By Mark Ramsey | 2004/07/25

The following was received by Variety and marked “For Peter Bart’s Eyes Only.” The return address said only:

Halle Berry’s Oscar

Halle Berry’s House

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

What you’re reading was leaked to this reporter from an unnamed source at Variety.

Dear Peter:

Is it safe to look yet? I’ve had my golden head buried in my shimmering hands since the Catwoman premiere.

Some ideas look great on paper and by “some” I don’t mean this one. Catwoman is a drinking game of cinematic proportions. Was this National Lampoon’s Catwoman? If only I had pants I would promptly shit them.


Welcome to a world without bed-head. A world where stilettos don’t impede scampering down the side of a building. A world where cops can’t fight crime like a dominatrix with impeccable lip gloss and the kind of costume you usually see wrapped around a pole.

Thanks to Catwoman, the Academy has decided to open a new Indian Giver branch which will award Oscars temporarily until the actor makes a dumbass career move or marries Jennifer Lopez. That redundancy aside, spots on the mantle of egomaniacal actors will now be open for commemorative plates, souvenir spoons, and certificates of completion from Passages Rehab Center in Malibu.

In the annals of awful movies two unintentionally hilarious moments now stand out: Elizabeth Berkley enthusiastically grinding on Kyle Maclachlan in Showgirls and Halle Berry enthusiastically grinding some catnip into her face in Catwoman. Said Halle: “I just visualized it was the ass of every member of the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press – the sucking up came naturally.”

“It all started on the day that I died,” this movie begins. And I thought, if this movie is over just as it opens at least the audience will leave happy. “The day I died was also the day I started to live,” it went on. And my spirits drained like puss from a festering wound.

catwoman_whip.jpgSo Halle is dead when a cat blows smoke in her face and brings her to life. I’ve seen Matthew McConaughey do this trick to a dog, but the dog just gets the munchies and never to my knowledge learns how to instinctively crack a whip.

Everyone fears Catwoman they way they would fear the cover of Cosmo. I know she’s supposed to be sexy, but if I had a penis I’d rub it on a scratching post first. How is she supposed to stop the bad guys? Titillate them into acquiescence? “You’re too sexy! My erection makes escape impossible! I surrender!”

The camera lingers on Halle’s toned torso as if all the action was about to pour out of her navel into the dramatic vacuum that was the rest of this movie. But no such luck. The only thing leaving her navel was her everlasting soul. Wave bye-bye, everybody! Bye-bye Halle’s soul!

Benjamin “Box Office Ebola” Bratt is in this movie. The last time Ben was in a star vehicle it was Julia Roberts’ Cadillac Escalade.

At the cold, dead heart of this tale is a revolutionary new cosmetic, Beau-line (clunkily pronounced Bee*au*lean), which reverses the effects of aging, but not the effects of deplorable filmmaking and the waste of millions of studio dollars.

Sharon Stone, “Kitty of the Year, 1992,” comes full circle in Catwoman. Sharon was the covermodel for the Beau-line cosmetics company “until I turned 40 and they threw me away.” Turned 40?! This trip down distant memory lane is brought to you by the makers of Ginko Biloba.

Sharon is slathered with enough clown white that she’s one red nose away from twisting balloons into animal shapes. “My skin’s like living marble – I can’t feel a thing,” she says as Halle’s face-punch is met with a “clang!” Truly, if Botox needles were flags you could play 18 holes on Sharon’s head.

Once the sexiest mama in motion pictures, Sharon is now an emblem for pathos past its prime, for the anxieties of aging and the desperate frenzy to preserve youth at all costs. For once, art really does imitate life – or at least a life-mask.

How can I worry about a cosmetics company scheming for world domination? Any industry that can’t conquer tiny facial lines is unlikely to conquer humanity. Watch out! They’re armed with Weapons of Moisturizing Destruction and incendiary blow dryers!

Catwoman is as boring as it is dreadful. “Sometimes I’m bad,” Halle says near the well-earned end of this movie.

You got that right, sister.

So if you see a little golden man with a pack on his shoulder thumbing a ride to Tarzana, don’t ask questions. Just know that Halle Berry has more shelf space for souvenir shot glasses and the liquor she’ll soon be stockpiling to lubricate them.


Halle Berry’s Oscar

Photos Copyright ©2004 Warner Bros. Pictures


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