Damn, it's late. And I am lazy, and no one cares (boo hoo), so I am just going to re-post what I just posted at the OFCS site. I would like to get some feedback from others about Sin City. Maybe some of you liked it, or have more insight into what it's supposed to mean than I do. I just felt embarassed for my gender while watching it, and reading all the laudatory reviews. In any case, here's what I just wrote:
It's late, and I am about to ramble on semi-coherently, so be forewarned. I pretty much hated the movie. I have enjoyed most of Miller's work (Dark Knight, Batman: Year One (was that the title?), Ronin, Elektra: Assassin, and his work on Daredevil) but I never got into Sin City. I haven't had much use for anything Rodriguez is done since, I dunno, maybe his segment of Four Rooms or Desperado. Once Upon a Time in Mexico is the worst movie I've ever seen with the words "Once Upon a Time in" in the title. I would not have paid to see Sin City, but the trailers did look amazing, starting with that opening segment with Hartnett, which I watched online a few months ago. I would rather watch the trailer 50 consecutive times than see the entire movie again.
Whatever the comic's relative merits, I agree wholeheartedly with Wayne Proctor that reading the comic book is a completely different experience. Still images that you can put down and return to later, and well over a month's wait (if I remember correctly) between stories works better than jamming three loosely related stories together like this, because they are too similar (at least the Marv and Hartigan stories) and the relentless brutality (along with the voiceover) becomes monotonous and numbing. Reading can also be a more pensive experience than watching a film that seems in an awful hurry to get us to the next cheap thrill.
I also find the film (and I guess the comic as well--it's been a while) very misogynistic. This seems completely self-evident to me, though from what I understand, the actresses disagree. I read somewhere that Alba compares her relationship with Willis to that of Bogie and Bacall. Um, ok.
Look at the imbalance in the casting. Bruce Willis, Benicio del Toro, and Clive Owen vs. Jessica Alba and Brittany Murphy? The female cast members are extremely lightweight--ingenues whose purpose is to look sexy while being slapped around, tortured, murdered. There's not an ounce of depth or complexity to any of these characterizations. None of them get to be subjects. They are fantasy figures, and I guess the fantasy does not appeal to me. Though it might have when I was 14.
Of course, the ugliness is the point, Sin City is about misogyny and the brutalization of women, the level of exaggeration makes it clear that none of this is to be taken literally. Those mounted heads are symbolic, Nick Stahl is a manifestation of Bruce Willis' subconscious, and look at how all the "bad guys" get castrated. (It's kind of like the "extreme" version of that award-winning short film from the Simpsons with the guy getting hit in the nuts with the football.) And blah blah blah. But it's all presented with such inane sophomoric glee that it's clear that I'm supposed to be having a blast, that Rodriguez and Miller mean to shock me into some state of overstimulated joy and not revulsion. So, even with tempered expectations, very disappointed.
Since there aren't as many fanboys reading here, I can point out that if you really get off on this shit, you may have seriously have a problem. I'm here to help.