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Comic Novelty On The Big Screen & More Hope For My Transmetropolitan Screenwriting Credit

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Saw Sin City April 4th. I’m going to skip the clever commentary and requisite applause and refer you to the IMDB site for the details about who played who, the plot summary, and a reasonable but flattering review by SteakTheCow at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401792/#comment.

Also another good post at Jensen’s blog: http://dreaminsidetherapy.blogspot.com/2005/04/putting-sin-back-in-cinema.html

There are already a billion blog posts about this out there, but since it requires my response as it applies directly to one of my “categories of study” (along with Chinese poetry, Catullus, aesthetics, and close reading) I will post on it as well. Ho hum…this is what I get for teaching the Dark Knight in Freshman Comp. An endless series of justifications about cartoons, comic books, and pop art.

My quick asides. Brittany Murphy disappointed. Her acting lacked the grit required of the movie. Her soap-operaqueen mugging showed the limit of her range. It couldn’t get her from General Hospital to Sin City. She was out of place.

Mickey Rourke was great. Yea, I can’t believe that I’m saying that either. He was perfectly cast. His investment in his character really stole the movie from Bruce Willis. Bruce Willis did a great job himself.

What made the movie so compelling was how it honored the way comic book narrative normally plays out. It made no false attempts to bridge the genres of cartoon and film by using all of the contrivances we expect from filmmakers.

The movie making didn’t try and amend or fix the quasi-linear storytelling. It didn’t try and soften the wap boom bam of the stylized violence. The movie just filmed the comic book’s frames as if Miller’s original comic were a set of stills made from the movie. This could be considered a flaw…I found it to be the charm.

Sin City was great, I can’t wait to see it again. The graphic novel in film has come of age. Rodriguez’s commitment to the project really worked out well. Rather than getting mired in the peripheral, Rodriguez loved what he was doing enough to find the filmable core of Sin City and render it.

Unfortunately, in the end, the hype about Sin City will outpace the quality of the movie. See it if you can, before the hype gets out of hand. The movie may not last as an object of admiration in the coming years because it may burn through its expectations too quickly and gross too much, leaving it to die on the shelf of early over-exposure.

The success of Sin City definitely reinforces my prediction that Transmetropolitan will see the silver screen. See my previous post about On The Cartoon Art Museum, The Mcsweeney’s Quarterly Concern (Issue Number 13), And Transmetropolitan With Prediction. If you want to put Transmetropolitan on the big screen, and need a screenplay, give me a call. I’m your man! ;-)

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About David Koehn