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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 122 minutes,3 featurettes

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO: English 5.1DD, French 5.1 DD, Spanish 2.0 DD

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

STUDIO: Universal/ Nu Image/Millennium Films/SignaturePictures/Equity Pictures

RELEASE DATE: 12-26-2006

THE BLACK DAHLIA is an aimless mess half of the time. The first half hour is solid before it begins to drift. By 90 minutes in, every other scene made me want THE BLACK DAHLIA to end while the next scene pulled me back in.

Lee Blachard (Aaron Eckhart) and Bucky Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) are partners in LA's Robbery Homicide unit in the late 1940s. They hang together as a trio with Blachard's girlfriend, Kay (Scarlett Johansson). Then the crap hits the fan when a young aspiring actress (Mia Kirshner) is murdered in a very gruesome manner. Blachard's relationship with Kay gets rocky and Bucky gets involved with the dead girl's lookalike, Madeleine (Hilary Swank) who has a connection to the case and will get in deeper as everyone dances around to come together by the last half hour.

The plot sounds good, but the movie is director Brian DePalma's muddled mess that should have been much better than this end result. It makes me want to go read the noval (despite some great dialogue in the film) it is based on which is a fictionalized tale of the real Black Dahlia murder which would make a great movie in itself.

The threee featurettes are very interesting to watch especially the one about the real Black Dahlia case and the novel by James Ellroy (REALITY & FICTION: THE STORY OF THE BLACK DAHLIA). THE CASE FILE has the cast and crew talk about the script, costumes, and characters while THE DePALMA TOUCH goes into the technical side of the production. So rent THE BLACK DAHLIA or wait for HOLLYWOODLAND on DVD next month.

his review is (c)1-16-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com