Sunday, July 10, 2005

Frank Miller's Sin City

The long wait is over. After 5 long months, Sin City has finally made it to our shores, passed uncut. And watching it somehow brought a smile to my face, not that I'm extremely pleased with the gratuitous violence and nudity, but because it stuck to the source material so well, you feel as if you're reading the book and hearing the audiotape (if there is one) at the same time.

For the uninitiated, the Sin City comics consists of various storylines, some of which are adapted for the screen. Created by Frank Miller, he also serves as co-director, which probably explains that this big screen adaptation is as faithful as you can get.

I've read The Hard Goodbye, and watching that segment on screen, wow, every narrative dialogue and monologue, every scene in the book is right there on screen. The action and violence too, every frame adapted the look and feel of the book. Heck, even Marv (Mickey Rourke) looked the part, thanks to prosthetics. Jaime King rocked as Goldie, his goddess, while Elijah Woods rounded off the cast for this segment as Kevin, the chillingly fast and deadly killer.

The other major storylines consisted of That Yellow Bastard and The Big Fat Kill, which I have been slow in picking up, but after viewing the movie now, you bet they'll be added to my comics collection soon. The stories are presented as a whole, so there is no intercut scene which brings you from one storyline to the next, and no confusion. Timelines in which the stories happen however, follows the books, so at some points you might see certain scenes and characters from other storylines.

Casting is wickedly accurate, with the likes of Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Benecio Del Toro, Carla Gugino, Nick Stahl, Alexis Bledel, Devon Aoki, Michael Clarke Duncan, the list goes on. Most of the look like their comic book counterparts, which is simply amazing. The only inaccuracy I can spot is with Alba's character staying clothed in the movie (heh). Too many characters? No worries - the opening credits shows the character as drawn from the book, together with the actors name. So far, only Spider-Man 2 made use of comic book panels in its opening credits (drawn by Alex Ross).

For those with weak stomachs, you might want to think twice watching the show. Most of the violence are shown on screen, but the lack of colours (it's black and white, like the books) somehow cushions the splattering of fresh blood. You have mutilations, shootouts, decapitations, castrations, explosions and the likes. The technique used in Sin City is similar to that used in Sky Captain, and all the backgrounds do not really exist.

If you like Kill Bill, you'll probably enjoy Sin City too, shot and cut by Robert Rodriguez, with Quentin Tarantino having a hand in directing one of the scenes. Fans will probably clamour for a sequel (Marv+Dwight in tag team action in A Dame To Kill For?), I know I would too!

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