Sin City Reviews
Fully embracing its pulp roots, Sin City depicts reluctant anti-heroes trying to exist in a city overwhelmed with corruption and despair. It's the ultimate in hard boiled fiction.
It's a nice selection of works, and the vague symmetry of how they're pieced together is nice too, really showing off the intertwining nature of the stories and how, even in the graphic novel universe, they're in non-linear fashion. The Hard Goodbye is chronologically the last, but was published first, and presented third here.
Robert Rodriguez was a great choice for this, and joining him in the diretor's chair is Frank Miller himself, the best (and obvious) choice for someone to adapt this stuff. They even got Tarantino to show up as a special guset director for a single scene, which apparently was done as a favor to Rodriguez who directed a scene for Pulp Fiction. If you want to know what the scenes are, just ask because I happen to know stuff like that.
A few changes are made to the works, namely the addition of the epilogue (I can't explain it without spoliers), and some minor tweaks here and there (like keeping Jessica Alba's character clothed since she's got a no nudity clause in her contract. Changes like that aren't really much of a problem, as the main point still gets across. And, as a nicce treat, actual panels from the graphic novels were used as story boards, so the film absolutely nails the look and feel of the graphic novels.
I'm sometimes leery on the use of so much CGI, but can make exceptions when it really is used to do something stylish, innovative, and is employed creatively. That's the case here. With the exception of like three sets, everything else is done with green screen, really giving the film a unique style and appearance. Also, true to the books, the film is primarily in high contrast black and white, with occasional splashes of high definition color for emphasis, such as on eyes, shoes, or, in the case of one character, his whole body.
The casting for this was, no lie, absolutely perfect. Seriously. They managed to find the perfect dead ringers for this, and thankfully, besides looking like their characters, all the actors deliver some tremendous performances, especially Rourke, who started making a comeback with this. The actors all "get" the material, and they play it without a sense of camp or cheekiness. Well, Madsen seems a little too comic bookish, but he's still good.
It's also great that they filmed this as almost shot for shot the way they did, because had this all been in color, it'd be the most gruesome film ever. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but seriously, this has some deliciously over the top gore and mayhem, and it is gloriously awesome. It's not gonna be for all tastes, but it IS a neo noir crime thriller after all.
As much as I love this, I'm a little hesitant to just straight up slap it with the Full 5. In many ways it does deserve it, since this is a high water mark for graphic novel adaptations, but I think in a lot of ways it might be a tad too faithful, too reverent, and it might have been better had it been dialed down a notch. I do have a lot of respect for it though, and definitely feel like it is required viewing for Miller fans, Rodriguez fans, and people who dig stylish neo noir hard boiled crime thriller material.
Basin City is the film noir community that plays host to three hardboiled comic-book tales. "The Hard Goodbye" has Marv (Mickey Rourke) an brutish ex-convict who avenges the murder of prostitute Goldie (Jamie King) that he had fallen in love with; "The Big Fat Kill" where private detective Dwight (Clive Owen) finds himself helping hookers fight mercenaries from the red light district and "That Yellow Bastard" sees disgraced cop Hartigan (Bruce Willis) protect dancer Nancy (Jessica Alba) from a psychotic sadist and sex offender (Nick Stahl).
This film may be, unashamedly, computer enhanced but it doesn't diminish it's highly visual approach. It's shot in true noir style with wonderful touches of vibrant colour throughout it's monochrome palette. It also has the downbeat voiceover that most film's of the genre indulge in. It's quite simply, a stunning piece of work. Comic-book adaptations have taken to our screens on a regular basis but Rodriguez has probably been the most faithful to his source material. This is as close as I've seen in a page to screen transfer. Rodriguez has retained the look and feel of this fantasy world, practically word-for-word, and I can only assume that having it's creator Frank Miller on board is a major merit. Like a lot of comics it's most certainly a boys-own adventure; All the guys look tough and talk tough and most of the gals dress in dog collars and S&M gear. It could be deemed insulting or exploitative towards women but it's written purely as fantasy and works an absolute treat. I'm a big fan of film-noir but you'd be hard pushed to find it done in such an audacious way. Into the bargain, Quentin Tarantino 'guest directs' a scene and we are also given a huge cast of familiar faces. All of which, are superb. The real standout though is a comeback performance by Mickey Rourke. He's as brutal and relentless as they come - "... they should've shot me in the head and enough times to make sure" - and he's unlike most comic characters you'll find yourself rooting for. I've always been a fan of Rourke's and this is one of my favourite performances from him. It's great to have him back. Ultimately, it's the look and feel of the film that possesses the real power though. It's very hard not too be drawn into this visceral and uncompromising neo-noir.
"Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For" is in the works and if Rodriguez and Miller can recreate their true visual spectacle and technical achievements, then we could be in for another treat.
Directors Recut: 100/100
Extended Cut: 95/100
A terrific blend of film noir, stylish effects, and groundbreaking directorial techniques make Sin City one of the greatest achievements in cinematic history. The great thing about Sin City aside from it's slick and stylish visuals, is it's flawless adaption from Frank Miller's groundbreaking graphic novel, with great actors, great action, and a whole lot of badass girls who can kick the asses of the 'Sucker Punch' girls any day. Next to 'The Dark Knight' this is the best comic book film ever. As an avid fan of Frank Miller's original 'Sin City' graphic novels, I was ecstatic hearing a film adaption was being helmed by the great Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, and Miller himself.
Looks like the movie gods teamed up on this one because this is a very well-casted film. The three main leads consist of Bruce Willis, Micky Rourke, and Clive Owen, who give the most twisted performances of their careers. The characters are all involved in three "intertwining" stories, that are perfect and flawless adaptations from the graphic novel, literally. You can read the book and watch the film at the same time and wouldn't notice a thing different. Hell, even the stylized color choices are the same! The fact that the only colors gracing the screen are black, white, yellow, and the occasional use of substantial, bloody, gory, violent, body limbs flying around. The gals of the film are quite stunning, from both an acting and visual standpoint. Carla Gugino, Jessica Alba, Alexis Bledel, Rosario Dawson, and Devon Aoki are the first-class women of the film, and are quite the eye-candy for us guys.
Mature, stylistic, complex, and cohesive; Sin City is a true masterpiece.
Hartigan and Marv are the best sections for me, probably the best characters in my humble opinion, Roll on number two.
*** 3 Star
The thing that grabbed my attention the most was the graphics. It had a certain 3D/Animated quality to it that completely takes you into the graphic novel world of Basin City. I literally felt in the time and place of it...I really really loved that about this film. It's definitely a total comic movie! Also, I found the black-white very nice and different. The use of random color is nice too, i'm not sure if there's artistic meaning in it...i bet there is, which is great too!
The star-filled cast also stood out to me, like seriously...who isn't in this movie. Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Elijah Wood, Rosario Dawson...they were all great. I particularly enjoyed Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Alexis Bledel, and Brittany Murphy. Awesome cast!
Then there's the fighting. It's graphic, even grotesque in some respects, but all the while it's entertaining, but artistic...even more so than Kill Bill, which is even more graphic. I was entertained, but it's still of great detail and quality.
My only complaint of the movie is the credits than ran after each segment, but other than that, it's pretty brilliant! One of the best films of 2005...I completely recommend it!