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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)Starring Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)Starring Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Mickey Rourke

Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller


Ah, Basin City. The seedy backdrop of Frank Miller’s Sin City comic/graphic novel series is a place which bares its grim underbelly with open pride. A landscape populated by gangsters, molls, decrepit alcoholics, murderous vigilantes and hardboiled detectives. Back in 2005, the stories of these denizens were given worldwide attention in Robert Rodriguez’s technically innovative and provocative big-screen adaptation. Almost ten years later we finally have a sequel – but now that the dust has settled sufficiently to render the first film’s unique style less impactful, does Sin City: A Dame to Kill For have enough clout to make the wait worthwhile? Short answer is ‘no’.

In keeping with the format of the first film, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For offers up a selection of stories that gradually unfold around each other, involving some characters familiar to its predecessor and others newly introduced to the screen. In ‘The Long Bad Night’, swift-fingered gambler Joseph Gordon-Levitt goes toe to toe with the villainous Senator Roark (Powers Boothe, relishing the role) in a high-stakes game of poker and is quickly shown the repercussions of pushing your luck too far. Introducing a common theme to the film, the story itself here is perfectly fine and dandy but really fails to shift gear. It just… unfolds. Gordon-Levitt does well as the suave, over-confident gambler and Boothe is as authentically slimy and power-drunk as he can be, but the morose pacing (not helped by the film’s over-reliance on monotone, noir-esque voiceover) leaves it doing little more than spinning wheels in the mud despite some seriously brutal violence. The ending, too, while perfectly in key with the nature of Basin City and what it ultimately stands for is a moment that simply elicits a shrug and a “that’s it?”

And honestly, it’s generally downhill from there. The titular tale, ‘A Dame to Kill For’, sees Josh Brolin take on the role of Dwight (originally portrayed by Clive Owen in the first film), who finds his bid for a straight life dashed when former lover Ava (Eva Green) comes back into his sights, begging him to help free her from her abusive, super-rich husband. Drawn out beyond reason with the introduction of pointless characters including a police detective who falls murderously under Ava’s influence, this entry also finds itself crawling along at a slovenly pace, waking up occasionally to deliver a bone-crunching action set piece before settling down again to do little more than ogle the almost perpetually nude Eva Green. Of course, there’s a twist here and soon Dwight has joined with the ladies of Old Town (including Rosario Dawson, reprising her role from the original) to lead a storming assault on Ava’s mansion, but even here the action feels muted by the monochromatic style. Heads roll and people are shot, mutilated and beaten, but there’s little real impact in it. Green certainly seems to relish the role of nefarious siren/succubus-like Ava but nearly all effort amounts to nothing when you’re only left wishing that the film would just get on with it. Clock-watching becomes a pastime, and while it would seem unlikely to be wanting a film to just move forward instead of repeatedly presenting Green’s rather fabulous charms, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For most certainly begs that response.

Finally, the hulking Marv (Rourke) teams up with the world’s most clothed stripper, Nancy (Alba), to wreak vengeance on Senator Roark for the death of Hartigan (Bruce Willis, looking really rather bored in a cameo role as the ghost of his ill-fated character from the first film). This time round, Alba is given little to do but down alcohol, scowl, and dance as provocatively as her contract may allow before, once again, Marv gets involved for another mansion grounds assault filled with similarly weak-feeling CGI gore. There’s little more to say about this particular segment as it remains feeble and uninvolving from start to finish. Between this and the other stories, fan favourite Marv is bandied about much more often throughout but even his increased involvement (and let’s face it, Rourke is just perfect in the role) gets disappointingly repetitive.

The original Sin City was a film not without its own narrative and pacing flaws, but these were quite capably worked around by a refreshingly hardboiled style and technical presentation that immediately set it aside from anything else at the time. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is unfortunately afforded none such leeway at this point, so while it may indeed look striking – even absolutely gorgeous at times – the plodding pace, morose dialogue and uninspiring tales stand out far too much. Style over substance just isn’t enough for the series, now.

1 1/2 out of 5

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Must-See: Michael Myers Versus Jason Voorhees Fan Short Film

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The short film titled Michael Myers Versus Jason Voorhees made its much-anticipated debut on YouTube channel CallMeJeff86 on January 15th, 2018.

The film is a passion project that pits two horror movie icons against each other; it’s Michael Myers from Halloween against Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th in a bloody fight to the finish.

What are you waiting for? Give the short a watch below, and then let us know what you think!

Michael Myers Versus Jason Voorhees is written and directed by Mason C. McDonald and stars Jeff Payne as Michael Myers, Dustin Miller as Jason Voorhees, and John Alton as the Vengeful Father.

Don’t forget to follow the film on Instagram and Twitter!

P.S. I’m pretty sure the ‘Part 3’ in the title is a joke.

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PG-13 or R? The Strangers: Prey at Night Gets Official MPAA Rating

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Earlier this week we let you guys know that there is a killer The Strangers: Prey at Night fan art competition going on and you can read all the details on that right HERE.

But today we have some cool (if expected) news that The Strangers: Prey At Night hs officially received an R-rating from the MPAA.

The sequel has been rated R for “horror violence and terror throughout, and for language” and I think that makes about as much sense as we could have expected.

For those who are interested in such bits of trivia, the original The Strangers was rated R for “violence/terror and language” so there you go! Impress your friends with MPAA trivia.

Would The Strangers: Prey at Night getting a PG-13 have affected your enthusiasm for the upcoming film? Let us know below!

The Stranger: Prey at Night is directed by Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down) from a script by Bryan Bertino and Ben Ketai. It stars Martin Henderson, Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, and Lewis Pullman.

The film hits March 9, 2018.

Synopsis:
A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive. Johannes Roberts directs this horror film inspired by the 2008 smash hit The Strangers.

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Artist Reimagines Superheroes as Tim Burton Illustrations

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The world of Tim Burton has always been full of imagination and wonder built on a surreal and often horrific foundation. Films like Beetlejuice and Sleepy Hollow capture the imagination with stunning visuals, all based on the mind of the visionary director. Burton’s artwork was also featured in his illustrated poetry book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories.

Burton’s work has not only amazed viewers for over three decades, it’s also been an inspiration to countless artists and creators. Enter Los Angeles-by-way-of-Russia artist and animator Andrew Tarusov, whose work has been used by companies such as Cosmopolitan, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Maxim, and more. In a series he simply calls “Tim Burton’s Superheros”, Tarusov took 10 of the biggest comic book characters and gave them a dark twist that is 100% befitting of Burton’s style.

You can see a gallery of these images below. To see more of Tarusov’s work, head on over to his official website.

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