The Black Dahlia

I don't know what the hell I just saw. I don't know why I went to see it. And I don't know what to make of it. Five minutes into this movie I was hit with stunning a one-two punch of not knowing what's going on and not caring to know what's going on. Yet I was strangely fascinated with this flick's high-end level of glossed-out terribleness. For a nice chunk of this movie I stared at it with my mouth hanging open. Refusing to believe it was as incomprehensible as it insisted. And line after line of bad dialogue would fat guy cartwheel off the screen and land right in my lap leaving it up to me to decide if it was joking or not. And for this movie's sake, I hope it wasn't taking itself seriously all the way through. Because the fact that it was occasionally campily funny (intentionally or not) was the only thing keeping this movie from easily falling on the top five worst movies of the 21st century.

I mean jeez friggin louise! If they told me this script was written by eleven different writers on twelve different kinds of drugs who had absolutely no idea what the other writers were writing about... it would explain alot.  Yeah I didn't read the book and maybe I'm 'out of it' but you can't possibly be 'in' enough to make sense of this knocked over salad bar of a movie. Sure, there were glimpses of good ol' De Palma in there underneath the muck. A coolio shadowly angle. A demented character wildly overacting. A jolty gun shot. Distractingly loud score. Tasty cheese. But for the most part it just made me a little sad because there seemed to be a good movie hidden underneath this explosion of awfultility. If it just either let go completely or tightened everything up. The middle ground is nowhere.

Ummm... something that would help a clunker like this is to actually cast real actors for the lead parts. Josh Hartnot, Scarlett Johnson, and that other dude with the mutant flat face I forgot his name. Carl Eggert? I dunno. Flatliners the lot of them. No connection to each other or us. The Johnson is particularly whatevery. Enough with her for a while please. Yeah, I did like Hilary Swank as Morticia Adams but I don't even know what she was doing there. Did she have to go this far just to get a role with an accent? I get it, honey! You can act! You're good! I got it! Yay. (PS. You get to see her butt crack. Like half butt.)

Maybe I'm being too harsh on this movie. There were a few scenes that were actually fun to watch. In fact, a bunch of times I was convinced I would love certain scenes if I had any idea who or what anyone was talking about--and why. It was all a blur. I did consider walking out a bunch of times but I hung in there-- and thankfully it did payoff in the end. Because for the first hour forty, this movie was like the Yo-Yo ride at the amusement park going round and round all ridiculous-- but with 20 minutes left one of those chairs snapped off and flung someone off into the parking lot. It just derailed altogether. It flipped. I was laughing out loud at the screen. Alot. Hysterical. Almost in John Waters waters. "She looks like that dead girl!" Maybe it was because I was delirious from the pummeling of insanity this movie assaults you with... but fortunately I wasn't alone. Toward the end, most of the theater was laughing at this movie too. And I think it was relief for all of us. Cathartic. Like the first time you laugh after a friggin funeral.

Three Good Things About this Movie

- Scarlett Johnson has nice cans.
- The cars were amazing looking (seriously). It made me depressed about today's cars.
- The woman who played the wife of the guy was nicely wacked out.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- The utter disregard for the fact that people would be watching this movie.
- The acting, script, dialogue, and music.
- It was like connect the dots on spinart.

All in all, I don't know why this movie is here. I think the only way to enjoy this movie is if you're in lerve with that particular time period. The late 40's. Old Hollywood. Cool hats and squinty eyes. Cigarettes. Martinis. Dames. Quick speak. And splashy newsprint. If you dig all that stuff, check out this flick. It's not a bad looking movie. It's just probably better with the sound off. Or better yet with another soundtrack played over it. Like Planet of the Apes or Khan or something. Seeing if another movie (Pretty in Pink?) syncs up at all would be more interesting than watching this movie as is. Because as is... it ain't.