Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Sin City

For a while now all the cool kids have been fixating on Sin City. Entertainment Weekly put the upcoming Robert Rodriguez movie on its cover a few weeks ago. Ain't It Cool News is practically all-Sin City all the time. Even Kathy Nelson is caught up in the mania. (To my credit/shame, I blogged about Sin City a couple of months back.)

So what's the big deal? Well, check out the two trailers and you'll see. Sin City is adapted from a series of Frank Miller graphic novels and the movie looks unlike anything you've ever seen before. It is, as one observer put it, like seeing a comic book at 24 frames per second.

If the movie lives up to its trailer, Sin City's composition alone will be taught at film schools for a generation. And comic books are hot source material these days as Hollywood is bringing everyone from Spider-Man on down to American Splendor to the big screen. And Frank Miller is the comic-book auteur of the modern era. And the cast is full of pretty people who appear on the cover of magazines like Details and Movieline.

With all of these factors in its favor, the entertainment press is already genuflecting before Miller and declaring Sin City the new Pulp Fiction, full of stylish, noiry goodness.

What I want to know is, has anyone else out there actually read the comic books?

Whatever else the Sin City comics may be, they are utterly unfilmable. They are page after page of murder, mutilation, torture, rape, beheading, cannibalism, and worse. L.A. Confidential is noir. Touch of Evil is noir. Sin City is Brett Easton Ellis's American Psycho without the daintiness and restraint. Think Hannibal meets Faces of Death.

I haven't seen Sin City yet, but if the movie is faithful to the comic books, then it's a niche product, at best.

1 comment:

Ralphie said...

My first thought after seeing that trailer was that there's no way the film can live up to it. Too awesome - no way.

Also... Miller is indeed fantastic (and we'll pretend Dark Knight 2 never happened), but I wouldn't put him above Alan Moore.