Josh Friedman

Josh Friedman

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The Black Dahlia Review


Weak
Sure, the man's had a bad run of things. When Brian de Palma directed Snake Eyes, a corker of a plot that went nowhere, it seemed like a fluke. When he did Femme Fatale, that ludicrous sapphic French diamond heist flick, it could be written off as just an idiosyncratic minor joke by a former Hollywood heavyweight in self-imposed Euro-exile -- something to keep him occupied until he went back to the big leagues. Well, that moment of return finally arrived in the form of the long-gestating adaptation of James Ellroy's 1987 novel The Black Dahlia, a mystery about the infamous 1947 Elizabeth Short murder which seemed purpose-built for de Palma's needs. Ellroy's fever dream of a novel has everything that the famously self-referential director could utilize: doppelgangers (male and female), seedy urban underbelly, and psychosexual perversities galore. Given the limp, campy joke of a film that resulted, however, it seems time to stop making excuses for the man -- Brian de Palma has become one very bad director.

The generally limp script by Josh Friedman starts off smartly, setting us up for the bruising friendship between the stars, a couple of L.A. cops who also happen to be boxers and get paired up for a publicity-machine fight that touts them as "Mr. Fire and Mr. Ice." Ice is "Bucky" Bleichart (Josh Hartnett), a cool and low-key guy charitably described as a loser who gets his shot at a good chunk of change as well as reassignment to the LAPD's hotshot Warrants department for agreeing to the fight. Fire is Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart), one of those bigger-than-life cops who cuts corners with aplomb and seems happy enough to bring Bucky on as his partner after knocking his teeth out (literally) in the ring. Further binding the two men together, besides work and friendship, is Kay Lake (Scarlett Johansson), the sultry blonde dame on Lee's arm who takes a shine to Bleichart that doesn't seem to be entirely platonic.

Continue reading: The Black Dahlia Review

War Of The Worlds (2005) Review


Extraordinary
Almost a century before Hollywood perfected the endless repackaging of its stories across multiple media, H.G. Wells created War of the Worlds, which freaked out audiences as a magazine series, a novel, a panic-inducing radio play, a movie, and ultimately a stage musical.

And so it is that in the terrorism-edgy mid-'00s, Steven Spielberg has resurrecteds War of the Worlds - again - and created the greatest alien invasion movie ever.

Continue reading: War Of The Worlds (2005) Review

Josh Friedman

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Josh Friedman Movies

The Black Dahlia Movie Review

The Black Dahlia Movie Review

Sure, the man's had a bad run of things. When Brian de Palma directed Snake...

War of the Worlds (2005) Movie Review

War of the Worlds (2005) Movie Review

Almost a century before Hollywood perfected the endless repackaging of its stories across multiple media,...

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