DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Sin City

By Patrick Luce Aug 13, 2005, 5:05 GMT

Forget Batman Begins or comic movie that has come before, Sin City is by far the best comic to screen adaptation that I have ever seen.

The movie, with its blend of visual styles, will grab you by the throat in the opening moments and keep you glued until the end.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, who also wrote all the Sin City graphic novels, the film maintains all the grit of the comic while blending nicely into a style that has become Rodriguez’s trademark.

Oh, don’t forget we also had special guest director Quentin Tarantino add his touch to the film.

The movie, which is mostly shot in black and white in front of a green screen, has a huge cast of Hollywood stars – including Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Benicio Del Toro, Elijah Wood and Jessica Alba.

The film’s plot, which is told mostly through voice over that reminds you of the old Bogart films, is based on three of Miller’s graphic novels - Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill, and That Yellow Bastard. The three books cut and edited together into one great movie.

Rourke truly shines in this movie, and makes the character of Marv, an outcast tough guy with no qualms about killing, jump from the page to the screen. He is great in the role, which is taken from Hard Goodbye, and seems to truly belong in a city so full of death.

Rourke owns the character and really steals the movie from the rest the cast

From his narration to the way he carries himself, Rourke just really owns the character and you can’t help but root for him even though he kills anyone that gets in the way of his goal.<!--page-->

The film maintains the grit and violence of the graphic novels
Owens, who plays Dwight in the section of the movie based on The Big Fat Kill, is equally great in the film, but lacks a little since he has to follow Rourke’s story.

Even though Dwight is tough guy, he just doesn’t add up to Marv’s intensity – even when he shoves Del Toro’s head in the toilet.

Owen is tough, but his character seems to be more about trying to stay alive. This could also difference could also come from the fact that Dwight is obviously smarter than Marv and doesn’t have a death wish.  

Even Willis, who has lacked in several of his past movies, makes the most of his part, and seems to best inhabit that "Bogart-spirit" of the tough cop that just won’t stop until the wrong is righted.

Willis’ character seems to be the one honest man in a dirty city, but he isn’t too shy about getting his hands bloody. This determination is seen in his desire to protect Nancy, and to see justice served.

Besides the performances, Sin City is just amazing to watch. Rodriguez’s filming, quick- cut editing style, and mastery of the use of green screen all combine to maintain the movie’s comic feel.

Although the film is mostly black and white, Rodriguez makes sure to splash brilliant red at the right moments – often someone’s death. The director also combines the art of Miller – which continue to keep the film’s comic roots.

The unique visual filming makes the movie worth watching

If the film has any problems, it is that some of the dialogue may seem cliché to those not familiar with the comic, and the story, which jumps from plot to plot, can become confusing if you are not following along.

This wasn’t a big problem for me, and I felt that Rodriguez did a great job of tying it all together in the end – similar to how Tarantino tied the multiple threads of Pulp Fiction together.

Also the movie’s visual style might not be for everyone, and can be something that you either love or feel that it ruins the movie. I loved it, and, in fact, it is one of the few movies I wanted to watch again as soon as I finished it.<!--page-->

Owens’ Dwight is tough but not as blood thirsty as Marv
The DVD is coming out very bare bones with only a ten-minute or so behind the scenes featurette where Rodriguez, Miller, and the cast talk about the movie and their experience working in a green screen environment. I am sure there will be a special edition of the film coming out soon, but there has not been a release date mention for it.

Even if a special edition is coming in a few months, I still highly recommend buying or at least renting this movie. It is by far the best comic film I have seen. The movie also will impress non-comic fans with its great acting, and incredible filming.

Sin City is available for pre-order at Amazon for an Aug. 16th release. It is available to pre-order at AmazonUK for a Sept. 26 release. Visit the film’s database for more information.

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Sin City

Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids, Once Upon a Time in Mexico) and comic book icon Frank Miller co-direct Sin City, based on the series of graphic novels created, written, and illustrated ...more

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