eyes on this pathetic piece of crap again.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C

Catwoman appears in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While not a flawless transfer, the image looked strong.

Overall definition seemed good. A little softness appeared at times, but those issues remained minor and caused few distractions. Instead, most of the flick looked well-defined. No issues with shimmering or moiré effects materialized, and I noticed no edge haloes. Print flaws failed to appear in this clean presentation.

I didn’t think the Teal and Orange Revolution went back as far as 2004, but Catwoman proved me wrong, as that palette dominated the film. Other hues popped up occasionally – such as some bold reds – but expect a strongly orange/teal image here. Within those constraints, the tones seemed fine; they never looked natural, but they didn’t intend to appear that way. Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows seemed clear and appropriately defined. The mild softness made this a “B+”.

I also felt pleased – but not tremendously impressed - with the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Catwoman. The soundfield popped to life often enough to make this a reasonably involving experience, with the most dynamic material during the fight scenes. Unlike other action flicks, Catwoman couldn’t rely much on weapons or vehicles, as it stayed more in the “hand-to-hand” realm, but it still used the various channels in a lively manner. Different elements cropped up all around the room to mesh together well, and music also fleshed out the channels in a satisfying manner.

Audio quality always worked well. Music was warm and lush, while speech seemed crisp and distinctive. Effects boasted good clarity and range, along with solid bass response. Nothing here dazzled, but the mix satisfied.

When we move to extras, we launch with the 29-minute, 44-second The Many Faces of Catwoman. Hosted by Eartha Kitt, we hear from Catwoman: The Life and Times of a Feline Fatale author Suzan Colon, comic book artist Alex Ross, DC Comics publisher Paul Levitz, comic book writer Jeph Loeb, DC Comics VP of Editorial Dan DiDio, DC Comics Batman Group editor Bob Schreck, Batman TV series production manager Sam Strangis, filmmaker Tim Burton, producers Denise Di Novi and Edward McDonnell, choreographer Anne Fletcher, costume designer Angus Strathie, whip coach Alex Green, and actors Halle Berry, Adam West, Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Adrienne Barbeau, Benjamin Bratt and Michelle Pfeiffer. We learn about the character’s appearances in the comics as well as her development through various TV and movie series.

The first two-thirds of the flick look at the character’s past before the final 10 minutes discuss the 2004 movie. You can safely stop the featurette once we get to that flick, as “Faces” devolves into fluffy talk at that time. The first 20 minutes are pretty great, though, especially when we hear the five pre-2004 actors who played Catwoman discuss the role. I’d love a much longer documentary about the character – without all the nonsense about the 2004 film.

During the 13-minute, two-second HBO First Look, we find notes from Berry, Bratt, Di Novi, McDonnell, Strathie, Fletcher, director Pitof, animal trainer Boone Narr, and actors Sharon Stone, Lambert Wilson and Frances Conroy. We learn about the film’s characters and story, cast and performances, costumes, animals on the set, fighting, and general thoughts. A few decent notes appear but this remains a fluffy promo piece.

A 2003 animated short called Chase Me lasts six minutes, 21 seconds. It shows a dialogue-free encounter between Bruce Wayne/Batman and Catwoman. Clearly from the Batman animated show, I suspect it originally came with speech and effects, but “Chase Me” turns it into a music video of sorts. That gives it a mildly interesting twist.

Five Additional Scenes fill a total of six minutes, 25 seconds. All seem inconsequential, as most offer extensions of existing sequences such as one during Patience’s initial transformation. An alternate ending does nothing to add spice to the proceedings – and comes with some of the most obnoxious camera movement I’ve ever seen.

The disc finishes with two ads. We get a teaser trailer and a theatrical trailer.

Catwoman might be the all-time worst big-budget superhero movie. It possesses few to no redeeming factors as it craps all over its franchise. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio along with supplements highlighted by an interesting character retrospective. As a Blu-ray, this release works, but the film itself stinks.

To rate this film, visit the 2005 DVD review of CATWOMAN

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