As I’m trying to find words to adequately describe my reaction to this movie, let’s get into the details. Directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, Sin City combined their skills into the ultimate pulp comic-translation. I use the word translation, because this was the intent of the creators, they wanted to translate Miller’s Sin City comic into movie, without using script edits and other crap. Probably because Miller had bad experiences with RoboCop 2 and 3, where his original script was altered in such a fashion that he subsequently released Frank Miller’s RoboCop, a comic book series that used the discarded script. Rodriguez on the other hand, was naturally drawn to this project, along with Quentin Tarantino, and two years later, he released the Grindhouse package (Planet Terror and Death Proof). Both movies featured a neo-noir style with a very juicy cinematography and pulpy story. Sin City also brought on a huge wave of movies with a similar visual style like 300, Machete, Watchman and many others. Just one year earlier, Guillermo del Toro directed Hellboy and proved that comic book adaptations can turn out to be fucking awesome.
Although I was in gaming quite heavily by 2001, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the first photorealistic computer-animated feature film left me quite amazed. When, four years later, I first saw Sin City, I experienced something much deeper. Not only the visuals were phenomenal and unique but the story and the characters were also great. I loved everything about it! I think this is because it is perfectly balanced, layered and packaged. I would call this technique cranking. So you got your basic elements: script, visuals and characters and on top of them you got gimmicks, this is music, cinematography and all those little tricks used to achieve that perfect pacing. Take an ordinary shot from this movie and you’ll see that it’s of perfect length with audio/video element helping to push the story forward. They know when to stop with the melodramatic elements and how to evoke feelings to change your current mental state so you’re not thinking “so sappy” but instead, with a huge degree of empathy, start getting sucked in (off) the story.
Sin City consists of four stories set in Basin City, a place riddled with corruption and crime. Filled with all sorts of characters, trying to make it in this strange and nightmarish city, sex and murder are step away for almost everybody living here.
I will leave you to discover the beauty of these dark stories for yourself. I feel that everything has been already said about them, but little has been said about the underlying concept that makes this movie work so well. First of all, lets take a look at the characters, they are all very independent and willing to do things that would bring them harm only because they believe that any other action would not be morally good. The city represents the broken system of values that governments and powers that be placed upon the populace with the promise of a fair chance for everybody. When it broke, something had to take its place and tribal system, as the secondary, always available option, kicked in. This meant that the structures would slowly start to morph in order to facilitate this change and the society would inevitably also be changed into something else…
Directors: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Hartnett, Rutger Hauer, Michael Madsen, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen
Fun Facts: Directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller planned each shot in the movie by using the panels from the original book as storyboard.
IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401792/