Reviewing one movie at a time…

Sin City (2005)


Willie Good-Cook

-That’s a mighty fine coat yah got there-

Another awesome pick by yours truly. Your welcome!

This movie is really memorably for the way it was shot. Many of the scenes are “Visually stunning” and in my opinion the best seudo black and white movie has looked to date. Another very cool aspect about this movie is that they try to hit actual frames from the graphic novel. Hell, one of the directors is the man who wrote the novels, non-other than Frank Miller!! (Applause)

For years Miller did not want anyone to do movies based on his novels. Rightly so. After seeing the first 4 Batman movies or any of the Superman movies, I wouldn’t let Hollywood rape my art either. But then one day Robert Rodriguez and a few actors shot a small trailer for the movie without Millers consent. They showed it to Miller along with a movie pitch. He was so impressed by the trailer he decided to let them finally do a movie based on his novels. The trailer they shot is actually the intro with Josh Hartnett (Yay fun facts!) The title for it is “The Customer is Always Right”. The plot comes from three of Millers novels, “That Yellow Bastard,” “The Hard Good Bye,” and “The Big Fat Kill.” The movie sticks very close to all of the original stories.

I can’t say enough about the lighting, color, and special effects in this movie. The directors got very creative. They even had Quentin Tarantino come in and shoot a sequence. The car scene with Jackie Boy (Beniceo Del Toro) and Dwight McCarthy(Clive Owen) talking to each other after Jackie has been killed by Miho. If you look real close, the swords Miho was using are the same swords used in Kill Bill (Hattori Hanzo swords). Rodriguez stole them from Tarantino’s garage. (What are friends for?)

One other issue I had was with the character Kevin (Elijah Wood). Miller, why did you decide to put him in a Charlie Brown sweater? Was he supposed to be his evil twin or something? I hated it. He was not intimidating or anything. He had long fingernails, weird glasses, was tiny and I thought he really didn’t belong. It took Marv (Mickey Rourke) one hit to take him down. Kinda underwhelming. Though the wolf-dog-thing eating him was somewhat satisfying.

There were some spots in the acting that did bother me a little. Some of Bruce Willis’s voice over was very dry and boring. Mickey Rourke did a much better job during his long voice over scenes. This movie does have a ton of voice over…so be prepared. That is one problem with using this medium. Comic books in particular don’t show as much dialogue as they do internal thoughts and struggles. On screen the only way around that is voice over, voice over, and more voice over…either that or really cheesey thought bubbles popping up over the actors heads. THAT IS MY IDEA!! DON’T YOU STEAL IT! And hey kids, Frank Miller even does a cameo in this movie. He plays the priest.

-Suggestion-

Not a movie to watch with the kids. Very good, but it does have heavy amounts of adult content.

4‘s

Big JD

Frank Miller’s adaptation of his graphic novels of Sin City is a visual experience to say the least.  There is a lot going on in this movie which will tend to leave you a bit confused at times but if you are able to piece everything together makes for an “unsatisfying” story in the end.

Now, I’ve never read a Sin City graphic novel to date.  I probably won’t either.  It’s not that it’s a bad book, just not my style I guess.  Frank Miller always has a tendency to go extreme’s when it comes to “giving the dark side of the story”.  Actually it’s a fantastic team up when you got Tarantino, Rodriguez & Miller working on the same movie.  Before watching this movie again, I had to think to myself what I had remembered from the first and only time I viewed this movie.  What I remembered:  There was a guy investigating something, there was a yellow guy, and a weirdo guy with shiny glasses, a stripper, and a bunch a hookers.  That was it.  I couldn’t remember much more in terms of story.  That can only tell me that this movie really doesn’t have staying power for the 1 watcher.  Upon seeing it again, I can say that I understood more and maybe it has a chance of staying with me a little longer.  I guess we will see in 8 years.

The acting of the great ensemble was very acceptable.  There were a couple times when I felt Jessica Alba’s (Nancy) character was reading from a queue card but aside from that very good.  Ahh look folks the chubby younger version of Jessica Alba.  I remember her.  The writing was put together by the source material’s creator so, yes it was good.  It helps when you employ the creator in your movie.  But out of everything the best thing in this movie falls to the special effects and overall “look” of the film.  Something that has never been done right in a comic book adaptation.  Although, I would have a major fit if they tried this in a Marvel movie.  It’s specific to Miller’s style.  The grey filter with specific colors standing out to give you focal reference.  The Noir period makes you feel  like it’s the 40’s.  I really couldn’t get over the supernatural acts though.  These characters are NOT super powered beings yet they can be hit by a car three times get up and jump in their own car, light up a cigarette and basically go “oh man, I’m seeing things”.  Just one of the many times I was like “what? So, this guy can jump from a 3-4 story building and land just to jump right in his car and drive away?!”  Ok.  I get it, it’s a comic book adaptation.  It’s make believe.  But, in that case does that mean that everyone in Sin City has these great abilities to not die, except if they get their head cut off?  I guess so.

That brings me to the plot.  The meat of the movie.  The thing that I take away from the whole thing.  Well, what I take away is that Sin City is a bad place to be if you are looking for justice.  On the whole it is 3 stories interweaved together to show you that Sin City is bad.  The corrupt always win.  The good guys always die.  The innocent will become tainted.  That’s it.  I thought it was a weak plot to be honest.  This movie stands on its visual effects, not it’s plot.  Plus I thought the ending was horrible.  I really can’t enjoy an ending that leaves me unsatisfied in terms of retribution and … ok, I’ll just say it.  I want a happy ending.  There!  I said it!

Comic Book Movie Plus:  Jessica Alba: Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Return of the Silver Surfer – Powers Boothe: The Avengers – Rosario Dawson: MIBII – Michael Clarke Duncan:  Daredevil, Green Lantern – Josh Hartnett: 30 Days of Night – Rutger Hauer: Batman Begins – Jamie King: The Spirit – Mickey Rourke: Iron Man 2 – Bruce Willis: Red

Nudity Bonus:  Jamie King – Goldie/Wendy (T) (13:38/14:03), Carla Gugino – Lucille (T,A)(16:44/27:42)

3.5‘s

Randizzle-

 “Would you get a move on already? I haven’t got all night.”- Marv

Where to start, where to start…The visualization of the movie is wonderful the crisp black and white with little bits of color from time to time really make the movie pop. Having the whole graphic novel into a film kind of thing was pretty cool it felt more like a comic book movie then any other one I’ve seen (Sorry Graphic Novel don’t want to confuse anyone out there or disrespect Frank Miller he might send Miho after me.)

Frank Miller’s twisted mind always makes me chuckle, especially in this dark Noir style movie. John kind of covered that but I think that is one of the bonuses for me, I tend to like those 40’s-50’s style movies, I like how in the movie Marv calls a 1980’s Mercedes a newer Mercedes that looks like an electric razor. Gives it a little bit of time stamp to give you an idea of the period. But then it turns on you with the older cars, and older looking apartments and confuses me on what time period it really takes best thing about graphic novels/comic books the reality can change around you creating it’s own reality just like this movie.

The Cast is phenomenal, (although I do think the only movie I hated the cast is in Max the Magician) and the 3 stories tied into one was done relatively well, no major shift change to obviously let you know it’s changed you just have to watch to make sure you see when one story ends and the other begins. Out of the 3 stories I think the one that made most sense and felt more complete to me was Marv’s going after Goldie’s killer, and it had the true sense of a Noir film, detective (even though he isn’t) looking into finding out who killed the lady he loved. The only thing that really bothered me in this part is actually pretty dumb, I couldn’t shake that Elijah wood was just a creepy Charlie Brown meets Harry Potter kind of serial killer character, I am not saying it was bad, it was just a little creepy for me.

The one story line I couldn’t quite figure out although I have an idea on what is going on is Josh Hartnett’s character, besides the fact he was a killer or Mercenary. It doesn’t really say who or what he does…like in the beginning who was that girl and why did he have to take her out? Maybe I missed something there but it just didn’t click for me.

Bruce Willis playing an aging cop that takes the rap was a sad story, although I know what he did at the end was for the best, but he didn’t have to kill himself they wouldn’t have found her out. He killed Jr, He killed the 2 quasi-dumb minions. (I say quasi because one was somewhat intelligent but quite upto par.)

The one that I truly liked however was the Jackie boy Story…The car ride with Jackie boy “Dead” cracked me up, maybe I am just demented but Benecio Del Toro’s facial expressions really sold him on that part, and the Cheesy one liners that just irradiated from that story was just fantastic. It was good seeing some of the Tarantino actors in this film with some newer ones for Robert Rodriguez to shoot, I even saw one of the guys riding with Jackie boy from Rodriguez’s first film El Mariachi in it.

Soundtrack kept the mood going, very low, depressing kind of music with a hint of  suspense and murder in it, I would say it fit pretty well and helped set the mood, in fact in certain parts I totally forgot that there is one and just focused on the story.

There is quite a bit of Nudity ( I see Big JD made his notes on the scenes.) So don’t watch it with Children but over all I would say probably Robert Rodriguez’s 2nd Best film.

4‘ s

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2 responses

  1. Pingback: Hard Boiled #1, September/1990… Frank Miller & Geof Darrow | Vintage (and not so vintage) Paperbacks

  2. Pingback: Top 5 Mob/Gangster Movies | The Movie Crew

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