Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Movie of the Week:

The epitome of coolness.

There have been a ton of movies based on comic books. Some are good and others don't quite work. Comic book movies are very hard to do. One of the problems is that most comics are written to appeal to adolescent boys. Super powered heroes kicking the bad guy's butt, hard boiled detectives that shoot their way out of every situation and always get the girl - any girl, every girl. It's perfectly acceptable behavior, and all great fun in the comics - but it doesn't translate when you place it into the context of the real world (as you do in a movie). When you depict extreme violence, misogynic behavior and over the top dialogue in the real world, it feels false. SIN CITY is a notable exception. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, whose credits range from Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn to the Spy Kids series, SIN CITY exists in a world of its own.

This film has a very unique look. It's certainly film noir, and so it's always nighttime. It’s mostly filmed in noir and white. The femme fatales have ruby noir lips. The hard-boiled men narrate their own story with noir-ish monologue (a noiralogue). Victims, good and bad, bleed blood that’s noir or white or red or yellow or noir. Noir detectives habituate noir bars where the just and the unjust sit together to drink their noir whiskey and tell their noir tales with noir-ish noir. Now that’s pretty noir.

The noir-ish of all is the city itself. Sin City is as much a character in the story as Marv or Hartigan or Goldie. It’s the kind of place where you can only survive with your wits, ......... and rubber tubing, gas, saw, gloves, cuffs, razor wire, hatchet, Gladys (your ’44), and your mitts. The kind of place where all your troubles can be packed into the trunk of a hardtop with a decent engine.

SIN CITY tells three or four short stories from the Frank Miller comic series. The stories are independent and are not in chronological order. A lot has been said about how the film-makers preserved the exact look and feel of the comic – maybe more than any previous movie attempt. Frame by frame comparisons show this to be true. It is indeed a technically perfect recreation. But is that the main reason to watch this movie – NO.

The dialogue is corny as hell. The acting is over the top. The actions and plot are exaggerated. The violence is extreme. And the art direction is breathtaking. No, the best reason to watch this movie is that this was the most fun I’ve had watching a film in a long ……… long ……..long time. Did I like this movie – you bet. Here’s why you should give it a try.

  1. It’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
  2. Have you ever had a barrel of monkeys? We’re talking high amplitude excitement here.
  3. A barrel of snakes – not as fun!
  4. No actual sex – but lots of skin.
  5. Big stars like Bruce Willis, Micky Rourke, Jessica Alba, and ......... well, lots – that’s all.
  6. Micky Rourke: Bet you forgot about him, didn’t you. He’s great in this film.
  7. This is exactly what a film should be. Fun and exciting.
  8. No need to read the comic first – in fact, probably better this way.
  9. It's absudly violent, but the violence is not disturbing because Sin City doesn't exist in the real world.
  10. Ranks #67 in IMDB top 250 movies between Rashômon and Raging Bull.
  11. Lots of other reasons. Read Roger Ebert’s review here.

This is an easy movie to watch. It doesn’t take any effort to enjoy. But pay attention, a lot of stuff happens, fast.


Roger Ebert’s review of SIN CITY.


At 11:21 AM, Anonymous JOEC said...

Great Bad guys, Hot damsels in dis-dress, ultra-violence, awesome. Your best recommendation in a while. By far the best comic adaption I've ever seen. I liked the noir-ness of it too.

After I watched this movie, I wanted to watch it again. So I did. So what it was 2:30 am, it was a great movie.

Keep up the good work on the reviews.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger FranksFilms said...

It was so noir that I had to see it again.

Same here.


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