Ebert: Rolling Stone: 1/2 TV Guide: 1/2

Warning, minor plot points revealed!

The only problem with the new Robert Rodriguez film Sin City, is that it seriously tempts me to create a new 5+2 bonus star rating.  It's so awesome that I can't even believe it's real.  If you haven't witnessed it yet, and are just sitting there reading my review, then I pity you.  Go see it right now.  You can come back and read this later.  Nothing you ever do for the rest of your life will ever be more important than seeing this film.  I just spent the whole day watching it over and over and if I didn't have to come home and feed my baby I would have stayed all night until they literally dragged me out of the theatre.  

It is, without exaggeration, one of the best movies in history.  In fact it transcends that.  Let me see, how can explain?  Think of what ever it is that you consider the most perfect in the world.  The beauty of a sunset at the equator, the painting "Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh, holding your first newborn child in your arms moments after birth.  Now imagine your idea of perfection multiplied by a billion.  By a 100 billion.  Sin City is so perfect it is like staring into the face of God.  And after you've seen it, nothing will ever be the same again.

This isn't just a movie.  It's much, much more than that.  It's an experience.  It's like shooting a syringe full of bliss directly into your vein.  

There may never be anything cooler than Sin City.  This might be it.  The absolute zenith of our civilization.  

I read about 20 reviews of this film before I saw it.  In fact I've been reading everything I could find about it for the the last few weeks.  I suppose I could have actually bought the Frank Miller Sin City comics, but unlike most adaptations, I'm sure in this instance, that the film is far greater than the source material.  I respect the comics.  The movie is, in actuality, the closest thing to a live action comic that has ever been made.  And is, in being so, the most respectful representation of the art and tone of the comic or "graphic novel."

Lets get all the blah-blah junk out of the way that you'll read in other reviews or hear in the interviews.  Robert Rodriguez gave up his membership in the director's guild (and his chance to direct John Carter of Mars, aka Princess of Mars) to give comic author Frank Miller a co-director credit.  Also Rodriguez pal Quentin Tarantino guest directs a scene (the one with Dwight (Clive Owen) and Rafferty (Benicio Del Toro) in the car together.)  This was supposedly in exchange for the $1 that QT paid RR to score part of the second Kill Bill film and for RR to try and convince QT that digital video is as worthy a medium as celluloid.  Next you're gonna hear how it's shot in black and white with certain elements, like blood, given the color treatment and that the dialogue and attitude is very "pulp" and "film noir."  And finally there will be a lot of talk about how it was all shot in a studio in front of a green or blue screen and the entire city and sets were painted around the actors via computer graphics like the much over-looked film Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow.

Ok, so now you know all the trivia.  Lets talk about the movie.  It's basically 3 stories book-ended by a 4th.  

The first story, which all critics and myself agree is the best is called "The Hard Goodbye"  This is the one with Mickey Rourke and Elijah Wood in the coolest roles they have ever played.  I'm not going to give a synopsis of each story but basically this one's about a guy trying to figure out who killed a girl he loved and avenge her.   

The next story, "The Big Fat Kill," is Clive Owen versus Benicio Del Toro.   Clive defends his girlfriend and a bunch of butt kicking hookers who don't really need his help.  This one also features a girl named Devon Aoki who is cooler than ice cold.  You'll know her when you see her.

The third piece, "That Yellow Bastard," starts before "The Hard Goodbye" but finishes at the end, thus disrupting the chronology of the film into a circular Pulp Fiction sort of timeline.  This is the one with my favorite action star Bruce Willis and my favorite sexy former TV star Jessica Alba (Dark Angel).  Bruce gets out of prison and has to once again defend the girl he saved 8 years ago from the pedophile murderer who tried to kill her when she was 10.  It was best to put this one at the end because then the film starts and ends strong with plenty of "pow" in the middle.

I'm not going to rave for paragraphs about the special effects because the entire film is basically one special effect.  It would be like discussing the special effects of the new Star Wars movies.  Suffice to say that it's the coolest thing you will have ever seen in your life.  

The violence in the movie is super-ultra-violence.  If it wasn't in the comic format with white, yellow and black blood then this would never, ever have received the "R" rating that it did.  The movie is soaked in blood.  I loved it!

I guess that's all I have to say for now.  I'll probably go see it again at the theatre and I'll probably wear out the disc drive on my player when the DVD comes out.  This is absolutely a movie to go pay as much as necessary to see on the big screen at the theatre.  Seriously go right now.  If you're at work, quit your job.  It's not worth living another second without having seen this film.

In the words of John Hartigan: “There’s wrong and there’s wrong and then there’s this!"

Pre-Review: I don't remember the last time I was this excited about a film.  I am so wound-up about this movie it is becoming a major life distraction.  I have read all I can about it over the last few months, downloaded, watched and re-watched the trailers and stopped mid-sentence every time the commercials come on TV.  

I'm not going to see it on Friday night but I will be at the first show Saturday morning and I'm planning on just watching it over and over that day until have seen it enough times to satiate my insane fanboy need to experience this film.  

My review above is an accurate prediction - trust me.  It is unlikely that I will enjoy any film this year more than Sin City.  Oh, there will be some great ones, the previews for this summer already look super-cool (Star Wars, War of the Worlds, Batman Begins, etc.) But from what I know and add to that my super inflated expectations Sin City is going to be nothing short of a life changing experience for me.  I'm positive of this.  I cannot wait to see this movie.  I predict that it will be one of the greatest movies ever made.



Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller