[an error occurred while processing this directive]
About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadPage 0Page 1Forward one pageLast Page


Post 0

Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 10:58pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Bugger! You beat me to it.

My review - I was going to call it Sin Shitty - would have gone up if I could have set up a home-office network with my current host (Jason Dixon). I'll post it first chance I get.

The other two sub-plots are twisted too. The reason I didn't walk out - I asked my Objectivist hosts in Santa Clara if we could leave two thirds of the way through and they wanted to stay. Now Jeff, it's time to defend it.




Post 1

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 1:16amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I haven't seen the movie yet but I'm surprised it's that bad given that the comic was written by Frank Miller and that Robert Rodriguez gave him a co-director credit (apparently even resigning from the Screen Directors' Guild in order to do so). Incidentally, I gather Miller was initially reluctant to agree to this Hollywood adaptation because he thinks the studios botched his scripts for Robocop 2 and 3.

And Marcus - the fact that Quentin Tarantino directed one single scene, in and of itself, actually tells me very little...

I will however post my thoughts if and when I get round to viewing it.
MH




Post 2

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 2:42amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Thanks for the comments Andrew.  I really couldn't believe how bad taste this film was.

MH,

"Kill Bill" is like kindergarten compared to the nastiness of this film.

Yes indeed, it actually surpassed "Kill Bill" in terms of violence, the macabre and anti-life values. Parts of it actually made my stomach turn.

And believe me, I have a strong constitution.







Post 3

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 2:51amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Perhaps it's all meant as a sort of wry parody?

Edit to clarify: what I mean is perhaps in a round about way, Miller and Rodriguez were trying to show exactly how sick the culture is?

(Edited by Matthew Humphreys on 6/13, 4:31am)




Post 4

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 5:16amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
OK - my turn now. :-)

Sin City - It's Shitty.

 

Sin City is probably the worst movie I have ever seen. It is anti-heroic, unintegrated, naturalistic garbage that portrays one of the bloodiest, gore-riddled, violence-worshipping worldviews I have ever witnessed.

 

Unintegrated.

The film starts with a guy quickly seducing a gorgeous woman who he then shoots without shagging. This scene is completely detached from the rest of the film until the end when we see a girl who played a minor role getting in a lift with him and him referring to her by name. The film then has three sub-plots whose common link is their occurring in the same city - think of Pulp Fiction, then disintegrate it further and take out the sharp dialogue.

 

Anti-heroic naturalism.

In two of the three sub-plots, the heroic main character dies unsuccessful at the end of story; the third ends up with a prostitute girlfriend who is about to go to war with the police and the gangs. Another protagonist, with superhuman strength and a desire to help prostitutes, dies in an electric chair. The efforts of the third protagonist, Bruce Willis, are ultimately in vain also as he needlessly takes his own life having been through hell to save a young woman from being pursued by a rapist he had previously saved her from.

 

Presentation.

I do not consider the black and white I watched for two hours with the odd splash of colour to be aesthetically good - it is avant garde posturing and I say the Emperor wears no clothes.  Some will say that the presentation of the movie is in keeping with it’s comic book roots; I say the comic books should have been better illustrated and to spend extra money reducing the “watchability” of a movie to that of a comic book is a needless waste.

 

The only good thing - completely overwhelmed by the sheer ugliness of this film - is the many semi-naked hot women but I've paid this aspect too much attention already.

 

Conclusion.

Is this the worst movie I have seen? Until now I hated vampire movies more than these Tarantino flash back movies. I am thinking hard about some of the vampire movies I have seen. Those films seem to use the same plot over and over again: a group of bounty hunters chase a group of vampires, finding their sleeping area during daylight, skewer them through the heart and drag them out into the sunlight to burn but their leader survives and exacts revenge the following night on most of the bounty hunters, biting one of the main characters who must die along with the head vampire the following dawn.

 

Vampire films also lack integration to the extent they rely on the pre-established mystic image of the vampire but at least the rest of the plot (of those that I have seen - who knows what passes these days) is integrated and at least the good guys win. This film lacks the integration and the success of the good guys and includes mysticism as well. It is the worst movie I can remember seeing.

(Edited by Andrew Bates on 6/13, 5:50am)




Sanction: 2, No Sanction: 0
Post 5

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 5:59amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Overall I thought it was a great flick. Obviously there was plenty of gore (though IMO far less and more cartoonish than in 'Kill Bill'), so skip it if that alone turns you off. Agreed on unintegrated in that it does that damn non-chronological subplot presentation that's been trendy since 'Pulp Fiction'. From a philosophical standpoint, however, other than the cop ending his own life (and I'd make the argument by that point his 'value' of life was nil), there was plenty of heroism.

The cop did stand up for his beliefs and fight a corrupt system, killing some who deserved it and saving one who didn't. Likewise the superhuman creature was torture-happy, but applied it to the deserving and defended innocent prostitutes against evil clergy and their henchmen. My favorite was that prostitution was viewed as just another business, and that they organized an effective means of self-defense since police/mob could not be trusted.

Corrupt politicians and clergy are villians. Straight cops and prostitutes defending themselves are protagonists. The movie definitely portrays a very dark world, but does show individuals taking heroic action within it's context.




Post 6

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 7:35amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Andrew Bates said, "I do not consider the black and white I watched for two hours with the odd splash of colour to be aesthetically good - it is avant garde posturing and I say the Emperor wears no clothes. Some will say that the presentation of the movie is in keeping with it’s comic book roots; I say the comic books should have been better illustrated and to spend extra money reducing the “watchability” of a movie to that of a comic book is a needless waste."

Why do you not consider the black and white to be aesthetically good, Andrew? I don't know what "avant-garde posturing" is, but the cynic in me suggests that you might mean that you find films not presented in Technicolor when available to be pretenious. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Personally, I thought the black and white complimented the both the book and the film by recalling the Noir films of the 40s and 50s, while also subtly commenting on the reversal of the conventional morality figures.

I think equating the artistic choice of using black and white to reducing what you call "watchability" is an ignorant statement, as is your discredit to the comic book medium.

Overall, I found your critique lackluster. It did not demonstrate why Sin City was the worst movie you've ever seen [IE, no plot analysis, but outright dismissal, no examination of themes and ideas, and no technique criticisms, but cynical suspision of the unconventional], but it did include plenty of moralizing and a conclusion that contained not your arguments against this film, but a list of plot elements from vampire movies. I don't know you at all, but this review of yours suggests both a lack of cinematic knowledge and a Stage Two Objectivist mind at work.



Post 7

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 7:44amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I enjoyed the movie thoroughly.

1) The whole idea of the direction etc. was to achieve a comic book effect.  If you don't like it, big deal.  The stories were pretty faithful to the comic books in style.

2) There was a "male hero/anti-hero" driven to do crazy things by passion or commitment to saving a particular woman running through all three stories.

Anyways, if you want movies that meet specific criteria, feel free to look for them. Art comes in many forms.




Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Post 8

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 10:40amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I completely agree with Andrew and Marcus: I wanted to scrub myself with a wire brush after seeing this vile "critically acclaimed" movie.

This is perhaps the filthiest piece of trash I can recall. (I only say perhaps because I try to purge, evade, and expunge fetid material from my memory cells as quickly as I can.) And it makes perfect sense the post-modern critics would like it ...and that it would attract Mr. Quintessential Tarantula like a maggot to a corpse. The movie had an incredibly depraved and vicious view of life, of happiness, of justice, of human beings which undercuts any tiny thing it might have done well in terms of technique or clever filming. Ethics trumps technique: To think of sadistic, altruistic, mentally unstable lead characters as "heroic" is to have too low a bar, to put it mildly, for what constitutes heroism.

Is beating your head with an iron rod heroic because it proves you can endure pain? What about moping your life away longing after a prostitute..is that heroic because it shows "lifelong pursuit of values"? If this is heroism, I am an industrial-strength toilet bowl cleaner.

This genre of sewer-movie has become all prevalent lately. What I think leads some of the esthetically recently hatched to rummage around for some kind of virtue in them is this: They are not as familiar as they ought to be with really great movies and what real heroism and courage and standards are. So their standards are low and Gen X-y, like a modern pomo college student who has never been shown anything without feet of clay.

Or like a starving person responding to even the whiff of rancid meat.

Phil

(In order to preserve my own mental health, It's not worth spending more of my time on raking through this. And it's depressing. So if someone wants to try to 'rebut' me with a laundry list of out-of-context, imaginary, or drugged-out virtues of this movie it's more than likely I won't be responding.)



Post 9

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 12:57pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Stephen,

First, Wow! Thanks for the compliment. Ever wondered why Lindsay Perigo is a balding (RED!) wino, why Peter Cresswell's face is wrinkled or why Robert White has a piercing stare with a jaded aspect? Most Objectivists who have influenced me in my introduction to Objectivism have given up in frustration and disgust, proclaiming that I would never get it. To have someone suggest that I have made it to stage two is a real boost. So ... Thanks!

While I mentioned that the film was unintegrated and anti-heroic, I thought about talking more about the film's plot in the review and again in thinking how I might respond to your post. It's certainly not that I don't want to spoil the plot(s) for people, it's that I find myself in agreement with Phil; the film was torturous to watch and is painful to recall.

In fact Amen to Phil - it's sanction time.




Post 10

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 1:02pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Philip raises an interesting idea worth examining. Is the appeal of this movie a "Gen X-y" thing?

How old are those who liked Sin City?



Sanction: 2, No Sanction: 0
Post 11

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 1:22pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Wow Philip.

Thanks for that post, definitely sanctioned, you put your finger right on it!

It is a very sick view of mankind portrayed in this film. I mean, we as objectivists cherish Ayn Rand's vision of man at his best as portrayed in the Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged.

Why should we be interested in a view of man as a sadistic altruist brute in a city of sickness?

Maybe just to know how depressing and disgusting films can get.

P.S. The film had one redeeming feature a lot of beautiful scantily clad babes. However, every single woman in the film was either a stripper or a prostitute. What does that say about women?

Not only that, but the prostitutes actually enjoyed massacring and murdering people.

Self-defence is one thing. Enjoyment of someone else's death is completely sick.

(Edited by Marcus Bachler on 6/13, 1:23pm)




Post 12

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 1:22pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Sarah, technically I am 41, but after watching Sin City I aged 10 years.

George




Post 13

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 1:30pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
George,

I suppose I should ask for the age of those who dislike it as well. Which are you a liker or a disliker?



Sanction: 1, No Sanction: 0
Post 14

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 2:05pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

All of these art / movie reviews on solo smell a lot too much like post-modern deconstructionism.  They are opportunities to see your own predilections emphasized and judge the art based on that.  (refer to the past discussion on 'the incredibles')  Deconstructionism is an irrational form of critique, it presupposes an outcome and chooses specific evidence only because it supports that outcome.  Performing these 'readings' of the text is how one is expected to critique an artwork.  I see that alot here in these discussions on movies.  If one goes into a film with a distaste for what they consider the film to be focused on, they will focus only on the negative and review it as such.

 

For those familiar with Frank Miller's work one could certainly argue that he presents very strong objectivist themes.  People familiar with Tarintino and Rodriguez works will argue that they present very strong anti objectivist themes, perhaps even nihilistic, though one could argue that Kill Bill is about Revenging a wrong and the atonement of a main character, and righting great wrongs was certainly a major theme in El Mariachi and Desperado.  If you think Rodriguez is all nihilism and violence, check out ‘Spy Kids’ or ‘The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl’.

 

Sin city has an artistic flare inspired by the comic book, filmed mostly in black and white or very washed out, and occasionally shown as literal two tone black and white with something occasionally colored for whatever reason you want to read into it (blood sometimes yellow, sometimes orange, tears sometimes highlighted, etc)  You might like it, you might not.  I thought it was interesting, but distracting from the story telling at some times.

 

It has some heroic themes, where people beaten and broken stand up and fight for what they believe in against overwhelming odds and endure great pain to further their highest values.  It has outsider heroes trying to right great injustices and normal people in difficult situations standing up for what they believe in.  Often the heroes are themselves flawed, is that glorifying the heroic or glorifying the flaw?  Take your pick. 

 

Picking on the apparent enjoyment some of the protagonists have when killing or taking their vengeance out on the antagonists could be argued to presume they should be acting out of altruism when righting these wrongs.  Since, if they enjoy it, they must actually *want* to do it.  Sometimes it is ok to find joy in doing something that is right.  Should Bruce Willis’s character act sad and burdened when he kills a mass murdering serial rapist (In self defense)?  No, I don’t think he should, and nor would I. 

 

It has some nihilistic themes, it is overtly violent features routine killings, very gruesome, a serial killer mounting heads of victims on his wall, etc.  And it has a dose of altruism, where a main character sacrifices himself to save the person he loves (is that altruism, or a prioritization of values?)

 

Personally I found the heroic themes and the great struggles they represented as enjoyable.  I generally enjoy Miller, Tarintino, and Rodriguez, and I liked this movie.   

 

But hey, I guess I’m just a nihilistic gen X/Y’er and perhaps no ‘true objectivist’

 

Michael




Sanction: 1, No Sanction: 0
Post 15

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 2:13pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ok I'm 25 and I loved the film.  The idea of trying to Master the hard contrast of blacks and whites with very little gray, when a large amount of what the story itself about is about contrast. 

Of how Marv's violence contrasted with the his inner tenderness and loving devotion to a whore who was just looking for protection.  Dwight's inner conflict, no matter how hard he tried to lay low and have a simple life he couldn't stay away from the strength and passion of Gail, Miller often talked about how he saw nothing more insipid than seeing an amazing person going after someone who is weak, pathetic, less than when a (anti)hero should seek out another (anti)hero.  As for Hardigan he and Marv were perfect examples of when a sacrifice is NOT a sacrifice, they fight like hell for the women they love and that love is of such value to each of them that loosing their lives means nothing in comparison to the degree of passion they have for their women and either saving them or avenging them.

As to the violence in the story more of it takes place in the narration and your mind than anything, there is surprisingly little actual violence shown, and when it is most of it's off camera with some of the aftermath shown.  It's psychological manipulation that works on the level that you just have this sleazy feeling associated with the whole film from early on. This manipulation is important in order for the contrast to show, in a different setting, with decent people and honest cops these men would not seem heroic in any sense but the fact that they are struggling for their values in the nastiest dirtiest place on earth just makes it all the more heroic.  The fact that Marv is falling possibly to his death but all he can think of is the woman he loves brings a level of tenderness to this seeming monster. The strength is in the contrast of heroism against the darkest, filthiest evil.

I know I may be alone in my praise for this film, but it speaks to me and my sense of life. Evil exists, it can be a major threat but the struggle against it is a battle that is worth fighting and not just something trivial to be ignored.

---Landon




Post 16

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 2:22pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
All of these art / movie reviews on solo smell a lot too much like post-modern deconstructionism.  They are opportunities to see your own predilections emphasized and judge the art based on that.  (refer to the past discussion on 'the incredibles') .

Hey it was I that started the critique of "the incredibles". I went to the incredibles and sin city not expecting the worst - so your hypothesis is wrong.

 

Unfortunately, I went to "the incredibles" after being told it was an objectivist morality tale.

Therefore, I expected too much.

 

With Sin City, I didn't know what to expect, but I was not expecting it to be a great film. Therefore, I was both shocked and disgusted when it turned out to be such a horrible spectacle.

 
Sarah,

 

I'm 33 and I didn't like the film. Does that mean I'm a pre-Gen Xer with good taste?

 

 






Post 17

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 2:34pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I'm just wondering if, within the (anti)hero archetype, there is enough wiggle-room that can create such disparity among people with the same ideals. Thinking beyond Sin City, do situations now change quick enough that within a generation there is a change in what heros fight, if only superficially? Is a superficial change enough to create the "gen x" syndrome where the older generation accuses the younger of [whatever lack of values]?
(Edited by Sarah House
on 6/13, 2:35pm)




Post 18

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 2:37pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Age 31, didn't expect to like it but did.

I don't understand the derision of the protagonists as altruistic. All the male heroes defended who they considered of value, certainly in line with self-interest. In the case of the straight cop he was also doing his honest job that he'd sworn to do. Further, Marv and Hardigan (it's not as clear on Dwight) were also framed for crimes they didn't commit - so their actions certainly had a significant element of self-interest even if you dismiss the women they value.




Post 19

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 2:49pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
27 - hated it.



Post to this threadPage 0Page 1Forward one pageLast Page
[an error occurred while processing this directive]


User ID Password or create a free account.