Sometimes… I just don’t know. I’m a comic geek and I’m a film geek. As a Comic Book geek, one of the deities presiding upon my imagination was Frank Miller. I mean, you read SIN CITY? They almost don’t need words. But Miller gives the characters dialogue that you spit out screaming at the world. It wasn’t like any Film Noir I’d ever seen optically. Oh sure, they played with light and shadow – but an awful lot of grey tones too! This was stark. Graphic. And Miller gave us a hard Bukowski like psyche to rage from. The stories scream… but it is pure fetish. There’s a wet fever dream quality to them.
It is SIN city. Those dark thoughts given half tones of light and a touch of color. I get drunk on it… printed upon pulp. This is 3D – and I know for some of you that’s a fucking annoyance, but ya know what… Fucking works for me!
But before I get into talking about the film… I just have to say, I’ve an optimistic view of world, I see the ugly and I don’t allow my mind to wallow in it, instead I turn to read about the achievements of society and the solutions that are being worked on – and I love life in Austin. I find Frank Miller’s art… the tales he’s given us to be cautionary tales of obsessive vindictive rage behavior. He focuses upon the savagery of society and fetishizes the vile… and frankly… somebody has to.
You shouldn’t come out of SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR thinking… I WISH I LIVED THERE! You should come out afraid of the shadows and the corners of the alleys of your city’s seedy side. I didn’t kinda like this latest one… I covet it. I love it. I celebrate it. I think it is killer!
The three big additions are Joseph Gordon Levitt, Eva Green and Josh Brolin.
Let’s start with Joseph Gordon Levitt. He never loses. He’s that mythical gambler with the magic touch. Babe Ruthing his way through Jackpotting money in the bag. The satchel is meant for a bigger game… jingling with the sound of silver dollars, he joins a backroom Poker game with his lovely lady luck… he pulls a chair up to play poker with Satan… aka Senator Roark, he sired that Yellow Bastard of the first film. He’s a rotten cock of a monster. A man that thinks the outcome of a poker game could affect his pristine life… he lets it eat at him till he has to scratch it with violence. Ugly brutal violence. Pliers and fingers… He’ll shoot ya so ya live, with pain. He’ll treat your luck with all the reverence of a Rabbit’s foot… She’ll end in pieces – and it is fucked up. But the kid isn’t down… Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Johnny has spirit… guts… the grit and determination to not back down… Here you get CHRISTOPHER F’n LLOYD as a back alley Junkie Doc, setting bones for his own fix funds. OUT STANDING! So weird! Love Johnny’s story! And I love Powers Boothe… the FX work of bringing out the whites of his eyes just make that… “Six hundred million screaming Chinamen” stare… otherworldly. You know what I’m talking about… But shivers. Senator Roark is a nightmare character… a corrupt sadistic psychotic murdering madman… or a Politician apparently… A man that wields Police chiefs like Derringers. Sure and deadly. More on Powers Boothe later…
Now – Eva Green and Josh Brolin have a different tale to tell. Brolin plays pre-face-change “DWIGHT” played in the original by Clive Owens. Eva Green plays Ava – she’s pure bad news. If there’s an old standard in the Crime Fiction genre, it’s the magically seductive woman for which every Dick worships… She’s that woman that can make a mind go kill crazy mad… all to serve her evil whims. The way she “Jedi mind tricks” the men around her to serving is just spectacular. Having a Dwight & Marv adventure is just happiness. Especially when Dwight asks Marv to not kill… it’s an adorable notion, like having little Eddy Furlong order his own personal T-800 to wound only. But that’s fine, cuz Marv’s a part of a later story where he gets to just go kill crazy – and I found it satisfying.
Are there things that bug me? Sure… I’m a bit pissed that Michael Clarke Duncan died so they had to recast him, because… I loved Duncan’s Golden Eyed Manute… You’ll see Dennis Haysbert playing Two-Eyed Manute… A man wall serving the whim of Eva Green’s Ava and calling her “The Goddess”. Haysbert does a solid job of taking the role over… but the character reminded me of the great loss we have in Michael Clarke Duncan being gone.
I also miss the hell out of Devon Aoki’s MIHO. Not that Jamie Chung had a terrible lot to do as MIHO this time, her presence is often felt by arrows entering the screen. But there was something sweet that Devon brought to MIHO which made her ferocity fun. As Chung plays MIHO – it’s more muted… less deadly cute.
I really dig the Ghost of Hartigan as a constant misery of Nancy’s life. But I want Jessica Alba to unleash a bit more. She seems to be a hesitant Nancy, but then we’ve got a few different Nancys in the film. Sweet fun Nancy – and Strung out Nancy. I really do like the scarred up revenge version of Nancy. But she’s unfortunately sharing story time with a completely unleashed Marv. And that’s better than a baby or a puppy with me. It’s MARV!!!!
This takes me to the discussion of the fact that there’s gonna be people that are absolutely diametrically opposed to this material a pure gut reaction. I don’t believe in wasting energy arguing with that group. I get it… You are opposed and hated your time in the theater. But man… My eyes and ears drink this shit up like it was served chilled in a brown paper sack and would serve as a weapon later.
I think it might have been easier for some to follow had it been linearly told, but then linear is for pussies. Nancy was such an easy sign for when in the storyline we were.
I believe the visual stylization is what keeps me from being repulsed by the immorality of the tale… but I think if you’re gonna get all holier than thou on a film called SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR – you’re kinda missing the point.
Now I did see the film at the Texas Premiere at the Paramount Theatre… and I did go to the post party, where I met no famous folks, I instead discovered a friend I’ve known since I was 13… nearly 30 years now – He’s a huge Geek and one of my favorite human beings on the planet. I was utterly beside myself with glee to see him there and we both geeked out about the film. And it was a good time.
I was genuinely happy that I had such a great time with the film. The addition of 3D to the screen composition that is played with in SIN CITY is just tremendous! The card scene with Powers Boothe and Joseph Gordon Levitt is fun candy for the brain.
I love how filled with crazy characters SIN CITY has become. It is only recognizable as being Frank Miller’s SIN CITY – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I mean… how many movies have a good head squish? SIN CITY is where it is at!