Review By: Staff
I have always been indifferent to comic books, never hating nor loving them. I have always chosen books from a young age, when I sat down to read. If I were to offer up an explanation as to why this is, I just have never been a fan of the super hero. I found it unrealistic, though I realize realism isn't always the main goal. But in so many instances I've found the super heroes to lack human qualities, painted mostly in black-and-white. When these comic books are made into films the color is all you can see. They lack the gray areas that might make them interesting to anyone over the age of fifteen. What if a comic book attempted to show the black, the white, and all the colors that come in between?
If you're looking for that comic book movie Sin City might be your answer. It comes from the mind of Frank Miller and is directed by Miller andRobert Rodriguez, with special guest director Quentin Tarantino. It stars Bruce Willis, Clive Owen (Closer), Benicio Del Torro (21 Grams)Mickey Rourke (Man on Fire), Jessica Alba (Fantastic Four), Rosario Dawson (Alexander) and Brittany Murphy (8 Mile).
With an all star cast, the film follows three separate story lines. In one Willis is a cop who is about to retire, but vows to protect a girl (Alba) who is being hunted by a pedophile(Nick Stahl, In the Bedroom). In the second one, Rourke is an outcast who is on a mission to avenge the death of his one true love(Jamie King, Pearl Harbor). In the third chapter, Owen spends the night protecting the women he loves: his new girlfriend(Murphy) from her own abusive ex-boyfriend(Del Torro) and his old girlfriend(Dawson) and her Old Town Girls (including Alexis Bledel, Gilmore Girls) from that same man.
With the unusually large cast, not every actor is allowed a moment to shine. I was most impressed with Rourke who is able to convey a soft center with his tough exterior. Alexis Bledel piercing blue eyes suggest a longing for something more, and an innocence despite her profession. Dawson vamps it up convincingly as a prostitute with brains. Unfortunately, Willis is typecast again as the hardened cop that is going soft and Murphy looks like she is playing dress up.Alba has a body to die for, but it does not equate sexiness or talent. Del Torro also missess the mark, never quite scary enough when facing off against Owen
The films main accomplishment is it's style, shot almost entirely in black and white. The film uses color sparingly, with some instances of violence or with a woman's red dress, blonde hair, a pair of blue eyes; or the Bastard Yellow. I loved each of these choices because I felt each color conveyed a theme of death, life, danger, love,
I am a fan of voice over, some of my very favorite films feature voice over narration. In this film the technique internalizes every character and it does not find a good balance; with each set piece so manic with it's design and action. By the end of the film, I was exhausted just hearing them speak. The film takes such a risk stylistically and it pays off, which is why I wish they would have opted for quieter moments to allow the characters to do more then what they were given. With this much narration, it is more then just one character trait, suggesting a lack of confidence in the actors.
I think had the acting been stronger and the film not been so manic this would be one
great film. For me, for all it's admirable qualities it won't be something I sit through again.
The disc is light on special features with only a behind-the-scenes featurette. Elijah Wood(The Lord of the Rings), Josh Harnett (Pearl Harbor), Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile), Michael Madsen (Thelma & Louise) also star.
Movie Grade: C+
DVD Grade: C
Overall Grade: C-