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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Video Beaverhausen: Catwoman starring Halle Berry

Halle, Sharon, melodrama
You may not realize it, but Dj Buddy Beaverhausen is only human too, currently laid low by an extreme head cold and even a touch of stomach flu. These health issues seem to be making their rounds on an international level that have a way of making me feel universally embraced, though not alleviating my illness at all.

Starving for entertainment, I searched through my dvd library for something to satiate me culturally this late night. I finally came across: Catwoman! I bought this for 99 cents several years ago and completely forgot about it, such was my enthusiasm at the time.

But, in a movie such as this 2004 flop, is a camp classic born. It seems the sexy villain from Bob Kane's Batman has a life of her own herein. And, inexplicably, her name is changed from Selena Kyle to Patience Philips.

Watch two Oscar-winning actresses' careers go down in flames, in which Berry shows inexplicable depth and athleticism as she transforms from milquetoast Patience to the awesome Catwoman. Looks good in a revealing black leatherette cat suit, too! Sharon Stone chews up the scenery in high style, meanwhile, as cosmetics queen Laurel Hedare. This movie advanced neither's career, it should be noted.

Still, I love this flick as an all-out campfest. Kind of Catwoman via Ugly Betty with Benjamin Bratt as eye candy in yet another stalwart cop role. (Not exactly a career booster for him, either, unfortunately.)

In this update of the Catwoman legend, Patience Philips is blown out into a sludge pile by a flood of toxic cosmetic waste, on behalf of Stone and her equally evil hubby. Thereafter, Patience gradually becomes empowered with growing feline-like dexterity, aggression and power.

None of this really makes sense, but that's all part of the so-bad-its good appeal. (Technical aspects are mostly very good.) Halle may approach the role very differently from Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, et al., but she can still trill a perfect "purrrrfect!"

There's some ancient-Egypt and witchcraft twaddle that gets thrown into the stew here, and the wonderful Frances Conroy conveys all this as if it's actually logical. "You are a Catwoman!" Now we are far afield of Bob Kane and Batman, but in some separate fantasy about female-cum-feline empowerment that's a giddy rush. Crazy cat ladies take note. This film was made for you!

Surely, some of director Pitof's (generally a special effects director) set pieces are intentionally playful. Like Catwoman going to a bar, ordering milk, then pouncing on the dancefloor with a catwhip. Alex Borstein is a stand out in the comic relief/sidekick part.

The fisticuffs between Berry & Stone give new meaning to the term "catfight." Stone makes a divine bitch and formidable foe in her strong supporting part, even with a bad cowlick on the back of her head. Her final, pyrotechnical fight with Berry is a camp classic!

Favorite line of dialogue: "Get your paws off me this instant!" Meow!

I feel better already. So will all you cat lovers out there!







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