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Non-Review Review: Sin City – A Dame to Kill For

It is very hard to get the same trick to work twice.

When it arrived in cinemas, Sin City was a visceral punch to the gut. It was powerful and shocking, and utterly unlike anything that had ever been seen before. It had its fair share of problems, mostly inherited from Frank Miller’s source material, but it managed the rare treat of being incredibly raw and stylishly slick at the same time. Even years later, the images and characters from Sin City linger in the popular consciousness.

It would be too much to expect the same from Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, but the movie lacks the youthful energy that made the original such a classic and the memorable images that imprinted themselves on the collective imagination. Sin City arrived with a reckless irreverence and a whole new bag of tricks. Ultimately, A Dame to Kill For feels like an old dog, and you know what they say about those.

Green-eyed monster?

Green-eyed monster?

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Watch! Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Trailer!

Well, it looks like the Sin City sequel that was oft-discussed but perpetually-delayed is actually happening. There’s footage to prove it and everything. Directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller have released a trailer for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and it looks absolutely fascinating. The first movie looked absolutely stunning, and it’ll be interesting to see if the sequel can measure up.

Non-Review Review: Super

Super is pretty much one joke, extended over a movie runtime. It’s a funny joke, and it’s told well by a great cast and a witty director, but it feels a little stretched, even at under a hundred minutes. It also suffered a bit from being released in the same year as Kick-Ass, a movie that dealt with similar themes in a much more compelling manner, but Super remains an interesting examination of geek power fantasy, and some of the more sinister undertones of the conventional superhero narrative.

Not so super, hero…

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Non-Review Review: Ninja Assassin

I want to like Ninja Assassin. I want a nice, pulpy, old-school hyper-violent throw-back like the title suggested. The two words thrown together don’t necessarily evoke the imagery of classic cinema, but they at least promise a reasonably diverting action thriller. However, it seems that nobody told the writer and director this. Despite it’s surprisingly direct title, the movie is just one big bloated mess, which seems to aspire to a complexity that nobody expects of it, and fails miserably. There seem to be occasional moments where the film grabs the potential of the concept, acknowledging a sort of Tarantino-light nostalgic approach to pop culture trash, but most of the film takes itself far too seriously, but without the skill necessary to succeed as the film it seems to want to be.

All fired up...

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Non-Review Review: Sin City

We’re currently blogging as part of the “For the Love of Film Noir” blogathon (hosted by Ferdy on Films and The Self-Styled Siren) to raise money to help restore the 1950’s film noir The Sound of Fury (aka Try and Get Me). It’s a good cause which’ll help preserve our rich cinematic heritage for the ages, and you can donate by clicking here. Over the course of the event, running from 14th through 21st February, I’m taking a look at the more modern films that have been inspired or shaped by noir. Today’s theme is “comics noir” – noir filtered through comic book panels.

Sin City is, I suppose, one of those films that lives or dies based solely on its visual style. Although the heavy hardboiled atmosphere compliments the stark black and white contrast, it’s those beautifully and meticulously staged images which come into the mind when one thinks of the Frank Miller adaptation. Based on the writer and artist’s collection of noir-themed comic books set in (Ba)Sin City, Robert Rodriguez’s adaptation manages to faithfully capture the tone and style of its source material. Being honest, it’s one of those movies which can’t help but catch your eye – it’ll just follow up with a punch to the gut.

That little red dress...

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My Top 50 Movies of the Decade…

Alright here it is, my top fifty films of the decade. I’ve decided to stop complaining about Donal Clarke’s list in the Irish Times and just let rip myself. There’s more than a few crazy choices down there, but – after a week in the works – I’m happy with it. I doubt that a lot of other people will be.

Like the Oscars, but... you know, better...

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