Original Post Date: December 16th, 2011
Author’s Note: This was my very first post, as you can tell by the unoriginal headline. I didn’t know what I was doing. (I still don’t.) As far as format goes, I attempted to include a couple quotes from the movie and a few from myself. Dick (editor in chief of my last blog) suggested I try to include a couple named sections that would continue from post to post. Additionally, he thought a final review at the end would be a nice touch (in this case “3 out of 4 severed heads”). I attempted to include these changes. If they didn’t work…this was 7 years ago, so suck it.
Anyway, on with the show…
Titan Town: Sin City
“Sin City” (2005)
“I only seek the most lighthearted and momentary digression.” – Shlubb, Sin City
“….Oh Dear Lord, that’s hideous.” – DirectingTitan, Couch
“Walk down the right back alley in Sin City, and you could find anything.”
– Marv, Sin City
“The human body is not meant to bend like that.” – DirectingTitan, Into a barf bag
First, I extend my humble thanks to Dick Chang for allowing my first post to be about a movie that was released…let’s see…..six years ago. There’s a method to my madness, but I haven’t figured it out yet.
It turns out Sin City is an actual movie, and not something I imagined after a night of comic books, whiskey and the stockpiled munitions of a small country with a long name. Based on the blood-spattered pages of author/artist Frank Miller’s series of the same name, this film was directed by both Miller and Robert Rodriguez, citing Quentin Tarantino as a “Special Guest Director.” Why one of these movie madmen wasn’t enough, I can only begin to imagine.
Hey, DT! Convince me! So….why: Sin City?
Why should you watch this movie? If you’re reading this, you’re bored, so there’s that. If you need real reasons, it’s a unique contribution to cinema. At no point when watching this movie did I roll my eyes and say “This is just like *Insert Title Here.*” It’s a stylish, bizarre and gritty thrill ride through an equally bizarre and gritty environment. If you’ve read the books, you need to check out the movie. If you haven’t checked out the graphic novels yet, and don’t mind a slightly out of order experience, the movie is a good place to start. Not only that, but there have been whispers of a Sin City 2 coming down the pike for years. Now is your chance to catch up on the comings and goings in Sin City before the sequel arrives.
Now that you’re here, check out…
Sin City, for the most part, sticks to the old faithful tones of black & white. Every so often, however, a vivid splash of color will light up the screen and catch your eye. Red lips, a pair of green eyes, or a yellow….man? Yes, a yellow man. I honestly have no words of explanation. You wouldn’t believe me, anyway. You’ll just have to trust me and find out for yourself. Sin City was primarily shot in front of a green screen, with the extra goodies added in later. The end result is a film that resembles a living, breathing (and bleeding….like, a lot) comic book.
Those making a visit to Sin City (whether for business, pleasure, or a bit of both) are sure to run into some nefarious and….interesting…characters. There’s Marv (Mickey Rourke), a seemingly indestructible brute with vengeance on his mind, shadowy Dwight (Clive Owen), grizzled detective Hartigan (Bruce Willis) and a bizarre performance by Benicio Del Toro (as Jackie Boy). And that’s not all the star power that Sin City provides; keep watching and see who else you can pick out of the lineup. There’s plenty of eye candy available for everyone, although you’re likely to lose a hand reaching for it. Nancy (Jessica Alba) is something to see as a…um…dancer. And everyone loves Josh Hartnett, right? (No? Well, whatever.) It’s a fair statement to make that there aren’t many people to cheer for in Sin City. The bad guys are killers…and so are the “good” guys. Pretty much everyone in town sees killing as the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. And, hey, it just might be.
In a method similar to your Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction, the directors do a great job of setting the stage and masterfully weaving the stories of this rogue’s gallery together into one big clusterfudge. It may even require an additional viewing or two in order to keep track of all these characters. “Didn’t that guy get run over by a car 30 minutes ago?” Yes. “Didn’t I just see him running through the streets carrying a severed head?” Well, yes. Stop asking questions, sit down and keep watching or you’re not getting any popcorn. Assuming, of course, you can actually ingest food while watching this movie. What, with all the man-eating dogs, throwing star decapitations, and human bodies that seemingly serve as receptacles for bullets.
Who brings a DVD to a gunfight? You do (If it’s Sin City)!
Note: Sin City will neither fire nor deflect bullets.
One thing you will no doubt notice is the amount of gore in this movie. Prior to this post, I hadn’t seen Sin City in several years. I will admit to being a bit caught off-guard. “What sort of sicko was I, back then,” I asked myself. “Shut the hell up and keep watching,” I answered, rudely. (I’m kind of a jerk to myself.) Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, violence. As you would expect from the likes of Miller, Rodriguez and Tarantino…this is truly a film that has earned its rating. “This is blood for blood and by the gallon,” Marv rants. And he’s not far off. Prepare yourself for some blazing gunfights, attempted vehicular homicides, hangings and, um, general dirty deeds & misbehavior. There is enough blood in this movie to soak an entire theater and then fill a couple thermoses for you to take home afterward. You will encounter countless “WTF??” moments, and a few “Did he/she really just…?” Yes, yes he/she did. And they’ll probably do it again by the time the end credits roll. And you’ll need a bath. It’s ok with me if you sneak out a couple times to “use the bathroom.” I won’t tell anyone.
This is the end…
Overall, Sin City calls for a massive suspension of disbelief. Some characters walk away from situations they have no business surviving. Others seemingly exist for the sole purpose of their own destruction. There hasn’t been this many ways for someone to die since the last Saw or Final Destination installments. The “heroes” aren’t that heroic, and the villains’ motivations for their machinations still have me scratching my head. But honestly, does it matter? This is not the type of movie you reach for when you’re in the mood for Shakespeare. For a movie based on a series of graphic novels, what else would you expect? Sin City is visually stunning, and there are some truly great moments. Sit back, pour yourself a shot of whatever is left in that bottle you found under your couch and strap in. The masters of the genre are at work. You’re in good hands. So, relax. Oh, and by the way, don’t trust anyone. – DT
Rating: 3 out of 4 Severed Heads