Sin City (1 & 2)

D: Robert Rodriguez (& Frank Miller)
Buena Vista (Elizabeth Avellan)
US 2005
124 mins


W: Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez [based on the comic book series by Frank Miller]
DP: Robert Rodriguez
Ed: Robert Rodriguez
Mus: Robert Rodriguez, John Debney & Graeme Revell

Jessica Alba (Nancy Callahan), Devon Aoki (Miho), Alexis Bledel (Becky), Rosario Dawson (Gail), Benicio Del Toro (Jackie Boy), Michael Clarke Duncan (Manute), Carla Gugino (Lucille), Rutger Hauer (Cardinal Roark), Jaime King (Goldie / Wendy), Michael Madsen (Bob), Brittany Murphy (Shellie), Clive Owen (Dwight), Mickey Rourke (Marv), Nick Stahl (Roark, Jr.) Bruce Willis (John Hartigan), Elijah Wood (Kevin)

On style alone, this is arguably the finest comic book movie ever made.
A trio of stories takes place in crime-ridden Basin City, featuring corrupt cops, cannibalistic killers, gun-toting prostitutes and more.
The stories don't quite interlink in the way Pulp Fiction or other similar films do, with the main character from each vignette having his own story to tell.
Mickey Rourke is the standout of the cast in the first (and arguably best) of the three stories, The Hard Goodbye, in which he plays a facially-disfigured maniac framed for murdering a prostitute, seeking revenge for those who were really responsible.
The second story, The Big Fat Kill, sees the gun-wielding prostitutes of Old Town battle the mob following the death of a corrupt cop in their city limits.
The third tale, That Yellow Bastard, is a wrap-around, starring Bruce Willis as one honest cop who takes the fall for a corrupt politicians perverted nephew, released from prison just in time to protect a girl he once saved from being targeted once again. 
Robert Rodriguez' vision of using a green screen visual effects technique to build the fictional world are brilliantly realised, as is the utilisation of black & white photography with flashes of colour. 
An iconic piece of pop/cult cinema.
Sin City
Sin City

There is no justice without sin
There is no justice without sin
D: Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller
Dimension/Miramax/Aldamisa (Robert Rodriguez, Aaron Kaufman, Stephen L'Heureux, Sergei Bespalov, Alexander Rodnyansky & Mark Manuel)
US 2014
102 mins


W: Frank Miller [based on his comic book series]
DP: Robert Rodriguez
Ed: Robert Rodriguez
Mus: Robert Rodriguez & Carl Thiel

Mickey Rourke (Marv), Jessica Alba (Nancy Callahan), Josh Brolin (Dwight), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Johnny), Rosario Dawson (Gail), Bruce Willis (John Hartigan)

When the original Sin City burst into cinema screens in summer of 2005, it was a breath of fresh air for the comic book subgenre, mixing film noir stories with a stylish backdrop, whilst staying true to the original source material.
The stories in this sequel may be based on those from the graphic novels, but the format feels tired and the CGI effects far less polished. It also came out far too late after the original film, when superhero films were practically ten-a-penny down at the local multiplex.
If you don't compare it to the first film, it isn't terrible, but the interlinking stories don't interlink (two of which were set before events in the first film) and the main thread, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a not-so-lucky gambler feels quite pointless. The world of Sin City, with heroic vigilantes and corrupt lawmen is a universe which could go on to make a great cinematic franchise, but on this evidence, it's best to leave it grounded. Watch the first film, by all means, but you wouldn't feel too disappointed if you gave this one a skip.

Mickey Rourke in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Mickey Rourke in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For