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Saturday, July 30, 2005

"Sin City"

Sin City
I finally got around to watching "Sin City". I think that if I had waited another week, I would have missed my chance, because the number of screenings per day is getting smaller, even at the big cinemas. That's what happens with R21 movies with a small core audience.

I had never read the comics that the movie is based on, but I had heard only good stuff about it. And the reviews I had read hailed the movie as a success in terms of keeping to its comic book roots. And I had faith in Robert Rodriguez, even though I had never seen any of his other movies.

And I wasn't let down. "Sin City" is an awesome, awesome movie. Not just in the cast and (computer-generated) sets, but also in the set pieces and dramatisation. And by that, I mean that my disbelief was suitably suspended to make me think that I was watching not actors in another Hollywood flick, but a group of no-gooders try to do good in a cesspool of a city.

The black-and-white imagery was well-used. It not only made me think about what the comic book looks like, but it also gave the movie a noir-ish feel. The lack of colours also helps to prevent unnecessary distraction from the story. The one colour that appears in each scene serves to highlight what's going on in that scene, so you know where to focus your attention and immerse yourself further into the story.

The sequence that I really enjoyed was "The Hard Goodbye", starring Mickey Rourke. He plays this beast of a guy, Marv, who pummels people for the sheer fun of it. But what drives him is revenge, because just after he finds a girl whom he thinks accepts him for what he is, she ends up killed. Ah, love and revenge, classic ingredients for a good drama. I think a lot of people can relate to his motivation.

But as with all good things, there are the bad parts, and the one bad part that stuck out like a sore thumb was the dialogue. I think it was lifted verbatim from the comics. Unfortunately, what works in comics may not work in movies, and that's what happened here. The dialogue sounded corny and cliché, like something from a 1950s-era movie. Maybe that was the point, but I didn't like it.

The other thing has more to do with my original expectation of the movie. "Sin City" isn't really a superhero-type comic/movie, yet the characters display some sort of superhero qualities. E.g. Marv gets shot and beaten and even electrocuted, but somehow always manages to stand up again. Dwight (Clive Owen) jumps down more than two storeys and doesn't break a leg. And then there's Kevin (Elijah Wood), the bounding-and-leaping psycho.

Overall, a good movie, and the delay in the distributor bringing it into Singapore is offset by the chance to see the director's cut. I'm not sure what cuts were made in the theatrical release, but I'm glad that Singapore's censors allowed the blood and gore to remain. Can you imagine a criminal's head being beaten until the beater is hitting the floorboard??? Or a graphic scene of that same criminal's genitals being pulled out??? See, the censorship board isn't so uptight... at least with regards to violence.

The one actress who didn't make a big impression but I was looking forward to was Alexis Bledel. I tried to enjoy the part when her character said that she had to call her mother. Err, Lauren Graham, maybe? Haha.

Next up: I need to find my golden ticket to enter Charlie's chocolate factory. Or maybe I'll see if a Dutch girl says sorry.

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