Monday, July 19, 2004

Catwoman or Death?

I'm always loath to judge anything with complete information, but what I've seen of Catwoman thus far makes me reluctant to shell out for tickets. That's too bad, because I generally enjoy Halle Berry, and, yes, Sharon Stone too, bless her addled little brain. I'd just rather see them both in something reasonably competent that didn't look like it was based on a rejected script from Dr. Fetish's House of Video.

Every time I see a photo of poor Halle in that grotesque costume, I wonder, "What in the world is that monstrosity on her head?" It's one thing to wear a mask that looks like a panther; it's entirely another to wear the entire panther. And whose lame idea was it to slice the toes off her boots? One good stomp, and any villain will have her at his/her mercy.

And since we're on the subject, here's the official SwanShadow ranking of Catwomen past:

1. Julie Newmar. It's not hard to imagine what Wong Foo saw in her. You just knew she could whip Adam West's bat-tocks every way from Sunday, and have a royal time doing it. Look up statuesque in the dictionary, and there's a picture of Ms. Newmar. I understand she sports an equally towering IQ. Doesn't seem quite fair, does it?

2. Eartha Kitt. You might argue with the look, but you couldn't question the style. That voice was Catwoman. Even though neither has anything to do with this particular role, she earns bonus points for her voice work in one of my favorite Disney films, The Emperor's New Groove, and for her spectacularly sultry vocal jazz stylings. C'est si bon.

3. Michelle Pfeiffer. I loved her in The Fabulous Baker Boys — I'll never hear "Makin' Whoopee" again without thinking of her draped over Jeff Bridges' piano — but she seemed out of her element as a supervillain. Too blonde, too skinny, too porcelain, too lightweight. And that saddle-stitched leather outfit — blech. Like Frankenstein being played by a china doll.

4. Lee Meriwether. I'm sure she's a very nice woman, and she was a fine, upstanding Miss America. But she had all the acting talent of a rutabaga, with charisma to match. She was better, with less to do, standing around holding a clipboard and looking worried on Irwin Allen's The Time Tunnel, and toting Buddy Ebsen's oxygen tank and nitroglycerine on Barnaby Jones.

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