Sin City

By Mark Ramsey | 2005/04/04

Time to pack my bags and move to Sin City.


Because I want an exciting career as a barfly.

Because I want my children in a school where you earn credits in the Mechanics of Bump and Grind: Reading, writing, ‘rithmetic, and writhing.

Because I want a community where you’re more likely to clean blood off your sidewalk than tartar off your teeth. A place where sex crawls out of the gutter like steam through a grate.

Because I want a neighborhood where every broad is a doll and every palooka’s ten cents short and two sheets to the wind.

Because I want to speak in a lingo boiled harder than the sincity_alba.jpg

cold heart of an icy dame.

Bring it on, Sin City, in black and white and blood red all over.

It’s a town the sun’s never laid eyes on, where you can’t have it your way at Burger King, the weather forecast is none of your beeswax, and the prices at Wal*Mart are “Every Day Don’t Give a Damn.” In this town, “drive-thru window” means somebody’s busting glass, wise-guy.

The most surprising element of Sin City isn’t its breakthrough production value, it’s that Rutger Hauer is still alive. Unless he’s a digital reconstruction, which is possible considering in most of his scenes he’s playing poker with Shrek and Donkey.

And there’s another thing almost as shocking, and it’s something I never thought I’d say: Here’s a great performance by Mickey Rourke.

Jessica Alba is the kind of dame you want to swing with, even if it’s by a grimy rope from a tree. As a girl she was saved from the bad guys by Bruce Willis. And now, reunited, she’s falling for him, hard and fast. Forget that Bruce is old enough to be her grandfather – age is just a number, and Bruce’s number is followed by a couple-a extra zeros, baby.

Clive Owen wants “a hard top with a decent engine – and make sure it’s got a big trunk.” Sounds like the recipe for the new Nissan JLo, ya dirty screw.

Brittany Murphy returns to the big screen and brings the onset of Parkinson’s disease along with her. By now, her twitches are such trademarks a “TM” bubble should open over her head – in the unlikely event that anything opens over her head besides a sudden downpour.

Much has been made of the notion that this is a literal translation of Frank Miller’s notorious graphic comic series into film. But little has been made of the strong subtext of impotence here. Every guy is castrated, literally or sincity_eyefull.jpg

figuratively. They can’t get it on, won’t get it on, or are pissed off about getting it on. And that only scratches the genital surface.

This is a movie about guys who can’t get satisfied despite an overflowing abundance of eroticism. “Don’t go trying to eat my nuts off,” says one character. “I’ll cut you in ways that will make you useless to a woman,” says another. Something tells me Frank Miller couldn’t get the girl in high school if he had her bound and gagged first.

When Bruce rips a guy’s balls off, onlooker Jessica Alba swoons in pure ecstasy. I say if the act of removing virility makes one more virile, it’s time for some intensive therapy, and I don’t mean deep tissue massage.

But beware: When your pecker gets blown off, you evidently become a smelly, jaundiced goon – and a likely host of ESPN Sportscenter.

In Sin City’s “Old Town,” the “ladies” are the law. They’re sexy, beautiful, merciless, armed to the teeth, and every now and again dressed exactly like Zorro. Fortunately, there’s an uneasy truce between the hookers and the police. Where did they hammer out this agreement, Camp David? It’s the hookers against the cops against the mob against the victims of erectile dysfunction.

Like a skull-and-crossbones tattoo on the butt of a beautiful dame, Sin City is trashy cool.

It’ll really get your goat, you bum.

Photos Copyright ©2005 Miramax Films

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