Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sin City

There is a reason comic books writers write comic books and not novels: their craft is for shit. For all I've heard of how great a job Frank Miller did on the "re-envisioning" of Batman in the 80s and his "groundbreaking" mature graphic novel (read: comic book) Sin City, I would expect some worthy prose of him. But "She shivered in the wind like the last leaf on a dying tree" is what we're given. That's pedestrian poetry, even worse prose, and a Noir cliche to say the least.
But that is what we're given with Sin City - every Noir cliche in the book. I read somewhere that Miller is a visual artist whose words take a back seat to the images he produces. Fair enough. His images are certainly impressively stark and unambiguous. However, this makes him a hack as a writer, and his words have no place on the screen. I wanted to like the movie, but lazy dialogue like "This is your last day on the force, I'm your partner, we've worked together twenty years" (I'm paraphrasing, but the bare bones are correct) made me cringe. The bad dialogue was made worse with an unending array of voice over narratives that added little to the action, hence, the audience's enjoyment of the movie. I think that if 75% of the voice overs were trimmed, the movie would have been much better (unfortunately the dialogue would remain).
This was a film noir, and as visually groundbreaking as it may have been, the stories seem to crib from some of the most influential noir in cinematic history. Bruce Willis' character was an amalgam of Bogart in the Maltese Falcon, MacMurray in Double Indemnity, and Mitchum in Out of the Past; of course, the amalgam was nowhere near as interesting as its progenitors. Clive Owen unfortunately played the role of the lover incapable of love, which I guess explains why he slaps the shit out Rosario Dawson. Mickey Rourke is the incurable lug, doomed to hell, who finds an ethos shortly before his suicidal rampage. Oddly, they all have the narrative voice of a seventeen year old comic book geek.
The other thing that bothered me throughout the movie was a feeling I get sometimes when I watch Rodriguez movies (if you can call them that), the feeling that I'm watching the most macho melodrama ever created. The movie just seemed like a two hour dialogue with Rodriguez asking you "Is it too real for you? Is it too real?" and then you might reply "No, in fact, it's a comic book," to which he may then say "Pussy." That's the sense I get from Passion of christ as well. I don't mind violence - Pulp Fiction is one of my favorite movies - but come on, ripping a guy's balls off? Like Martin Scorsese tells Larry David, it doesn't play. The symbolism, the theme, it all seemed to be a page from the Rodriguez playbook of reinforcing how awesome his characters are, as if to dissuade you from trying to pick apart the plot.
And the final problem - the plot. Sin City is not a movie. It's a comic book. That's fine if you like that sort of thing, but there's no character development to speak of (in terms of artistry, when I think of the creative process here, instead of a sculptor chiseling away carefully at marble I have the image of an inmate pounding the shit out of some stone slab), the plot is secondary if not tertiary to the cinematography (which is impressive), while the narrative seems to undermine the confident nature of the cinematography (there just seems to be something a little insecure about a groundbreaking movie that has far too mannered dialogue and cliched narratives).
In terms of artistic maturity, one section jumped out at me the most - Rourke's manbeast character stops by his parole officer's apartment. She is, of course, a "Dyke" who could have any man she wanted with that body, which of course she's flaunting - topless and thonged - in front of a psychotic who needs his pills. Yes. Now, gratuitous, chauvinistic nudity has a time and a place, it's just that it tends to follow Cannonball Run 3 on Cinemax late at night. Come to think of it, that's exactly the timeslot I saw "Once Upon a Time in Mexico."

5 Comments:

Blogger T Po said...

wouldn't trimming the voice over, only expose the poor dialogue? what do you want here?

tearing the balls off is too much, but somebody pouring gas over their newly shorn ear socket is palatable?

I know your jobless ass doesn't get no cinemax 3
--colin meloy

4/14/2005 9:58 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

replica watches, nike outlet, sac longchamp, longchamp, longchamp pas cher, nike free, louboutin outlet, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, ugg boots, jordan shoes, tory burch outlet, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany and co, uggs on sale, ralph lauren pas cher, prada outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, prada handbags, oakley sunglasses, nike roshe run, nike air max, cheap oakley sunglasses, ugg boots, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin pas cher, kate spade outlet, tiffany jewelry, air jordan pas cher, air max, burberry, louboutin, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike free, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, louboutin shoes, louis vuitton, gucci outlet, louis vuitton outlet, replica watches, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, chanel handbags, christian louboutin outlet

8/01/2016 9:30 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

coach outlet, hollister pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, converse pas cher, ugg boots, lululemon, true religion jeans, tn pas cher, oakley pas cher, ray ban pas cher, michael kors, hermes, michael kors outlet, true religion jeans, vans pas cher, mulberry, hollister, nike roshe, michael kors, michael kors outlet, vanessa bruno, nike free run uk, true religion jeans, new balance pas cher, nike air max, timberland, michael kors, coach outlet, ugg boots, ray ban uk, replica handbags, north face, true religion outlet, michael kors, ralph lauren uk, nike blazer, lacoste pas cher, nike air max, nike air max, michael kors outlet, burberry, air force, sac guess, coach purses, north face, hogan, michael kors outlet, kate spade handbags, michael kors outlet, burberry outlet online

8/01/2016 9:35 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

iphone cases, mcm handbags, wedding dresses, lancel, p90x workout, babyliss, soccer shoes, ferragamo shoes, mac cosmetics, soccer jerseys, longchamp, gucci, timberland boots, nike huarache, lululemon, insanity workout, converse outlet, celine handbags, birkin bag, louboutin, new balance, asics running shoes, ghd, nike roshe, hollister, hollister, reebok shoes, nfl jerseys, nike trainers, nike air max, converse, ray ban, jimmy choo shoes, oakley, vans shoes, mont blanc, north face outlet, hollister, valentino shoes, abercrombie and fitch, beats by dre, herve leger, chi flat iron, north face outlet, instyler, ralph lauren, vans, nike air max, baseball bats, bottega veneta

8/01/2016 9:44 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

montre pas cher, thomas sabo, moncler, moncler, moncler, karen millen, bottes ugg, toms shoes, pandora jewelry, links of london, ugg boots uk, canada goose outlet, pandora jewelry, canada goose outlet, supra shoes, hollister, moncler, pandora charms, ugg pas cher, louis vuitton, canada goose, moncler outlet, sac louis vuitton pas cher, moncler, moncler, wedding dresses, canada goose, swarovski crystal, moncler, louis vuitton, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, replica watches, canada goose, coach outlet, pandora charms, canada goose, doudoune canada goose, marc jacobs, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, canada goose uk, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, swarovski

8/01/2016 9:52 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home