Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Sin City: Recut Extended Unrated Versions (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8 out of 10
Extras Rating:
9 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: Unrated

Jessica Alba as Nancy Callahan
Rosario Dawson as Gail
Benicio Del Toro as Jack Rafferty
Michael Clark Duncan as Manute
Carla Gugino as Lucille
Josh Hartnett as The Salesman
Michael Madsen as Bob
Jaime King as Goldie/Wendy
Brittany Murphy as Shellie
Clive Owen as Dwight
Mickey Rourke as Marv
Nick Stahl as Junior/Yellow Bastard
Marley Shelton as The Customer
Bruce Willis as John Hartigan
Elijah Wood as Kevin

Special Features:
All-New Feature Commentary with Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller
All-New Feature Commentary with Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino
An Audio Track Featuring a Recording of the Austin Audience Reaction
15-Minute Film School with Robert Rodriguez
The Long Take: 14 Uninterrupted Minutes of Tarantino's Segment
"Sin City Live" Night At Antones -- Filmmakers, Cast, and Crew Party
10-Minute Cooking School with Robert Rodriguez
How It Went Down: Convincing Frank Miller to Make the Film
A Hard Top with a Decent Engine: The Cars of Sin City
Trench Coats & Fishnets: The Costumes of Sin City
Making the Monsters: Special Effects Makeup
The Movie in High-Speed Green Screen -- All Green-Screen Version
Booze, Broads & Guns: The Props of Sin City
Special Guest Director: Quentin Tarantino
Sin-Chroni-City Interactive Set-Top Feature
Teaser & Theatrical Trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 147 Minutes

The following is from the DVD cover:

"This Recut & Extended Edition is the ultimate 'Sin City' DVD Collection and features a new, never-before-seen extended version of the original motion picture, the original theatrical release with three new commentaries, and extensive brand-new bonus material! Also included, a complete Sin City graphic novel: "The Hard Goodbye." The acclaimed hit from director Robert Rodriguez delivers explosive stories straight from the pages of Frank Miller's hip series of "Sin City" graphic novels ... and stars Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Jaime King, Clive Owen, Brittany Murphy, Rosario Dawson, Devon Aoki, Alexis Bledel, Benicio Del Toro, Elijah Wood, Nick Stahl, Michael Madsen, Carla Gugino, and Michael Clarke Duncan."

This version of "Sin City" is unrated, but the theatrical version was rated R for sustained strong stylized violence, nudity and sexual content including dialogue.

The Movie:
Despite being "recut, extended, and unrated", the new version of "Sin City" isn't all that different from the theatrical version. First of all, Robert Rodriguez separates each of the stories into four individual short films. "The Customer is Always Right," "The Hard Goodbye," "The Big Fat Kill," and "That Yellow Bastard" are now four separate movies. Next he adds some additional scenes. The cover says that there's 20 extra minutes, but it certainly didn't seem like that. "The Hard Goodbye" has a scene added where Marv returns to his childhood home to retrieve his gun. While there, his mother steps in and tells him some men came by looking for him. It's yet another scene straight out of the comic. In "That Yellow Bastard," we see that Carla Gugino as Lucille helps Bruce Willis as John Hartigan get out of jail. She offers to help prove his innocence, yet when he continues to state that he's guilty, she belts him across the jaw. Finally, there's a little more of Devon Aoki in "The Big Fat Kill." While none of these scenes add that much to the plot, they will be welcome additions to fans of the "Sin City" comics.

As for the rest of the film, you can see my review of it here.

As you might expect, the Blu-ray Disc version of "Sin City" looks amazing. Any animated film looks fantastic in High Definition, and since "Sin City" is mostly animated, it looks great.

The Extras:
For the Blu-ray Disc version of this film, there are two new bonus features that weren't on the "Recut Extended Unrated" DVD set:

Cine-Explore - When you activate this feature, the commentary with Rodriguez and Miller kicks in and as the movie plays, panels from the comic appear on the screen. Green screen footage without effects will also play in another window on the screen, too. It's actually a pretty impressive way to watch the film. This kind of thing wouldn't work with many films, but it's the perfect way to re-watch "Sin City." You can watch an exclusive clip from the feature below!

Kill 'Em Good - This is a Blu-ray video game mixed with an animated version of the comic book. As Marv's story begins, you guide his stolen police car through the streets of the city. Then you throw money at Nancy as she dances. Then you shoot cops at the farm house. I found the controls a bit hard to manage at first, but eventually got the hang of it. Unfortunately there's a learning curve on each level.

Here are the other highlights from the bonus features. These were on a previous release of the DVD, so if you have that, you have all this:

All-New Feature Commentaries There are two commentaries one with Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller and another with Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino. While it would have been fun to include the actors, too, these guys more than make up for it with lively discussion. And what's better than having the comic creator sit in on the commentary?

An Audio Track Featuring a Recording of the Austin Audience Reaction If you've already seen the film, it's quite fun to watch it again with the audience reaction. Their applause of the film, laughter at the jokes, and gasps of horror at the violence take the movie viewing experience to another level. And you don't have anybody kicking your seat.

15-Minute Film School with Robert Rodriguez Rodriguez breaks down a number of the tricks he used to pull off making "Sin City" with a low budget and a little bit of technology. He talks about how he attempted to copy the look of the comic, how he filmed on a small green screen, and some tricks he used to shoot separate actors in the same scene at different times. This is required viewing for aspiring filmmakers.

The Long Take: 14 Uninterrupted Minutes of Tarantino's Segment Since they shot this movie with digital cameras, they were able to leave the camera running for extended periods of time and through multiple takes. Rodriguez offers some of that raw footage here that was shot during Tarantino's scene with Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro. You see them play with dialogue, discuss the scene with Tarantino, get their makeup touched up, and more. It's the next best thing to being on the set.

"Sin City Live" Night at Antones After Bruce Willis finished filming, they went down to a nightclub in Austin and Willis and his band called The Accelerators played a charity concert. Rodriguez used the "Sin City" cameras to record the concert in HD. All the cast and crew were there, but they are barely seen in this music video. Still, it's fun to see Willis sing and play.

10-Minute Cooking School with Robert Rodriguez Rodriguez shows how to make homemade breakfast tacos. It seems like an odd addition to the DVD, but he says it's a fan favorite. Who am I to argue?

How It Went Down: Convincing Frank Miller to Make the Film Miller and Rodriguez talk about how they were talked into making the movie. They talk about the initial idea, the test footage that was shot, and more. It's a fun and unique story to hear about the making of the film.

A Hard Top with a Decent Engine: The Cars of "Sin City" Despite all the CG in the film, they did use some real vintage cars. This featurette discusses how they tracked them all down to match hose in the comics and how they were used.

Trench Coats & Fishnets: The Costumes of "Sin City" The costumer talks about all the outrageous costumes in the movie. They also discuss how material type was a big consideration in getting it to look right and match the black and white look in the comics.

Making the Monsters: Special Effects Makeup This featurette highlights the makeup of Marv, Yellow Bastard, and Jack. Again, it's all about matching the comic.

The Movie in High-Speed Green Screen - All Green-Screen Version Rodriguez actually plays the entire film in fast forward showing only the raw green screen footage. You can view it in about 10 minutes and it really gives you an appreciation for the effects work in the film.

Booze, Broads & Guns: The Props of "Sin City" This featurette highlights the unique guns, knives, and swords in the film. Interestingly, the swords used in the movie were also used in "Kill Bill."

Special Guest Director: Quentin Tarantino This featurette discusses Tarantino's involvement in the movie and it shows a ton of behind the scenes footage from his day of shooting.

Sin-Chroni-City Interactive Set-Top Feature This feature, hosted by Rodriguez, shows all the locations in Basin City, the characters that live there, the chronology, and their interconnection. This will please the comics fans most of all.

The Bottom Line:
If you're a "Sin City" fan, this is the edition that you've been waiting for. Robert Rodriguez again delivers a ton of bonus features that will please both comic fans and aspiring filmmakers alike.


Order this DVD @ Amazon

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