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Bold, Brilliant and Totally Badass
zardoz74_200018 March 2005
With Hellboy, Guillermo Del Toro lovingly recreated panels from artist/creator Mike Mignola's comic book stories and brought them to vibrant life, setting a new benchmark for adaptations that respect their source material. With Sin City, however, co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller have done more than just recreate the brutal chiaroscuro of Miller's stark post-modern noir artwork, they've captured the essence and the aesthetic of Basin City (as much a character as Marv or Hartigan) and brought its universe and characters to a stunning three-dimensional life. And unlike Hellboy, which suffered from a weak, confusing script, Sin City weaves a Pulp Fiction-esque narrative which snakes through the dark streets and crooked alleyways of this hellish metropolis like a fever dream.

In short, Sin City delivers a blistering ballet of bullets and blood, dames and danger at every turn. It's a kinetic masterpiece of pop culture for the new millennium (and a case could be made that this was the movie that CGI was invented for).

As a Frank Miller fan for over 25 years, I know his work and I know Sin City – and this Sin City will knock your socks off whether you are a fan or a newcomer to the dark delights of his devilish imagination and brutal style. Exceeding my expectations on all levels, this movie ranks as one of the most enjoyable cinema-going experiences I've had in years.

Everything works here. From Rodriguez's cinematography and editing, to the seamless direction (no mean feat when you consider Robert co-directed with Miller and Quentin Tarantino joined the mix as "Special Guest Director"), to the spot-on casting. The script gives Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro plenty of opportunity to chew the scenery – and they do, especially Rourke, who, despite having his mug buried under a thick layer of gruesome latex, delivers one of the best performances of his career and steals the show as Marv, the giant thug with a broken heart. The ladies hold their own, too. Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Brittany Murphy and Jaime King are all great in their roles, particularly Dawson as machine gun-wielding Dominatrix/Hooker-Godmother Gail. And kudos to Elijah Wood (proving there is life after Hobbits) and Nick Stahl who deliver contrasting performances as vile villains, the ultra-creepy Kevin and the disgusting Yellow bastard, respectively.

Sin City is smart, stylish, sexy and sick. It's also violent and funny. Certainly not a film for the whole family, but for those of us who enjoy our movies rated R, this flick kicks the head and the gut like a mule.

Here's hoping Sin City makes a mint, for there are 10,000 stories in the naked (sinful) city, and this is but a handful of them. I'm already praying for a sequel.

A picture perfect "ten" for this cineast.
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Quite Possibly the Most Accurate Comic Adaptation. Ever.
SteakTheCow17 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Sin City in its original serialized comic form was everything that one would expect from the then well known artist/writer/creator Frank Miller and more. Many would come to say that it is his best work.

For years it was a world that only existed on paper in black and white with splashes of color, but it was enough to make Sin City live and breath in ways that few others in the medium have ever been able to come close to. Because Miller's dark, noir overtones painted a very clear, and fully realized picture of every seedy back alley and strip club, and cheap motel room in the fictional Basin City it became painfully obvious that it was just too visceral a place to ever be real in a way that could be encapsulated on film, or at least we, including Miller himself, thought. We were wrong.

This is THE comic movie we have been waiting for and it does not disappoint from the first overly dramatic voice-over to the last frame of the credit scroll. Telling three tales from Miller's world (The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill, and That Yellow Bastard) the comic transitions from paper to cellulose flawlessly and believably with a grace seldom seen. This ease is especially incredible for something so over the top and stylized like this that it's almost hard to imagine that these are the actors you've grown to know and love for years. But they are and it all comes together beautifully.

The cast, crew, and artists involved in making this adaptation a reality should be commended for their service to the idea that a true comic book movie can, in fact, be made without making concessions to the masses, without altering the plot or changing the characters, and still manage to retain the feel that the ink on paper had while creating a truly entertaining film. Much of this film's success can be directly contributed to the fantastic casting job which encompasses an incredibly long list of a-list and up and coming celebs plus a few obscure but cult favorites (yes, I'm talking to you Rutger) and the tag team direction of Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. Rodriguez should be particularly touted for pushing Miller to finally do this project, and for leading the way to make this the film that Miller always wanted it to be and that Rodriguez knew he could make.

While I do have a few nit-picky points of contention with cut dialog or certain actors/actresses that refused to bare it all for the sake of keeping intact every last detail from the books it doesn't change the fact that what was laid out on the polyester film stock before me was every bit as entertaining as the original works, and it made a pretty darn good flick to boot. If it's not already self-evident, the bar has been raised for the comic movie. The next brave soul willing to venture in had better be prepared to take on Sin City.
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Avoid this stunning film if violence offends you.
sjha-22 June 2006
Channel surfing late one night I stumbled across this film and stopped to look because of the unusual cinematography. It's visually stunning, mostly in b&w and that evokes a film noir atmosphere punctuated with those brilliant flashes of color. Two minutes later I couldn't take my eyes away. This unique film is superbly executed, the casting, the screenplay, the special effects, everything about it. As we all know, there is an expansive library of film work out there for a wide range of tastes and sensibilities. If yours are delicate, if you are offended by gore and violence, then this film will NOT be your cup of tea. Stay away from it. But if both the horror and film noir genres appeal to you, you'll probably find this movie as captivating as I did.
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caught the Philly sneak preview
jtizzle17 March 2005
I caught the Philly sneak preview of "Sin City" yesterday, and I have to say my hat is off. Few comic book movies have ever looked good on screen. The X-Men and Spider Man movies have done a good job breaking that stigma. In my opinion the aforementioned flicks have been a perfect melding of Hollywood and the Comic book universe, but "Sin City" elevates it to an art form, literally. It is hands down, the best representation of a comic book turned film ever. After catching the trailer on a TV commercial, I was intrigued, to say the least. So I went to my local comic book store and bought the Frank Miller books the movie is based on, and enjoyed them for their off beat humor, incredible violence, and stories of love, lust, friendship, honor and seedily-earned redemption in the underworld of fictional Basin City. Upon further contact with the Comic Book store owner, he clued me in to the sneak preview on the 16th of March (yesterday as I post this), so like a kid on his way to pick up the latest issues of whatever comics are popular these days, I took the day off and went to the showing. Having recently read the stories that are included in the film ("Sin City," later renamed to "The Hard Goodbye"; "The Big Fat Kill;" and "That Yellow Bastard"), I was amazed at how much of the dialogue and narration of the books actually made it to the big screen translation. This coming from a guy whose heart was ripped out by the bastardization of "The Sum of All Fears," bear in mind - I know what it's like to have a book you love not be given the loving attention we feel it deserves when it hits the big screen. The dialogue isn't always the best (it's a comic book, not Shakespeare, people) and even the best acting in the world won't change that. But seriously, if you're paying attention to that minor blemish, you're missing the point of the movie to begin with. Aside from the dialogue, the imagery in the film is something to be appreciated, whether you like the stories or not. Equally beautiful and gritty black and white, with occasional brushes of color that all but explode off the screen- the comic books (graphic novels to you purists) act like storyboards for this movie- as life is breathed into the still images on the pages. The "From Book to Screen" section that is no doubt going to be a feature on the future DVD release of this movie will no doubt drop a few jaws for those that haven't bothered to check out the source material. Cold, cruel humor and over-the-top, audience-wince-inducing violence are blended in the style of "Pulp Fiction" and "From Dusk 'Till Dawn" for obvious reasons, but as I stated before, it's all direct from the books. Kudos to Robert Rodriguez for not compromising in the making of this film and for his commitment to the original source material; and also to his co-director Frank Miller for his obvious contributions. And to the actors in it- the cavalcade of them. My favorite performance was turned in by Mickey Rourke for playing Marv absolutely letter perfect from the book (and he demonstrates one of the best narrative voices I've heard in a movie since Morgan Freeman in "The Shawshank Redemption"). Elijah Wood has a non-speaking role, but his Kevin will follow you home as much as Nick Stahl's Junior does. Clive Owen is solid as Dwight (and I know a lot of geek fan-boys out there were upset that he was picked for the character) and Bruce Willis does what he does best as a cop that won't quit, Hartigan. The standout female performance is a toss up between either Rosario Dawson for her valkyrie, warrior, hooker Gail, or (it kills me to say it) Brittany Murphy as a "His Girl Friday" cocktail waitress. The movie is definitely not for all tastes, and kids shouldn't be allowed in buildings even next to theaters showing this movie- but it will no doubt be a hotly discussed film as we creep through Hollywood's typically "phoned-in, pre-Summer" Feb/March/April offerings.
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Truly a comic book brought to life!
SunDevil2117 March 2005
I must admit that I know, or knew rather, very little about the story or history of Frank Miller and his series of comic book novels - and maybe that is why I enjoyed this movie so much. Although, this is still a different type of situation where one who was a big fan of the stories might be seriously critical of every little detail of the comic book turned movie. I don't believe anyone who considers themselves truly knowledgeable about Miller's work can say that this was not represented well on the big screen. I'm now intrigued to go back and check out some of his work.

That aside, as far as it being a movie and a work of art, I would give this movie high marks in both categories. For it being a movie, it was nice to see something so different as far as the approach to making it go. Also, having such an incredible cast makes it all the more intriguing. I don't see anyone else having portrayed any of these characters any better than the cast that was hired to do so.

On an artistic level, it is extremely hard to think of any other movie that comes close to being in the same league. I did not see Sky Captain, but I would say that anyone who liked Pleasantville for its cinematography and graphic elements, would love Sin City. The use of black and white photography with only specific colors added later make for a far more dramatic effect. And so much of the cinematography being so close to a "moving picture" version of comic book art simply makes this movie worth seeing.

Take the artistic elements of this movie, and put it together with the amazing cast (both looks and talent) and throw it together with a very different but coherent plot, and you've got yourself an extremely enjoyable movie that is definitely worth seeing. And seeing at the theater no less!

My hats off to Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, and the rest of the cast and crew for putting together something different for a change.

My only complaint about the whole movie - the use of labeling Quentin Tarantino as a "Special Guest Director" is almost too lame to deal with.
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Wow! Comics done right...
mikey196918 March 2005
Went to a sneak preview of this movie today, and I was blown away. Over the years people have tried to emulate the feel of comics on the screen, and met with mild success(Dick Tracy), minor failure(Hulk), and solid success(Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow). This is hard to do, but Sin City hits this dead on. The film is entirely in black and white(Except for about 20 seconds that I noticed in one scene.), except for highlights of color(Gorgeous eyes, splattered blood, and red Converse All-Stars to name a few.). This gives the film a feel that immerses you into the storyline. Add to this the overly corny duologue and scenes where scantily(And I DO mean scantily) clad women pull Uzi's out of literally nowhere, and you have all the right makings for a transfer of a comic book to the screen. The duologue had me laughing almost constantly, but it's easy to tell that they wanted you to laugh, even when they lines were incredibly corny and melodramatic...

The performances in the movie were great as well. I believe my favorite male character was Marv, played by Micky Rourke, and my favorite female character was definitely Miho, played by Devon Aoki. It seems that everyone and their dog was either in this movie, or lent some of their talents to it, and it shows.

I would definitely suggest that you see this in the theatre the very first time, because it will NEVER have the same impact on your TV at home as it does on a 30-foot screen in a dark theatre. I was actually able to note a few times where the digital cameras were able to outperform anything film could do.

A lot of violence in this movie, although most of it is either totally cartoon-style, or off camera, and some gore as well... A good amount of nudity in the film, ALL of it on camera, so you'll probably want to leave the kiddies at home.

All in all, one of the best movies I have seen in a long time, and I'll probably go see it again while it's in the theatres, so that my fiancé can enjoy it as well...
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Prostheticwings18 March 2005
I'm only a marginal comics fan - I read a bunch of stuff over the course of a year or two in college and haven't read much at all since. Frank Miller was my favorite writer then and the I always loved the Sin City series. I didn't realize the movie was even being made until I saw the notice for the preview screening (if that's an indication of how much I follow comics these days).

This movie was as perfect an adaptation of those books as I could imagine. The look, cast, atmosphere, everything was just spot on. The stories were all gripping and intertwined with each other nicely and I thought the brief Josh Hartnett spots were great bookends to the movie. I was amazed the entire length of the screening.

If you're into comics at all you'll love this movie. You won't be disappointed. I'm not sure how to recommend it to others but you certainly don't need to be a comics fan to enjoy it. I loved it without reservation.
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Sin City is Sinsational!
scolton-117 March 2005
Just watched the Advance Screening last night and I must say that this movie pulls all the punches in violence. It deserves its hard R rating in the first five minutes and doesn't let up until the end credits roll. It has it all - bullets, boobs and be-headings - beautifully set in a grim atmosphere that really keeps you on the edge of your seat. All cast performances were excellent - especially Mickey Rourke's "Marv" character. Fans of the comic will not be disappointed in this film adaption. This movie is definitely not for the squeamish or faint-of-heart.

Sin City grabs you by the nuts and doesn't let go! A must see!
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craig.tuohy23 March 2005
If I was to use one word to describe this film it would have to be....Violent! if i was allowed two words I would add 'Visceral'. The movie is two hours long and is structured in a similar way to Pulp Fiction. A bunch of stories set in a consistent world, with characters falling in and out of each others plot lines. On the whole it works brilliantly, and for the duration there isn't a boring moment. It is High octane, million miles and hour storytelling, and it EASILY Robert Rodriguez's best film. Allowing Frank Miller to write the script was a fantastic move, as the dialogue is edgy, witty and VERY faithful to the original material. In fact, many many lines are just taken straight from the pages. likewise, the camera behaves like a moving cartoon box out. The framing of all the key scenes is SO faithful to the printed page that it produces a truly original look that is fairly incomparable. Visually its a true original. Sometimes these visuals fall down, there are some very very obvious digital shots that don't quite gel, but on the whole the cinematography is jaw dropping. You could literally pause the movie at almost any point and just hang that frame on a wall, its that beautiful. Performances are good all round. Mickey Rourke absolutely nails Marv, and the girls of Old Town are all as beautiful as they are deadly. The other standout for me was Elijah Wood, who was truly chilling. Bruce Willis puts in a solid, if unspectacular turn as Hartigan. The film isn't entirely void of criticism. there's some fudging of time lines with Hartigans character (do we really buy Bruce Willis as a nearly 70 year old man?) and the jumps from story to story are jarring initially, but once it settles into itself the ride is fantastic. My other main criticism is the same I have with Quentin Tarantinos work. That every character and every voice in the movie is the same. This is more a fault of the source material, but when every single person is a wise cracking, hard boiled tough guy (even the women) then it kind of distills the effect of their toughness. In a film that is predominantly voice over driven, it is hard to differentiate characters when they all sound exactly the same, both tonally, and in the language they use. Even Marv, who's supposed to be a meat head, talks in gravelly prose that would make Bukowski feel like a Nancy. Other Minor niggles are hardly worth mentioning. From a technical standpoint the sound effects are WAY to loud. All of the punches, gunshots etc are given such ridiculous prominence on the track that they threaten to make mockery of the violence. I actually found that i didn't want any more guns fired cos it was hurting my ears! all in all though, its one hell of a ride, and only a couple of notches below Pulp Fiction on the 'Oh my god that film was cool-o-meter'.
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Like reading a comic book - literally
pyrocitor1 May 2005
Based on the graphic novels by Frank Miller (who also co-directed and wrote the screenplay) Sin City tells three stories of crime, corruption, and redemption set in the fictional town 'Basin City'. The first story details the quest of Marv (Mickey Rourke) who searches town for the man who murdered Goldie (Jamie King), the woman he believes to be his one true love. The second tells of Dwight (Clive Owen) who must cover up the death of a corrupt police officer (Benicio Del Toro) in order to avoid a war between the cops, and the girls of old town, led by Gail. (Rosiaro Dawson) The final story shows Hartigan, (Bruce Willis) a beat up retired cop framed for a crime he didn't commit, trying to save the life of a girl whose life he saved at a young age, who grew up to become a stripper, (Jessica Alba) while all the while being tracked by a mysterious stranger with a grotesque appearance. (Nick Stahl)

It's a churning vat of old fashioned pulp style stories, each one more dark and edgy then the last. And yet, Sin City itself is morbidly fascinating; if you don't mind delving through the haze of sleaze, violence and corruption you'll find a really compelling story underneath the hard exterior. Sin City exudes the essence of classic film noir, except combined with over-the-top violence, characters and dialogue to maintain that comic book feel. Giving co-director status to creator Frank Miller and allowing him to write the screenplay was perhaps the wisest move director Robert Rodriguez ever made, because Miller's gritty influence shines through, perfectly capturing the mood of his original creations.

And the visuals... extraordinary. The entire film is shot in black and white, except for certain items which appear in colour. (a red dress, red blood, although sometimes the blood is stark white, and not to mention Nick Stahl's character, Yellow Bastard, who is, indeed, yellow) Rodriguez is also smart enough to use a greenscreen backdrop, so as to recreate Miller's gritty, moody sets by computer animation instead of trying to create them first hand. And it works, wonderfully - the sets perfectly set the tone for the rest of the movie: dark, bold, over-the-top and quality work unlike any other. Add the characters' noirish costumes (almost every male character sports, as Marv puts it, a "damn fine coat") unique appearances, (it says a lot for the quality of the movie when a character like Yellow Bastard doesn't seem out of place) and movement (take note that if the movie was paused at any given point, the frame would look like a panel from a comic book) and Miller and Rodriguez perfectly nail the comic book feel.

It also helps that a wonderful cast has been assembled to bring life to the mayhem. Spot on performances abroad here, but the standouts in my opinion were Elijah Wood, who was truly chilling as Kevin, the silent, cannibalistic serial killer; Nick Stahl as Roarke Junior/Yellow Bastard, a truly creepy and disgusting character; Clive Owen, playing against type as Dwight; (who isn't exactly a sophisticated, British gentleman, but then again, no one in this film is) Mickey Rourke as Marv, managing to turn out a stunning performance, even with his face buried under several layers of latex; Benicio Del Toro almost unrecognizable as corrupt cop Jackie Boy and a welcome appearance from Michael Clarke Duncan as Manute, an enforcer specializing in inflicting pain. The hard edged ladies also do a great job, with Jessica Alba, Rosiaro Dawson, Carla Gugino, Jamie King and the rest all giving great performances.

It's all in the style of such films as Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, so it may be wise to use those films as guidelines of what to expect in terms of content. It's true that Sin City is not for everyone: the violence is brutal and unflinching, most characters are disreputable, manipulative and sleazy, and the whole feel of the film is undesirable, and not too cheery. But if none of that deters you, Sin City should be known as a must see, for the superb visual stylistics if nothing else. But the style and feel of the comic books is perfectly captured and thrust into our faces. Frank Miller must be proud.

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Hyper-Noir for today
Jim Shippey16 March 2005
I just came back from an advance screening of Sin City, and I can tell you this is one salient reel of pitch of a film. Think of it as film noir amped up for a post modern century. It comes across like most of Frank Miller's writing, modestly fantastic for the comic environment, but steeped long and hard in the tradition of the underground crime writers of the '40's. Visually, the juxtaposition of the rich B&W with digitally-hued Technicolor makes it hard to take your eyes off the screen. This film was tailor made for most of the people who have been following Miller's writing for the past twenty odd years, brimming with many of his trademark elements and visual style that he, along with Messrs. Rodriguez and Tarantino, capture brilliantly. Not for more sensitive or under aged souls, Sin City will burn like a fire that you have to watch for everyone else.
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Miller's art realized in fast paced nice film noir tribute.
mstomaso18 June 2005
I'll put my bottom line at the top so you can decide whether to read on. I can't recommend this film to the average cinema-goer. Instead, I will recommend it to those who are fans of Frank Miller, film noir, Robert Rodrigues, and to a lesser extent Quentin Tarantino. This is also not a film for feminists. Others should read on and decide if this is something they want to see.

The fact that Frank Miller was listed with Robert Rodriquez as co-director of this film, and the cleverly ambiguous film noir trailer hooked me. So, the spouse and I went to see it shortly after release, expecting exactly what we got - a very cleverly and interestingly shot film noir version of several Frank Miller stories taking place in Basin City, the locus of Miller's graphic novels of the same name as the film.

Quentin Tarantino guest directs one of the segments. I'm not sure which - Rodrigues' style is as often violent, but a bit more comic. Based on some of the ridiculous violence of the film, I think it likely that QT had some influence on the other segments as well. My only objection to this film is really the quantity of absurd and frankly grotesque violence scenes. Though the violence is true to Miller's work, seeing it as a process creates a very different effect than Miller's art. Fortunately, Rodrigues' sense of humor also prevails in most of the most violent scenes. The use of colorization emphasizes the film's bloodiness through the only colors used in the film - red, ultra-white and yellow - comic exaggeration and a wonderfully eerie noir feel.

Predictably, this is a very dark film, and quite a bit more disturbing than the average commercial stuff.

What the spouse and I didn't expect was pleasantly surprising - one of the most artistically well done interpretations of the comic medium I have yet seen (and I have seen them all) and stand-out performances by Del Toro, Mickey Rourke and Willis. I expect nothing less from Del Toro, but I have to admit Rourke just blew me away as Miller's phenomenally ugly and invincible tough guy - Marv - who decides, for once, to do something good with his life. Rourke's character is played with such empathy that you won't want his segments to end - you will want him to become the final hero of the film. I was less enchanted with Clive Owen's portrayal of Dwight. Though this segment was good entertainment, I thought Owen could have given a more emotive performance. Elijah Wood was exceptionally creepy and well cast in his very brief role.

All of the heroic male characters (and this film is VERY much filmed from a stereotype film noir male point of view) have one common characteristic - they are all very tough critters fighting against all odds against endemic corruption, murder and injustice, but not at all afraid to indulge in it to further their own ends. The vignettes are loosely but satisfactorily connected. But the plots are less important than the way the film FEELS. The film mixes hopelessness with fearlessness and fatalism to the extent that you'll feel like an honorable death ending a brief life is far more appealing than a lengthy life devoid of self-respect. It's a really well done homage to Comic Book as an art form, and the film noir motif. Whoever thought of putting Rodriguez and Miller together on this one deserves a nod from fans of both genres.
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Laughably Bad, but Perfect Comic Adaptation
dbborroughs10 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is a perfect adaptation of several of Frank Miller's Sin City stories. Filmed to look exactly precisely like the panels of the comic book where everything is BLACK or WHITE except for the occasional red, blue, or yellow, exactly like in the comic. The dialog is lifted word for word from the comic and sold in noir-ish tones we associate with the genre.

After five minutes you quickly realize that its all visual form over substance, and that there is little behind the trick of exact duplication.

The narration, like much of the narration in the pulp novels its paying homage to, is purple and laughable when spoken out loud. The dialog is equally ludicrous. None of it even remotely real. I was in fits of uncontrolled laughter as the "serious" lines of prose were spewed out over mostly unremarkable images.I know there is a tinge of humor to the source but on screen it comes off as something to laugh AT not with.

Yes, it all matches the comic exactly, but to what end? What is the purpose of this exactitude? Wouldn't it have been better to simply film the panels and have the actors speak the lines? Its all little more than a live action Clutch Cargo since there is no life on screen in what is little more than posed actors recreating the static shots of the comic. This is a ground breaking visual style?

Many people in discussing the film have mentioned the violence and how "if it had been in color" it would have been unbearable. I think it would have looked equally silly. Actually most of this movie would have looked very silly and dumb in color.

The performances, especially Mickey Rourke as Marv (Oscar nom?)are excellent, but they are saddled with such unreal material that their earnestness comes off making it all look even more ridiculous.

This is simply one of the most over-hyped films in many years. Its a live action comic book for people who've forgotten how to read.
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Reprehensible piece of trash
oshram-33 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Sin City is a film geek's dream, all style and violence, an homage not only to the comics that spawned them but to Tarantino-esque gore and violence; it's even shot in black and white, features 'edgy' story material, anti-heroes, and gratuitous amounts of attractive female flesh. I'm sure the internet film geeks have already erected a shrine to this film. But unlike them, I have not come to praise Miller (or really Rodriguez), but to bury him.

Rodriguez does, in fact, manage the near impossible feat of capturing Miller's noir style in an interesting way. I was worried that what worked for the comics wouldn't work for the movies, but Rodriguez pulls it off. Sin City looks like its graphic antecedents, and the sparse use of spot color echoes Miller's style and carries much of the same impact. While Miller's people rarely resemble real humans any more (except the always curvaceous women), I felt most of the casting was good too. Mickey Rourke is hidden behind a thick layer of prosthetics as one of the main characters, Marv, but it somehow actually works in the film. I think probably I liked Bruce Willis' Hartigan the best, but then I liked his story arc the most as well.

The problem, sadly, is not with the visuals, where I thought it would be. The problem isn't even with the storytelling – although the narrative voices of the characters are so monotonous and so similar that you more or less lose track of who's doing what to who because they all speak with the same burned-out hard-ass gravelly self-deprecating voice. The problem is simply that the shorthand Miller used in the comics does not translate well to the screen, at all. Sin City on the page is a violent, dirty place, and it is so in the movie; but the insanely high level of sadism is far less shocking on the page than it is on the screen. Sin City plays like a two hour seminar in violence desensitization; every single imaginable physical cruelty – from eye-gouging to castration, from severed limbs to bullwhipping, to a lot, lot more – is played out in stark black and white. As if that weren't bad enough – and if you think it's not, you have bigger issues than I do, friend – what makes it even worse is that the film revels in the violence. In the comics, when these lunks go off to commit their mayhem, while they throw themselves into it, there's always an undertow of regret to it, of resignation, of knowing what they do damns them. But here, the committing of acts of unspeakable violence somehow seem to justify and redeem the characters; the more disgusting things you do in the name of revenge, the greater a hero you are. I cannot think of a single message more repugnant or reprehensible to send.

To me Sin City, while perhaps an interesting visual exercise (though honestly I wasn't that captivated), is little more than an excuse to show blood and boobs for two hours. I could get the same thing with a little less style (and maybe Joan Severance instead of Jessica Alba) from a direct-to-video shlocker that at least knew it was a borderline snuff film and didn't have the pretensions to art. Sin City is two hours of repetitive, relentless sadism, wrapped up in an artsy package. With all that talent, with all the effort and work (and it's there), it's a shame they managed to miss the underlying message in all of Miller's comics – that the descent into this lifestyle can only end one way, and it's not good. The very heart, as it were, of Miller's message in the books, completely missing from the film. Rodriguez got all the trappings right, he just sort of missed the point. But so, then, did most of the fans.
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Excellent movie
dogankurban8 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The movie is really great. Especially the thing about colors. The movie is black and white but somethings like the red dress, blue eyes of Alexis Bledel are colored, which i find very original. Also i realized that on the dancing scene in which Jessica Alba and Bruce Wills meet at the bar, the whole movie becomes colored. Even the least important roles are taken by very famous actors and actresses and the acting is very solid throughout the movie. When you combine all these with frank miller's excellent scenario, one of the best movies ever is the result. I think that this movie deserves a higher rank in the top250 movies list.
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"Sin City" - Digitalized violence, film-noir, steroids, and comic book greatness!
dee.reid18 August 2005
"Sin City," directed by one of the greatest directorial trifectas - Robert Rodriguez, "Sin City" graphic novel creator Frank Miller and special guest director Quentin Tarantino - is a visually stunning and breathtaking piece of film-noir graphic novel, cinematic greatness on steroids.

By and large, this is what a movie based on a comic book should be. It's flawlessly adapted from the source material, with only a few slight changes (presumably to avoid the more explicit contents of the original comic book) and many of Miller's panels come to life on the screen through Rodriguez's skillfully placed camera. Comic book movies represent one of the remaining avenues for truly original film-making, and "Sin City" takes full advantage of its digitalized violence and groundbreaking CGI vainglory. And the cast (and what a cast!) brings the shady, corrupt characters to life, along with the amoral Basin City metropolis they inhabit.

As a newbie reader of Miller's work on "Sin City," I was amazed at the care that went into Rodriguez's attention to the story as it unfolded on the screen. As mentioned earlier, the visuals are lifted right out of the original "Sin City" graphic novel panels, so audience members would not have to be readers themselves to understand what's going on.

Although the world of "Sin City" exists through seven transversal story arcs, the film primarily focuses in on Miller's three tales "The Hard Goodbye," "The Big Fat Kill," and "That Yellow Bastard." It's brutal, it's violent, it's vicious, it's beautiful, and it's sinful. The events in "Sin City" kickoff after a brief narration by The Man (Josh Hartnett)...

In "The Hard Goodbye," a hulking, hard-luck loser named Marv (Mickey Rourke, under about 15 pounds of prosthetic makeup) wakes up in the bed of a run-down motel room with a dead prostitute laying next to him. The hooker, identified by Marv as Goldie (Jaime King), apparently picked him up in a seedy bar and showed him the time of his life. But, somehow, someway, somebody sneaked into the room and offed her while she slept, and Marv, framed for the murder, now scours the streets and alleys for her killer.

This is my favorite of the three, as "The Hard Goodbye" was the first "Sin City" graphic novel I picked up at Barnes & Noble Booksellers a few months ago. Rourke is a total bad-ass as Marv, virtually unrecognizable underneath such heavy-duty prosthetics and bandages. He eventually finds his quarry, Kevin (Elijah Wood), a nerd-looking, silent psychopath who kills women, eats them, and hangs their heads on the wall. Rutger Hauer co-stars as Cardinal Roark and a scantily-clad Carla Gugino also appears as Marv's lesbian parole officer, Lucille.

In "The Big Fat Kill," corrupt cop Jackie Boy (Benicio Del Toro) is about to break down the door of his stripper lover Shellie (Brittany Murphy). What Jackie Boy doesn't know, is Shellie has a new man in her life, and that man is Dwight (Clive Owen). Dwight is a wanted murderer who underwent plastic surgery and has found unlikely love with the hardened Shellie. Well, to make long stories short, all hell breaks loose when Jackie Boy and his lackeys wander into the wrong part of town and are killed by chop-soki swordswoman Miho (Devon Aoki).

In this part of the city, known as Old Town, the whores are their own enforcers as they have an uneasy truce with the corrupt police. But with Jackie Boy and his loser friends getting wasted, that truce has gone bye-bye. Gail (the luscious, the leather-and-chain-bound Rosario Dawson) is the leader, and Dwight formulates a plan to dump the bodies into the distant tar pits. But between getting there, narrowly evading the cops (including Michael Clarke Duncan) and assorted foreign mercenaries and his own stupidity, each of these almost prove to be Dwight's undoing.

Oh, wow, where to begin. For starters, Rosario Dawson!!! I never knew this woman could look so hot in S&M, not that I'm into that sort of thing, but damn, I at least partially bought this just to see her in leather and chains. As Dwight, Clive Owen hits all the right notes as an outsider anti-hero in way over his head, and Devon Aoki is pretty vicious as Miho, who serves up some delectable sushi bad guys with the same swords used in the "Kill Bill" films. But "The Big Fat Kill" is big, bloody, and fun.

"That Yellow Bastard" is the only one of the three I haven't read (not that it really matters), so I have to go on what the movie says. The yellow bastard in question is an unrecognizable Nick Stahl as Roark Jr., the psychopathic son of Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). He's racked up a nasty reputation on the Basin City streets as a vicious serial killer who loves to torture women, and his latest target is stripper Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba). Hartigan (Bruce Willis), one of the only honest cops left in the city, has a bad heart and little patience for incompetence, which only intensifies when he is stopped by his partner Bob (Michael Madsen) from killing Roark Jr. and is then sentenced to a lengthy prison term. Hartigan escapes, and then goes after Roark Jr., who is setting his sights once again on the innocent Nancy.

"Sin City" is already one of the most talked-about films this year. It's definitely not for the faint-of-heart, as the stylized and incredibly bloody violence should ruffle a few feathers. The numerous unsavory characters are truly right out of a comic book, as they make no attempt to rise above their amoral existences in Miller's decadent Basin City.

There are few heroes in "Sin City" and there are even fewer identifiable characters, but there's no two ways about it: "Sin City" is a visual masterpiece, a pumped-up comic book come to life on steroids, and is one of the best movies I've seen this year.

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Style and Substance!
SILENCEikillyou16 August 2005
It's full of substance; just so you know. This movie depicts the essence, if not the definition of a hero. Self-sacrifice. Love. In some cases vengeance. These are stories of superheroes that don't use tights and capes. It's what superman might be like, if he lived in darkness. They all have their strengths, weaknesses, heart, and don't give a s h i t what happens to themselves, as long as they can dish out some h e l l to the evils that lurk in the shadows of SIN CITY!

It's full of style. In an amped-up noir style, these stories cover the lives of the men and women of SIN CITY. All is not what it seems. Beautiful black and white noir shots and angle. Splashes of color, to give CPR to a very old style of film-making. Though this film is not for everyone, I have to say that all will agree that SIN CITY gives all new depth to movies that are made from comics.

I honestly found no flaws with this movie. I gave it 10 for honest reasons. Acting and directing melds together to create a film with breath-taking "color". Meaning, that what this film lacks in it's actual screen colors; it more than makes up for in the color of it's character (not to mentions characterS).

...oh yeah, I loved it!!
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Violent and cliché
Emmanuel Zegeling8 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
If you're interested in how comics are translated to film in an innovative way, check out 'American Splendor' and 'The Hulk'. If you're interested in film noir, check out 'Blade Runner' and 'Angel Heart'. If you're interested in black-and-white movies with some color here and there, check out 'Rumble Fish'. If you're interested in time-warped storytelling, check out 'Pulp Fiction'. If you're interested in blood and gore, check out 'Braindead'.

All of the movies mentioned above are more original than Sin City. Moreover, Sin City is just an accumulation of all the clichés invented in the films above, and by extension all Hollywood films since 'A Wonderful Life'.

I saw this film and I couldn't help but wonder about the American people. One comment on this board read 'the violence is cartoony so it's not too disturbing, but there is some nudity so leave the kids at home'. In other words, it's okay to watch heads get mutilated, decapitated, and blown up - but it's not okay to watch a naked human being. I'm seriously wondering why people feel killing - termination of life - is OK to show to kids but sex, the creation of life, is not.

When I saw 'Kill Bill' I was already quite intrigued that the director could shoot such beautiful images and yet only uses them for showing violence and murder. I saw the same film again with 'Sin City' - only this time it wasn't a pastiche of martial arts clichés, it was a pastiche of martial arts, film noir, and comic clichés. This left me highly unimpressed with beautiful imagery or supposedly surprising plot details. Actually, I've noticed that when the audience cracks up over inventive killing or mutilation, it's often a nervous reaction which people confuse for humor.

Oh man, I've seen to many of these vengeance films. Why does the bad guy always need to die? Why does the hero always need to place himself above the law? Why does anybody feel the need these days to make yet another movie about a guy killing all the baddies for a girl? The latter actually happens three times in this movie. This is all getting so old. I literally yawned when 'the mob' was introduced, and when we got a scene closer comprising of a zoom on a tough guy with his voice-over saying 'the big fat killing', I decided I'd look up my old IMDb user name.

Avoid this one. See original films, instead. Life is short.
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garbage wrapped up as eye candy
SloberDon3 April 2005
I walked out at the one hour and forty-minute mark, so I can't speak for the whole movie, but what I saw was just garbage wrapped up as eye candy. I felt dirty for having stayed as long as I did; dirty and used. Then it hit me, like a hard-boiled bullet right in the middle of my clubfoot chin: I'd been taken; and not just the six lousy bucks for the matinée; $3.25 for a medium coke with too much syrup and not enough carbonation. On the way out of the lobby I punched the usher and shot the Manager, right between his fat sweaty eyebrows. He never even saw it comin'. The rain was coming down in sheets across the half-empty parking lot. Out in my sweet Fairlane convertible, I lit a filterless Lucky Strike and remembered that I don't smoke because you look like an idiot and it's bad for you. I wanted to kill someone else, and I remember how Quentin Tarentino was listed as a "guest" director...
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Willy Aka Marv29 April 2009
I watched dis film recently and was blown away by the style of the film!!!! It mite be one of the greatest cinematic achievements of 21st century.... performance's were gr8 especially MIkeyrOURKE AND RosaREio Dawson!!!!Dialogues were witty and mostly in Tarantino style!!! Action scenes were awesome especially scene were Mikey comes 2 kill Kevin..... Bruce WIllis and Jessica alba had a cracking chemistry......Nick stall as yellow Bastard was good... They wanted to have a simple story line to have more comiuc feel and they succeeded by a brilliant screenplay which was uncredited!!! Overall a brilliant film.. Kudos 2 Rodriguez for dis wonderful entertainer!!! My rating 10/10
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In Sin City, gore and brutality are an end in themselves.
Asher Black11 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
To speak against violence in film is bound to earn me the status 'unenlightened' or 'moralistic'. Nonetheless, it is not violence that is the target of my criticism, but rather the glorification of violence for its own sake. For example, the violence in Fight Club, while sometimes intense, is explored as a means of finding release. The gore in Luc Besson's The Messenger is actually discussed in the film, critiqued as part of the brutality of war.

In Sin City, however, gore and brutality become an end in themselves. The film offers up a nihilistic world in which desensitized youth living a vicarious viciousness through comics and video games can legitimize their perversions in the name of fidelity to the original. A few key points in the film serve to illustrate: • In one scene a woman explains, as she holds up the grisly, sewn-up stump where a serial killer has severed her hand, that he made her watch as he ate it.

• In another, the antihero Marv has sawn off the arms and legs of the bound serial killer, and lures a wild dog to tear at his flesh and eat him alive. This is one of several scenes of torture that Marv says he enjoys.

• In still another scene, which could have been right out of Kill Bill, the focus is on how much brutality the prostitutes could inflict. The pretense is to talk of skill at swordplay, but this only underscores how much the visual emphasis was on the damage being inflicted.

• In a later scene, the hero Hartigan beats in the face of a psychopath until it is a liquid pulp.

One can pretend the morality of torture, terrorism, killing sprees, and savagery by claiming the victims deserved it, or harp on the fact that the film mirrors the comic book, but those are certainly non sequiturs. Even it's more perceptive fans see it, though they may choose to call it "terrifically violent" or "ultraviolent" "Sin City has more severed heads, dismemberment's and acts of cannibalism than The Silence of the Lambs and Freddy vs. Jason put together. I loved it!" -- Staci Layne Wilson, HORROR.COM The film caters to the most heartless inclinations of its audience. As an interaction between art, artist, and audience, we can see the animator spending more camera time and dialogue on the gore and the nihilism justifying it than anything else, while the audience oohs, ahs, cheers, and laughs at precisely the calculated moments.

The film is a commentary on the ethical state of the West, as much as on Frank Miller's original work. The people that can justify terror in the name of terror, bombing villages and hospitals out of revenge, has created a generation that doesn't flinch at amputation, but sees human suffering as on a par with baiting a hook. It is a culture that is broken, that lacks some fundamental elements of mercy, compassion, and empathy that would otherwise typify humanity.

True, the film is fiction. But fiction mirrors life. Art offers us possible worlds that we can envision as real, and our reactions to those worlds are less predicated on the fact that they are fictional than on the actual values of the audience. If not, we must ask why the audience is actually cheering and clapping so enthusiastically.

In the end, the ethos of the film is the ethos of the audience, and the posturing about brilliant cinematography is a confession that there is actually something of which normal people should be ashamed.

Just as The Passion reflects the West's obsession with the cruelty inflicted on Christ, so Sin City is an example of its passion for precisely that cruelty. It has become trite to say that we are the culture of the Roman Arena, the spectacle of suffering, the carnival of gore. Trite, not because it isn't true, but precisely because it is – because the fact of it is even more commonplace than the observation.
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An eye popping experience
Rohit Rajkumar14 August 2009
There are very few successful adaptations of comic books and Sin City is for sure a success.The graphic elements portrayed in the film are wonderful and something very different.The story is laid out very well showing different situations.Bruce Willis is good in his role but I wished he had got more screen time.Jessica Alba and Rosario Dawson,the ladies looked beautiful in the movie and played well their respective minuscule roles.Benicio Del Toro was the surprise package of the film as he played the corrupt police cop to perfection.But the scene stealer has to be none other than Mickey Rourke who is magnificent in his screen presence.

The film itself has something new to offer and that is its plus point.Some critics have bashed this film for having less human emotions and giving importance to graphic content in the film.Leave the critics aside, you have got to watch 'Sin City' to have one of the best experiences of your life
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Bruce Willis tag line
kidgoku23 June 2009
This film is one of my favorite films ever.In this movie Bruce Willis says something that it should have been mentioned in this page. He said "An old man dies,a young girl lives.Fair trade". That was astonishing in my opinion and the best tag line i've ever heard. This movie has both people who admire the movie and people who don't like it at all.I believe that this is because they think that the whole point of the movie is what they see in the screen and not the true meaning of the film.They believe that it's not realistic at all because of some scenes which seem hard to believe that can really happen.Those people just can't understand the point of the film.In my point of view,the film is not about violence and crimes but mostly for love and fairness.
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A Review of Frank Miller's Sin City
ddelarama9 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Just recently Frank Miller's noir-inspired brainchild Sin City made its way into US cinema, opening with a bang. While this film clearly takes a bite out of the apple that is comics making its way to film, this film is a clear cut above the rest. I must say, Sin City is the most faithful rendition of work travailing to the big screen among others. The movie is uncharacteristically mature, witty, and human. Sure, bring out the big guns (the cleavage) to spice up the flick, one might say. But amidst the bosom-enriched characters, these characters are not your stereotypical cardboard cutouts; they are alive. Scenes were faithfully lifted out of the three graphic novels, and what you see in the comic books is what you see in the film. As if one reading the thoughts of the main characters in a comic book, the protagonists in the film literally speaks their mind—Hamlet soliloquies of sorts. Faithfully leaving the mutilation, decapitation, castrations, et cetera, alone in the transition. And this move has worked perfectly. Not to mention the seamless integration of CG, film noir inspiration, A-list acting worthy of Hollywood big names, and pop influences of director Quentin Tarantino.

Sin City is a movie about Basin City and everything in it. Basin city is a place of eternal rain where corruption reeks, where day is night and night is black and white. The mayor is a corrupt politician whose son Rourk Jr. (Stahl; also the Yellow Bastard) is a pedophile. Majority of the cops work hand in hand with criminals, helping each other to eliminate the prostitutes, also one of the more powerful groups. Even the almighty church wields corruption to the fullest; the cardinal being the mayor's brother. And unholy alliances make (or break) the control of power in this god-forsaken dystopia.

The movie features three story lines, clearly Tarantino-inspired: that of Marv (Rourke), (Owen), and Hartigan (Willis). First, Marv is a literal powerhouse whose one true love, Goldie (King), is murdered by an assassin sent by God knows who, and he is bent on seeking revenge. His personal vendetta finally brings him to the assassin (Wood), a cannibal as nimble as a cat and as disturbing as the masked crowd in Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. In the second story, Brittany Murphy plays Dwight's (Owen) girlfriend, who also happens to be Jackie Boy's (del Toro) ex-girlfriend. Jackie Boy is a corrupt cop whose mere presence disrupts the balance of power between the cops, gangs, and the prostitutes; Dwight vows to kill him and is brought to the underground world of his other girlfriend Gail (Dawson) and her band of prostitutes, a force to be reckoned with. While only directing one scene in the entire movie, and the funniest one at that (it's the car scene), we clearly see the influence of Tarantino's Kill Bill character, the Bride, in Aoki's character Miho. Cooler or not, I leave that up to you. The third story focuses on Hartigan. Hartigan vowed to protect Nancy (Alba) from the mayor's pedophile son, who later transforms to become the Yellow Bastard, and a you-take-something-from-me-I-take-something-from-you cat-and-mouse game ensues.

Another reason why the movie is different is because it's in black and white, believe it or not. Well, mostly black and white. They left some elements colored, and with vibrant detail, I may add, such as the red dress in the opening scene, or the red heart shaped bed, or the Yellow Bastard (hence the name Yellow), just like in the comics. CG meshed seamlessly with everything corporeal, like Sky Captain but better. Acting was surprisingly powerful for most of the characters. Rourke portrayed Marv with vigor and enthusiasm, humor and wit, and his character almost reminded me of Hamlet. Well, all three protagonists did, anyway. Owen, for some reason, reminded me of a literal dark knight (not Batman) in messy armor. Willis, while having little chemistry (or lack thereof) with Alba, managed to deliver. And while relegated to the beginning and ending only, Josh Hartnett was cool, for a change.

I always wished that Hollywood does something different for a change. And they did. Wonderfully. This flick is a testament to that.
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exactly what is wrong with modern society
badtothebono29 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
No redeeming feature or value other than style. The style is impressive. It is not especially unique. Other than that ... nothing. OK, lots of inane violence. OK, one or two funny lines. Yet, people, most people who bother to vote it seems, give it a 10. It brings to mind Natural Born Killers, but at least that had characters and character development and a point of view and some redeeming features.

And generally, the best compliment they can give it is "true to the comic". Reminds me of the saying "Garbage In, Garbage Out."

Do you people vote in elections too? Is that how we keep getting these presidents?
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