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Sin City

Walk down the right back alley in Sin City and you can find anything. 

Year: 2005 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Robert Rodriguez 
Starring: Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Jessica Alba and Mickey Rourke  
An image from Sin City

Sin City looks and feels like no other film. Robert Rodriguez (“Planet Terror”, “Desperado”), a pioneer of green screen technology, brings an ultra cool look to Frank Miller’s legendary graphic novels. Sin City tells three interweaving stories of life in the underworld of Basin City, a corrupt, nightmarish amalgamation of everything that is wrong with the world. Mickey Rourke gives a powerhouse performance as drug-addled bruiser Marv, desperately trying to find the only woman who ever loved him. Bruce Willis’ grizzled cop fights to save skinny little Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) from the clutches of a predatory paedophile, and Clive Owen plays a gangster caught up in the war between two rival mafias.

The stories are woven together through an all star cast, and combine the best elements of hard-boiled noir and graphic violence; it plays like a comic book brought to life, full of sexy dames, crooked cops, ruthless gangsters and fast cars. Rodriguez’s style of theatrical violence fits perfectly with the absurd nature of the storylines, but that never detracts from the sense of fun. This film is as dark as they come – the only colours in Sin City are the splashes of scarlet blood and the bright blue eyes of a lethal lady. Don’t miss it.

Marcus Kelly

From director Rodriguez (El Mariachi trilogy, From Dusk Till Dawn) comes the most faithful graphic-novel adaptation ever made. Sin City is Basin City, a seedy crime- infested hellhole complete with sadistic psychopaths, morally bankrupt cops and bent officials. We follow three interlinking stories: Marv (Rourke) as the brute with a heart out to avenge the death of Goldie, a beautiful woman he spent a night with, which ended when he woke to find her dead next to him; Hartigan (Willis), one of Sin City's few straight cops in a decade-long struggle to protect a girl from a deformed paedophile and Dwight (Owen) who in protecting a group of hookers accidentally kills Jackie Boy (Del Toro), a dirty cop with a penchant for violence.

Miller refused to relinquish the film rights to any of his works after a bad Hollywood experience in the early '90s. However, lifelong fan Rodriguez keen to adapt the comic produced a taster film, "The Customer is Always Right", the scene with Josh Hartnett opening the film. Impressed, Miller gave his permission and Rodriguez proceeded to create a pure translation onto the screen, even crediting Miller as co-director. Some of the cast wear prosthetics to resemble their illustrated characters and the comic book feel is present in every scene, the film presented in black and white with just splashes of colour.

The all-star cast are fantastic, especially Rourke and even the consistently wooden Owen manages to pull out a fitting performance. This is a film for everyone, packed with slick dialogue, lots of gore and violence, cool action sequences and if that isn't enough for the guys, a now infamous pole dance from Jessica Alba will surely swing it. This film blows every other comic book adaptation out the water and will become this decade's Pulp Fiction, the standard by which all films may be measured cool.

Hannah Upton

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Screenings of this film:

2005/2006 Autumn Term (35mm)
2005/2006 Autumn Term (35mm)
2005/2006 Spring Term (35mm)