1 September 2014

In Darkness I Listen

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Sin City was the first 18 certificate film that I managed to sneak in to the cinema to see and it blew my sixteen year old head clean off. I thought everything about it was fucking amazing. It probably helped that I'd already been converted from the trailer alone, but still. I don't know if you remember it but I'd say that it is possibly my favourite trailer of all time. Have you not got a favourite trailer? Ha- get a life! I bet you've not even spent time writing up a list of your top 100 films of all time have you? Well, fuck it because I have and Sin City is sitting very comfortably in my top ten ever. In case it's not obvious, I am of course fucking single. Anyway, so before I'd even seen the film, I went out and bought the graphic novels which were also great because not only were they cool and violent but they also had pictures of tits in them. What more could a teenage boy want! Pretty much as soon as the first film was released, they promised us a sequel and I couldn't wait for it... but I had to. Nine long fucking years it's been since Sin City and only now are we getting the follow up film.  So much as changed... I've gone from being a cynical world hating teenager to being a cynical world hating twenty-something. Anyway, it's here now- let’s hope it was worth the fucking wait.
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For begins with a short story in which Marv runs about killing people whilst trying to work out what he's been up to, and also where he's gotten his coat from. In case you don't remember from the first film, Marv is the ugly-looking fucker with the weird face that's played by Micky Rourke- an ugly-looking fucker with a weird face. Then we get the first half of a new story in which Joseph Gordon Levitt decides to play a poker game against the villainous Senator Rourke. I don't know why poker is cinema’s card game of choice but I suspect it's because it's confusing enough that most people don't know how ridiculous the odds of some of the hands are and probably also because it's a little more dignified than fucking Snap. Anyway, after that we get the main story of A Dame To Kill For in which Josh Brolin's Dwight finds himself chasing after Eva Green’s seductive vagina and, let’s face it, who can blame him! I think this story is the biggest and involves double-crossings, femme fatales and Eva Green’s naked silhouette somersaulting into a swimming pool like the opening titles to an X-rated Roger Moore Bond movie.  After that, we get the concluding half of Joseph Gordon Levitt's story in which Jessica Alba's Nancy has decided to avenge Bruce Willis' death from the first film by killing Senator Rourke. I can't decide what's more gripping to watch... Nancy struggling with her conscience or Alba struggling to act. Either way, it was edge-of-the-seat stuff!

Here we see a man cheering after a blow-job.
Having read some of the reviews for this film beforehand, it seems that it's managed to split the critics a little bit but all still giving the exact same reason. Either they thought it was shit because it was ‘just more of the same’ or that it was amazing because it was ‘just more of the same’. As it goes, I agree with the latter and from the opening shot in which Marv is thrown out of a window, I was sold. It's obviously not as a good as the original but in terms of grim, downbeat movies in which most of the characters deserve to die and the ones who survive are clearly evil, it was certainly better than Sex And The City 2. If anything I would say that my praise and criticism of it is simply that it's taken nine fucking years to be released. On the one hand it means that I can't wait to see Marv or Hartigan again but on the other it means that I know it so well that some of the changes seem a little jarring. A bunch of people have been recast here and for someone whose seen the first film more times than he's seen most of his own family, it's a little annoying. That's not a joke either by the way. If Sin City is on television then I'm watching it but if I see my actual uncle knocking on the door then I’m closing the curtains and, let’s face it, probably watching Sin City until he gets the hint and fucks off.

Obviously some of the re-casting couldn't have been helped. In the case of Brittany Murphy and Michael Clarke Duncan, it seems that they've taken so long to make this fucking film that a few people have popped their clogs and gone to the magical farm in the sky… but for me the biggest annoyance was the complete lack of Clive Owen. I'll try not to ruin too much, but as great as Josh Brolin is in the role, there's a perfect opportunity for Owen to come back for a cameo that just doesn't happen. I'd read this book around the time I saw the original so I've had almost a decade to look forward to the moment that Owen could have revealed himself. Instead however we just get Brolin with some shit prosthetics on his face and a wig that just looks some fat guy’s grotty merkin. I mean, I'm a huge fan of Clive Owen and I can tell you that he is not so busy that he couldn't have popped to the set for at least a day of filming. Do you remember that last great Clive Owen film? Children Of Men was amazing wasn't it! It was also eight fucking years ago so come on Clive, get your arse into gear! When Brolin shows up under prosthetics, it's as though Thanos had fucked a yokel and had some gammy, hillbilly offspring. People aren't meant to recognise who Dwight is at this point which is distracting because he couldn't have been less disguised had he worn a Josh Brolin mask and walked around with a sign saying, “Guess who I am ya cunt”.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has really mastered the wanking face here...
I suppose that overall the stories aren't quite as strong here as they were in the first one either however they are still very fun. A Dame To Kill For is great, even if it does feature one too many shots of Ray Liotta's arse. It has one but it was enough... however I suppose there are a couple of issues with the shiz involving Gordon-Levitt and Alba. I suppose I haven't got a problem with the Gordon-Levitt bits of it and actually really enjoyed them considering they were all new material. However the stuff with Nancy wasn't brilliant which, as mentioned, isn't helped by Alba's acting talents being equal to that of a rancid bit of cheese. Firstly I don't know why her and Senator Rourke need to have revenge on each other. Her boyfriend killed himself and Rourke's kid was killed by her boyfriend. They literally have no beef with each other! Secondly, Nancy goes a little mad by shaving her head and going on stage to do a little chubby-waddle when she should be dancing. Makes me wonder what was really going on with Britney Spears all those years ago. Also, the climax of this story involves Marv being tricked into attacking a heavily fortified mansion which is essentially exactly what had just happened in the story before it. On top of that, I'm starting to get proper confused by the chronology of this series... because the way I have it worked out, this new story involving Nancy must take place before Marv's story from the first film which would throw up a few continuity errors if true. I could be wrong though so if you have it worked out then let me know because my movie autism is getting really niggled by this potential bullshit. As I mentioned earlier, I'm single. I have a lot of time on my hands...

On the bright-side though, as everybody says, it's just more of the same and I've been looking forward to it for forever. Being back in that miserable world was just as enjoyable as it ever was and there's no denying how great Mickey Rourke is as Marv. Rourke’s pork chop face is kind of distracting in movies where he's meant to be a human and so here he fits in brilliantly. People have been banging on about how great Eva Green is too, however for me the real revelation is Powers Boothe. He was in the previous movie for all of one second, however here he gets some proper screen-time to really justify his place as the film’s top nasty-pasty. Some people think that this series is a little sexist because most of the women are naked, prostitutes or both. But the reason that they have their little titty parade is because men are stupid enough to gawp at them and, as Robin Williams once said, 'God gave man a brain and a penis and only enough blood to run one at a time'. The film is all about power with Boothe's Senator Rourke being the deep-voiced personification of that theme. That's about all that's going on below the surface of this film I guess, with it really just being about the style and the visuals... although considering the shallowness of the world it's set in, perhaps that's the point? Probably not, but it's still good fun! Was Sin City: A Dame To Kill For worth waiting nine fucking years for? Nope! There's nothing here that they couldn't have done straight away had they decided to pull their fingers out and get the fucking job done. Arguably too, they've missed their window of interest as we're definitely at a point where most people don't really care about a sequel to a film they saw almost a decade ago. But fuck it, I'm a huge fan and like a cheap old-town whore, it gave me everything that I wanted so who gives a shit. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and I guess I'll see you next time!  


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