SIN CITY: RECUT
Review by Gordon Justesen
Jessica Alba, Devon Aoki, Alexis Bledel, Powers Boothe, Rosario Dawson, Benicio
Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Carla Gugino, Josh Hartnett, Rutger Hauer,
Jaime King, Michael Madsen, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Nick
Stahl, Bruce Willis, Elijah Wood
Directors: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Features: See Review
Length: 147 Minutes
Release Date: December 13, 2005
to fight counts for a lot...
thereís nothing like having your friends show up with lots of guns.Ē
Rather than serving
as just another comic book adapted for the cinema, Frank Millerís Sin
City is elements of filmmaking injected into the actual comic book source,
and the result is nothing short of exhilarating. The ultra-talented, and very
restless, Robert Rodriguez and Miller have blended their skills to create what
is very much a genre-bending picture. Not only do the visuals grab the viewer,
but the Tarantino-esque narrative makes the movie an all the more invigorating
The movie marks in
first in the realm of storyboards. Instead of creating original storyboards for
the sake of the movie, Rodriguez went straight to the source and used Frank
Millerís graphic novels as the ideas for the very shots that would end up in
the movie. Not only was Rodriguezí directing keeping in spirit with the comic
source, but the inspired casting resulted in actors very much resembling the
original characters of the graphic novels.
Call this a comic
book movie with a touch of Pulp Fiction,
as the screenplay by Rodriguez and Miller mixes together three interconnecting
stories centering on various characters in the town called Sin City. Some are
lowlifes looking for vengeance; others are heroes looking for pure justice.
The filmís engrossing narrative style places it amongst the likes of Pulp Fiction and Memento.
The first story
involves Marv (Mickey Rourke), a hulk-like hoodlum who is out for bloody
revenge. After meeting a beauty named Goldie (Jaime King), who turns up dead
beside him in his bed, Marv sets out to take out those responsible for the
senseless murder of the one girl who treated him with any hint of respect. His
trail leads to unexpected suspects, including a deadly figure with a certain
taste for killing, played by Elijah Wood in a role that will make you forget
anything having to do with Frodo Baggins and have you chilled to the bone.
The second story,
and my favorite of the three, tells of good-hearted killer named Dwight (Clive
Owen). After witnessing a tension filled run in with current flame Shellie
(Brittany Murphy) and hothead Jack (Benicio Del Toro), Dwight follows the
suspicious Jack to see that he doesnít harm any of the working girls in the
city. The events that following result in the breaking of a truce in Sin City,
between the crooked cops and the working girls who defend their territory.
The third section
of the movie concerns a burned out cop named Hartigan (Bruce Willis) vowing to
find and protect someone that he tried to save years ago, and did, but with
harsh consequences. That someone is now a full-grown woman named Nancy (Jessica
Alba), whoís now an exotic dancer at a nightclub. The very people who were
trying to harm her years before, in particular a newly deformed pedophile (Nick
Stahl), seem to resurface just at the moment Hartigan is reunited with Nancy.
One element that
distinguishes Sin City from the rest
of the comic book movie batch is the notion that in every single shot, you get
the feeling that youíre watching an actual comic book in cinematic motion. The
way Rodriguez has shot the movie, this being digital, allows for elements of
lighting and other fixtures which allow the simplest camera shots to resemble
the very kind of picture you would see in a comic book. Rodriguez, who has come
to embrace the art of digital filmmaking, has achieved nothing short of visual
Each story section
of Sin City mesmerizes and pulsates
with pure excitement. Mickey Rourke is absolutely phenomenal in what can be
considered a comeback role as the vengeful Marv. Bruce Willis is fantastic as
always in the role of the justice-dispensing Hartigan. The filmís finest work,
for me, comes from Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro in the filmís second, most
bizarre section of the film. Mr. Del Toro, in particular, should be given credit
for being such a pro, and youíll have to see the film to see what I mean.
In short, Sin
City is an utter masterpiece. Itís rare to experience a film that mixes
the absolute best of worlds. Itís a visual masterpiece, but itís also a
marvel in the realm of cinematic storytelling. If anything, itís certainly one
of the truly best films of the year.
BONUS TRIVIA: The
section directed by guest director Quentin Tarantino is the scene with Clive
Owen and Benicio Del Toro riding together in the car.
ADD. TRIVIA: Frank
Miller himself can be spotted as the priest threatened by Mickey Rourke in the
gentlemen, we have officially found what can now be considered as the absolute
BEST LOOKING PRESENTATION of the year. Dimensionís anamorphic offering
delivers in every possible area of video performance. The black and white
photography, mixed in with brief hints of distinct color, ignites the screen in
a stellar way that few DVD presentations, even great ones, can bare to
accomplish. Words canít describe the sheer brilliance that the look of this
disc delivers. Itís one that is guaranteed to blow any viewer away.
Likewise in the
audio field. The 5.1 mix, supplied in both Dolby Digital and DTS, rock the sound
system like you wouldnít believe. Thereís so much going on in this movie,
that itís impossible for the channels to not have something to work with.
Everything from music score, to bombastic action, to plain dialogue delivery is
delivered in pure A+ form. Regarding sound performance, this is one title that
will certainly be mentioned at the DMC Awards.
Alas, the one area
fans of this movie were waiting to have upgraded. This deluxe two disc set
includes every possible extra you ask for in terms of wanting to see how this
marvel of a film came to life.
Disc One includes the Original Theatrical Release,
which also features two commentary tracks; the first with Directors Robert
Rodriguez and Frank Miller, the second with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin
Tarantino. Thereís also a third audio track featuring a recording of the
Austin Premiere crowd, which makes you feel like youíre there amongst the
first audience to ever see the movie.
Disc Two includes
the Recut and Extended version of the movie, which allows you the movie in
whichever order you wish. The stories have been split up, and each segment has
been extended as the title indicates. Also featured on this disc is a belly full
of extras, including a 15 Minute Film School with Robert Rodriguez, The Long
Take: 14 Uninterrupted Minutes of Tarantino's Segment, "Sin City Live"
Night AT Antones - Filmmakers, Cast and Crew Party, a 10-Minute Cooking School
with Robert Rodriguez, How It Went Down: Convincing Frank Miller To Make the
Film, A Hard Top With a Decent Engine: The Cars of Sin City, Trench Coats
& Fishnets: The Costumes Of Sin City, Making the Monsters: Special
Effects Make-Up, Booze Broads & Guns: The Props of Sin City, The Movie in
High-Speed Green Screen - All Green Screen Version, Booze, Broads & Guns:
The Props Of Sin City, Special Guest Director: Quentin Tarantino Segment,
Sin-Chroni-City Interactive Game, and Teaser and theatrical trailers.
Also included is a
Special Edition printing of original Sin City graphic novel The Hard Goodbye.