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MiraJeff Reeeeeeeeeeeeeaally Didn't Like BLACK DAHLIA!!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

This is a strongly negative review by MiraJeff, and he certainly seems to be firm in his opinion. I’ve got my own review of BLACK DAHLIA coming up in the next day or so, and I’ll say this... it’s fairly different than MiraJeff’s. For now, here’s what he has to say...

Today’s updates:

MiraJeff here. No greetings. No nothing. Not this time. Just wow. Jaw-dropping, head-scratching wow. Inexcusable. Unforgivable. Make no mistake about it, The Black Dahlia is awful. Put that one on the poster. Hey, don't cut me in half, I'm just the messenger. But seriously, as far as I'm concerned, The Black Dahlia is a career-ender. It pains me to say this but I wouldn't care if Brian DePalma never made another film ever again. This is easily his worst outing ever, even worse than Snake Eyes. The film is simply horrifying and I don't mean that as a compliment. This is a movie that is so bad, I think everyone involved in it needs to go away for a little while, like J. Lo and Affleck did after Gigli. You really have no idea how excited I was for this movie and how terrifically disappointing it was.

Tonally, The Black Dahlia is all over the place. It's a major turkey that drowns in a swamp of pointless subplots with plot holes the size of moon craters. The overbearing horn-heavy score feels lifted straight out of a Cinemax thriller starring Andrew Stevens. There's a positively loopy villain who is played so over-the-top the audience of critics that I saw the film with was laughing as if they were watching Caddyshack. The film is a total mess from the hammy acting to Josh Friedman's horrible screenplay to DePalma's unsure, uneven direction.

From its off-putting opening shot of Bucky Bleichert, aka Mr. Ice (Josh Hartnett) sitting in his locker room before a much-hyped boxing match between him and fellow cop Lee Blanchard, aka Mr. Fire (Aaron Eckhart), I just knew the whole movie would suck more than an OCD person's vacuum. It immediately felt off, a thought reinforced by the ridiculous riot of sorts that rages during the opening credits, where we see Bucky come to Lee's rescue. To get into specifics of the plot would just waste my time and yours. A fame-hungry actress named Elizabeth Short is brutally murdered and becomes more famous in death than she ever would have been while alive. Two cops go crazy in the pursuit of justice, and there's some sex thrown in for the hell of it. Of course there's a whole lot more story but it's so complicated and uninterestingly off-topic that I won't bore you with the details.

There were times when I couldn't believe what I was watching. HOW? How do you fuck this up? How do you take the focus away from Elizabeth Short and try and invest us in this half-cocked Bobby DeWitt story, or John Nash, or any of the other criminals who waste our heroes time and divert attention from the real story, you know, the case that the film is named after. I can promise you this, if David Fincher made this film like he was supposed to, this never would have happened. The Black Dahlia is among the worst I've seen this year, and just to refresh your memory, that would include London, Tamara, and An American Haunting.

One of the main problems is that just about everyone is horribly miscast and one-note. Hartnett, who just a few months ago was solid in the noir-ish Lucky Number Slevin, seems like he's at a complete loss as to how to play his character. He looks like a boy dressing up to play detective and feels so out of place he drags the film down one scene at a time. Not only is he way too young for the role but he's way too soft. A guy like Brad Pitt or Russell Crowe could've done something, anything with the character, but Hartnett is about as bland as paste. You can see him straining for Jack Nicholson in Chinatown but certainly this is no Chinatown or even LA Confidential. It doesn't help that the way his voice-over is written is cringe-inducing and crippling and Hartnett's acting, from the sex scenes to his scenes of emotional distress are flat out embarrassing. He had to know how bad this was going to turn out and only hope DePalma could fix it in the editing room which evidently he couldn't.

Scarlett is beautifully photographed (especially in soft-focus) and it's no secret the camera loves her, but her character is more one-dimensional than a stick figure. There's a scene with Scarlett watching a movie between her supercop boyfriends and she's supposed to be scared, but the only thing that's scary is how heinous her acting is.

Hilary Swank, a two-time Oscar winner, is thoroughly wasted as a wealthy, misunderstood, flesh-peddling vixen, one of the vicious femme fatales DePalma seems to be so fixated on these days. She looks sexy as hell but the only thing the role requires of her is to vamp it up while spouting inconsequential dialogue in a lame accent whenever she's not licking Hartnett's chest.

Eckhart escapes this thing the cleanest but that's only because he's killed off relatively early on in a bizarre turn of events that is nearly unexplainable if not for the exposition-heavy finale that forces us to swallow an information pill that we can't help but choke on. The first half hour features the same charming Eckhart who wowed us in LaBute films and most recently, Thank You For Smoking. But once The Black Dahlia enters the picture he flies off the handle, exploding into a raving lunatic. His character morphs into a drug-addled rageaholic with little or no explanation as to why or how he becomes so obsessed with the case in a span of 4 days.

And that's another thing that smells fishy about the movie. The whole chronology is condensed into like a week because to show characters spiraling downward over a period of several years, which is what really happened in the Dahlia case, would require a much better screenwriter than the guy who wrote War of the Worlds, aka one third of a good movie, and that was with The Bearded One calling the shots.

This film is a bigger mess than The Black Dahlia crime scene. The sex is mind-numbingly gratuitous, distracting, and worst of all boring. Scarlett had it better when Jonathan Rhys-Meyers was humping her in a field in the middle of a rainstorm in Match Point. Hell, watching her and Bill Murray canoodle in Lost in Translation was sexier than the dinner table romp Hartnett gives her.

There is just no point to at least half the movie, especially the first 20 minutes which laboriously introduce us to our main characters, our supercops, as Kay calls them. The whole riot that the film opens with looks terribly staged and who cares that the department respects them as detectives because they're good boxers? Shall I go on? I hated the wipes. They took me out of the film. I hated some of the whirring pans because the camera is constantly moving. And the last 20 minutes are full-blown ridiculous and would rate an 11 on a 1-10 scale of preposterousness.

So what did I like? Well for one, the film does look great, and you would never be able to tell the bulk of it was filmed in Bulgaria, but that's more thanks to the lush cinematographer than DePalma. The supporting cast of cops isn't bad, but they're mere scenery, decorations on the cake that is our foul foursome of Hartnett, Eckhart, Scarlett and Swank. Eckhart is given the film's single best shot as he leers from behind a champagne glass at Hartnett and Scarlett dancing sensuously, but as the camera closes in on Eckhart's telling face, DePalma axes the moment before it can fully become one.

The supporting cast of cops isn't bad, but they're mere scenery, decorations on the cake that is our foul foursome of Hartnett, Eckhart, Scarlett and Swank. The best overall performance comes from the Dahlia herself, as Mia Kirschner projects a vulnerability that Scarlett and Swank both distinctly lack.

Brian DePalma should be cut in half and sliced ear to ear for the hack job he did here. How this film is even being released is beyond me, but it's no wonder it's opening in the September dumping ground. With the pedigree this thing has you'd think it'd open on Christmas Day, but that would be the worst gift in the world for moviegoers. Word of mouth is going to kill this thing quicker than Elizabeth Short. I urge you, implore you, beg you to steer clear of this stinker. It is an absolute embarrassment and everyone involved in it, from DePalma to Art Linson to the caterer should be completely ashamed of themselves.

You know, years ago I wrote a screenplay called Forty Whacks about the most notorious unsolved murder in Massachusetts, the Lizzie Borden murders. My first draft isn't exactly ready for the big screen but and I can still say it's better than this dreck that should have Josh Friedman run out of town. Holy shit I just didn't see this coming at all. I love dark shit like this but there is hardly anything remotely likable about the entire film. Avoid it at all costs, even for free.

That'll do it for me, folks. I'll be back with much more positive reviews of Gridiron Gang (not bad, but certainly not very good) and The Last Kiss (a nice surprise).

'Til then, this is MiraJeff signing off...

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 14, 2006, 5:34 a.m. CST

    Registered just to be first.

    by Strangwood

    It seems alien to me, but you people seem to take pride in being first with these things. So here I am.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 5:35 a.m. CST


    by Strangwood

    I shall watch this movie. Seems decent to me.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 5:39 a.m. CST


    by Fuxxy Elf

    Wow, was really looking forward to this, now I'm not so sure. Then again I did like Snake Eyes so maybe I'll disagree with this?

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 5:41 a.m. CST

    From the director of SCARFACE

    by mostdwnloadedman

    brings you first bitches

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 5:44 a.m. CST


    by Darth_Scotsman

    Eat That!

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 5:52 a.m. CST


    by RockLobster800

    Oh my GOD-I did'nt even TRY. I'd like to thank the academy....

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 5:56 a.m. CST


    by mostdwnloadedman

    why do they have a talkback lag?

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Hartnett makes wood look like Jim Carrey

    by IndustryKiller!

    He clearly has no idea how to act or emote or deliver a line. Even in Lucky Number Slevin where he thanksfully opened up a bit he still stuck to that one "eyes on the horizon" expression. He should take some time off and take some acting lessons.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 6 a.m. CST

    Mori has always been a De Palma apologist

    by IndustryKiller!

    And I respect his opinion 90% of the time, but anyone who liked Body Double is so far off the fucking deep end that I just can't take them seriously.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 6:01 a.m. CST


    by RockLobster800

    Ironically htat was my first post.That AND news that Dahlia-one of my favourite books, although The Big Nowhere is better-is getting shiiite reviews....this day sucks man

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 6:03 a.m. CST


    by RockLobster800

    I mean THAT-you see, it gets worse and worse....actually I'm still going to see the flick open mindedly-Ain't it cool has a knack for being wrong

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 6:24 a.m. CST

    De Palma

    by mostdwnloadedman

    hasnt made a good film since CARLITOS WAY and that was about five films ago, so I dont know why people give him so much weight nowadays

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 6:30 a.m. CST

    De Palma

    by Eric Stratton

    The only movie he has made that I absolutely can not stand is Mission to Mars. God help me, I have no idea why I saw that in the theatre. I like De Palma, I love the book, so even with the negative reviews I will give it a shot.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 6:35 a.m. CST

    I suggest we petition the studio...

    by rbatty024

    to bring "Forty Whacks" to the screen. That title is better than Snakes on a Plane. It's funny even if you don't know the nursery song. Actually, it's probably funnier if you don't know the nursery song.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 6:41 a.m. CST

    The Book

    by NudeandAroused

    Is by no means as good as Ellroy's "L.A. Confidential." The story and characters are almost silly in comparison. If there was a "Black Dahlia" movie that should be made, I think Max Allen Collins' "Nate Heller" version is better. Still, I wills ee the movie because I love Noir. Hopefully, there is some of that in the movie.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 6:53 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the SPOILER WARNINGg..,

    by AngelinasOilBoy


  • Sept. 14, 2006, 7:01 a.m. CST

    i like snake eyes...hell i even like mission to mars...

    by Holodigm

    but femme fatale is by far his worst. absolutely unwatchable. and this can't be worse than femme fatale.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 7:12 a.m. CST

    Snake Eyes was not De Palma's worst movie...

    by zachary mayo

    it was Femme Fatale. This one was unforgivable.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 7:17 a.m. CST



    Better hide Mira, Depalma may have u shot!

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 7:32 a.m. CST

    To each their own I guess

    by SuckLeTrou

    Reactions to DePalma are always all over the place. I will see this in a heartbeat, just because it's DePalma. I agree Body Double sucks. But Snake Eyes only sucks for being top-heavy. Mission To Mars was hysterically funny. And how can you fucking dis Femme Fatale?? It's his Mona Lisa for fuck's sake. It is an utterly perfect film, formally at least.Deserves to be studied over and over.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 8:07 a.m. CST

    This film is fucked as POTP

    by Anna Valerious

    However, it's based on a true story, which is waaaay more fucked up. Though you do have to take into account the Phil Spector incident for the other one...a sad case of life imitating art, perhaps.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 8:21 a.m. CST

    They condensed it to a week?!

    by John Dalmas

    That doesn't make any goddamn sense. Although it's hard to trust this reviewer, as he seems completely unfamiliar with the Ellroy book, which is total fiction based on a non-fictional crime.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 8:23 a.m. CST

    So you didn't like it then?

    by JohnGalt06

    Seriously, this review is so vague I can't tell how you really felt. Oh, come on, people... De Palma has always been a hack, don't act like this is something new. P.S. I thought David Koepp wrote WOTW...

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 8:27 a.m. CST

    De Palma = Hack

    by brycemonkey

    Dude hasn't made a good film in 15 years, can't say I'm surprised. Just dissapointed.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Ellroy's best book actually

    by John Dalmas

    I think Dahlia was actually Ellroy's best book: the tightest, most personal, most emotional-- shorter and more focused than the more sprawling books (and they tended to just get bigger and more ponderous). It was a nearly perfect mystery. But people need to stop saying this is "based on a true story." The crime was real; everything else that happens is fiction.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 8:38 a.m. CST

    "Who Is the Black Dahlia?" movie for tv was great!

    by Uncapie

    It was like an Ed McBain novel and handle very well. Efram Zimbalist, jr. played the lead. The main problems with this new film; wrong cast(Pretty boy cops? They need to be tough, savvy and seasoned. Remember, these guys went through the depression and World War II.), wrong director and definetely wrong writer. Should have given the gig to Curtis Hanson and Brian Hegeland.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 8:59 a.m. CST

    No, Really, Thanks so much for the spoiler warning.

    by clockpolitiks

    Jesus christ. Come on Mori, at least put the red spoiler banner around this review on the home page. A major characters death was just ruined for me. WTF dude?

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Where's Mr. Beaks?

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    I can't stand DePalma and have NO DIFFICULTY believing MiraJeff about this clunker, but I still fondly recall the erudite one going postal in "FURY OF MR. BEAKS: MISSION TO DePALMA!"

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 9:50 a.m. CST

    God Damn it!!!!!! Spoiler Warning!

    by Samson_K

    Seriously - thanks a big fat fucking bunch! Now I know that one of tha major characters dies thanks! Seriously thanks an enormous bunch cos now I know I won't be surprised! Lord a fucking bove!

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 10:14 a.m. CST


    by weebay

    I don't know if this movie will be good or not but Hollywood typically doesn't release good movies during September.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Scarface rules you tool

    by Lost Prophet

    Anyone who makes definitive sweeping statements about personal taste is an idiot.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 11:25 a.m. CST


    by dante76

    mirajeff, you say something like you don't give a fuck if De Palma ever makes another movie again. Hey, how about you never fuck US with your reviews!? Ever again?Please? Each day we can learn one's word for MiraJeff is: fuckin SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Femme Fatale was FUCKING AWESOME

    by Osmosis Jones

    It was a sly deconstruction of De Palma's entire career, and it was sexy, fun, and dazzlingly well-constructed. Of all the De Palma movies I've seen, the only ones I've really disliked have been Wise Guys, Snake Eyes (which at least looked great) and Mission To Mars. Black Dahlia looks excellent.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 11:45 a.m. CST

    This Sucks

    by ILoveBritishActors

    I was really looking forward to seeing this movie on opening day. I think the Black Dahlia case is facinating. But...any director who casts Hartnett as a lead is a fucking idiot.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 11:58 a.m. CST


    by dante76

    You're right, Dahlia is sly as a snake. Now that I think about it I'm not even sure if MiraJeff knows what film noir is all about...De Palma's approach is traditional yet modern. He gave a nod to all those wonderful films from the 40's and it was a pleasure to watch this big fat sucker on screen. I'm not gonna say "please, pretty please, go see this film" because is pointless-make up your own mind. Only this MiraJeff's pleading not to see the film because you're going to die in terrible pain watching this is just pathetic...

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Return of....

    by Anna Valerious

    You wouldn't believe how many wannabe homeboys I've seen that have glommed onto "Scarface". Very frightening.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    MiraJeff is right, it's a total mess of a film

    by earl of sandwich

    Saw it last week and it's a total dissapointment. The story takes way too long to get going, and once it does it's so confusing and poorly constructed you just lose interest. And the payoff at the end had me turning red in embarrasment it was so bad. Seriously, cringe inducingly bad. Scarlett comes off like she's in a high school play. Swank sounds like she's watched too much Ertha Kitt Catwoman. Eckhart starts out decent enough (look at that jaw fer christ sakes!) but loses focus and becomes a joke 45 minuts in. And that leaves poor Josh Hartnett (who I really like)left to run around and try and keep everything tied together with crappy plot twists and a hammy voice over. I haven't read the book, but in the absence of a real story about the actual MURDER they had to create all these goofy as hell characters and side plots to pad the story out. Too bad, cause the actual Dahlia stuff was the only real engaging part of the movie. I'm curious to see what Mori has to say on this one.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    meant femme fatale of course

    by dante76

    "any director who casts Hartnett as a lead is a fucking idiot" Now, that would be Fincher..

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 12:10 p.m. CST

    But Is Scarlett NUDE?

    by NightArrows

    Goddamnit this hasn't been answered in ANY reviews I've read. So, do we see her cans or not?

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 12:18 p.m. CST


    by DonkeyTron

    This is the second time in as many days I've DUPED by this FUCKING website into believing what I was about to read was a SPOILER-FREE review. Not that I had any interest in seeing this movie, but some people might and guess what? They just had the whole thing FUCKING SPOILED. It's one thing to give critique on performances and style and what not but giving MAJOR plot details is called a FUCKING SPOILER, YOU FUCKS!!! ANYTHING remotely pointing to a plot give away is a SPOILER!!! Put down the fucking Twinkies and put up the spoiler warnings you UNPROFESSIONAL POLE SMOKERS!!!

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 12:27 p.m. CST


    by NightArrows


  • Sept. 14, 2006, 12:31 p.m. CST

    anyone notice...

    by Datascream

    he repeated a sentence towards the end? yeah, I know I'm an ass.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 12:48 p.m. CST


    by earl of sandwich

    No cannage (sp?) If I rememeber correctly there is the briefest hint of Scarlett side boob, but nothing full on. Incidentally, I was actually impressed by Swank's rack. Too bad she has a face like a horse dressed up like a lady.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 1:09 p.m. CST

    No Scarlett boobs?

    by nofate

    Damn, now I'm really not going. I thought I heard a news story that her sex scene was distracting to some reviewers. If there are no tits, WTF?

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 1:25 p.m. CST

    FUCK THAT! Not seeing this now...

    by NightArrows

    Thanks for the heads up earl!<p>QUOTE:"Too bad she has a face like a horse dressed up like a lady."END QUOTE<p>Hahahahahaha<p>I had read that Scarlett wanted to show her cans in The Island during that sex scene, but Bay nixed the idea. Reason number 134 to hate that man....

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 1:34 p.m. CST

    A little overboard, and thanks for the spoiler warning

    by Freakemovie

    Reading the review I can understand how he hated it. But I walked out of an advance screening with a totally different take on it. If you like 40s-50s noir thrillers, this is shot in exactly the same way. The riot in the beginning, for example, looks staged because that's exactly how it would look in one of those old movies. It's not perfect, and I agree that Eckhart is the best of the cast, but Hartnett and Johansson are solid. Certainly not embarrassing. And any movie that manages to make Hilary Swank of all people look sexy deserves a closer look.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 1:35 p.m. CST

    no, we don't see Johansson nude, but

    by Freakemovie

    we do see Mia Kirshner nude who is waaaay better

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 1:44 p.m. CST

    "Nothing like watching a movie that completely ---

    by Osmosis Jones

    ---negates itself at the end" You mean like The Wizard Of Oz?

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Another miss

    by BenBraddock

    Looking over De Palma's career on IMDB he's a real mix of good and bad.. for every Carrie or Untouchables, there's a Body Double or a Wise Guys, or a Bonfire of the Vanities, Raising Cain, Snake Eyes or a Mission to Mars, a Femme Fatale... err, wait a second, I'm going to have to re-think where I'm going with this post..

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 2:06 p.m. CST


    by NightArrows

    Nope. Scarlett's wonder-tits trump ANYTHING Mia can throw at the screen. I would actually pay MONEY to watch Michael Bay's Transformers, if it would net me a chance to see Scarlett's heavenly globes.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 3:31 p.m. CST

    * * People need to read the freaking book! * *

    by Tired Eagle

    So far I've seen one reviewer after another blame the film for various story-related issues. And the #1 complaint I keep seeing is that it's "not about the Black Dahlia!" NEWS FLASH: The BOOK wasn't about the Black Dahlia. Ellroy just uses the Black Dahlia case as a backdrop/catalyst for the story. All of the things critics are complaining about (all of the different characters, sub plots, etc., that don't revolve around the Dahlia) -- they're really bashing the source material. The book was excellent and if you've read it, you'll know what you're getting into with this film. Personally, I can't wait until Friday night!

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 3:35 p.m. CST

    who gives a krap about Swank? What about Rooper?

    by lynxpro

    Despite what MiraJeff has to say, I seriously doubt Hillary Swank could ever come off as looking sexy. Dolph Lungren has a better chance of winning an Oscar than Swank appearing sexy. I want to know how Jemima Rooper was in the film. Considering how many fanbois permeate AICN, one would think there'd be more than just myself who would be curious as to how Jemima (Thelma from *Hex*) Rooper did in the film. Of course, judging from the trailers and commercials, it looks like she just has a couple of scenes. As for DePalma and *Snake Eyes*, the film would have been okay had they left the scene with Cage in the water pipe in the final film. Funny how the ending dialogue referenced the cut scene.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 3:36 p.m. CST

    but then....

    by djbry

    I read the novel. the subject matter intrigues me. can any review bolster the thought of me seeing it today? nope. here's to the popcorn and head i'll get during the movie if it is bad.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 3:42 p.m. CST

    to MORI...

    by lynxpro

    Tell us what you think of the scene that Mia and Jemima share... Is that the best one has to look forward to before seeing this film? Tee hee.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 3:44 p.m. CST

    in the subject of Scarlett's fun bags...

    by nofate

    so is Matchpoint worth checking out just for that tennis court scene? I've been debating about checking it out or not. Can anyone shed some light? Perverts everywhere must know!!

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 4:03 p.m. CST

    The REAL Elizabeth Short

    by MrBadd

    I must tell you Elizabeth Short is NOT anything remotely like the way she is portrayed in this movie. I have been actively trying to combat this character assassination ever since I heard this film was being made. PLEASE, I beseech you, go to and read up on who she REALLY was, from someone who actually knew her. Thanks.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 4:20 p.m. CST

    nofate: Matchpoint is worth checking out.

    by brycemonkey

    Scarlett is hot in it. I see why Woody got Woody...

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 4:33 p.m. CST

    NOT ellroy's best book, actually...

    by duanejones

    ...but the true beginning of his fully-formed genius. fanboys, do yourself a favor and go read a book, for once. four of them, actually, i.e. ALL of ellroy's so-called "l.a. quartet" -- i.e., _black dahlia_, _the big nowhere_, _white jazz_ and a colorful tale known as _l.a. confidential_. the movies they will spark in your brain will be far, far better, and more brutal, funny, impolitic, tragic, brilliant, &c. than any film curtis hanson or the once-mighty depalma will ever be (or were ever) capable of creating. ellroy is properly cynical about the filmization of his work, as suggested in many interviews over the years -- his m.o.: "just give me the money and leave me out of it." to say i'm unsurpised that bd's version of _b.d._ is b.s. is...uh...accurate. wouldn't mind seeing the buck-toothed ms. swank in several states of disrobe, however. or, one, even...oh, and ellroy's best novel? of course, that would be _american tabloid_...

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 4:34 p.m. CST

    NOT ellroy's best book, actually...

    by duanejones

    ...but the true beginning of his fully-formed genius. fanboys, do yourself a favor and go read a book, for once. four of them, actually, i.e. ALL of ellroy's so-called "l.a. quartet" -- i.e., _black dahlia_, _the big nowhere_, _white jazz_ and a colorful tale known as _l.a. confidential_. the movies they will spark in your brain will be far, far better, and more brutal, funny, impolitic, tragic, brilliant, &c. than any film curtis hanson or the once-mighty depalma will ever be (or were ever) capable of creating. ellroy is properly cynical about the filmization of his work, as suggested in many interviews over the years -- his m.o.: "just give me the money and leave me out of it." to say i'm unsurpised that bd's version of _b.d._ is b.s. is...uh...accurate. wouldn't mind seeing the buck-toothed ms. swank in several states of disrobe, however. or, one, even...oh, and ellroy's best novel? of course, that would be _american tabloid_...

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 5:31 p.m. CST

    yeah but...

    by nofate

    can you see her sugartits (thanx Mel)? Come on people, I'm not spending $1.07 on a rental with no tatas!

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah!

    by JThomasC

    That's totally cool, you totally ripped that movie a new one AND made a plug for your own script. That's awesome. I dub you Hubris, Crowned Prince of noulteriormotiveatall. Your words are as pure as the driven snow, your opinons as sweet as the shit from my dog.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 6:30 p.m. CST

    what's worse, the movie or the review of the movie?

    by Spaz Medicine

    I intend to find out. Usually, reviews written by someone who flat out hates the movie are the most enjoyable to read. This one, on the other hand, sucked. And I usually enjoy reading Jeff's reviews.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 6:56 p.m. CST


    by NudeandAroused

    Is completely right. I seem to remember Ellroy himself not really liking his book. American tabloid is a masterpiece.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Scarlett and Swank can't play vulnerable?

    by Snowden's Secret

    Huh? If you want to bash the movie, that's fine, but you completely destroyed all your credibility with that statement. Ever see The Girl with the Pearl Earring? ScarJo's a raw, vulnerable wound the entire movie!! Are you even paying attention to what you're writing? I'm getting sick of these ridiculous, "pay attention to me," reviewers who are just trying to be outrageous and clearly have no substance.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 9:51 p.m. CST

    TOO SOON!!!!!

    by Parajedi

    er, well, that and if I was a jealous screenwriter, I'd think my stuff was way cooler, too. I'll wait for Moriarty, thanks.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Actually, Hilary Swank is *very* sexy.

    by Osmosis Jones

    Still can't get over the fact that she played a boy, can you? Fucking cretins...

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 11:05 p.m. CST


    by Alonzo Mosely

    Post an extract from 40 whacks for the TBers to critique or you have no right to claim it is better than this...

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 11:53 p.m. CST

    In defense of Mirajeff...

    by Uncapie

    I read the" Black Dahlia" script last year and thought it was weak. You didn't like the hero cops, couldn't identify with any of the characters, the dialogue was flat and the story is supposed to be about ELIZABETH SHORT not the cops. I mean. why call a script "Black Dahlia" when she's only the sidebar to the story? There's a dozen ways any good writer could have incorporated the cops and Elizabeth Short while still maintaining james Ellroy's book. It worked for "L.A Confidential." Those were cops you liked or disliked. The bad guys were bad. That's why, "Who Is the Black Dahlia?" is far superior to this. Hell, I was watching the Robert Taylor classic, "Rogue Cop" after work tonight and that WAS a story! Like I said before, Curtis Hanson and Brian Hegeland were the team for this movie. The sad part about Hollywood is that there are GOOD writers out there they just don't want them. All Hollywood wants is mediocrity.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 1:05 a.m. CST

    I say MiraJeff is right and wrong

    by Vern

    He is right that it's not that good. He is wrong about everything else. I am actually pretty fuckin befuddled by how he could have such an almost literally violent reaction to this particular movie. It's okay. It's flawed. It's kind of silly. I wouldn't say it is a mess or anything close to a disaster and it doesn't feel chopped up and screwed with like the end of Snake Eyes. It's just a long complicated story that is enjoyable to watch but feels like it doesn't quite translate to the language of movie. And also not particularly suited to show off DePalma's biggest strengths. I can't really figure out some of the stuff MiraJeff is talking about, like there's not very much sex actually depicted in the movie (they start to go at it and then it fades to the next scene, like in the old days) and of course it's not more about the actual case, it's based on a book. (The crazy woman talking through the movie said the same thing but I expect more out of MiraJeff.) Anyway I guess there must be some violent anger button the movie failed to push on me but I would like to request that DePalma still be allowed to make movies because his last one was FEMME FATALE and that's a god damn masterpiece.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 1:28 a.m. CST

    "It immediately felt off.." is the criticism of a jerk!

    by Bob Cryptonight

    Maybe YOU were the one who was off that day, bud! Ever think of that? Maybe you forgot to take your Prozac?

  • Sept. 17, 2006, 11:57 a.m. CST

    This movie = utter shite.

    by Zarles

    It doesn't even deserve to be called a "movie", or a "film", either. It feels like someone filmed a high school play. Terrible. Your $8.50 would be better spent on crack.

  • Sept. 25, 2006, 4:59 p.m. CST

    i hope this will be a good

    by ethan eubanks

    i hope this will be a good movie your talkn about not a total blow out like a boy named andy patton b.c his movies suck and he is an idiot

  • Sept. 25, 2006, 5:05 p.m. CST

    there is a boy named andy

    by ethan eubanks

    there is a boy named andy patton and he is a fuckn idiot

  • Sept. 25, 2006, 5:05 p.m. CST

    there is a boy named andy

    by ethan eubanks

    there is a boy named andy patton and he is a fuckn idiot

  • Sept. 25, 2006, 5:06 p.m. CST

    he needs suscide

    by ethan eubanks

    he needs suscide

  • Sept. 25, 2006, 5:07 p.m. CST

    lets get together and kill

    by ethan eubanks

    lets get together and kill him b.c his movies suck

  • Sept. 25, 2006, 5:09 p.m. CST

    fuck andy patton.... he

    by ethan eubanks

    fuck andy patton.... he looks like a ginger bread boy b.c he is pale... used too be red haird ... and gots a lot of freckles soo we need too kill him b.c he looks stupid and he has kangaroo lips and he is fuckn ugly and he thnks he can hook up with who ever he wan'ts