Sin City

Release Date: April 1, 2005

Movie of the Day for Thursday, May 6, 2004
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A view from the business end of the casting couch

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
4/16 Reagen Sulewski A wonderfully realized vision of an idea, though you need to buy in completely.
8/60 Les Winan Violent, gory and exceptionally well made. A new standard for comic book adaptations.
20/166 David Mumpower This gritty new genre, comic book noir, could wind up being The Matrix of 2005.
26/85 Kim Hollis Never before has a comic book come to life so vividly and graphically.

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Robert Rodriguez is the most fascinating man in Hollywood. Never to be described as conventional, the master of the low budget, high profit project has made a career out of unusual decisions and taking bold risks. With the production of Sin City, Rodriguez has truly outdone himself, though.

Comic book aficionados will recognize this name as a graphic novel by Frank Miller, the artist also responsible for one of the most famous works in the industry, The Dark Knight Returns. The first of a series, Sin City tells the story of Marv, a tough goon fresh off the bus. Since he's new to Sin City and therefore friendless, the big guy would seem to be facing a lonely adjustment period. Much to his surprise, he encounters the girl of his dreams on the first day in town. Goldie has everything going for her and, strangely, she seems to like Marv, something he hadn't expected. Before the dumb lug can get his hopes up, though, his heart is broken. Goldie is killed, leaving her new beau broken-hearted and out for revenge. The graphic novel proceeds to chronicle the events that lead Marv to his ultimate showdown with the villain responsible for Goldie's death.

The above sounds quite cliche, but that's largely because it's impossible to do justice to the visual and visceral creations Miller unveils using only text descriptions. You have to behold them for yourself to understand. No one recognizes this more than Robert Rodriguez, which is why he willingly walked out of Director's Guild of America in order to film this movie the right way. He is going to let Frank Miller co-direct. Since that's a huge no-no for the DGA, Rodriguez chose his art over his union, a bold decision which again demonstrates how strong-willed and motivated the director is.

In order to best represent the world of Sin City on film, the first three novels will be blended together as a single production. Much of the camera work will attempt to recreate the visually stimulating art in a manner similar to what M. Night Shyamalan attempted with Unbreakable. This is why it was imperative to Rodriguez to allow Miller an opportunity to have input in the creative process. In point of fact, the director wasn't even contracted to work on Sin City when he shot the movie's first scene.

Since the work in Sin City is so personal to Frank Miller, he had been unwilling to sign off on a Hollywood production for fear of it being screwed up. Robert Rodriguez took the unprecedented step of asking a couple of friends, Josh Hartnett and Marley Shelton, to film the first scene of the movie. The fact that there was NO movie at the time was irrelevant to him. Rodriguez innately recognized that the only way to get Miller to come onboard was to show the artist how much he understood the comic book's underlying themes. The bold maneuver paid off in spades as Miller was so impressed with not just what Rodriguez had filmed but also the caretaking steps required to set the production in motion that he quickly signed on. It helped that Miller, a man looking to get into the movie business at least somewhat himself, was assured healthy participation in the movie's creation and direction.

The other brave, possibly insane decision Rodriguez has made with Sin City is to shoot immediately. Since he already had the first sequence filmed and the story segments are largely non-linear, he hadn't bothered with casting. As recently as the weekend before the shoot began, the only three cast members hired were Shelton and Hartnett, who had already completed the opening sequence, and Mickey Rourke, the storyline anchor of the shoot the following Monday. When is the last time that you can recall a shoot starting without any actors onboard? Of course, the bonus of being such an extraordinarily gifted director is that Rodriguez knew that he could always call upon any number of friends in order to pull the shoot together. Names rumored to make possible appearances in the movie include Bruce Willis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Douglas, Brittany Murphy and Johnny Depp.

Sin City is expected to be the most literal possible adaptation of the trilogy of graphic novels. Shot entirely at Rodriguez's personal soundstages in Austin, Texas, the production has moved from greenlight to principal photography as quickly as any movie in recent memory. This is one of the most exciting projects on the calendar at the moment, and BOP can't wait to see how it all turns out. (David Mumpower/BOP)

March 30, 2004
Carla Gugino, who has previously worked with Robert Rodriguez on the Spy Kids films, has come aboard for a role as a lesbian parole officer. Her section of the movie begins filming next week as her arc will include Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Sin City
Main Cast Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Clive Owen
Supporting Cast Carla Gugino, Elijah Wood, Jessica Alba, Nick Stahl, Jaime King, Brittany Murphy, Benicio Del Toro, Rosario Dawson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Josh Hartnett, Marley Shelton
Director Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino
Screenwriter Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Distributor Dimension Films
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 125 minutes
Screen Count 3,230
Also see Tony Kollath reviews Sin City
Awards Awards page for Sin City
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Sin City
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Batman 6/23/8942.71 64.54 2194 19467.00 28297.9 251.19 379.62 5.88
Once Upon a Time in Mexico 9/12/0323.42 23.42 3282 7137.00 7137.0 55.85 55.85 2.38
Hellboy 3/26/0423.17 23.17 3028 7652.72 7652.7 59.04 59.04 0.00
Blade 8/21/9817.07 21.94 2322 7351.00 9090.8 70.10 90.12 4.11
Punisher, The 4/16/0413.83 13.83 2649 5222.55 5222.6 33.68 33.68 0.00
Faculty, The 12/25/9811.63 14.95 2365 4918.00 6082.0 40.06 51.50 3.44
From Dusk Til Dawn 1/19/9610.24 13.97 2004 5110.00 6705.4 25.07 34.20 2.45
Desperado 8/25/957.91 10.96 2027 3902.00 5202.7 25.53 35.38 3.23



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