Sin City (2005, USA) C/B&W-124m. SCOPE *** D: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez. Starring Jessica Alba, Alexis Bledel, Powers Boothe, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Rick Gomez, Carla Gugino, Josh Hartnett, Rutger Hauer, Jamie King, Michael Madsen, Frank Miller, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Nick Stahl, Bruce Willis, Elijah Wood. Another Robert Rodriguez extravaganza, this adaptation of Frank Miller's comic book series is extremely stylized (appropriately so) and ultra-violent. In the urban hellhole of Basin City, mostly immoral characters fight and kill their way through the night, with stories focusing on aging cop Willis, psychotic giant Rourke, avenger Owen, stripper Alba and an armed gang of hookers, among others. Episodes are loosely linked (a la PULP FICTION), but the plot is not the reason to tune in (though stories do catch your attention). The black-and-white look of the comic books is impressively recreated in a completely digital environment and the action set-pieces are stylishly done. This cool comic noir and instant cult film is clearly not for all tastes, though. 'Special guest director' Quentin Tarantino directed the sequence with Owen and Del Toro in the car. Later that year Rodriguez recut the movie and released it as a Special Edition DVD. This version runs 23 minutes longer. Two sequels in planning phase.

© Ron Altman