Made Out Of Mouth

Movies Watched. Thoughts Provoked. Words Spilled.

8.29.2005

SIN CITY

Sin City is graphic and novel and that's the best I can say.

Better stories have been told. Better actors have starred in them. Better directors have told them. Often, they did it with a low-key style and a subtle, sultry smartness that only winked towards the darker side of life. To keep the attention span of modern audiences and even the people who make the films, today's movies have to be in your face, loud, abrasive, and wear their smartness/coolness on their sleeve. Sin City's creators have done all this and more. Sin City has proven that today's films have become a pissing contest.

Looking past the visceral imagery of Frank Miller's comic books and the CGI effects Robert Rodriguez uses to animate these paper thin stories one finds little to champion. Tough guys, rotten criminals, and naked girls. Don't let the R rating fool you. This is not an adult film, at least not one meant for mature audience. Only once in the near two hour long film does a self-reflexive sense of humor pop into the picture. With an ancillary character being struck by an arrow and delivering a most comical reaction the film shows a crack in its stone faced facade. Through this crack one can see the heart of Sin City, a truly laughable picture that never takes them time to consider the senseless nature of its existence. Never once does it call into question its own obsession with violence and deviant behavior. Outside of a puffed chest promotion for bullheaded machismo what purposed does this film serve?

Those males suffering from arrested development, akin to those women who thumb romance novels looking for Mr. Right, may derive some sick pleasure from titillating tales of misogynistic violence and pre-teen fantasies. Sin City is the wet dream of children brought up on video games that glamorize criminal activity. No wonder it looks so much like noir version of Grand Theft Auto, with cliche noir dialog and performance so flat that they compete with the two dimensional, computer generated backgrounds.

I feel sorry for everyone that hailed this as an achievement. Perhaps, young folks should read more Raymond Carver and less comic books. These are the days of Shock and Awe and it appears you have to do harm to a man's most private parts just to get them to take notice. It certainly caught the attention of many people and that scare me. What I saw was a perfect film for thirteen year old boys wounded by life and overlooked by girls. It's something doodled in study hall on the back of a notebook, a dream of killing off all those pricks that ever pissed on you. If this passes for cinematic achievement we truly are devolving.

3 Comments:

  • At 11:49 AM, Blogger Billy Vidrine said…

    I don't know that I disagree with anything Mr. Sarnowski is saying here regarding Sin City as an achievement of any kind outside of some nifty technical tricks. But as a fan of the comics from my high school days (which should be telling) I found it to be a fun ride with lots of pretty scenery. No, it certainly isn't a step forward but I wouldn't call it a step backward either. It is what it is: a pulpy mishmash of cliche and pose that goes out of its way to DELIVER THE GOODS. I went into Sin CIty want blood bullets booze and broads and I got all 4 in abundance. I got a kick out of the posturing and macho bullshit (of course I love Lee Marvin movies too but this is NO Lee Marvin movie. Though I give Mickey Rourke an "E" for effort) It was fun. And that was more than I got from most of the other wide release films I saw this year.

     
  • At 7:36 AM, Blogger Lucas Brachish said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 7:39 AM, Blogger Lucas Brachish said…

    Ryan, ol' boy, I got so carried away responding to your review that I finally just went ahead and turned my comment into a full post on my site.

     

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