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Customer Review

22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'The Black Dahlia': A Misnomer of a Title, December 29, 2006
This review is from: The Black Dahlia (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Brian de Palma made an odd decision in creating this apparently very expensive, very strange and confusing version of a film, a movie less about the grisly/twisted unsolved murder (grossly illustrated ad infinitum here) of a wannabe 1940s actress of the title and more about two boxer cops (bland Josh Hartnett as 'Mr. Ice' and over the top Aaron Eckhart as 'Mr. Fire') and their bizarre ménage a trois with unfocused Scarlett Johansson. The film as written by Josh Friedman attempts to follow the novel by James Ellroy, itself a strange riff on the Black Dahlia murder. What results is an over produced, over directed, under realized recreation of the 1940s complete with slicky costumes and very loud music by (surprisingly!) Mark Isham.

There are so many subplots filled with walk on characters that keeping the story understandable is almost impossible - certainly not worth an attempt to capsulize for a review. There are some terrific little performances by Fiona Shaw as the druggie mad woman whose role becomes significant only at film's end, Hilary Swank as the copycat Dahlia who dallies in cops and soldiers and lesbians (convincingly so), and Mia Kirshner who presence as the true Black Dahlia is shown only in black and white film clips that indeed focus the unwieldy script while she is on!

Odd to see actors with the credentials of this cast wandering around in la-la land seemingly looking for a script that makes sense. But it is a pretty period piece to look at despite the lack of reasonable storyline. Grady Harp, December 06
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 29, 2006 10:36:02 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 18, 2013 5:08:54 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2007 12:37:43 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 19, 2007 1:18:19 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 1:22:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 19, 2007 1:23:00 PM PST
KrossD says:
Thank you M.J. Leonard!! Thank you!!

I had to dig for this but it helps put things in perspective. You're one of the 139 friends. You're part of the "CIRCLE"...and a top 500 reviewer to boot! I also see you listed as Michael Leonard from Silverlake (no picture on that one). Is that in order to turbo-charge your vote? Seems kind of silly, but what you do in the privacy of your own home is none of my business!

I couldn't actually find your Black Dahlia review to compare votes but I assume it all panned out for you.

***********************************************************************

I didn't mean to delete this post. Sorry, I hope it's not too much trouble for the anonymous 5 (and more I'm sure) to vote no all over again.

Posted on Feb 11, 2008 2:45:32 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 5, 2008 1:32:39 PM PDT]

Posted on May 2, 2011 1:41:36 AM PDT
I always thought "True Confessions" was a riff on the Ellroy thing.
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Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Grady Harp
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

Location: Los Angeles, CA United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 91