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.
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.
We can trust Brian De Palma to take a mind-boggling, shocking and a true crime so evil in its execution and presentation that it not only shook Hollywood in 1947 but still remains a horrifying mystery to this day, and turn it in to something more complex than the ill-fated 'Heaven's Gate, 1980', a 315 minute film loosely based on the Jackson County War.
'Darlene always had a lot of boys around, even though she was married. This one guy was weird though. He used to bring her presents from Tijuana. I don't know why she was friends with him. She once told me he'd killed somebody.' - Clea DuVall as Linda del Buono in Zodiac, 2007
Two cops who…
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…
aaron eckhart shooing a crow away from a corpse is the best scene in this movie
I'm a huge fan of James Ellroy's novel and was very anxious to see it brought to life, but not like this. I remember going to see The Black Dahlia in the theater on its opening weekend and being so bothered by it that I almost walked out.
That was September 16, 2006.
Today I decided to give it another try; to see if the liberties taken with the story were less intrusive than I found them originally. They were. I probably haven't read the book since 2006, so I don't really remember it the way I did then, but this film is still horrid.
"We safekeep it for future generations."
Colors compliment our perspective of the time, golden and slightly nostalgic but shadowed and away-from-us, and turned to transgressive tool when measured against B&W smut as 1940s as Black Angel. The bloody teeth go on the paperwork to be itemized and filed away. Information gets out as long as you can sell it, but it's naive to think this starts and stops with the higher-ups when an average joe will sell you on their "truth", what they need to know and what they want you to know. What frustrates Bucky is that even when you have the real deal in motion (the audition footage) it's contextualized by half-truths that stuck because they sold well.…
So convoluted that an hour and a half in I was still wondering what the hell this film is supposed to be about. It doesn't help that the actors can't sell the hardboiled noir dialogue.
A De Palma highlight for me. Makes a good companion piece to Blow Out, both being films about men who will forever be haunted by death. That film may be his most emotionally raw while this is among his most removed. It plays out as a dark comedy subtly satirizing noir and German expressionism while going where neither of them dared in its nastiness.
Messy and kinda great De Palma that takes the premise and blows it to smithereens.
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.
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Following Horroctober, comes Noir-November, filled with Thrillers, Film Noir and Crime films.
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