Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"Dick Tracy" meets "Pulp Fiction"

Subject: Cinema
...or so "Sin City" kind of seems on the surface.

Well, even a little bit more than just on the surface...

"Dick Tracy" was, of course, a really cheesy comic strip adaptation with a lot of highly-stylized cinematography and use of color and prosthetics. "Pulp Fiction" was a mish-mash of cheesy homage to violent B-films. And "Sin City" has quite a lot of both. Even going so far as to have Quentin "F*ing Asshole" Tarantino as the "special guest director". Sure, it was directed by Robert Rodriguez, who had Frank Miller himself co-direct. But both tend towards over-the-top cartoons themselves. (Miller, literally, obviously.)

Now, don't get me wrong. This did not suck!! "Sin City" was huge fun. extremely stylish. All the homage was very well crafted and over-the-top enjoyable, right down to all of the cheesy-cliche film-noir dialogue. The characters were very interesting to the most part, and did I mention the style? The technique? Black & white with splashes of digitally rotoscoped color. In fact, there were a lot of subtle digital effects, albiet thrown in with many not-very-subtle-at-all ones.

In total, though, I think it may have very well come the closest to it's goal that I've seen in an American film: it adapted a comic book, and translated the form adequately. That's really rare. I liked these kinds of comic books way back in college (though I never actually needed to buy one; all my housemates were collectors at one point), and I'm quite pleased to finally see something like this make it to the screen. Though I think there's room for something even more serious and gritty and bleak and meaningful, which this really didn't achieve all that well. Being all over-the-top fun and all.

So even though it seems like I'm really underhandedly skewering "Sin City", I really have to admit I enjoyed it a heck of a lot. It's got it's faults, but it's got it's moments. Definitely worth the rental, and maybe I'll pick it up once a hi-def format becomes available.

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