The Black Dahlia (2006)

I had completely missed this movie when it came out in 2006.  Yes, I’m really late to the party here.  Which is surprising, because I am fascinated by the case, Elizabeth Short, and everything associated with her.  So when I finally came across this movie, I couldn’t watch it quickly enough!

I got really excited when I started watching, and the credits start rolling.  This movie has everyone!  Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Rose McGowan and my absolute favorite actress, Scarlett Johansson.

I’ll be honest, I am a real dumb dumb.  I rented this movie based on title alone.  I read nothing about it, and knew nothing about the plot.  I simply assumed it was a historical interpretation of Short’s murder and the investigation into the many, MANY people who have since been linked as her killer.  I could not possibly have been more wrong.

The film is based on a book of the same title by name by James Ellroy.  The plot revolves around two cops, Hartnett and Eckhart who are assigned the Short murder, but the reality is, this movie (and book) could have been called literally anything else.  It has really nothing to do with the case, other than the name of the murder victim.  To say I was disappointed would be a huge understatement.

The movie is boring as shit.  I had to watch it over four days because I kept falling asleep.  I know Swank won an Oscar, and is supposedly an incredible actress, but I thought she was terrible in this film.  There is nothing about this film that makes it watchable.  It’s possible that I hated it so much because I was so badly mistaken about what I thought it was.  So that one’s on me.  My bad.

But here’s my real problem with it.  The film is based on an actual event.  Or, “inspired by true events.”  I think that’s how they put it in the movie.  Either way, this murder happened.  And to this day, it is still unsolved.  It is going to be unsolved forever.  Which is really too bad, but that’s a conversation for another day.  However, in the movie, SPOILER ALERT (I’m sorry the movie is seven years old, if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re not going to) they find the killer.  As I said earlier, they could have given this any other title and it would have been the same disaster.  But to take a true event, and make up a killer just didn’t sit well with me.  But, that’s just me.  I’m a huge history buff and that kind of thing bugs me.  Apparently I’m not alone because this movie was a bomb and didn’t make any money.

Good for the movie going public.  Studios will continue to put out crap like this until the people stops spending their money on these films.  I’m just glad I found it on Netflix, because I absolutely would have paid to see it in the theater.  Hey, I told you I was a dumb dumb.




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