Blu-Ray Review: ‘Sin City’ Exceeds Expectations With Flawless Release

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HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “Sin City - Recut, Extended, Unrated” was one of the best DVD box sets in the history of the format. Most collectors interested in the Blu-Ray upgrade of the title will probably already own the box set that came with an entire graphic novel and is currently anchoring many a respectable DVD shelf. The Blu-Ray release features two new special features and, of course, HD picture and sound. Should you upgrade?

Yes. I’m sorry to say it, but those of you who liked “Sin City” enough to buy the DVD set will love the two new special features on the Blu-Ray release. The video and audio are flawless. Ultimately, one of the best standard DVD releases has become a must-own Blu-Ray release, an exhaustive, fascinating dissection of a very enjoyable film.

Sin City was released on Blu-Ray on April 21st, 2009.
Sin City was released on Blu-Ray on April 21st, 2009.
Photo credit: WDSHE

“Sin City” is what we call a “schedule clearer”. There’s so much material in this one two-disc set that you’ll need to cancel some plans. It brings new meaning to “jam-packed”.

Most viewers will start with the movie itself, a film that has held up very well since its release. I enjoy “300” and even parts of “The Spirit,” but they don’t compare to this ambitious, stunningly rendered film. And, as the back of the case says pretty correctly, “If ever a movie was meant to be experienced in high definition, Frank Miller’s Sin City is guilty on all counts!”

Sin City was released on Blu-Ray on April 21st, 2009.
Sin City was released on Blu-Ray on April 21st, 2009.
Photo credit: WDSHE

The film itself looks incredible in 1080p with the film’s original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and the sound mix is perfect in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. I found no flaws in either the video or audio. The line definition between the blacks and whites of Rodriguez’s vision is crystal clear with no blurring or unnecessary grain.

On the first disc, you can watch the film itself five separate ways. You can just experience the movie itself, watch it with a commentary by Rodriguez and Miller, watch it with an amazing commentary by Rodriguez and Tarantino, watch with the audio track of a recording of the first Austin audience to see the film, or use Cine-Explore.

That last choice is the first Blu-Ray exclusive feature and it’s a stunner. The film split-screens to show you what you’re watching at several different stages. For example, in the opening scene, you’ll see Josh Hartnett in the film itself, the actor standing on a green screen, and the panels from the original comic that inspired it, all on the same screen. It’s a must-see feature for fans of the film.

Disc one would make “Sin City” worth buying on Blu-Ray. The movie with flawless video/audio, a great picture-in-picture special feature, and a very entertaining commentary track from Tarantino and Rodriguez justify the purchase price. But it’s just the beginning.

Sin City was released on Blu-Ray on April 21st, 2009.
Sin City was released on Blu-Ray on April 21st, 2009.
Photo credit: WDSHE

Disc two features the “Recut, Extended, Unrated Version” of “Sin City”. Now you can watch a re-edited version of the film with 23 minutes not included in the theatrical version and with the option to watch each story individually. Want to just see Marv’s (Mickey Rourke) story from beginning to end? Now you can in HD.

Disc two also includes all the special features from the last edition and a new interactive comic book called “Kill ‘Em Good”. The special features included are “15-Minute Film School,” “All Green-Screen Version,” “The Long Take,” “Sin City: Live in Concert,” “10-Minute Cooking School,” “How it Went Down: Convincing Frank Miller to Make the Film,” “Special Guest Director: Quentin Tarantino,” “A Hard Top With a Decent Engine: The Cars of Sin City,” “Booze, Broads and Guns: The Props of Sin City,” “Making the Monsters: Special Effects Make-Up,” “Trench Coats & Fishnet: The Costumes of Sin City,” the teaser and theatrical trailer. There will be no questions left unanswered about the making of the movie.

“Sin City” should be a model for movies like this one on Blu-Ray. Of course, you can’t have this exhaustive a treatment for an intimate drama, but a technically-accomplished, challenging film like “Sin City” should play to its fan base like this release does. The bar for blockbusters on Blu-Ray has been set just a bit higher.

‘Sin City’ is released by Walt Disney Home Video and stars Jessica Alba, Benicio Del Toro, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Elijah Wood, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Alexis Bledel, and Devon Aoki. It was written and directed by Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez. It was released on April 21st, 2009. It is rated R and not rated.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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