Sunday, June 12, 2005

Film Review: Sin City

I finally got round to watching Sin City last night at a West End theater. It was a toss between Ewan McGregor's Guys & Dolls or the comic adaptation but three weeks of Saturday's Guys & Dolls were sold out.

So we settled for Sin City at 9. We had tome to kill so off to Masala Zone in Soho. This modern curry house has three brances in London and is a reasonable valud priced. Think Wagamama but without the pretense of canteen style dining and slightly cheaper only difference is this is an Indian while Wagamama is Chinese/Japanese. Masala Zone's main speciality is te universal Indian platter (thalis). This is out third time there and the lamb curry was excellent. Not too spicy which is probably to cater the Western tongues.

A 30 minute walk through the back streets of Soho through Covent Garden and back we were finally at Trocadero. That was the UGC cinema we went to. It isn't a celebrity magnet like those theaters on Leicester Square some 200 years away. The condition isn't as good as the Vue or Odean, but compared to the other UGCs I frequent with the exception of West India Quay, it was pretty well presented.

We had screen 2 on the second level. The loos are situated on the third and is only accessable through a pair of escalators. This I think is a gross oversight from the original architects. West India Quay's UGC has loos next to almost every other screen. But the screen itself was huge, clean or any visible markings and probably worth paying a little extra for.

We settled about twelve rows from the front. A couple of adverts filled through and then came the theatrical trailers. The new Orange ad featuring a Make Poverty History plug by Ewan McGregor. It wasn't as funny as previous Orange ads but then again it had a serious subject attached to it.

On to the film. The first sequence commits the tone on how the film will feel with its greyscale colour, CGI look and the limited selection of hue allowed to pass through the black and white filter.

* possible spoilers ahead *

Three stories are told in the film with one of them (the story of Hartigan) being intercutted with the story of Marv ala Pulp Fiction style. It isn't surprising - Quentin Tarantino guest directed.

My favourite was the one where Dwight, an ex-special force (Clive Owen) joined his hooker girlfriend Gail (Rosario Dawson) in combating the dirty coppers led by Michael Clarke Duncan after the killing of Benecio Del Toro. Confrontation ensued with Irish mercenaries which proved to be a funny experience.

Then there was Marv. Mickey Rourke was excellent playing the tough guy convict bent on avenging the death of lover Goldie (Jaime King). A killing spree led to an excellently and disturbingly portrated psycho cannibal geek, Elijah Wood.

The final story (actually the first but down as the climatic main act) of Hartigan (Bruce Willis) was in my humble opinion - the weakest of the three. When Hartigan saves a young girl from the rapist son (Nick Stahl) of a senator, he was betrayed by the law system. Jessica Alba was hot playing the grown up victim Nancy.

This Robert Rodriguez fil has quite an unexpected feel to it, but then again I hardly read comics anymore. I glanced through a couple of issues of Sin City before but never read it. But I do love the film and its LA Confidential meets Once Upon A Time In Mexico meets Daredevil style that the auteur(s) managed to transfix. A very stylish film.



eyeris said...

it WAS a good film, wasn't it? IT's almost frame for frame and line for line exactly like the comic.

BTW, TArantino only guest directed the part where Dwight (Clive Owen) was 'chatting' with Johnny Boy (Del Torro) in the car.

sorry, I'm such a geek, aren't I? :)

vincent said...

I thought Tarantino directed the part where Miho chopped them up with the samurai swords, cause of the way the blood squirted out just like Kill Bill.

Kat said...

I thought the film was brilliant. My favourite story was also the one with Clive Owen and the hookers as well. I love Devon Aoki's Miho. Lethal. :)

Kat said...

I'm going to watch 'Guys and Dolls' this week actually. Not the West End one, but there's a production here in Sheffield as well. Looking forward to it.

Jon said...

You are right eyeris, according to IMDB: Guest director Quentin Tarantino directed the scene involving Dwight (Clive Owen) and Jackie Boy (Benicio Del Toro) in the front of the car, before Dwight is pulled over by a police officer.

Although I am pretty sure that Tarantino has some influence in editing. He and Rodriguez goes way back.

Apparently the sword used by Devon Aoki is the same as used by Crazy 88 in Kill Bill Vol 1.

Kat, great bout Guys & Dolls. I am trying to get the West End ticket for next month.