Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Black Dahlia-review

Remember Brian de Palma for 'Scarface.' Remember James Ellroy for ‘LA Confidential.’ Forget both for ‘Black Dahlia.’ Forget the movie altogether if you want to.

Set is the gritty Los Angeles of ‘Confidential’ and ‘Chinatown’ the film recounts a grisly 1947 murder in ways that will make you yearn for the worst pulp fiction a nickel will buy.No doubt, trying for Raymond Chandler, who wrote pulp by his own account, the result is more like all those authors whose names were never worth remembering and their work never worth reading a second time. Leaden, almost comically bad, performances by Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johanssen and Josh Hartnett drag the film along. Hillary Swank tries to save the piece with a sultry vamp, as do cameos by a Cleopatra-extra-wannabe Rose McGowan and a campy lesbian lounge singer doing Billie Holliday played by k.d. lang.

Moments that could been classic film noir look more like an elementary school cafeteria. The trailer before the movie reminds viewers that this director brought us the far-out exotic look of ‘Scarface’, but the movie itself brings a pale domesticity to mind.

Wait for the DVD, and then wait for a really boring day.


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