Catwoman - 2004
Catwoman is directed by the man, the myth, the legend: Pitof. Just… Pitof. You know, like Madonna, or Charo. It also has six credited writers. When will Hollywood dare to have more than six writers in their movies? The movie stars Halle Berry and Sharon Stone, both playing themselves, but one is in a black leather suit and the other one has a white leather suit. The story centers around… what story, let’s just start.
Opening line: “The day that I died was also the day I started to live”. I mean, have you ever read or heard something so deep? I had to hit pause after I heard the voice of Halle Berry say that as an image of her lifeless body floated in the water. That line took my breath away. As the kids, would say, #DEEP. I’m cool.
This movie expects us to believe that everyone around Halle Berry finds her ugly. That nobody pays attention to her or is attracted to this graphic designer. She does have her hair unkempt, and gurl that top does not go with those shoes. Her boss also tells her that she needs a manicure, disgusting. It’s still Halle Berry, come on.
Her character name is Patience, and that is the most ironic piece of information the writers gave their audience, as you will need a lot of Patience in this movie. Apparently, she works for an evil makeup company, you know those like MAC or Clinique. It’s run by Sharon Stone and her husband. The anti-aging creams they sell have long term side effects that turn your face into bad CGI. Scary stuff. The word can’t get out that Stone can’t afford good CGI so the goons go after Berry when she accidently walks in on a secret meeting. She ends up down by the river and we have come full circle to the deep moment we opened the movie with. It’s like Memento, but bad.
Berry is saved by cats. I always thought that Catwoman was like Batman, just a normal human being that liked leather a lot and had good cardio. But apparently, a cat burps magic into your mouth and you get superpowers. She now has cat eyes. Fun Fact about cats that I learned from this movie is that they have zoom in and out features built in to their eyes. She can also jump really high and turn into a PlayStation 2 character. Oh, yeah, she can’t resist catnip… get it? She also now has, like, an attitude problem. You can say that the claws came out... First and last cat pun, I promise.
There has always been a huge debate among basketball historians - Michael Jordan or Halle Berry - and this movie certainly gives a leg up, if you will, to Berry. In a sequence that has over 70 edits they showcase Berry’s, umm, “intangibles” on the court. Alright I can hear you already saying “MJ went up against Joe Dumars, Gary Payton and John Starks. Berry is being guarded by Benjamin Bratt.” Fair point, imaginary reader, but you should take a closer look. Pratt is 6’2 and probably around 200 pounds of pure lean muscle. Halle Berry is 5’5 and probably around 120 pounds. That’s 7 inches and 80-pounds advantage that Berry stills overcomes and DOMINATES. I’m not saying not MJ, I’m just saying don’t sleep on Berry.
When does she fully become Catwoman? Well, like any screenwriter worth two cents will tell you, a woman can’t fully change until she cuts her hair. But since she is a “superhero” she uses two scissors instead of one and dyes her bangs. Transformation is not complete until she breaks out the leather and steals a bike. Berry freaks out that she is turning into a PlayStation 2 character that fights crime and seeks answers from Lady Exposition. Lady Exposition tells her everything the script says the audience needs to know to buy into why she has powers.
Next scene is the now famous sexy cat walk…. Sorry that pun got away from me… or her strutting her stuff on the rooftops. Sad, we didn’t get a sequence of her making the new outfit, but nonetheless she is now 100% PlayStation 2 Catwoman. Enjoy. Side note: when I did some research into this film I found this quote regarding her catsuit: "We wanted a very reality-based wardrobe to show the progression from demure, repressed Patience to the sensual awakening of a sexy warrior goddess." Sexy warrior goddess, I totally got that.
Catwoman is now set on the path of vengeance, tracking down who killed her. I mean, why would she want to get even with the people that killed her, because according to her that’s the day she started to live? Shouldn’t she thank them?
She finds her man in the club and she goes in after him. Nobody questions why a woman is walking around with a mask and a leather whip... That’s my kind of club. She dances and seduces him with her whipping of the air and draws him outside to deliver her brand of justice. What’s her brand of justice? 75 jump cuts of pure “hand to hand action” that would make even Liam Neeson jealous. That’s a Taken 3: The Takening reference. Bad guy #1 dead. I guess he didn’t have nine lives. Last one I promise.
Stone apparently has super powers from all the creams she has put on her face. She has unbreakable skin. I think it’s very vague as to how far she applied that cream and the effects it has on her. Side note: I think half the production budget went towards taking photos of Sharon Stone and blowing them up into huge canvases.
Catwoman is framed for MurrRRrder. Stone killed her husband and has the perrRRfect patsy in Catwoman. Police finally tracks her down and it’s her man that has to bring her in. Now Benjamin Pratt must decide between love and duty. I’m laughing at the word duty. While in prison she decides to once again take matters into her own paws.
Final showdown between Berry and Stone. They destroy way too many pictures of Stone in the process. Why would you spend that amount of money on something you are going to destroy? During the fight scene, there is an exchange between them that they say: “Game over.” “Guess what? It’s Overtime.” I love how she came back to her basketball roots. She scratches her face but I guess this time she means it because she can crack through her marble exterior and Stone or a mannequin or a base jumper falls down the building to her death.
The movie is bookended by the same sentence, “The Day I died is the day I started to live.” Chills up and down my spine. It ended. Halle Berry playing basketball is why I love movie.
Catwoman is currently streaming on Netflix. You should cat-ch it if you’re feline it.
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