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Catwoman

Year: 2004
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Pitof
Producer: Denise Di Novi
Cast: Halle Berry, Benjamin Bratt, Sharon Stone, Lambert Wilson
With all the magical things computers can do in Hollywood, they still have a really hard time getting a decent script out of one. What's more, these TV commercial/video game directors should spent more time eliciting decent performances out of 'actors' and a bit less time in action sequence software design.

With its many failings, more should have been done with its good aspects to make it stand out more.

Halle left her Oscar at home the day she signed up for this film. Her portrayal of shrinking violet graphic designer turned street vigilante Patience Phillips is what you'd except from a Year 8 school production, her every gesture too obvious, every line unsubtly reminding you of what she'll become.

The arc of her character as she comes into it's own is basically Daredevil, Spiderman, the Hulk, Batman and The Punisher all over again. We see the sort of person she was, the life-changing event that made her into a hero, and her exit against the moonlight when she finally comes to terms with what she's become.

And the whole time, there's a romantic subplot with the cop determined to bring Catwoman down. Any suspense that could be derived from the irony of him falling for the woman behind the mask is blown away far too early to let the novice French director get back to the business of superhuman fighting and cocaine-high visuals.

The 'deeper' subplot - of the liberation of women from gender persecution, has been much discussed and bandied about in the film's marketing, but don't except Germaine Greer's endorsement any time soon. This is Hollywood's idea of women's lib; wear an outfit that makes you look like an expensive hooker, have a washboard abdomen and beat the shit of people. Or more simply, get what you can using your sexuality - the sort of ideal many feminists believed enslaved womankind to start with.

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