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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (3D Blu-ray Review)

28 Nov, 2014 By: John Latchem

Anchor Bay
Box Office $13.76
$29.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray/3D
Rated ‘R’ for strong brutal stylized violence throughout, sexual content, nudity, and brief drug use.
Stars Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Jaime King, Christopher Lloyd, Jamie Chung, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Meloni, Juno Temple.

It’s not that a sequel to Sin City was a bad idea, but the nine-year gap between films certainly doesn’t help. Where the first film was audacious for its comic-book-inspired visual style and unique homage to the noir genre, the sequel is pretty much more of the same. And it’s not as if the intervening decade has bolstered the original’s reputation.

This second installment, which indulges even more in the franchise’s hyper-realistic style (black-and-white with splashes of color), offers several new stories that expand on the vignettes of the first film, serving mostly as an excuse to bring back Mickey Rourke as strongman Marv and Jessica Alba as stripper Nancy, who appear prominently in the background when not starring front and center. Revenge is an overriding theme here, weaving its way as a motivating force through all the stories in a triumph of style over substance, as director Robert Rodriguez (co-directing with Frank Miller, who penned the original graphic novels) falls back on his usual standbys of over-the-top violence and sex.

For a sense of just how much effects work goes into the film, check out the Blu-ray’s 16-minute greenscreen version, which speeds through an alternate cut of the film in its rawest form, featuring actors jumping through sparse soundstages in front of green walls. It doesn’t exactly leave the impression these are fun movies to work on, but rather exercises in fancy makeup and post-production engineering.

The final result still looks pretty cool, and this one’s in 3D, which certainly complements the film’s visual energy.

Otherwise, the Blu-ray doesn’t offer much in the extras department, aside from a few character profiles, a featurette about the stunts and another featurette about the makeup, which is designed by Greg Nicotero, executive producer of “The Walking Dead.”

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