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PUBLISHED JULY 23, 2004

'Catwoman' provides less than purr-fect performances

'CATWOMAN'

No Stars (Very Poor)
Rated PG-13 for violence and some sensuality.

Halle Berry is slinky and sultry in the title role of "Catwoman."

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Bill Muller
Gannett News Service

To: Ms. Halle Berry

From: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Re: "Catwoman"

Dear Ms. Berry,

While we at the Academy pride ourselves on having open minds and a strict noninterference policy concerning the roles chosen by our previous winners, we're forced to make an exception in your case.

If you would consult the paperwork that arrived with your statuette, I would direct you to section E, subsection 2b, in which the Academy can, in limited circumstances, rescind an award and request return of the statuette.

The specific language in question refers to winners who bring "shame, ridicule or derision" upon the Academy through "wanton, reckless and repeated dramatic incompetence." Given your consistent overacting and mugging in "Catwoman" (not to mention your previous work in "Gothika"), I think it would be difficult to argue this codicil does not apply.

So, at this time, we'd like to ask for our award back. While not related directly to this proceeding, the judicial board did pose several questions that you might entertain for our benefit.

(1) How exactly does you character, Patience Philips, turn into Catwoman?

She's lying on the ground and a cat crawls on her, and then she has superpowers. We realize it's an Egyptian cat, but it seems like such an animal would be more likely to make her "walk like an Egyptian" than teach her to ride a motorcycle and drive an 18-wheeler.

(2) Why does the director only have one name (Pitof)? Isn't that some kind of bread? Does this make it tougher for angry audience members to track him down and demand their money back?

(3) How does Patience's cop boyfriend (Benjamin Bratt) manage to show up in 20 seconds, no matter where and when Catwoman is? Does he have superpowers, too? Because we don't think he had superpowers on "Law & Order."

(4) Did Pitof realize that the special effects look like an Atari video game on the fritz?

(There was also a litter box question, but decorum prohibits me from including it.)

Undoubtedly, some national shills will deem "Catwoman" "purr-fect" or say it "claws its way to the top" among summer movies, but we must respectfully disagree.

This wretched film is nothing but an excuse to show you wearing that skimpy leather suit, though oftentimes, it's a computer-generated you wearing a computer-generated leather suit. It carries a severe cringe factor, such as when Patience's boyfriend is told upon arresting Catwoman, "you lost your woman but got your man." Ick.

After a search of our files, we were surprised to learn that your co-star in "Catwoman," Sharon Stone, has also been nominated for an Oscar. In "Catwoman," she seems to be confused, speaking her lines as if she was the title character in "I, Robot."

Please slip the statuette into the included padded, self-addressed, stamped envelope. Along with that cat suit.

Meow!


     

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