My copy of the SIN CITY-RECUT & EXTENDED 2 disc DVD set arrived yesterday afternoon! I spent an entire evening into the wee hours of this morning, watching the film, and going through all of the extras...
When I first found out that Frank Miller's Sin City graphic novel series was going to be adapted for the big screen, I was both excited and concerned at the same time, at what could come out of it. The books were so unique, even for the comic book medium, that I knew they would be tough to adapt on film. When I saw the film's opening sequence in the theater last spring, all of my concerns were put to rest, and I knew I was in for one heck of a ride. The end result is one of the most faithful films to its source material in the comic to movie genre ever made.
Director Robert Rodriguez asked Miller himself to co-direct the film which loosely connects three of the series best stories. It leads off and ends though with a short vignette called The Customer Is Always Right, with Josh Hartnett as The Man. This helps to set the tone at the start, as well as put on a proper coda for the movie.
The Hard Goodbye Tortured tough guy Marv (Mickey Rourke) is framed for murder and he turns to his parole officer Lucielle (Carla Gugino) for help. Even as he forced to go it alone in the end. What he finds out is both unsettling and brilliant at the same time.
The Big Fat Kill follows Dwight (Clive Owen) and what happens when he enters into a casual relationship with a waitress named Shellie (Brittany Murphy). Little does he know that he's about to put in the middle of a struggle for power over the red light district that forces him to do some wild things. During this segment of the film special guest director Quentin Tarantino was asked to helm a scene here. While I am not a Tarantino fan by any means, I appreciate his work on this film, and his friendship with Rodriguez.
That Yellow Bastard Hartigan (Bruce Willis) is thatrare honest cop in Sin City. Even as he prepares to retire, he will stop at nothing to put an end to a child molester's reign of terror, no matter how well connected the sewer rat might be. In order to have justice for the victims, Hartigan will sacrifice a lot, especially when his life becomes intertwined with victim Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba). When Hartigan's investigation takes him right to the vile Yellow Bastard (Nick Stahl) himself, forcing him to discover just how far he's he's willing to go.
Using green screen effects and CGI, Rodriguez was able to bring Sin City to life without really needing to tamper with the look and style of the books themselves. The results are dazzling. The true success though really has to do with Miller's characters and the way Rodriguez doesn't alter them to make them more Hollywood. The performances from the cast are first rate and help sell everything else. I have been critical of CGI/Green Screen flicks like Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow, whose characters let the film's tech look overtake it, but here, the tech acts to serve the characters--not vice versa. Like the books, the noir flavor shine through, while allowing for a dash of licence from the filmmakers.
Disc One includes the original theatrical cut of the film and these extras. A feature length audio commentary with Rodriguez and Miller, a second audio commentary with Rodriguez, Tarantino and Bruce Willis, and a third audio track featuring audience reaction at the premiere in Austin. The commentaries give you a well rounded look at how things came together, from both a creative standpoint and actor perspective. The reaction track is a hoot and worth a listen as you watch the film. There's also a series of featurettes on everything from Miller and Tarantino, to the film's cars, props, make-up effects and costumes. Some of the info from these can also be heard on the commentaries...that said they are worth watching. An interactive character time line and the theatrical trailers top off the disc.
Disc Two includes an extended cut of each story--treating them more like separate short films---rather than a whole with a few connective threads. Some of the "new" footage is just incidental stuff. But there's some meaty additions in That Yellow Bastard and The Hard Goodbye that fans should like.
Three more featurettes focus on how Rodriguez brought the film to life. Spotligting how the CGI effects effects were realized, a high-speed green screen only version of the movie, and a 14 minute uninterrupted take of the Tarantino scene. These are for die hard fans only. You'll also see what it was like at the wrap party with cast and crew. And topping the second disc, you can learn how to make Sin City breakfast tacos, yummmmm.
The package also includes a paperback copy of The Hard Goodbye...
Sin City is a great film, no matter which way you decide to watch it, and the 2 disc DVD is well worth it.