4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Sin City

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On the one hand, Robert Rodriguez teamed with Frank Miller to do one of the most perfect adaptations of a comic book ever done in 2005 when they gave us Sin City. On the other hand, being faithful to the source material just means you’re stuck with that source material, with its awful dialogue, cardboard characters, and repetition all over the damn place. The great superhero movie rewatch visits Sin City.

An excerpt:

Part of the problem is that this stuff reads way better than it sounds. The cheesy pulp dialogue is stronger written down than it is coming out of an actual human mouth, and while some of the actors manage to sound convincing uttering this hard-boiled nonsense (Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke, and Powers Boothe handle it best; Carla Gugino, Michael Madsen, and Brittany Murphy handle it worst), it mostly doesn’t sound like people talking so much as reading dialogue. Miller’s stylized artifice is better suited to the page than it is to the screen. For one thing, hearing it spoken aloud makes you realize how repetitive a lot of it is. (If I had to hear Hartigan call himself “old man” one more time…)

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