Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lost in Translation

I went to see The Black Dahlia last night, and while it was a socially entertaining evening, I have to say that the movie itself was quite possibly the worst thing I have paid to see on the big screen since Spawn.

Sometimes, when you see a bad movie, you suffer alone. You spend your two hours* bashing your head against the back of the theatre seat and praying for it to be over. But sometimes you have a night like my experience at The Black Dahlia, where the entire audience turns on the film so completely that it seems as though it must have been planned in advance.

And that, my friends, is something to see.

It began during a scene when Scarlett Johansson appears at the top of a staircase in her underwear, scowling down at Josh Hartnett**. It was supposed to be dramatic, but the cut was so weird, and the expression on her face so goofy, that everybody in the audience just busted out laughing.

When Scarlett Johansson in her underwear elicits laughter, it's fair to say that your movie has problems.

From there on out, it was like we, as an audience, had forged some unwritten agreement that it was okay to call shenanigans on this crapper of a flick. We laughed in the wrong places for the wrong reasons. We yelled instructions to the characters onscreen. Some, including the gentleman seated next to me, voiced their displeasure loudly. His remark probably got a bigger laugh than anything that was intentionally written into the script.

People around the theatre were bashing their heads against the backs of their seats, praying for it to be over, but it was okay. Because we had spent $14 for our swanky Arclight seats, and we were all in this thing together.

As a sidenote, The Onion gave this thing a good review, lending credence to my long-standing theory that their film reviews should be lumped in with the satire section.

So yeah... don't go see this movie. Pick up James Ellroy's Dahlia instead. And if you've already seen Brian De Palma's monstrosity and need to calm down in a hurry, rent L.A. Confidential, watch until the giggling/rage subsides, repeat as needed.
* Who made the rule that all movies need to be at least 2 hours long? It's gotten out of control.
** This man is handsome, and his hard-boiled voiceovers in both Dahlia and Sin City are great. He has the face. He has the voice. Yet, something very, very important is missing.

1 comment:

Reel Fanatic said...

How many movies are going to feature Scarlett flashing her panties? There's Lost in Translation, The Perfect Score and now this .. oh well, at least she know her strengths ... I'm either gonna see this or "The last Kiss" later today, but with the bad word piling up against "The Black Dahlia," I'm definitely leaning toward the latter