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    1. What's in a name? Patience Phillips' Catwoman

      For anyone who doesn't recognize Patience Phillips, she was Halle Berry's Catwoman in the most terrible superhero film - Catwoman (2004)...that I really enjoyed it. Probably because it wasn't...

      For anyone who doesn't recognize Patience Phillips, she was Halle Berry's Catwoman in the most terrible superhero film - Catwoman (2004)...that I really enjoyed it. Probably because it wasn't well-received, it's often overlooked when talking about things like "the first female hero on screen" or "the first black hero..." sort of things. And technically, Catwoman's not a superhero.

      Spoilers ahead. I'm also going to keep my points to the story and characters themselves. I honestly had no issues with any of the actors.

      The good

      • The theme and social commentary on make-up, beauty products, self-harm/addiction and image issues woman do face. The added layer of cooperate greed. The idea of what you see in the mirror vs. what others see (and if they're right), alongside what you want to present to the world or to specific people - honestly this movie has probably one of the best takes on "the cost of beauty" that I've seen in a while, and since.
      • The scene where Tom thinks he's saving a jumper, but Patience is actually trying to save a cat. This random scene turns out to be a great storytelling scene when brought up again after Tom arrests Patience for murder and she asks him what he first saw the first time they met.
      • Laurel is probably the most interesting character in this movie. There's a really well-framed shot of her photos being removed from her company lobby in favour of a younger model. I think it's one of the best scenes in the movie. Laurel is capable, powerful, rich and very accomplished, but somehow her relevance still fades as her beauty does. (I can honestly say I generally can't stand the evil step-mother wrestling with her fading beauty and taking out her bitterness on some young snow white-y girl, but this one worked for me.)
      • I loved that Batman wasn't in it (but didn't really like that a love interest still had to be introduced).

      The bad

      • That she's call Patience Phillips...but honestly this is the warning to divorce this from any Catwoman or female superheros (or anti-heros) you know.
      • Patience doesn't earn her "powers" - Selina Kyle (Catwoman in basically all other versions) works obsessively to perfect all her abilities. She's an insanely good cat burglar, not a magic cat.
      • Patience doesn't earn or drive her own growth. There is basically no growth as a character. A magic cat ghost could have simply possessed Patience's body and the story would be the same.
      • Oversexualization of Catwoman...which I didn't even know could be a thing until this movie. Black leather for a sexy Catwoman - awesome. Whatever the belt thing was - grossly missed the point while trying to copy Pfeiffer's patched up catsuit.
      • I'm also not the biggest fan of make-over tropes in general.

      The ugly

      • The basketball scene - just everything about it.
      • The hate that surrounded the movie because Catwoman wasn't blonde (or Michelle Pfeiffer), and that Batman's not in it.
      • The physical punch-them-out fight scene between Laurel and Catwoman in the end - just why? This isn't a movie at all about physical strength, and having a "face like marble" isn't a real power. (To be fair, I don't like this showdown in really any superhero movie, with the exception of The Death of Superman.)

      The cheesy

      • The crazy cat-lady Patience goes too, and her tossing a cat toy at her
      • The sushi eating scene
      • The in case of date emergency kit her friends gave her.
      • Laurel seeing her cracked beauty in the moment of a showdown fight
      • The cat scratches on Tom
      • Her best friend hooking up with her doctor
      • The comparing signatures on the coffee cups
      • Her Marvel-like comic book name

      Final thoughts

      So yeah...I would recommend this movie, and really hope that when they do make another Catwoman film that it might share some themes. Have you seen this movie? Did you hate it? Who's your favourite Catwoman? What would you like to see in a Catwoman movie?

      10 votes