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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.
Fantastic style and atmosphere, but the script is a mess.
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.
Here's the thing with The Black Dahlia, it fits the time period greatly but the script is just boring and begins to get way too confusing. Set in the 1940s and everything accents that, the clothes, the tone it's very well done. I had actually never heard of the murder case this is based around so I thought that this would give me some interesting things to grasp me in but no, it was quite boring actually and when things happened I had know idea how they happened but they just conclude their problem so quickly that it's straight onto the next clue. I was lost in this film during the last quarter.
The Black Dahlia is based around a…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Admittedly I don't have any cinematic credits to my name, but you'd think it would be quite easy to make a decent film version of Ellroy's dazzlingly cinematic novel. Curtis Hanson's L.A. Confidential doesn't do justice to the transcendent source - for all its qualities it's too neat, too trite and has too little going on under the surface - but The Black Dahlia is a novel that's largely about cinema and has a single strong narrative packed with simple but effective set pieces. And say what you like about Brian DePalma (his films are usually crap, he has a stupid beard) - he knows his way around a sleazy narrative with glossy trappings.
As it is, the movie has…
Nota = 4
Brian De Palma definitely lost his mojo. His thrillers from this century are boring as hell and don't have the same violence and impact of his classic 70s and 80s movies. After the weak Femme Fatale, he directed the even worse Black Dahlia.
The film tells the story of a young Hollywood actress, who was murdered in the 40s, and the investigation of the crime by two policemen.
It's a waste of the talents of Scarlet Johanson and Hilary Swank, who is incredibly beautiful in this film as a femme fatale.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
This should have been so much better. A very good cast and based on a real life murder. Boy did this fail.
As mentioned in other reviews the plot is so convoluted that your head is spinning. I still don't get everything that occurred and what all the connections were. So it was convoluted... until the big reveal were everyone spills the beans and the default to the one person you didn't think did it because; she hardly in the film, and picking the crazy person is so obvious. And what about the original case?
Brian De Palma has never really done it for me.
Centering on one of the most notorious and unsolved crimes in American history, The Black Dalilah offers up a theory on the death of Elizabeth Short. She was an ambitious starlet who was found mutilated in a field before she herself found success. The film invents two fictitious detectives, Bleichert (Hartnett) and Blanchard (Eckhart), who become infatuated with the deceased. Their personal lives begin to crumble as they obsess over apprehending the killer.
But the most puzzling mystery is not who killed Short, it’s how Josh Hartnett ever had a career. He combines the dramatic range of a wood block with an invisible screen presence. Has there been a more lifeless narration since Mark Hamill in The Big Red One…
So much potential and promising talent and storyline and then it turns out like a pretty boring story with halfhearted performances from the actors and no memorable aspects of the film.
An aesthetically appealing recreation/pastiche of a filmic era, but it struggles to balance character drama and mystery plot in a sensical way. Acting suffers from the writing, maybe.
Really not very good. Where did De Palma go wrong? This is precisely the sort of film I would expect him to knock out of the park. It has so much potential and yet the story, acting and direction let it down.
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