Goth Panda

Lessons Learned from Whatever Works and The Black Dahlia

[This is continuing a series of short movie reviews I used to do on our old blog, Population Five]

Whatever Works: If you are a religious, Red State Republican, you should move to New York City and convert to atheism, liberalism, and unorthodox sexuality, and you will be much happier. Now, I lived in New York City for three years, and no one could be more supportive of atheism, liberalism, and unorthodox sexuality than I am, but even I found this to be a little condescending.

Also, did the teenage girl have to fall in love with the elderly curmudgeon? Really? Again? I actually liked Larry David’s character, but he is the only memorable thing about it. Except for Patricia Clarkson. I wish she hadn’t undergone her metamorphosis, because I liked her a lot better as the hyperventilating Southern matriarch.

The Black Dahlia: I am pretty sure that if you manage to get yourself the nickname “Black Dahlia” while still living, it is only a matter of time before you will end up an unsolved murder victim. And this was based on a true story!

I didn’t much like this movie, and I really didn’t like the ending. It was trying to be a 1940s-style movie, and couldn’t pull it off. The acting by all four leads was decent, but the story was confused and meandering. Also, I had serious objections to Josh Hartnett’s severely center-parted hair. I realize that is not a substantive criticism, but it had to be said.

On movies that are actually still in theaters, I do not want to see Avatar, no matter how many times it is described as “the future of movie-making.” I thought huge amounts of post-production, CGI, and special effects at the expense of storytelling were the present of movie-making. It’s depressing to think that will be the future as well.

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