Sin City


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Rating: R

Jessica Alba as Nancy Callahan
Devon Aoki as Miho
Alexis Bledel as Becky
Powers Boothe as Senator Roark
Rosario Dawson as Gail
Benicio Del Toro as Jackie Boy
Michael Clarke Duncan as Manute
Carla Gugino as Lucille
Josh Hartnett as The Man
Rutger Hauer as Cardinal Roark
Jaime King as Goldie/Wendy
Michael Madsen as Bob
Brittany Murphy as Shellie
Clive Owen as Dwight
Mickey Rourke as Marv
Nick Stahl as Roark Jr./Yellow Bastard
Bruce Willis as Hartigan
Elijah Wood as Kevin

Special Features:
Behind-The-Scenes Featurette

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
French Language
Running Time: 126 Minutes

The following is the description from the DVD cover:

“An amazing cast of big-screen favorites is directed by Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn), Frank Miller — and special guest director Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill 1 and 2, Pulp Fiction) — in an acclaimed and visually stunning hit that’s the coolest movie of the year! Straight from the pages of Miller’s hip series of “Sin City” graphic novels, Bruce Willis stars as a cop with a bum ticker and a vow to protect a sexy stripper (Jessica Alba — Fantastic Four); Mickey Rourke (Man on Fire) as an outcast misanthrope on a mission to avenge the death of his one true love (Jaime King — Pearl Harbor); and Clive Owen (King Arthur) as Dwight, the clandestine love of Shellie (Brittany Murphy — Little Black Book), who spends his night defending Gail (Rosario Dawson — The Devil’s Rejects) and her Old Town girls (Devon Aoki and Alexis Bledel) from a tough guy (Benicio Del Toro — 21 Grams) with a penchant for violence. Also starring Elijah Wood, Nick Stahl, Michael Madsen, Carla Gugino, and Michael Clark Duncan.”

Frank Miller’s Sin City is rated R for sustained strong stylized violence, nudity, and sexual content including dialogue

The Movie:
Sin City is definitely not for everyone. It has interesting characters, a stunning visual style, and engaging stories, but the violence is so extreme that it may turn some people off. In fact, the violence is so insanely over the top that it’s almost comical. For example, we see Bruce Willis rip a man’s penis off, dogs eating the limbs off of another character, Marv holding a guys face to pavement while driving a car, and other acts of barbarity. It will either turn your stomach or make you laugh. In many ways it’s similar to Kill Bill in how it is extremely violent, but to the point of comedy.

But all violence aside, Sin City is probably the comic book movie that is most faithful to its original source material. Most of the frames from the film are set up identical to how they appear in the comic panels and most of the dialogue is the same as well. It’s as close as you can get to taking a comic book and slapping it up on the screen. The resulting film is visually impressive. Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez shot the movie in black and white and then used sparing color here and there. It ends up being a great effect. A significant portion of the movie is also CG from the backgrounds to the props to the sets. You end up being fully immersed in the world and buying it despite the fact that it is all digitally created. I think the black and white footage and the cartoony appearance of many things in Sin City helped make the digital backgrounds all the more believable.

The cast of Sin City is great. The standout among them is Mickey Rourke as Marv. His character is a psychopathic homicidal maniac, but he’s a likable one at that. That may sound weird, but he ends up being an anti-hero you can enjoy as he goes on a quest for vengeance and starts mercilessly killing the bad guys. His little humorous quips here and there help take the edge off the character and give him some added dimension. Bruce Willis is also great as Hartigan, the only good cop in Sin City. The fact that he’s a lone noble soul and the only good cop make him all the more likable to audiences. Clive Owen is also likable as Dwight, but he has a hidden dark side that makes him quite intriguing. Nick Stahl and Elijah Wood also stand out as two very different but very evil serial killers. Their roles are certainly unlike anything they have done before.

The only downfall of the film is that it occasionally sticks too close to the comic. Some of the costumes, stunts, and dialogue seem just a little too cheesy when they are lifted from the page and put on the big screen. They just seem to work better in the comic than in live action.

The Extras:
One thing becomes immediately obvious when looking at the bonus features on this DVD – a Sin City special edition DVD is on the way. The only thing included here is a 10-minute promotional video that only gives a brief taste of the making of the movie. There are no extended interviews with the cast and crew, no behind the scenes specials on the effects, nothing on the makeup, and nothing on the music. If you like bonus features, then you’re going to be very disappointed. I would only recommend buying this DVD if you can’t wait to get a better version later.

The Bottom Line:
Sin City is a fun movie if you can get past the extreme violence, but DVD fans may want to wait and pick up the inevitable special edition that will have more bonus features than this edition.