Thursday, August 10, 2006

"The Black Dahlia" footage

I was trying to think of a great L.A. period crime drama since "L.A. Confidential," but I came up blank. Leave it to a mad (sometime) genius like Brian De Palma to fill that void.

Coming soon will be "The Black Dahlia," based on the true-crime novel by James Ellroy about the murder of fledling "actress" Elizabeth Short in the '40s. I usually take my crime in the fictional variety, and most often by George Pelecanos (his latest, "The Night Gardener," is a stunner). That said, Ellroy is a first-rate true-crime novelist, and he has been obssessed with this story for much of his life.

The movie focuses on two detectives (Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart) who investigate the case and end up exposing deep corruption in the LAPD (I know this all sounds quite familiar, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun!) Along the way, of course, we'll need quite a few femme fatales, major and minor, including Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank, Rose McGowan, Rachel Miner and Mia Kirshner (as Elizabeth Short.)

Brian De Palma has hit ("Scarface," "The Untouchables") as many times as he has missed ("Mission to Mars," "Bonfire of the Vanities), but he definitely has the epic ambitions to pull this off.

Up at the official site is a behind-the-scenes featurette featuring interviews with Ellroy (who also wrote the novel "L.A. Confidential) and others plus some footage that gives you a little taste of what it all will look like. Click here to enjoy and let me know what you think.

A Kevin Smith horror movie?

I know there are many smartasses out there who would say Kevin Smith has been making horror movies of a sort for years now, but I tend to ignore those people as best I can.

What I'm talking about here is something completely different. According to an Ain't It Cool spy who had the pleasure to attend a recent evening with Mr. Smith and "Clerks II," he's definitely planning to exit the comfort of the View Askewniverse to make a full-fledged horror movie.

Here, according to AICN, is what he had to say:

"Yes, I am doing a horror movie next. It's entitled 'Jersey Girl 2.' No, I'm kidding, but yes, I am doing a horror movie next." When asked if it would be a comedy horror, "No, its going to be straight horror. I feel after 7 comedies its time to take a left turn and do a straight up different movie, in this case horror. Its gonna have all of the horror you'd expect, blood and guts...and tits. No, no, no, not that, I'm talkin about man tits. What? What's so bad about man tits? I have tits! They're sexy! And hairy...but, yeah, I'm doin a horror movie." And finally, when asked as to when, he said that it "wouldn't be for a year or two. I just got done makin a movie, I'm not rushing into another. Probably two years."

When it comes to Mr. Smith, I'm a true believer, so whatever comes of this goofy plan, I'll definitely be there to see it. No word yet on whether or not that tool Joel Seigel will get a grisly decapitation, but one can always hope.

John C. Reilly to Walk Hard

For the record, I liked "Ray" quite a bit and "Walk the Line" even more. Heck, I'm even looking forward to Todd Haynes' trippy take on Dylan and Bill Condon's Oscar-bait "Dreamgirls."

However, the musician biopic has come close to the saturation point, and is ripe for a little ribbing from funny people like Judd Apatow, John C. Reilly and Jake Kasdan.

Columbia Pictures has apparently acquired the comedy pitch "Walk Hard," which Apatow and Kasdan will write and produce as a vehicle for Reilly. Kasdan will direct. It will center on the fictional music legend Dewey Cox (Reilly), who will surely hit more than few bumps on his road to stardom.

"It's an idea Jake had after seeing one too many musical biopics and feeling it was time to have some fun with that," Reilly told Variety. "My character is an amalgamation of a number of classic musician stories, tales of excess, highs and lows and bad behavior."

Reilly definitely has soul and growing comic timing, so I can't see any way this won't be anything but great.


Jeff Himself said...

Can not wait for the Black Dahlia. I love De Palma and love Ellroy novels. Let's hope it's at least as good as the other adaptation of his novel LA confidential.

Reel Fanatic said...

Here here Jeff ... The fact that L.A. Confidential didn't win the Oscar for best picture remains one of the academy's highest crimes

Unknown said...

"Black Dahlia" looks fantastic. I loved "LA Confidential". Can't wait to see how great this one is too.

As for music retaled movies, biopics or otherwise, I've had enough for the next little while.

Sameer Vasta said...

Been looking forward to the Black Dahlia ever since Ellroy announced that he and De Palma were working on it. I've seen about 9 minutes of it already, and from what I've seen, this is definitely a hit rather than a miss from De Palma.

Reel Fanatic said...

That's good news indeed, Vasta ... along with "The Departed," this is the one I'm most looking forward to for this fall

Unknown said...

I am really excited about The Black Dahlia, especially after seeing the trailer for it the other night.

hazim said...

Hey.Hazim Here. Yeah, the Black Dahlia looks hot, especailly with those actors in it. I usually don't like it when movies are adaptations of books, especially when I've read them. This includes comic books...
but again, the movie looks promising. A lot of disappointing movies this year so far...

Reel Fanatic said...

You're definitely right about this being a disappointing year thus far, Hazim, so we can only hope for a strong finish!

Mrs. Loquacious said...

After reading about the Black Dahlia case, I am *so* intrigued to watch the movie. At the same time, though, the fact that this case remains unsolved in real life makes me wonder how they will convincingly come up with a satisfactory ending. I didn't read the book though - maybe I should?

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