Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

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Released 28-Jan-2015

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime Featurette-Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Featurette-Makeup Effects of Sin City (6:23)
Featurette-Stunts of Sin City (5:23)
Featurette-15 Minute Sin City (15:55)
Featurette-Making Of-Behind the Sin (30:14)
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 97:59
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Frank Miller
Robert Rodriguez
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Mickey Rourke
Jessica Alba
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Josh Brolin
Eva Green
Powers Boothe
Bruce Willis
Julia Garner
Rosario Dawson
Christopher Lloyd
Case ?
RPI ? Music Robert Rodriguez
Carl Thiel


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Sin City when it appeared in 2005 was something very different and innovative: based on the graphic novels of Frank Miller the film was sexy, hard boiled and brutal, a mostly black and white moving graphic novel incorporating a number of Miller’s stories filmed in front of green screens with comic book digital backgrounds composited in. Nine years later comes Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, utilising the same filming techniques and reintroducing some of the old characters, and some new, in four stories set in Basin City which intertwine and intersect.

     Marv (Mickey Rourke) is doing what he does best: hanging out in bars, helping his friends when asked and generally creating mayhem, especially when he forgets to take his medicine. Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a young upstart and very successful gambler who wants to play in the big league, pitting his skills against the powerful and corrupt Senator Roark (Powers Boothe), with deadly consequences. Dwight (this time played by Josh Brolin) has escaped the old town and is working as a Private Investigator when he gets a call from an old flame, Ava (Eva Green). Ava had dumped Dwight four years before but now she wants his help and he cannot resist her, leading to murder and betrayal. Nancy (Jessica Alba) is still dancing at the club but after the death of Hartigan (Bruce Willis) she has turned to alcohol while planning revenge against Senator Roark, the man who caused Hartigan’s death.

     Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, was eagerly awaited but generally received underwhelming reviews. Just as in Sin City, the jumbling together of four stories results in some being more interesting than others so both films are uneven. In Sin City this was hidden somewhat by the novelty of the approach and the visuals. Nine years on Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is no longer novel although the visuals remain striking. Most reviews tend to think that the Joseph Gordon-Levitt story is the weakest, but to my mind the glorious Marv is underutilised while the transformation of Jessica Alba’s Nancy from an innocent (as far as anyone is innocent in Basin City) to a murderous avenging angel does not quite work. And as that section is the climax of the film the end feels a bit flat.

     On the other hand, the story about the manipulative Ava and Dwight is excellent and everyone seems to agree that Eva Green is delicious as the “Dame to Kill For”. Her Ava is beautiful, very sexy, calculating and treacherous, manipulating every man who comes within reach even when they know she is not to be trusted. Green seems to be becoming adept at playing such women, especially in Frank Miller adaptations, and her Ava effortlessly steals every scene she is in, just as her Artemisia did in 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), which was also based on a Miller graphic novel. He should be drawing his female characters looking like her soon!

     While it lacks the innovation and novelty value of Sin City, there is nothing wrong with Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. It is entertaining, visually stunning and features a fabulous femme fatale in Eva Green, who by herself is an excellent reason for watching the film.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     The print looks wonderful. The background compositions are sharp and detailed with rock solid blacks, great shades of grey and perfect shadow detail. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For uses more colours for emphasis than its predecessor, with Eva Green’s blue dress a stunner, although her red lips and green eyes come close. Other characters, such as the dancer Marcie (Julia Garner), are in full glorious colour when the other characters in her scenes are black and white, while explosions are a vivid yellow.

     Artefacts and marks are absent although the closing credits did show some minor shimmer.

    White English descriptive subtitles for the hearing impaired are available.

     The layer chance at 60:53 created a slight pause during a cut within a scene.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 Kbps.

     This is a fabulous audio track, loud and enveloping. Dialogue is clear and centred, the surrounds and rears constantly in use. Punches and crashes are accentuated, and otherwise music, weather effects, gunshots, engines or just the sound design fill the sound stage. There are plenty of directional effects, such as engines and gunshots, and the sub-woofer added effective bass to everything without ever unbalancing the audio.

     The music score by Robert Rodriguez and Carl Thiel suited the visuals.

     Lip synchronisation was occasionally out.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The first set of extras are four short segments about specific actors. They all feature green screen on set footage, film footage and interviews with director Robert Rodriguez, writer / director Frank Miller and various cast members including Eva Green, Josh Brolin, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Powers Boothe and Christopher Lloyd. Each segment covers the actor and the character they play in very superficial way. The segments are:

Makeup Effects of Sin City with Greg Nicotero (6:23)

     A look behind the scenes about how some of the special makeup effects were created.

Stunts of Sin City with Jeff Dashnaw (5:23)

     A look behind the scenes about how some of the stunts were filmed, including wire work, with Jeff Dashnaw, stunt coordinator and stunt double.

15 Minute Sin City (15:55)

     Don’t have time to watch the film? This is the entire film with speeded up action in front of the green screens without dialogue and with music.

Behind the Sin (30:14)

     This featurette consists of a Q&A with Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, Eva Green, Josh Brolin, Jessica Alba and Joseph Gordon-Levitt answering questions from an audience intercut with on-set green screen footage and film footage and additional interviews with Rodriguez, Eva Green and Rosario Dawson. The topics covered include Miller’s creation of the Sin City comics, crafting the script, the look of the film, shooting in 3D and the various characters.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     There are Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray versions around of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For as well as the DVD. Technically and extra wise, our Region 4 DVD is almost the same as the Region 1 US except that that release gets a film trailer but not the “Behind the Sin” featurette, which gives an edge to Region 4.

Summary

     Nine years after Sin City Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller follow-up with Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. The result may have disappointed some fans; the plotting is certainly uneven but the film is entertaining and visually stunning, and Eva Green is definitely worth watching.

     The video and audio are excellent, probably as good as DVD can get; the Blu-ray should be stunning. The extras are worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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