Friday, April 01, 2005

Welcome to Sin City 

So, I got to see this on opening night, and I have to say it was a pretty interesting movie. I'm pretty amazed that they managed to make this movie and get so much publicity for it. I'm not sure if it'll be able to make it with regular viewers, but I guess it is hard to say. There was only maybe like 30 people in the theater we were at, but I don't know if that is indicative of all places. In the end, I think it'll all come down to how the word of mouth is.

It was visually striking, over the top, misogynistic, and actually very funny in a couple of places. Basically it is what you've heard that it is. The level of brutality in some places was very very high, but the over-the-topness helped to diffused a lot of that. In some ways it was more graphic than something like Kill Bill 1, but I never felt as uncomfortable as I did in some parts of KB1. Sin City exists in a kind of hyper-reality not unlike something like City of Lost Souls by Takeshi Miike, in which everything goes a step further than in reality.

Elija Wood certainly doesn't have to worry about being typecast as a hobbit after this movie..haha (though he also did a great job in Eternal Sunshine). Miho's character was a bit annoying to me as someone into asian culture, but with all the ninja characters back from when the Sin City comic first came out, I can excuse that. The portrayal of women is a bit jarring to my "new fashioned" sensibilities even in the context of retro, but it still works out most of the time. Occationally dialogue seems off, but a stretch of dialogue never lasts too long before something crazy happens anyway.

Mickey Rourke was amazing, as was Bruce Willis. They both just fit the parts sooo well. I felt a bit let down after Rourke's segment ended, since it was just so charismatic and I had a bit of trouble getting into Clive Owen's part. But I think it still came together well at the end. I wasn't sure if the Yellow guy was going to seem stupid from seeing stills of him, but I thought it worked really well in the movie.

In short, very stylish and definitely not for kids, but also doesn't take itself too seriously a lot of the time, which keeps it from getting bogged down. Whenver it starts to go astray, something crazy and/or funny happens to put it back on track.

As a comic fan, I also just couldn't help but love how prominant the source is. It very clearly says it is based on a grpahic novel in the opening titles. In the same sequence, characters are shown with original Millar drawings, etc.

However, I think this is also kind of an uncommercial movie in a lot of ways, and will be pretty shocking to anyone who doesn't know what to expect. There's a real chance it could bomb in the box office, but hopefully it'll manage to do well. In any case, it certainly seeemed like it has helped the re-issues of the graphic novels! 4 of them in the bookscan top 5!

I'm probably going to see it again soon, but with my Mom, who is a big Elija Wood fan. It'll be interesting to see her reaction to this, though she was able to stomach Kill Bill 1 and get into the style of Sky Captain, so hopefully she will like it at least a bit...

Cheers to the creators for managing to make something pretty unique seemingly so close to what the original must be like. I've always liked Millar's artwork though I haven't actually read much of his work. I'll probably have to grab at least the first re-issue to see how the original source is...

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