Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
The Black Dahlia
Inspired by the most notorious unsolved murder in California history.
Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart) and Bucky Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) are former boxers-turned-cops in 1940's Los Angeles. When aspiring young actress Elizabeth Short (Mia Kirshner) turns up dead, Blanchard and Bleichert must grapple with corruption, narcissism, stag films, and family madness as they pursue the killer.
Golden hues turn flat-out angelic when they light up Johansson, though they also project a shadow behind her that looks like the outline of those too close to ground zero of a nuclear strike. The son of a Kraut immigrant knows before his superior officers come to him to fix an exhibition match that he has to use to his all-American partner and friend. That same man feels an empathy for the people of color terrorized by a local killer, but the partner quickly transfers the pair of them to follow up on this mysteriously and gruesomely mangled white girl. The partner has an obsessive need to rescue or avenge women, but he views them as damaged goods afterward; his…
Not even the great Brian De Palma could save this film with such an inexperienced screenwriter as Josh Friedman who's known for Chain Reaction and the War of the Worlds remake. I actually liked the atmosphere, but the narrative was far from fluid. A lack of focus on the murders while focusing on silly attempts at drama just doesn't interest me. The casting was okay and yet lacked any standout performances.
They had quite the budget for this film and didn't quite make it back. Makes me wonder what they spent it on. At least it had the look of a noir type film with leads who did a decent job with their roles. My problems are with the story and its contrived twists that attempt to be clever. Josh Friedman could learn a lot from the movie, Zodiac.
It is something of an achievement that De Palma managed to make such a dull film out of such sensationalist material, but that is the sad truth about the film. It looks gorgeous and rightly deserved its Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography. Even the performances aren’t bad, with Hartnett, Eckhart and Johansson all looking right at home in the 40s film noir environment. However, a combination of the slow pacing, subdued tone and lack of much real action or drama make for an incredibly dull viewing experience.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I tried to like this film more, but it ended up getting in it's own way too much. The ending is too convoluted and unbelievable to be taken seriously, and not nearly as close to L.A. Confidential as it thinks it is.
I know it's a work of fiction, but solving The Black Dahlia murder is never the main point, it's just a presence looming in the background. Not enough attention is paid to it, but at the same time, too much. The film shifts focus too much.
While the setting, (most of) the acting and the cinematography are exceptional, the story itself just kind of withers and dies. It's not boring, but it doesn't leave much to care about.…
Brian De Palma is probably my favourite director.
He is Hollywoods master of suspense. And even in films that do not reach the heights of some of his work, there are still moments of brilliance contained within. He has been responsible for some sensational scenes, and The Black
Dahlia contains many.
This is not a film that's going to be shouted about by many, but it is certainly one that will be loved by few. It is beautiful, stylised, film noir. Loaded with plenty of De Palma's inventive style, stylish design, and strong performances. It's atmosphere and attitude must be at the envy of other films.
It's fucking complicated though.
Like a Messi dribble there is twist after twist, but unlike the little man it almost falls on its arse. There is just too much meandering and too many loose ends.
The Black Dahlia is not one of Brian De Palma's best, but it is certainly one of his good.
I can only imagine someone walking into this expecting a Zodiac type period piece, and getting a tawdry love triangle throwback. The acting and narration is knowingly stilted, and it depicts this era of LA very well (I love the production design). I think it's lacking De Palma's usual flourishes though.
So campy and overwrought it's unbelievable. Still, you can't take your eyes off it even if you feel a bit insulted by the end.
Uninvolving, confusing and ultimately boring and inconsequential. No-one could have done much with this script, so expecting Josh Hartnett to carry the film was an exercise in naive optimism.
Looks nice, but no-one doubts De Palma's talent in that area.
Looks good (almost like a colourised version of Sin City) yet it always feels like it's over-reaching. Hartnett isn't a strong enough actor to carry the weight of the lumpy script. Only Johansson comes out of this looking good. Even Swank seems to struggle.
A classic case of style over substance. The setting and cinematography were beautiful, but the story failed to deliver, and the plot twists really didn't pack as much emotion or intrigue as they could have. This movie had a lot of potential but just never really gave you anything to hook onto, which really disappointed me.
Incoherent and I read the book. Every part was miscast. A shame.
bring in the 3hour cut and we may have something more satisfying and complete. But i like the movie as it now aswell.. mysterious and sexy and beautiful but lacking some emotional resonance and spark to go with a few of the slower scenes.
Some inadequate casting gets in the way of what is otherwise a truly superb picture.
Mutilation of the face
Josh Hartnett should stop acting.
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