But it’s not all good.
The special edition comes with a «Complete graphic novel». This is a
bald faced lie misrepresentation. The movie is made from three different stories that are part of the Sin City series. The included comic is «The hard Goodbye», the story of Marv (played to perfection by Mickey Rourke in the movie), and that’s it. The end. It’s a classic story, but it’s not the movie’s comic book. Being a comic book fan, and especially a fan of Frank Miller, all the way back to Ronin, I had never gotten into the Sin City series (bad timing, long story) and had figured I’d wait for this thing to finally delve into the high contrast ultra violence and hard-boiled tough guy film noir brutality of this particular universe. So as soon as the cellophane was ripped off the box, I became deaf to the real world and raced through the pages. The format is cool, like a paperback novel (or, um, a DVD box), smaller than the usual comic book graphic novel. So as the pages were being turned, I realized that, halfway through the thickness of the book, I was halfway through Marv’s story. So there was going to be no Hartigan, no Yellow Bastard, no sexy dangerous Gail in fishnet stockings…
Maybe I was being naïve, but I was a little disappointed.
Also, as much respect that I can have for fellow graphic designer and comic book enthusiast Chip Kidd, the book’s cover is clearly not in the same league as either the art inside, or the movie, or even the rest of the DVD’s packaging. I mean, FF Blur? wtf?? What does this ugly old computer generated font have to do with anything? That red classic logo is so much the shit, why change something like that? Eh, there must be some reason, but I don’t think it’s good enough.
Onto the good parts
So many extras, such cool things to see. There’s a long take from the scene that Tarantino guest-directed, which is basically a 14-minute take of Benicio Del Toro and Clive Owen in the car on the way to the tar pits. Since the movie was shot in HD (video) they just kept the cameras rolling, and this is a raw feed from one of the cameras. You can see the actors setting up, then all of a sudden they’re ACTING, and then there’s QT stepping in with some directions, then they set back up again, lighting a new cigarette, etc. The guys are sitting in a couple of chairs in a green-screen stage, with a prop steering wheel, and it really doesn’t look like much, but whenever a part is actually used in the finished movie, everything transforms into the finished post-processed movie, briefly. And this is the movie! And then it goes back to two guys sitting on chairs in a green room, pretending to be in a car. Acting. This I found humbling, for the talent of the actors, which you can actually see working their magic in front of your very eyes, and inspiring, cos you get to see the directors (Rodriguez, Tarantino and Miller) actually doing their part of the work. And everybody seems to be having a lot of fun. Amazing.
Another amazing sequence is the 8x speed green-screen version of the whole movie. Just the actors, with a couple of props, in a big green room. It kinda reminded me of being a little kid, playing adventures with a stick for a gun and a cardboard box for an airplane, the rest, all in your head.
But the one that I preferred was «15-minute film school with Robert Rodriguez», in which he explains his techniques, and says «This is not very hard. A camera, some green paint and a laptop is all you basically need to do something like this» or something to that effect. Inspiring.
There’s a lot more in there, the menus blending the comic book frames with the movie stills, the crazy sequence about the props (Miho’s swords are actually the Hattori Hanso swords from Kill Bill!), the one about the costumes (you HAVE to see Rosario Dawson’s getup, it looks more like bra straps than something you can wear).
If you like your movies as much your comics as much as I do, if you hate it when DVD extras feel like Entertainment Tonight fluff pieces about the
actors movie stars, If you like it when you actually learn a thing or two in a DVD, thent walk, to get this beautiful package. You can really feel the generosity and the love Robert Rodriguez has for the art and the craft of moviemaking in here. And for cooking late-night tacos.