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Sin City

Review Written by: Will Penley
Film: A+
Video/Audio/Extras: A+/A+/D-

Directed by: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino
Written by: Frank Miller
Based on the graphic novels by: Frank Miller
Produced by: Elizabeth Avellan
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Jaime King, Clive Owen, Brittany Murphy, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Bruce Willis
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Skip it

"Walk down the right back alley in Sin City and you can find anything."

Frank Miller's collection of Sin City graphic novels had a huge cult following. No announcements had been made for a film version and it looked as if there would never be one. Enter Robert Rodriguez, director of films like El Mariachi, From Dusk Till Dawn and The Faculty, who showed much interest in making a Sin City film. Miller, however, did not share his enthusiasm. At this point, a deal was made. The two of them would make a short film based on a short story from one of the novels (which would later become the opening to the film) and then they would decide whether or not to make the film. After that, it was history.

Marv (Mickey Rourke) is a hulking thug and a social outcast in Sin City. His one true love, Goldie (Jaime King), has just been brutally murdered. Now, he finds himself with a score to settle. Ex-photographer Dwight (Clive Owen) is in love with Shellie (Brittany Murphy), a waitress at a bar in Sin City. Dwight is spending his night defending Gail (Rosario Dawson) and her Old Town girls against Jackie Boy (Benicio Del Toro), a corrupt cop. Hartigan (Bruce Willis) is the only honest cop of Sin City, who has been incarcerated for years in regard to a crime he didn't commit. Now a free man, he vows to protect sexy stripper Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) from the deformed paedophile who had him jailed.

The highlight of Sin City, as anyone should know, is the visuals. Made to look identical to the graphic novels that inspired it, Sin City includes some astounding special effects. The film is comprised of three separate stories, much like Pulp Fiction, a film which, without a doubt, inspired at least a few parts of the film. These three stories are very entertaining with nearly no break in the action of the film's duration. The dialogue, lifted straight from Miller's graphic novels, is fantastically written. The acting by the ensemble cast is also good, overall. This one is a must-see for fans of action films or crime-dramas.

Now, on to the DVD. The anamorphic widescreen video on the disc is absolutely fantastic -- a reference-quality transfer. Scratches or grain are nowhere to be found. The audio is just as good. The English Dolby 5.1 and DTS 5.1 audio tracks provide a highly atmospheric audio experience. All the dialogue is extremely clear and the bass will get a good workout, as well, during the many elaborate action sequences.

The biggest weakness of the disc is the extras. All that is included is a single promotional featurette, which is pure studio fluff and a series of trailers for upcoming films from the studio. There's going to be a much more elaborate multi-disc set for the film within a few months of this disc's release, which is going to be packed with extras.

Even though the film itself is fantastic, it's very hard to recommend this DVD. I say, give this one a rental, and then buy the special edition that's coming out in a couple of months. (Editor's Note: Sneaky Miramax.)

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