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Razzie Winner for Best(Worst) Picture - "CATWOMAN" - CinemaDave

Feb. 28th, 2005 10:27 pm Razzie Winner for Best(Worst) Picture - "CATWOMAN"

Last Summer "Lara Croft Tomb Raider The Cradle of Life" was released to cruel criticism and a weak box office. While not as bad of what mainstream critics maintained, this Lara Croft sequel has enjoyed a second life on the DVD shelf. Angelique Jolie gave a charming performance between moments of Saturday Matinee heroics worthy of Nyoka the Jungle Woman. Halle Berry does strike a similar chord with this summer's critical target, **Cat woman.** Like Jolie, Berry gives a likable performance as an action heroine. Berry makes the transition from a frumpy, but friendly loser who grows into a confident individual with a dual identity.

Patience Phillips (Berry) is the best commercial artist for the Hedare Cosmetic Corporation. Phillips is often taken advantage of by her mean Boss, George Hedare (Lambert Wilson).. Hedare has created a wrinkle free cream that is addictive. If customers quit using the anti-aging cream, their faces rot away. Phillips bumbles unto this corporate conspiracy and is flushed away into a chemical sewage drain.

Phillips is given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by an Egyptian Mau cat. Phillips awakes from her cat nap and plots revenge on her tormentors. Upon returning to her apartment , Phillips changes from a meek personality to that of a feline minx. She begins robbing jewelry stores and dates Officer Lone (Benjamin Bratt), a tough cop who partakes in charity events for children. The plot further thickens when George Hedare begins to bicker with his cosmetic trophy wife, Laurel (Sharon Stone).

Warner Brothers had been planning a "Catwoman" movie for 12 years. Originally Michelle Phillips was supposed to reprise her role as the kitten with a whip as a spin off from "Batman Returns." Three years ago Ashley Judd's name was attached to this project. Halle Berry eventually got the role with multiple character revisions and no mention of Batman or Robin, Berry's best moments are based on humor. After being revived, Berry's first reaction is to cough up a hair ball.

The major flaw with "Catwoman" is Director Pitof's reliance on computer animation. The film moves as if it is a video game as Catwoman jumps from building to building on some nocturnal quest. With such a reliance on special effects, one wonders why producers cast expensive actors in these comic books roles.

Compared to "Spider-Man 2," there is a definite lack of audience empathy for the leading characters of "Catwoman." Sharon Stone and Lambert Wilson's villainy lacks the dimension of Alfred Molina's conflicted Doctor Octopus in the arachnid sequel. As Catwoman's boy toy, Benjamin Bratt looks like he wants to return to some version of "Law & Order."

Still **Catwoman** is not a bad movie if you do not pay for it. At least there are some nice bits of business in Berry's performance that cat lovers will appreciate. I am just glad I am a dog person!

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