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The Black Dahlia
7 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Brian DePalma

Written By:
James Ellroy, Josh Friedman

Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, Mia Kirshner, Hilary Swank, Mike Starr, Fiona Shaw, Patrick Fischler, Troy Evans, Pepe Serna, Angus MacInnes, Rachel Miner, Anthony Russell, John Kavanagh, James Otis, James Otis

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The Black Dahlia (2006)
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Movie Review by The Alpha Craig
September 30th, 2007

Turn that frown upside down.

To say this movie was hard to follow would be a bit of understand. Following a fart on a windy day would be easier. It is not that I am too slow to understand what was going, it was that the story seemed to want to lose you by throwing in unnecessary twists that don't add to the plot. Don't get me wrong, it was an interesting story, I just think they tried to hard to put too much intrigue in to keep you captivated. The other thing that was strange about the film was that everybody starring in it looked unusual in some manner. I will explain that later.

Lee Blanchard and Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert are part time boxers who are also detectives for the LAPD who go by the names Mr. Fire and Mr. Ice. Detective Blanchard gets them put on a murder case of a young aspiring actress Elizabeth Short. As they peel back the layers of case Bleichert finds there is a whole lot more on the line than just a simple murder. He needs to find the connection between the murder and his partner while fighting the advances of Kay Lake, Blanchard's love interest.

I love the fact that this movie has the same sepia tone/aged newspaper look to the film that Hollywoodland did (and this was another "based on actual events" crime story.) There is a clear sign of setting the mood and of an old 40s PI movie. If the story went along with that, it would have made the movie much easier to watch. Since they were following the era, everybody was constantly smoking and if they weren't smoking, they were lighting up. This is an issue for me because I am quitting so every five minutes I was craving a smoke. Getting into what I was saying about the cast looking unusual, I found that everybody seemed to be wearing some kind of prosthetic make-up to look different. The sad part is they weren't, it is just how they look.

Josh Hartnett (RESSERECTING THE CHAMP) as Dwight 'Bucky' Bleichert didn't bother me as much as I thought he would. He does bug me for some reason and reminds me of Henry Thomas (Elliott from ET). I just can't get past the image and take him seriously. Aaron Eckhart (THANK YOU FOR NOT SMOKING) as Leonard 'Lee' Blanchard has a chin that doesn't quit. Aside from that, he played the obsessive detective very well but it was never really fully explained why he was so driven. Scarlett Johansson (THE NANNY DIARIES) as Katherine 'Kay' Lake just didn't cut it for me. I don't find her attractive and I can't see the appeal at all. I actually think she looks rather weird and the character was so ambivalent that I hated her. Hilary Swank (IRONMAN) as Madeleine Linscott was intriguing at least. I knew she was up to something throughout the whole film so finding out what part she played felt anti-climactic. Mia Kirshner (BUY BORROW STEEL) as Elizabeth Ann Short/The Black Dahlia was flaky. She seemed like someone who had no skills trying to take on a job requiring years of experience. I didn't feel like it was any more sad that she was killed than anybody else. This movie had potential to be much better than it was and it just didn't take full advantage of that in my opinion.

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