Sin City—A Different Kind of
with Different Kinds of
Robert Rodriguez, the director of such movies as
Spy Kids, Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico, not
only directed Sin City but produced, edited and did the
cinematography. Rodriguez adapted three of Frank
Miller’s original graphic novels and weaved them
together into one terrific film. This story is a lurid
and bleak tale of the denizens of this fictional,
rain-swept always-dark city.
The prelude leads to
the first story “Yellow Bastard,” with Bruce Willis
(Hostage and Die Hard) as Hartigan, a lonely and honest
cop hoping to save a young girl from harm as his last
hurrah before retiring. He battles serial rapist Roark
Jr., played by Nick Stahl (Terminator 3 and In the
Bedroom), who happens to be the son of a powerful
Then, we move onto the next story, “The
Hard Good-bye” (isn't it always!), with Mickey Rourke
(Wild Orchid and Man on Fire) as Marv, who is a wild,
huge and not a very handsome man (actually he is quite
scary looking). Marv falls for a hooker named Goldie
(his perfect woman), who was kind and nice to him, which
is quite unusual in his world! While they were sleeping,
she was mysteriously murdered and he is framed for the
killing of Goldie. Oh how the plot thickens… He sets out
for vengeance and winds up getting a lot more than he
The final story is “The Big Fat
Kill,” starring Clive Owen (King Arthur and Closer) as
Dwight, a righteous, hard, reactive, tough guy. Also in
this story is Benicio Del Toro (Traffic and 21) as
Jackie Boy, an obnoxious, crooked cop. Their battle
escalates into an all-out gang war.
Some of the
characters are moved from one story to another, but for
the most part, each stands on its own. There are too
many stars to name all of them, but some are too unusual
to omit. There are many cameo villains such as Powers
Boothe (Senator Roark), Rutger Hauer (Cardinal Roark)
and Michael Madson (Corrupt cop Bob). The most unusual
are those villains who are cast against type, for
example Elijah Wood as Kevin (OOOH, he's really BAD
here) and Nick Stahl (He's BAD TOO!). Josh Hartnett is
also in this category as a seductive hit man. Carla
Gugino (Spy Kids and The One) is totally against type as
a lesbian parole officer who is pretty much naked in
most of her scenes. Let's not leave out Jessica Alba
(Honey and Never Been Kissed), a stripper who is never
nude, and Brittany Murphy (Uptown Girls), the
not-so-innocent girl who starts all the trouble. This
film is unusual, yet fun to watch, and is filled with
Blonde: Sin City was like Pulp Fiction meets Dick Tracy
meets Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow meets
Jeffrey Dahmer meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets
Superman meets a guy in the mob I once dated. This film
is a kick to watch, because of all the visual effects
and its stunning and brilliant visual appearance. The
exquisite usage of color techniques that crossed between
black and white and red and blue were so cool! This film
has a style that seems to pull you in from the get
go. So Maven, do you think O.J. went to Johnny
Cochran's funeral? He should have! It’s interesting to
find out that Cochran was quite respected by his peers
and seemed like such a good guy…HIS life had a bigger
legacy after all, than just getting O.J. off.
Maven: O.J. doesn't GO to funerals; he just creates
them! I don't know WHERE to begin. Technically, Sin City
is a fabulous picture with endlessly amazing high-style.
It was aesthetically exciting with a thrilling
undercurrent of morality. Rodriguez didn't just make a
movie of Miller's graphic novels, he actually puts them
right there on the screen.
Blonde: By the way, Maven, sorry I was late to the
screening of this film. I was getting a manicure. Why do
they call it a MANICURE anyway? It should be called a
fingernail makeover. A manicure should be a doctor for
men… Okay, back to Sin City. I loved the
perfect casting… Everyone not only FIT the part but
LOOKED the part. I really enjoyed the narrating of each
hero's story, narrated by the hero. It added to the
dimensions and mystery of the story as they spoke in
detailed descriptions and sentences filled with many
adjectives. In addition, the low key, tongue and cheek,
Raymond Chandler-like, dry and understated humor is what
really makes this film work for me. It made all the
EXTREME blood and guts tolerable and even funny.
Maven: … It was so hard getting in and out. My hip was
always hurting and some days I couldn't even get my
right leg up. I'm glad it's over!
Blonde: Okay, Okay, I think I missed the first part of
your prior statement. Are you talking about your love
Maven: No, you Blonde! I switched automobiles from
an S.U.V. to a Volvo sedan.
Blonde: Mazel tov, and drive it in good health.
Thank goodness, so that means your love life is okay!
Why do they call tending to one’s feet and toenails a
PETACURE? It should be called a toe and foot makeover. A
peticure should be a doctor for ones pets…..
Maven: A doctor for one’s pets is a veterinarian, and it
is spelled P-E-D-I-C-U-R-E!!!
Blonde: That's another thing, why do they call a
VETERINARIAN a doctor for animals? It should be called a
PET doctor. A veterinarian should be what we call a
retired person who was in the armed services. Now… back
to the film. Unlike all other heroes of the world, the
writer (Miller) wrote the Bruce Willis hero (Hartigan)
as sickly. It provided a touch of realism to the hero's
character for a change, as all the rest of us
(especially at his age) have some sort of health
Maven: Even better than a hero with a health problem was
the fact that all three of the heroes were involved
because they were defending women—not necessarily women
who were helpless, but women who were wronged in some
way. I liked that!
Blonde: Okay, readers, I need to be serious for a
Maven: Oh please don't! You really might hurt
Blonde: Ouch, ouch! I don't want to get into
my views on the Terri Schiavo situation but… I do want
to address the problem that got her into this tragic
mess in the first place. Why has no one addressed the
serious problem of bulimia or anorexia? With the
unrealistic, perfect bodies of the movie stars
and models (oh why be modest, AND the Blonde and
the Maven) flashing daily in front of the faces of
teenagers, it makes most woman feel imperfect and find
themselves being pulled into these very serious eating
disorder illnesses. It is truly dangerous and ONE of THE
important lessons that should be learned from Terri's
life and death. Children and young woman (even men)
should be educated on the dangers of this
life-threatening illness. Okay, I am
finished! You're right, I did hurt myself! My
head hurts now. But this topic was worth the
Maven: I'm glad you focused on this subject and not the
political aspect of whether or not they should have
allowed her to die.
Blonde: By the way, Maven, it's the strangest thing,
after all these years, my high school sweetheart got in
touch with me this week, online.
Maven: How many years has it been?
Blonde: Since I graduated high school? Eight…
Maven: A-HAA, SURE IT WAS?
Blonde: I wonder what his reason for contacting me
Maven: Maybe to take you to your 10-year reunion! OR,
MAYBE TO SEE IF YOU ARE IN MENOPAUSE?? HA HA HA HA HA
Blonde: HA HA HA HA… Unlike you, I have decades until I
have to worry about that!! And… why DO they call it
MENOPAUSE? It should be called Hot-flash-world!
Menopause should be the word for the pauses in-between
men…. By the way, everyone, next year Elton John is
coming out (no pun intended) with a new Broadway musical
based on Ann Rice’s movie and novel, Interview with a
Vampire and is calling it Lestat… SOUNDS GREAT!
It's definitely time for a NEW
The Maven: By the way, I can't believe the
Blonde: Oh, I am so sorry! I had a huge bowl of
chili, cheese and onions for lunch…
Maven: I was talking about the high rising prices of
Blonde: NEVER MIND… Okay, then PLEASE omit my last
comment….And why do they call it a CAT scan? It should
be called 3-D pictures of people's organs. A CAT scan
should be a scanning device that tells the customer what
a cat cost.
Maven: Okay, that's it…I don't care! I just can't take
this anymore! What is with you this week? This Royal
Wedding is REALLY stressing you out! Go have some
coffee. A CAT scan is a Computerized Axial Tomography
Scan and NOTHING WHATSOEVER AT ALL TO DO WITH
Blonde: OKAY, you made your point. You're also right,
about me being stressed over the royal wedding, AND I am
NOT GOING! I don't care how much CHARLES or the
QUEEN beg me to go!
Maven: Charles is too busy whispering about reporters he
doesn't like to even think about BEGGING you to come to
Blonde: Fine then, what about the Queen?
Maven: May I return to discussing the film?
Blonde: GA-HEAD! What do you want me to do,
Maven: Did you know that the Director's Guild would not
allow Rodriguez to give Miller a co-directing credit so
he resigned from the guild? Rodriguez is quoted as
saying, “The only time I've had problems it was the
artist's guild, not the studio.” Another gem of
information is that, over the years, Frank Miller has
turned down a dozen offers to bring his graphic novel to
the screen. One of those was to Rodriguez, who has been
a fan of Sin City since its creation. The director
finally convinced him when he brought him to a test
shoot, which ended up being the first shot of the
Blonde: Well, aren't you just a fountain of information.
Why do they call a lot of information a
Maven: I WILL NOT answer you, but if you liked the last
bit of info… Did you know that the Priest in the
confessional was Frank Miller?
Blonde: Of course I DID!
Maven: YOU DID NOT! I recommend this movie for its
originality. Its storylines will hold your interest and
its characters will touch you. It is, however, very
violent, vulgar, and gory, and some of the subject
matter is distasteful (no pun intended). No one under
the age of 16 should see this film. I rate it an A for
its Astonishing visuals.
Blonde: I DID SO KNOW ABOUT THE PRIEST! If you
enjoy your movies with LOTS of blood, guts, violence,
killing, killing, killing, broken off body parts, heads
flying off and beautiful girls, then you will LOVE this
film…You will also love a football game for that matter.
Because of the clever writing and delicate humor, all of
the above surprisingly did not offend me. I enjoyed
Sin City and rate it a solid B+. For your snacks go
ahead and have some popcorn and
S.: If you want to see a pleasant little movie, go and
see Miss Congeniality 2. Sandra Bullock is just so darn
likeable and Regina King has a chance to show off her
comedic skills for a
Again: A movie that wouldn't be a bad idea to miss is
Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda. Woody has some greats
and some bombs. This one is a bomb, or in other words, a
REAL weapon of mass destruction. Two future movies
that might be worth your while are Cinderella Man and
Willie Wonka… See you at the movies!
Blonde and the Maven want to extend our sympathy,
prayers, love, warmest wishes and a heartfelt goodbye to
The Pope, Johnny Cochran and Terri Schiavo.
Miami Jewish Film
The 8th annual Miami
Jewish Film Festival, presented by The Center for the
Advancement of Jewish Education, offered an exciting
mixture of film topics, styles and genres. The New Times
called it, “the most international” of our city’s film
festivals bringing various interpretations on historic
events, family interaction and cultural
French Director Steve Suissa opened
the Miami Jewish Film Festival with his bittersweet
film, Le Grand Role, a tender tale about the importance
of living fully and loving deeply. Following the
screening, a gala reception was held at the Alfred I.
Dupont Building kicking off nine-days of award-winning
features films, documentaries and educational forums.
“Film is an extraordinary medium for helping us
understand who we are, our history, culture, art and
literature, to feel connected to our own experience and
community and to the lives of others,” said Ellen
Wedner, Festival Director.
Judaic Art Collection
Honors Film Festival
Bernard Markowicz, Director of
the Opera Gallery Director in Bal Harbour, hosted a
champagne reception honoring the major sponsors of the
Festival. After the showing of the French film, The
Birch Tree Meadow, starring Anouk Aimee, guests moved on
to the gallery, to celebrate the Festival’s success
while viewing the magnificent Judaic art collection of
original paintings and sculpture that Markowicz
assembled in honor of the event.
festival concluded with an engaging breakfast forum on
American Jewish film followed by a day of sold-out
screenings. “We couldn’t be happier,” said Wedner. “Our
long time supporters and film goers joined new attendees
to make the festival such a success.”
information on future Miami Jewish Film Festival events,
1. Filmmaker Mic Criben, Festival
Director Ellen Wedner, and French Director Steve Suissa
2. CAJE Executive Coordinator Roberta
Shevin and Gala Chair Rhoda Levitt
President Dr. Chaim Botwinick and GMJF Executive
Director Jacob Solomon
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