Catwoman

By Adam Lippe

catwoman

I have now taken in Crowwoman, and my first thought has to do with the fact that my theory that if the hair and makeup are thrown together and lazy, then the rest of the movie is likely to be too,  is absolutely correct. While the hair isn’t as atrocious as Godsend, the makeup is. For a movie in which supposedly Sharon Stone has found the fountain of youth with her toxic makeup (so they steal an entire subplot from the first Batman movie?), she looks awfully frightening. I’m not sure whether it was simply the lighting, because Benjamin Bratt also looked not quite like a human being, where his skin seemed ethereal and a moldy brown. Of course this is indicative of pretty much everything in the movie, where each element is just slightly off. The special effects are really, really poor. I don’t know whether they intended it to look as phony with Berry jumping around video game style. There are moments where it almost seems like the film would like to jump into campville (especially Stone’s verging on “No more wire hangers!” performance, if she only had good lines), but it doesn’t have the balls, and falls back on the myths of the ancient cats, with voiceover advice coming to remind the audience at opportune times, as if it was Obi-Wan intoning about “The Force.”

There are strange shots and scenes everywhere, from swooping establishing shots that go through large glass buildings to reveal a cozy townhouse, to a really odd basketball sequence which implies that cats can do many fancy tricks with the ball, as opposed to say, pawing at it. Needless to say, all the dialogue is horrid, but not bad enough to laugh at, just a series of corny puns that probably had Batman & Robin screenwriter Akiva Goldsman taking notes. Sadly, there was not even one catastrophe joke. I was saddened by the embarrassment of Alex Borstein (Family Guy) as the “catty” and sexually coy best friend, but I guess it’s payback for so many atrocious seasons of Mad TV.

If there was one thing I loved, it was the aimless conclusion to set up a sequel (I can’t believe these same guys wrote The Game), seemingly forgetting that Catwoman has been unmasked, and her sole motivation was revenge against the people who killed her, who are now dead. Her “wild” side is supposed to be why she can’t spend her life with Bratt, but it doesn’t gel with the fact that she really isn’t that wild, and he is hardly stopping her in any way from being herself. Maybe she decided she preferred pussy?

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Roadracers

By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]


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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.