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Anne Hathaway’s “Dark Knight Rises” Catwoman: How does it compare to previous versions?

Anne Hathaway’s “Dark Knight Rises” Catwoman: How does it compare to previous versions? (photo)

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From the campy 1960s-era version of Catwoman to the version of the character seen in the upcoming “Batman: Arkham City” video game, the on-screen incarnations of Gotham’s feline-friendly burglar have changed quite a bit over the years. Today we got our first look at Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in “The Dark Knight Rises,” and given the character’s long history in the comics world, this first image offers a lot to ponder for Bat-fans.

In order to get some perspective on what Hathaway’s take on the character may or may not share with its predecessors, we’ve put together a list of some of Catwoman’s most notable on-screen iterations and compared them to what we’ve seen so far from “The Dark Knight Rises.”


Julie Newmar & Eartha Kitt “Batman” (1966)

Both Newmar and Kitt sported the same Catwoman costume on the 1960s live-action “Batman” television series, and it’s not surprising that Christopher Nolan appears to be distancing his version of Selina Kyle from one of the character’s more campy iterations. While there is a bit of a shine to Hathaway’s outfit, it’s nowhere near the metallic sparkle of Newmar and Kitt’s slinky costume, which was actually constructed by Newmar herself.


Michelle Pfeiffer, “Batman Returns” (1992)

When Tim Burton brought Batman back for a sequel, he introduced a new, live-action version of Catwoman, too. Pfeiffer’s take on Catwoman was very much in the Burton style: a slightly mad, disturbingly dangerous, and ultra-sexy version of the character. Her costume was composed of skin-tight vinyl that covered most of her body (but left little to the imagination), and only portions of her face were seen under a cat-eared mask. As expected, Hathaway’s look is significantly less S&M (and more H&M) than Pfeiffer’s take on the character.


“Batman: The Animated Series” (1992) – Voiced by Adrienne Barbeau

Catwoman’s costume in this fan-favorite series retained the form-fitting, one-piece suit she’d been sporting in the comics and on the big screen (“Batman Returns” was released just a few months before the cartoon premiered). However, instead of shiny vinyl, this animated Catwoman robbed from the rich while wearing a dull gray costume with black boots, gloves, and portions of her mask. She also retained the whip her character has wielded from her early days. Though this look is a little closer to Hathaway’s Selina Kyle, it’s still a far cry from what we’ve seen of the “Dark Knight Rises” actress thus far.


Halle Berry, “Catwoman” (2004)

What to say about this number? Berry’s Razzie-winning turn as Catwoman invoked no small amount of criticism, and her costume was by far the most skin-revealing of all the the on-screen iterations. Once again reverting back to the bondage-queen motif, Berry’s look in this film included a bizarre helmet/mask combination and clawed gloves, with the latter being the only truly notable nod to the character’s past costumes. While there were probably a lot of people hoping to see Hathaway in a costume resembling Berry’s “Catwoman” ensemble, everything we’ve seen so far – and let’s face it, common sense — says not to expect any nods to this low point in the character’s history.


“The Batman” (2004) – voiced by Gina Gershon

Returning to the one-piece, form-fitting look of “Batman: The Animated Series,” this version of Catwoman sports a black, skin-tight costume and mask with massive “ears” and large googles that make her look even more cat-like than previous iterations. She also carries her whip on her lower back, making it appear as if she has a tail. While this version of the character also differs greatly from what we’ve seen of Hathaway’s Catwoman, the “Dark Knight rises” photo released today does show her with a pair of high-tech goggles. That’s pretty much where the similarities end, though.


“Batman: The Brave and the Bold” (2008)

Created as a nostalgic throwback to Batman’s campier days, this animated series featured a Catwoman more in line with the character’s Golden Age design. Instead of blacks or grays (or shiny vinyl), the “Brave and the Bold” Catwoman dressed in bright purple, and instead of head-to-toe spandex, she wore a long skirt. One thing she does have in common with Hathaway’s Catwoman (and the Newmar/Kitt versions of the character) is that she doesn’t hide away her long hair underneath her mask.


“Batman: Arkham City” (2011) – voiced by Grey DeLisle

Probably the closest approximation to what we’ll see Hathaway wear as Catwoman in “The Dark Knight Rises” is the version of the character seen in early images from the “Batman: Arkham City” video game. A more utilitarian, military design is the key to the game’s take on Catwoman, and it was inspired by the grittier tone of her comic counterpart these days. Less sexpot and more cat burglar, this version of Catwoman is still easy on the eyes, but also comes equipped with high-tech gear like we see Hathaway wielding in the most recent “Dark Knight Rises” image. Heck, if you look closely, you can even see that Hathaway has a zipper pull right up by the neckline of her outfit, much like her counterpart in “Arkham City” — though the latter spends most of her time with it unzipped.


What do you think of Hathaway’s Catwoman costume so far? Which Catwoman was your favorite over the years? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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