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PCR # 262  (Vol. 6, No. 13)  This edition is for the week of March 28--April 3, 2005.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Sin City"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three and a half stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Sin City"
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Starring: Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke and Elijah Wood
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller
Special Guest Director: Quentin Tarantino
Rated: R
Running Time: 2 hours 6 minutes

There is a lot one can say about Robert Rodriguez. His first film, "El Mariachi," was made for $7,000. Intended as a direct to video project the film was instead picked up and released by Columbia Pictures. He followed "El Mariachi" with "Desperado" and then worked with Quentin Tarantino on "From Dusk to Dawn." And, to show that he's not all about vampires and guns, he created the very popular "Spy Kids" series of films. When he convinced Frank Miller that he would be faithful to the source material when he began work on "Sin City" he put his money where his mouth is. Wanting to share the directing credit with Miller, Rodriguez was told by the Director's Guild of America that the shared credit was not allowed. Rather then bargain, Rodriguez resigned from the organization. DGA approval or not, Rodriguez and Miller have turned out a destined to be cult classic.

"Sin City" is a series of stories splashed on the screen like a giant comic book. True to Miller's graphic novels, the film is framed as if the screen was a giant panel. Beautifully photographed in black and white, with only a few bright colors to alter the mood, the film resembles a pen and ink drawing. The dialogue is strictly pulp material. "She smelled exactly the way I thought an angel would smell," one character comments about a woman he is smitten with. But the look of the film is only one highlight. The stories flow together as we are introduced to different parts of the city. In one part, a cop on his last day on the job (Willis) must try to stop a maniac who has been abducting and killing young girls. In another, the justice is meted out not by the police but by a gang of scantily dressed women. And across town, a man (Rourke) seeks revenge on those that killed the woman he loved.

Like Tarantino, it's amazing the actors who want to work with Rodriguez. Josh Hartnett, Benecio Del Toro, Rosario Dawson, Brittney Murphy...these are just a few of the famous faces that pop up in the city. That this talented cast makes the sometimes cheesy dialogue ring true is a testament to their belief in the project. The action is non stop, with car chases and gun fights breaking out constantly. Though the violence is very over the top, the "R" rating should be taken seriously. Bones are routinely broken and blood flows by the gallon in "Sin City." Even so, this is definitely a place you need to visit.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give "Sin City"  Three and a half stars

This week's movie review of "Sin City" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2005, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.