Sunday, April 10

[Don't scream]
Ahhhhhh. The whole day off. Perfect weather. Ahhh.

We lunched at a place called Huey's, which serves its food in baskets. The ceiling is plugged full of those celophane-capped toothpicks that keep sandwiches together. There was a graffiti wall with all sorts of pleasant greetings on it. Lots of stuff about pimps. And "My Saturn can kick your Corvette's butt." That sort of thing. The place had a very casual fraternity sort of feel, right down to the constant loop of Phish playing and the W sticker on the mirror behind the bar. Wha? Exactly.

Afterward, we went to see Sin City. I've heard a lot of raves about the film; I'm not as enthusiastic. It makes me feel old and square to say that I have a very limited taste for violence. Maybe it was how close we were sitting to the screen. It just seemed like a lot of bone-crunching, castrating, hooker-punching fun. Like a little too much. I don't know. I'm really torn. I will say that this movie has got me thinking. Usually I watch a film and instantly forget about it or run and snark briefly on the ol' blog. But this one ... I don't know.

Spoiler alert!

I get that it's pretty much the comic book, frame by frame. So a lot of my complaints lie with the original work, not the film. I wouldn't expect the adaptation to stray to far from the original, even for a genre conversion.

I guess I was initially offended by all the woman-smacking going on. And the creepy-ass child rapist/killer thing. And I understand that these issues are real and that they really happen, and they serve to make the bad guys truly reprehensible. Got it. But the stylizing lends a smattering of glamour to all of it, not employed ironically or — that I could tell — even self-consciously. I know I can't expect everything to be ironic; I guess I was just a little put off by the brutality. But I get it. "Sin City." It's not "Pleasant Village." And really, there was copious violence done both sexes. Everyone was getting slashed and decapitated and guys were getting castrated left and right. So glamour was lent to all the violence, not just the woman-beating. The film (and the comic, of course) just relied on the classic woman-as-the-weaker-sex, man-as-big-buffoon-lunk formula a little too heavily. And I get that this, particularly, has a lot to do with noir conventions. I get it, I get it.

And didn't it feel a little like a peep show at times?

Phil asked my how I could like Kill Bill and not like Sin City. I guess it has to do with what the characters are fighting for. I mean, even though they lived in the most depraved world, the people in Sin City don't seem to be above their surroundings in any way. They're all basically bad. And I guess everyone in Kill Bill is bad, too, but Beatrix isn't really bad when we meet her. So you're fooled into rooting for her, even though she is a bad guy. I'm easily fooled. I guess that explanation doesn't really explain anything. Maybe I just accept violence more when it has less to do with pistol-whipping a prostitute.

Oh yeah, and the torture. I'm not really a big fan of torture. There was a lot of hacking of limbs and yanking out nubby bits from bad guys. And did I mention the castration?

And the "don't scream" thing. Kind of a twisted moral. But I understand its purpose, too. I just can't completely ignore the other implications.

Okay. Enough critiquing. This is more than I've ever written about anything that actually matters, sadly. Go see that shit for yourself.

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