Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, review

This summer saw the release of the follow up to Sin City, a film which not only received universal acclaim, but one which had great importance culturally. Cementing the contemporary neo-noir film as a comfortable fit within modern cinema, and the now popular use of a digital backlot, Rodriquez brings us Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Expect the (perhaps) unexpected with this gory, visually stunning offering from the visceral, and rather brilliantly unique director.

Nine years on director Robert Rodriguez has given us a slice of what was originally a unique picture; violent and edgy, and challenging to watch at times. While not everyone will enjoy this type of, what you might call, art cinema, it can most certainly be appreciated for what Rodriguez and his crew are trying to achieve. Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novels (the writer co-directed as well), you’ll be hard-pressed to find a comic book adaptation which constantly reminds you, both visually, and through the use of descriptive dialogue (and continual surrealism) that what you are watching is basically the same as what you read in the comics. To achieve that, and to have it come off as still entertaining, is impressive.

mickey rourke as marv in a promotional still for sin city: a dame to kill for

mickey rourke as marv in a promotional still for sin city: a dame to kill for

A Dame to Kill For picks up pretty shortly where Sin City left off. The city is still gloomy and bleak (represented well through the use of terrible weather, one of the best components of the film) and we join old and new characters as their stories collide. Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke (the shining star of the whole feature, adding a wonderfully wicked humour) all return, and are supported by new cast members including Powers Booth (gloriously over-acting as the villain of the piece) and Josh Brolin taking over from Clive Owen. Following the same formula that its predecessor involved, ‘A Dame to Kill For revolves around five acts, all of which come to a climatic end. The whole film is rather unfortunately just a re-hash of what audiences’ have already seen, except featuring new locales for the blood-baths that arise, and some characters with exceptional voices and ruthless beauty.

Forgetting the narrative, it is easy to believe that Sin City‘ is all about visuals; the exploration of Old Town was missed, and Dawson had no where near enough screen time – this installment is all about Alba (easily in her best role as Nancy), and Brolin, an actor who always encapsulates his roles well. Featuring jolting camera work, a charismatic cast and some welcomed humour Sin City: A Dame to Kill For serves its purpose as an entertaining ride, with little meaning which doesn’t ask for much from it’s audience. And that’s okay.

the week’s new releases

This is a new weekly concept I’m trying out – stalking the internet for anything film related that you guys, my awesome readers, might be interested in. Lets give it a go, shall we?

Trailers: This week we’ve had an array of new trailers (mainly of films that attract a large female audience) to set our eyes on – from Kenneth Branagh’s attempt at a live-action Cinderella and the sequel to the 2012 success, Pitch Perfect 2. The latter’s online reaction has been positive, with most excited at a return from Ana Kendrick,Rebel Wilson and the rest of their singing cohorts. If you were a fan of the first (or kinda’ liked it, but weren’t entirely sure on why everyone found it so bloody funny) then the sequel looks to step things up a notch, with more jokes and more crude behavior (don’t pretend you don’t love it). Cinderella, a production from seasoned director Branagh, who has previously tried his hand at Shakespeare (which is not really that far removed from this) and everyone’s favourite monster Frankenstein, is a pretty self-explanatory picture; prepare for love and heartache. Again, initial reaction has been great, and with Helena Bonham Carter starring as the Fairy Godmother and Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine (the wicked stepmother), this isn’t going to be some low-grade adaptation. However, having said that, this type of film tends to only draw in a niche audience (those Disney lovers of course), but I’m holding out hopes this will be one for the masses. (Quick note: during the trailer I was all like ‘how cheesy is this’, then up pops Richard Madden, aka Jon Fricken’ Snow and the game has just changed). Lily James is starring as the protagonist of the title, and having made waves already in the Brit film industry (with productions such as Fast Girls and Broken) this is her biggest role yet. And there’s no pressure on playing the most-famous Disney character of all time, is there? Looking at the trailer though, and James’ wrap sheet so far, it looks like this is a rising star moment. Both films will be released in 2015 (May and March respectively).

DVD releases: Releases this week include the tear-jerking romantic drama If I Stay, starring the star of the moment Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia, a teenager in a fatal car crash. The film is an adaptation from Gayle Forman’s weepy novel of the same name, and while critics came at it from an angle of attack (what meanies), box-office wise the film was a hit. If you’re going to give this a go, get your tissues at the ready. Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For was released earlier in the week, and featuring a return from Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba and Rosario Dawson (plus a host of new characters and great actors, my personal favourite being Powers Booth) this is going to have to be on your top list of ones to buy. Following the five act formula set out in the first, expect A Dame to Kill For to be an entertaining follow-up to the first, rather than an art inspiration of cult success.

Other news: In other news, Moretz has apparently been signed up for the third (and let it be final) X-Men: Apocalypse as a young Jean Grey. And there are whispers of Rosamund Pike (now a house-hold name after her turn in Gone Girl) having joined The Mountain Between us (a project still in pre-production, based on a young couple and their survival after a plane crash), with everyone’s favourite biker Charlie Hunnam (thank you for saying no to Fifty Shades). The film will be directed by Hany Abu-Assad with the release date TBD.

You can watch the trailers for all of the new releases here:

– Cinderella: https: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McQ_cCBaiac

Pitch Perfect 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ9BJ8-Y0y8

– If I Stay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH6PNeTy6Nc

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iFdPcx0W2w

Let me know what films have got you excited by dropping a comment in the box below!