Sin City came out this weekend. I’ve been pretty excited about it for awhile – it marks the beginning of the summer action movie season (it seems to start earlier each year), and all of the previews looked beautiful.

The movie was beautiful, and ugly. The visuals were great – an adaptation really true to the feelings of the graphic novel noir. The shots were artistic, not just effective, and the mix of grit and anti-realism was well-managed. The black and white wasn’t just black and white – it was hard-lined inks.

But the movie was incredibly gory. Those of you who know me know that there are some types of movies that I just can’t watch in the theater – my head get’s light, my palms get sweaty, and my stomach starts turning knots. I don’t think it’s realism – Starship Troopers and Blade 2 did it to me, and I don’t think it’s just copious amounts of blood – I did fine in the Kill Bill’s. I think it’s something about the visceralness and unnaturalness of the violence – when some combinations of sounds and images make my mind imagine more than it should, and I go further than the film.

The second chapter of Sin City did it to me, right at the end. If you see or have seen the movie, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

I haven’t read the Sin City comics, but I hear all of the graphic violence is true to the story. So what? If sex porn has to be relegated to seedy alleys and shuttered homes, violence porn should be the same. There are some images you see, and they just stick in the back of your mind, they change you, however minutely. I don’t know if they make you more mature, or more jaded, or some of both, but you do give up something you don’t get back. I’m not saying I think movies like that should be censored, but they should be categorized, and possibly stigmatized – you should have to make a conscious choice to engage in that kind of brain-numbing. Grocery stores don’t go sneaking bottles of malt liquor in with the Dr. Pepper.

I imagine that’s the sensation this old couple had when they hunched over and winced and walked out about 20 minutes into the movie.

Well, now I’ve gotten that rant off my chest. Aside from the violence-porn, I really liked it. Bruce Willis’ and Clive Owen’s characters were especially likeable.

What did you think?

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