Plot: What’s it about?
While I was watching Halle Berry prance around in her black leather “catsuit”, something hit me…I could actually feel myself losing IQ points! Ok, not really but there’s some truth in that statement. For there are a couple of scenes that are so pointlessly integrated into “Catwoman”, that it defied any and all logic as to why they made the final cut. Consider the scene where the lead cat, “Midnight”, breathes toxic fumes into Patience (Berry) and thereby gives her “super” powers. Also consider her reaction to a ball of catnip which she rubs over her face. There’s a scene in which she finishes off half a dozen cans of tuna and yet another in which she eats sushi with lightning speed. Forgive me, but I thought all cats did was sleep? That said, “Catwoman” wasn’t nearly as bad as is sounds, but the frustrating thing was that it could have been so much better. Halle Berry has come up the ladder a few rungs ever since she won Best Actress for “Monster’s Ball”. It’s a given that she can act and one of the few that shares beauty and a great acting ability. So if a movie like “Monster’s Ball” showcased her acting ability, “Catwoman” must surely be to showcase her…(anyone, anyone) – body. Right? The character of Catwoman has had several on screen personas, up to and including Eartha Kitt, Lee Meriwether, Julie Newmar and my personal favorite Michelle Pfeiffer. But I’m forgetting something, aren’t I – oh yes, the plot.
We meet Patience Phillips (Halle Berry) as a shy and somewhat clumsy artist for a leading cosmetic company. She’s been given a second chance to redo an ad for her overbearing boss, but when she goes to deliver him the goods – she sees something she shouldn’t. Like any faceless (pardon the pun) corporation, they have hired goons and the hired goons kill Patience. Patience isn’t dead, though as she washes up on an island and is given new life by a group of…you guessed it – cats. She finds herself more confident, endowed with the agility and senses of a cat. She promptly tells her boss off and is even more promptly fired. What she intends to prove, though, is that the new line of cosmetics, called Beau-line, and actually causes serious physiological damage to the face of the user. Behind the scenes is Laurel Hedare (Sharon Stone), the wife of the CEO who has just been replaced by a younger model. Let us not forget the typecast Benjamin Bratt who plays a NYPD detective and also manages to date Patience. Catwoman walks a fine line between rogue hero and criminal in her exploits as the leather-clad feline and Tom (Bratt) can’t seem to piece together that the two are one and the same. Will Catwoman ever find the solice she’s looking for? Will Tom and her end up together? And where, oh where is that giant bowl of milk? All kidding aside, “Catwoman” isn’t nearly as bad as I’ve made out – but a few scenes do prohibit this movie from being genuinely entertaining. At the very least, we get to see a good part of the movie with Halle Berry leaping around in a leather jumpsuit…which is nice.
Video: How does it look?
“Catwoman” looks just as good as one might expect. The anamorphic 2.40: 1 image is crystal clear in most every scene and only in a few spots does it let up. I found a few of the scenes to be a bit on the soft side and as a majority of the movie takes place at night, there is room for some artifacting as well. Don’t let this distract you, however, because only in a handful of scenes is there anything remotely “wrong” with the picture. For those only wanting to view Berry in leather, skip the first 40 minutes of the movie and watch from there. Warner continues their fine efforts in the video department and this transfer is certainly the cat’s meow. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Audio: How does it sound?
On the audio front “Catwoman” delivers as well. Though an action/adventure movie, this is a bit more subdued than others out there. There are plenty of action sequences in which the speakers get to show off, but most of the action takes place in the front stage. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track delivers here. I was also very impressed by the amount of times that the surrounds were used. While this won’t blow the roof off, it’s a very solid-sounding track that’s sure to please. Turn it up and have fun!
Supplements: What are the extras?
There’s not a plethora of supplements on “Catwoman”, but just enough to whet the appetite. First up are a couple of featurettes: A standard “Behind the Scenes” look at the making of the film which shows the standard fare and a more interesting “The Many Faces of Catwoman”. This is hosted by Eartha Kitt (Catwoman #2 if I’m not mistaken) and shows a pretty in-depth look at the origins of the character from DC comics and interviews with the actresses who have played the frisky feline. There are about ten deleted scenes including an alternate ending. These vary from being shown in an open matte 1.85:1 image to a non-anamorphic 2.35:1 image. They don’t add a whole lot to the disc and the absence of commentary by director “Pitof” doesn’t offer any insight as to why these were cut. The original trailer is featured as well. Pop the DVD into the computer and you get some weblinks to Catwoman’s world. All in all, fans of Halle Berry should get a kick out of the movie and with excellent audio and video, it’s worth a look for sure.