Movie-Hype (#703) – THE BLACK DAHLIA
Madeleine: I think you'd rather fuck me than kill me. But you don't have the guts to do either.
-from THE BLACK DAHLIA
Boy in retrospect, how profound.
Going into THE BLACK DAHLIA you had almost a perfect storm of qualities I love in a movie. You had a film based on a James Ellroy novel, whose last adaptation produced arguably the best Crime Film in the last 25 years; L.A. CONFIDENTIAL. You had amazing director Brian De Palma, him of the ultra-sexy movies BODY DOUBLE and FEMME FATALE, and guy who just generally knows all there is to know about making sexy violent movies. (Check out his IMDB page if you don't believe me.) Furthermore you had Aaron Eckhart, one of my very favorite actors, Josh Hartnett (who's growing on me), and a trio of lovely ladies promising to get naked: Hilary Swank, Mia Kirshner and Scarlett Johansen. If that's not enough, there's a whole 1940s Hollywood lesbian angle. The film is based on one of the most famous murders in American history, a murder of a call girl. And it's my favorite genre, Noir! What more do you need?
This just goes to show you that great ingredients do not a great casserole make. THE BLACK DAHLIA is easily one of the ten most disappointing movies I've ever seen. My biggest complaint? That's easy: it's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRING. I would literally rather write the words "so boring" for the next two hours than watch that movie again. I mean, I can understand going over the edge in a movie like that. I can understand some roll-your-eyes dialogue. I can understand some cheesy scenes and a lot of unintentional humor. But the one thing a movie like that should not be is boring!
I have just cut 300 words from this review, because I refuse to give it one sentence further. Maybe we'll do a column down the road on that stud-muffin Brian De Palma. Maybe we'll talk about L.A. CONFIDENTIAL or great Crime Movies. But as for THE BLACK DAHLIA, you're officially on your own.