I've got two on my list: The Black Dahlia and The Last Kiss. Both are opening to generally mixed reviews.David Edelstein
of New York Magazine (I've followed his criticism since his days at Slate.com) carves up Dahlia.
In this magazine’s “Fall Preview” issue, I wrote that “in prospect, The Black Dahlia
is a disturbingly perfect marriage of filmmaker and subject”—and thank God for that “in prospect.” I guess I was primed for something that De Palma already gave us in Obsession
, Dressed to Kill
, and Body Double
: a Vertigo
-esque melodrama full of sinuous tracking shots and multiple planes of reality, a blood wedding of Hitchcock and the voluptuous Italian splattermaster Dario Argento. But either the director didn’t want to revisit that phase of his career (his last film, Femme Fatale
, came close to burlesquing it) or he couldn’t hack a clear path through Josh Friedman’s overly faithful screenplay. I’m not sure anyone could: Friedman can’t get from plot point A to B without leaving the audience behind; I’ve read the novel twice, and even with the movie’s won’t-shut-up narrator I didn’t know what was going on. The Black Dahlia
is an essay in incoherence.
As for The Last Kiss, A.O. Scott
of the New York Times had this to say,
The fallibility of the romantic ideal — which is nonetheless indispensable on screen and off — is something Hollywood has trouble dealing with. “The Break-up,” in which Jennifer Aniston
and Vince Vaughan did just what the title promised, would have been a more notable exception if it were anything like a good movie. “The Last Kiss,” while not quite a good movie either, at least deserves credit for its honesty.
I'm not going to let these reviews deter my attendance, even in light of the respect I have for both of these critics.
Market Street Cinema has The Illusionist and it is a must see.