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Sin City - Blu-ray DVD / drama DVD / action adventure DVD review
SIN CITY Unrated by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 1/2 stars
Featuring: Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Mickey Rourke
Directors: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez Studio: Dimension / Buena Vista
DVD release: 21 April 2009 Runtime: 124 min.
(2 discs)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 2.35:1, Audio tracks (DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1 Surround - English; 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround - Spanish), Subtitles (English SDH, Spanish), Audio commentary (dirs. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller), Audio commentary (Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino), Recut Stories (HD), How It All Went Down: Convincing Frank Miller to Make the Film (HD), Special guest director Quentin Tarantino (HD), Hard Top with a Decent Engine: The Cars of Sin City (HD), Booze, Broads, and Guns: The Props of Sin City (HD), Making the Monsters: Special Effects Make-Up (HD), Trench Coats and Fish Nets: The Costumes of Sin City (HD), Teaser & Trailer(HD), Rodriguez Special Features (15 Minute Flic School - HD; Sin City: The All Green Screen Version - HD; The Long Take With Quentin Tarantino - HD; Sin City: Live in Concert - HD), Kill 'Em Good: Interactive Comic Book, CinExplore Feature

Sin City was originally released in 2005. A big screen adaptation of Frank Miller's popular comic/graphic novel series, Sin City's format has been screaming for a high-definition release ever since. If there were ever a movie perfectly made for the Blu-ray format, Sin City is definitely that movie.

Stylized and animated in black and white with occasional splashes of intense color for effect, Sin City uses live actors seamlessly meshed into a comic-style setting created by CGI effects. The feel is very film-noir but also quite modern, and the two sides mesh together much better than one would imagine.

Sin City is a collection of short stories, some with characters who cross over from one to the next, keeping the storyline flowing. It begins with "The Customer is Always Right," a very short clip starring Josh Hartnett. We move into the next story in which Bruce Willis is a police officer named Hartigan who saves an 11-year-old girl from the pedophile son of a senator.

Mickey Rourke stars as a horribly ugly man named Marv who, after sleeping with a gorgeous hooker, wakes up to find her dead in his bed. He knows he's been set up but doesn't know by whom. He sets off on a rampage, but he isn't powerful enough to stop the real killer, played by Elijah Wood. In the following story, Jackie Boy (Benicio del Toro) beats up his girlfriend (Brittany Murphy), and Dwight (Clive Owen) is ready to stop Jackie Boy's antics once and for all. Dwight chases Jackie and his cohorts into Old Town, which is ruled by prostitutes with a heavy arsenal. One wrong decision upsets the balance of a treaty the women had worked out with the Mob and the cops so that they can rule Old Town.

We move forward eight years and revisit Hartigan, in jail but keeping his sanity due to receiving letters from Nancy, the girl he saved so many years ago. When the letters stop arriving, he lies to get out of jail in order to find her. He finds Nancy (Jessica Alba) stripping to make a living. This all leads to an incredible showdown that was inevitable from the start.

The two-disc Blu-ray edition includes both the theater cut and the extended cut. The extended cut gives you each story as almost a stand-alone-each has its own title and ending credits. Other than that, the theatrical cut seems much more seamless and easier to follow as one story flows into the next. The uncut version is 23 minutes longer, but I really struggled to determine what was different.

I really don't think there's any way to watch Sin City other than in high definition. The viewer misses out much of the detail and graphic crispness without the Blu-ray high definition. It is so amazingly stunning to watch, especially when a flash of color pops out of the black and white.

The special features are lengthy and will please any viewer, especially true Frank Miller aficionados. Two special features are exclusive to the Blu-ray. Cine-Explore takes the movie and plays it in a couple of different small windows-one with the finished product, one with the green screen - and also intersperses the pages from the Sin City stories. It helps the viewer to see just how true to the story this movie really is-the graphics almost appear to be lifted straight from the novel onto the screen. The second Blu-ray feature is an interactive comic book, actually, more like a video game, with you as the viewer controlling the action of the comic book. It's fun, but not as amazing as the Cine-Explore.

There are the requisite audio commentaries here-one with director Robert Rodriguez, joined by co-director Frank Miller, as well as guest director Quentin Tarantino. Numerous other special features make this well worth the money spent.

Fans of Sin City or other Frank Miller graphic novels and movies will be in heaven with this Blu-ray release. It is mesmerizing and cinematically gorgeous, a true treat for fans of the genre that may even lead non-fans to check out the novels and other offerings by Miller. The all-star cast just makes it more appealing. Sin City is an amazing movie and highly recommended.
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reviewed by Melissa Parcel
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