“She smells like angels ought to smell. … The perfect woman. The goddess. Goldie.”
-Marv, Sin City
Well, we’re on the theme of comics, so we might as well talk about Sin City.
I think, last year sometime, I started saying we finally had the ultimate comic-book movie in Spider Man 2. And I was right in a sense, in that this was the first film to nail the comic-book genre correctly while also being a pretty good movie. Others may want to argue first, but whatever, the point is that this movie, finally, nailed it. But it’s still a movie based on a comic book. They all are. Batman, X-Men, Daredevil, LXG, Blade. They’re adaptations. The medium is different, so you have to change things. Things that work in a comic won’t work in a movie. Visual style, story-telling pace. Comics are a very stylized medium and most of what’s in a comic won’t translate directly.
Well, ok, sure. But here comes Robert Rodriguez to put the lie to all that.
Sin City. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. A series of graphic novels by the incomparable Frank Miller, creator of Dark Knight. I don’t even begin to have a complete list of all the major comics Miller’s worked on; Daredevil, Electra, Batman, X-men, Wolverine, Spiderman, Spawn, Avengers. I could go on and on. And I admit I’ve never read the Sin City books. They’re winging to me now, I hope in time for my trip this week.
But we’re talking about Sin City, the movie.
First a word about Rodriguez. He’s the brilliant creator of one of my all-time favorite movies, Desperado. Yet, his career as a director has had more misses than hits. Dusk til Dawn absolutely sucked, Once upon a Time in Mexico was boring, The Faculty was average, and while Spy Kids was entertaining, it’s fluff; it’s sequel is lame, and I didn’t brake the 3-D third one. So now, I see his name, I am filled with hope, yet have incredibly low expectations.
This movie is simply stunning. In many ways. First, the material itself, Miller’s comics, are artistically beautiful and well written. The casting and acting are all superb. But the brilliance of this is that Rodriguez didn’t adapt the books. He simply made them into a movie.
Never — ever — has there been a film that looked and felt so much like a comic book. Frame-by-frame, miller used the comic as his story-board, replaced the drawings with people, and brought a 2-D comic to life. Textures, pacing, dialog, color palate, the look of the people, the sounds. It all felt exactly — exactly like a comic book.
There is so much about this movie that I love, I can’t possibly do it justice. See it. See it now. Without doubt, I’ll be seeing it again, and buying it as soon as it comes out on DVD.
And just let me second what Dox said about Carla Gugino. She does indeed have an absolutely delicious ass, and I could spend all day with my face there. But she’s far from the only stunning babe in this movie; Jessica Alba‘s mouth will fill my fantasies this eve, as will images of her being whipped; and there are more barely-dressed lovelies in this film than I can keep track of. Truly a treat for the eyes in that sense as well.
Go. See it.
“I love hitmen. No matter what you do to them, you don’t feel bad.”
“Modern cars – they all look like electric shavers.”
“An old man dies. A young girl lives. A fair trade.”
“My warrior woman. My Valkyrie. You’ll always be mine, always and never. Never. The Fire, baby. It’ll burn us both. It’ll kill us both. there’s no place in this world for our kind of fire. Always and never. If I have to die for you tonight, I will.”
“People think Marv is crazy. He just had the rotten luck of being born in the wrong century. He’d be right at home on some ancient battlefield swinging an axe into somebody’s face. Or in a Roman arena, taking his sword to other gladiators like him.”
Priest: “ask yourself if that corpse of a slut is worth dying for.”
Marv: “Worth dying for. Worth killing for. Worth going to hell for. Amen.”