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Sin City

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:59 am
by dan
well, i'll say's probly the best movie i've seen in quite a while. the visuals...acting....casting....whatever....this movie was really really good.


Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:37 pm
by kamikazestyle
i thought it was trying too hard. there were parts i liked, but overall i thought it was so-so.

i know chuck will have different words since he already told me i was crazy and that i could leave his precense when i made my opinion clear.

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 2:25 am
by Jason
Overall I enjoyed it. Some changes/tweaks I liked, some didn't, but I figured since Miller helped make the calls, that's how he wanted it.

It's hard to really guage my reaction. When I see a film I really enjoy, I want to see it again as soon as I can. In this instance, I enjoyed the film, but it made me want to go back and read the comics.

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:33 am
by Justin
I really really liked it, i haven't read the graphic novels yet so maybe i'm unaware of things the movie may be lacking, but honestly it blew me away. i loved it. :D

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 4:50 pm
by WillisDrummond
I thought it was atrocious. The comics didn't translate to film well at all. I wrote a review of it, where I go in depth on this issue read it here.

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 5:02 pm
by Vince
I'm not quite sure what to say about this movie.

I'm tremendously conflicted, because I went with a LARGE (over a dozen) group of people -- all artists from the LA area -- and I am quite sure I was the only one who didn't really like Sin City.

Not that I thought it didn't work visually. It was amazing visually. Consistently and viscerally stunning images. Or that I thought the monologues didn't work. Because they did. I couldn't imagine the movie being done without it.

I think what bothered me was, in fact, what the point of Sin City is, among other things, that horrible people deserve to die horribly. Which gets me thinking more about our role as artists in general.
Can we dislike works of art and still feel they have artistic merit? Do movies like Triumph of the Will and Birth of a Nation qualify as great, landmark works of cinema? Is provoking a response -- any response -- the sole purpose of art? Is it simply enough that art expresses an idea or message, regardless of what that is? This is not about censorship, which I detest. This is just my questioning about what sort of responsibility we have -- or don't have -- in creating what we strive to create, our art. I think it's an unpopular question, and when it's asked, the one who asks is seen less as an artist and more as a peevish, reactionary nanny who wants to fill the world with saccharine live-action Disney movies.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not someone who exclusively watches children's cartoons. I was thinking of this in comparison to Tarantino's movies. I love Kill Bill with a passion. I thought Pulp Fiction was a great, masterful work of filmmaking. I didn't have this reaction to Reservoir Dogs. I don't know why. Maybe I liked the lyrical, poetic quality of those movies. Maybe the violence felt more purposeful.

Oh well. Colin Covert from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune summed up how I feel about it: "'Sin City' will without a doubt have a spot on my top-10 list this year. Maybe the top spot. But that doesn't mean I have to like it."

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 5:22 pm
by Kazu
I want to see this film so badly it almost hurts.

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 6:26 pm
by Phil
Saw the movie last night--and now I just reread the first Sin City book, the one about Marv and Goldie. Wow, the movie was so faithful to it! Even moreso than I remembered. And being Miller's first SC tale, it had the most power, I think. I definitely thought it was the strongest part of the movie by far.

Marv's story sums up the whole essence of Miller's world created in Sin City. A down-on-his-luck tough guy finds something to live for--and the only way to keep that feeling alive is revenge. It's a simple story of justice and loyalty and love. The movie takes very few liberties from the original comic, and it all translates excellently. The stylized design of Marv even works brilliantly on film. As Ebert has said, this isn't a comic book adaptation--it's purely a comic book brought to life.

The other tales brought into the film are weaker, somewhat less compelling. I thought the acting was pretty weak, especially by most of the women. In fact, the best performance for me was by the actress I normally dislike the most--Brittany Murphy. While Rosario Dawson has "the look," her voice and line delivery have no weight whatsoever. Jessica Alba is super cute, but likewise, brings no feeling of reality or dramatic weight to the screen.
As for the men, most were passable, with few standouts--such as Benicio Del Toro. Great, slimy performance. Bruce Willis's Hartigan just felt like a weaker version of Marv.

Marv ruled the film. 8) His story is the only reason I'll see this again.
I would love to see some more movies, too, if they can capture the stylized awesomeness of Marv and his tale...

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:42 pm
by Woody
I saw it last night. I thought it was outstanding for the very same reasons that I thought the books were outstanding. I will admit that it took me several beats of the movie for me to get into it. It opens with that scene that everybody's seen, with Josh Hartnett in a tux and Marley Shelton in her red dress and red lipstick. Then there's the white silhouette. Oh yes, the white silhouette. It made me smile when I saw it. So while the visuals instantly captured my attention and imagination, it still took a bit for me to get into the movie mostly because of the whole noir-style narration, like an old P.I. movie. I think that's mostly because very few films use that much narration, especially when it's simply a character's thoughts rather than some omniscient narrator setting up the story, which happens in most movies that use narration. In Sin City, however, just like the books, narration is meant to be heard as happening inside the character's head at the same moment. Quite unusual for movies. So that can throw you off.

After about 20 minutes, though, I got into it, and I never got out. It was just wonderful. It's definitely the most faithful comic-to-film adaptation. Some would say too faithful, like the friend that I saw it with. I thought it just great, though. I completely understand the small bits that were left out, as well as the few minor changes here and there. None of those affect the story much at all, though (except perhaps the scene with Marv's mom, but only a little, and I hear that'll be on the DVD anyway).

A lot of people, I think, have complaints about the over-the-top violence and cheesy stories and lines. But if you look past the violence there is a love story in each of them. Maybe not as much with Marv, but surely with Dwight's part, and especially with Hartigan's section of the film. I also don't really see that there's much difference between the violence in the comic vs the violence in the film. They're both incredibly violent. Some argue that the comic is perhaps easier to take in because it's still drawings, but I think that that very fact, that comics do not move, makes the violence that much heavier. The movie counterbalances that with the incredibly gut-wrenching sound effects and special effects, so that they both have the same violence level. But the violence was hardly the motive behind the film and is hardly the centerpiece of the film. These are real characters that are developed well. I especially love the line when Dwight says that Marv isn't an idiot or a brute or anything like that, but just that he was born in the wrong century, that he would've fit in back in the days of the Roman Empire and the gladiators and whatnot.

I actually enjoyed That Yellow Bastard the most of the three segments. Mickey Rourke's performance as Marv was the best in the film, I think, but the last segment with Hartigan and Nancy was my favorite. I actually read that book first, and it's been my favorite since. I've still 3 more books to read, but Yellow Bastard is my favorite book so far, and it was my favorite segment in the movie. I thought Bruce Willis did an excellent job. In fact, I thought most of the male actors did great. The female actors didn't do as well, mostly, except for the woman who played Marv's parole officer, Lucile, and of course Devon Aoki, though she didn't have any lines. Rosario Dawson was pretty good, and so was Brittany Murphy. I actually liked Jessica Alba's portrayal of Nancy in this, though I can see where most people would find her acting not so great.

I'm rambling. I don't usually write much at all about movies, so I'm done here. It's a brilliant movie. It's a brilliant comic. That's how I see it.

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:30 pm
by Joey
I saw the movie, and I thought it was alright. Now, personally, I am not a fan of Frank Miller's writing. I understand what he's going for, it just doesn't agree with me. So, not being too big of a fan of his comics (granted, I've never actually read Sin City, but several other projects of his), and knowing how closely Miller worked on the film, I pretty much knew what to expect writing-wise.

Still, knowing how close Miller worked on the film, and hearing what I've been hearing about how closely it followed the comic...that's what made me interested in it, does that make any sense? I was really fascinated with the movie, from a stylistic stand point, ever since seeing the trailers and that extended preview video. I wanted to see a movie that was closely followed a comic, even shot for shot in some instances. And, that aspect of it was amazing. It really was a cinimatic version of what Miller does. That was really cool to see. There was a lot of things, visually especially, that I really loved seeing.

I was impressed with how they managed to avoid a lot of the things that I see happen in adaptations, not just of comics. For instance, I was surprised that it was a series of shorts that loosely over-lapped. I wouldn't have been shocked if they had just taken the Marv story, and made that into the film. And the look, dialogue, ultra-violence, things like that made it a certainly excentric film that could have been easily smoothed over into a typical Hollywood action flick.

So, yeah, it was definitely interesting visually, and from an artistic perspective. But I wasn't really interested in the story, and the dialogue/internal monologues really grated on me. So what does that mean? ha ha, I don't know. Not quite sure what to think about that. Not for me in the long run I suppose.

Pretty fascinating how intensely it embodied the "male fantasy" thing that I have heard accused of comics though, ha ha. Lots of breasts, butts, guns, explosions, hookers, gravely voices, and of course every Alpha-Male's worst fear: LOTS of violence and threats directed towards the penis.

Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:21 pm
by E
it was great...
at the beginning tho, i must admit.. i was like.. the hell.. this KINDA SUCKS, but after that first 15mins or so... solid gold on thru the end.

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:05 am
by Kazu
Just got back from watching the film. I still have to stand back for a bit and digest all that information (seeing that there is plenty of it), but my initial reaction to the film is that I liked it a LOT. It's another instance of something that probably doesn't sound like it would work in concept, coming to life because all the parties involved were working with an enthusiasm for the project that takes it to a level that the work almost becomes too difficult to fully criticize. This film is just dripping with life. Every performance carried the pulp and weight required to carry a film on its own, and together they make for a powerful, if slightly uneven, smorgasbord of tongue-in-cheek melodrama that's undeniably fun. While the shots (many are taken directly from the comic) look stunningly beautiful, it's the editing that really grabbed me. The cutting is just so damn slick and cool it's like watching an inspired musician perform the hell out of a set, using every cool instrument at his disposal and every ounce of energy he's got. This kind of enthusiasm permeates throughout the whole of the film, and it is for this reason that the film is a success. Rodriguez and Tarantino are among the best formalist filmmakers out there who know how to throw a damn good party, and Sin City is no exception to that fact.

As for the moral responsibilities an artist has to their audience... well, this film is so obviously over-the-top and done with an attitude that exhibits the reverence of style and not of real-life violence that it would be hard for me to compare it to a film like Triumph of the Will, which was created with a very specific, very real, and very misguided message in mind (despite whether or not Leni Riefenstahl's personal beliefs were to the contrary). To say that a film like Sin City was created to encourage people to shoot each other and become hard-boiled vigilantes is like saying that the audience is not intelligent enough to understand subtext and the intent of the film's creation. It is when the subtext is subverted to espouse some alarmingly misguided ideology that we should all be much more concerned.

That said, I recommend seeing Sin City. It's the best film Rodriguez has (co-)directed and man, I looove From Dusk Til' Dawn. Heheh. Good stuff.

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:13 am
by Kean
Ehhh... I thought it was just okay. Yeah, it looked great, exactly like the comics, blah blah blah, but the performances were uneven to the point where it became a distraction. Michael Madsen, Jessica Alba, and Brittany Murphy being the chief culprits for me. It's pulp dialogue they're playing with, and when the delivery is flat, it totally takes me out of the moment. I'm not sure why the majority of the people here gripe about the acting, and yet still love the movie... if I just wanted the pretty pictures, that's what the comics are for. Maybe I just wanted a little more by way of meat in the performances than what was given on screen.

I dunno, maybe it's because I was so attached to the pacing from the comics, that I wasn't able to let go and fully enjoy it -- I wasn't fully expecting the film to be cut together at a breakneck speed, especially in the Marv storyline (for example, I always felt the whole sequence with Marv in the rain would play out much longer and atmospherically than what ended up on film).

Although the DVD with all three uncut stories certainly sounds interesting (yay! more of Gladys!).

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:11 am
by jen
I teeter between sorta liking it and liking it a lot because I agree with pretty much all its praise and criticisms. The reasons people found to dislike Sin City were similar to the reasons I disliked Kill Bill 1 (although I loved 2!); shallow characters, style over substance, campy dialogue, etc. I rolled my eyes over the Comic-Con preview because I thought the dialogue translated terribly, yet after about 10 minutes into the actual movie I got used to it. I felt the filmmakers and actors were aware of its camp-value so it was an "either you're with us, or you're not" attitude. You have to resist the temptation to smack Jessica Alba over the head, but, you know.... Kirsten Dunst had a more prominant role in Spider-Man 2 and people loved the crap outta that movie. ;)

And I HATE whiny feminist rants but I couldn't help being irked by Frank Miller's chauvinism. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love me some sexploitation, and anytime with a nearly naked Brittany Murphy and Rosario Dawson is a good time to me. But attempting an "enpowerment" stance by letting prostitutes run their own business and giving them M-16's only to have them fall at the feet of Clive Owen deserves a raised eyebrow from me. And Jessica Alba studying law? Puh-leeze. The only ladies that did anything interesting were Miho and Lucile, and I frown upon the silent asian beauty archetype and guffah over the naked dyke one. C'mon Frank Miller, let's grow up a little now. I like the movie regardless, but I got so excited over all the hot bondage prostitutes with guns I was disappointed when they didn't do anything. WAH. [/end killjoyism]

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:42 am
by WillisDrummond
jen wrote: I like the movie regardless, but I got so excited over all the hot bondage prostitutes with guns I was disappointed when they didn't do anything. WAH. [/end killjoyism]
You mean, besides slaughter Michael Duncan Clark's character and all his cronies?

The comics were so intense and personal, that the filmic experience didn't translate well for me in the least. I guess other people have read the comics differently than I did, but the movie was so slick and the comics were so gritty. It was like they were asking me to laugh at some guy getting his wang ripped off, when, in the comics, it grossed me out.