The Black Dahlia


Just like my last review, Burn After Reading, I was giving this film a second chance. I will say the result didn’t change much from what I thought of it in the theatre. Since it was directed by Brian De Palma (Mission Impossible), I expected so much more. The theatrical trailer for this movie was so misleading. The trailer really sells the Black Dahlia murder, and the film really doesn’t focus on that at all. The focus of the film seems to center around the two cops that were at the crime scene, Josh Hartnet (Pearl Harbor) and Aaron Eckart (Thank You for Smoking) and their relationship with Scarlett Johanson (The Other Boleyn Girl). Before any murder even takes place, the story seems to be more worried about creating a boxing rivalry between Eckhart and Hartnet.

As far as the cast, there are a lot of big names in this film and none of them seem to deliver. Josh Hartnet seems to look as disgusted during the film as I was watching the film…FOR A SECOND TIME! I even thought the saving grace for me might be Scarlett Johanson, just because she is in it (Just as Daniel Craig and Adrien Brody are my better half’s saving graces), but she seemed to just be in the frame reading lines. And then there is Hilary Swank (Best Actress Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don’t Cry), what was she thinking? She does ad some interest during the family dinner scene, but from nothing she did other than the fact that she took Hartnet over to her house for dinner where her mother and father seem to go a bit ballistic.

If this film had a title of  Boxing Cops or LA Crime, I might have been more forgiving about this film going all over the place, in every direction except the way it should have gone. Being billed as a murder mystery, I was starving for information about the crime and details. The Black Dahlia has so much creepiness about it, and is such a bizarre macabre murder, you don’t have to tell all of the side stories. The film was titled The Black Dahlia, and to see less than a story of the Black Dahlia murder is highly disappointing.

Nurse Betty

Nurse Betty

Nurse Betty is an above average film that has a very dark tone with it’s humor but still sophisticated if you want to think about it. There are a few scenes in the movie, especially the scene with Betty’s husband, Del, that turns very violent, but there are some wonderful lines of dialog that come from it. Of course this is how the movie gets its start with Betty and a traumatic event, that throw her into shock where she believes she is a character in her favorite soap opera. And the quest is on to find her soap opera love, David Ravell, played by Greg Kinnear (As Good As It Gets).

Renne Zellweger (Best Supporting actress Cold Mountain) gives her standard performance with basically playing a similar role to Bridget Jones. She does have some wonderful scenes late in the film with Greg Kinnear when they encounter each other and she is convinced he is her reality, the surgeon from Loma Vista, the soap’s hospital. Both Greg Kinnear and Morgan Freeman (Best Supporting Actor for Million Dollar Baby) are good in their roles, but the scene stealer throughout this movie is Chris Rock…something I thought I would never thought I would say. He has a very quick tongue and is very witty in his comments and conversations with Morgan Freeman.

Overall, this isn’t a movie that was made for awards and nominations, but a dark comedy that delivers. To me I don’t have to have movies that need to be discussed philosophically to no end, I just want to have fun and be entertained sometimes. Seeing this movie, I was entertained.