Sin City (R/unrated)
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This is a movie based on the graphic novels of the same name by Frank Miller, which I'm afraid I haven't read. The movie is co-directed by Miller and Robert Rodriguez, with "special guest director" Quentin Tarantino. It came out in 2005, but I didn't see it until 2012. (There were other movies that came out later, also based on Frank Miller graphic novels, including The Spirit in 2008 and 300 in 2006, though I saw both of those before this one... but still, fairly recently.) Anyway, I definitely think all the movies share a similar sensibility, and Sin City particularly shares a very similar look to The Spirit. It's black & white, but with a bit of color here and there. Definitely an artistic look. Very cool and stylish. Also, there are a lot of very tough people... many of the characters absolutely should have died, numerous times, but didn't. In real life, there's no question they would have. And yet, there are plenty of characters (generally very minor ones) who do die fairly easily. Oh, yes, I should mention that there is a tremendous amount of graphic violence. And there's a bit of nudity.
Anyway... um, it's set in Basin City, but in spite of the city not being actually called "Sin City," there is a hell of a lot of sin, of every kind. The movie is told in a series of stories, which I guess are based on different installments of the graphic novels, though there is a certain degree of inter-connectedness between some of them. The first story is very brief, and doesn't seem to be connected to anything. But after that, there's a cop named John Hartigan (Bruce Willis), who rescues an 11-year-old girl named Nancy Callahan from a serial child molester and killer, who is able to get away with his crimes because his father is a senator. Next is a story about a guy named Marv (Mickey Rourke), who is a parolee, and who is the most ridiculously tough character in the movie, and who is... unattractive. That's important, because as he says, he's never even been able to buy a woman. Too ugly for hookers. So he was grateful that a woman named Goldie (Jaime King) who he just met slept with him. But when he wakes up, he finds her dead, and he has to go on the run from the cops, while also trying to find out who was behind her murder, to exact revenge. Another story has a guy named Dwight, who wants to stop a guy named Jackie (Benicio del Toro) from harassing his girlfriend, who used to be Jackie's girlfriend. This eventually leads to a potential war between a group of hookers and the cops, with whom they have a tenuous truce, and Dwight helps the hookers. And I guess the mob was involved. And any number of mercenaries. And... there's another story, which is a continuation of the Hartigan story, set eight years later (but at the same time as the intervening stories). Then there's one final brief story which sort of ties in to the opening scene, as well as the Dwight story.
I am leaving out an incredible number of details and characters, because I don't want to spoil anything about any of this, but also because I probably didn't completely follow everything that happened. But it was all... very intense, and definitely not for everyone. I don't really know what else to say... I'd like to know more about everything that was going on. Meanwhile... this is one of the most bad-ass movies I've ever seen, but with a very retro feel...