Dimension Films via Everett Collection
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For really values its volume. The movie tosses out three or four stories, twenty-odd characters, a handful of car chases, several dozen throat-slittings and skull-bludgeonings… in their return to the cinematic adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel series, Miller and director Robert Rodriguez seemed bent on packing in as much as they conceivably could. The unfortunate result: not quite the intricate, inviting narrative web that the men set out to create, but a straight through-line of nonstop stuff.
In the most egregious sense, too. While we remember Sin City as a relatively patient illustration of Miller’s virtue-deficient neo-noir kingdom, what we find in this year’s follow-up is a feverish race to expose the audience to every idea the directing duo has up its sleeve.
Dimension Films via Everett Collection
So, what we get instead of a fluid story is a whirlpool of events. Each chapter of the clumsily manufactured movie will set you up with a character — an out-of-place Joseph Gordon-Levitt as cocky gambler Johnny, Josh Brolin as a thickheaded do-gooder, and the ragtag team of a destitute Jessica Alba and her devoted muscle Mickey Rourke — only to watch the hero in question stumble upon plot contrivance after plot contrivance, never getting to do much all the while.
And while the style outdoes the substance in the scope A Dame to Kill For’s strong suits, Miller and Rodriguez are not exactly displaying the utmost aesthetic panache in this latest outing. Sure, certain chase scenes are kinetic — and the film might offer the most invigorating visual design of an onscreen hot tub in the history of cinema — but sloppy choreography and a world constructed without depth or sense of place leaves us feeling completely out of touch with the film’s most important character: Sin City.
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Hollywood action man Bruce Willis and director Robert Rodriguez teamed up for a special musical performance at an afterparty following the premiere of their new movie Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. The pair has reunited for the Sin City sequel, which they unveiled in Los Angeles on Tuesday (19Aug14), and they entertained the crowd during a bash at the city's Roosevelt Hotel after the red carpet screening.
Willis played harmonica and sang the blues as Rodriguez played guitar, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
The crowd included Willis' castmates Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Mickey Rourke and Josh Brolin.
French actress Eva Green loves her nude scenes in Sin City: A Dame To Kill For because they're just as stylised as director Robert Rodriguez promised her they'd be. The former Bond girl portrays temptress Ava Lord in the new film and admits she put her faith and trust in her director when he asked her to bare all for revealing scenes.
She explains, "He came to my trailer and swore to me that I would look amazing with the right lighting and the right shadows. You always feel quite vulnerable when you're naked on a set and you feel quite silly. With the green screen around you in your tiny thong, it's not that sexy. You trust their vision and it looks stunning. It's not vulgar and it's not indecent. It's not realistic. It's beautiful, I think."
But Rodriguez stopped short of asking his leading lady Jessica Alba to bare all for the cameras, even though her stripper character Nancy Callahan is often topless in Frank Miller's graphic novels.
He says, "When I had seen the book originally it was drawn a certain way. Frank drew these never to be movies. You couldn't find an actress of any calibre for the first movie because she was walking around topless all the time; even when she wasn't dancing.
"It was very stylised, so I knew Jessica wouldn't do topless. It was that hard thing where I could either get someone who's just like the book but can't act like Jessica, or I can get Jessica and we can just cover her up.
"People to this day think she was naked because she does it so sexy and some things were exposed. There wasn't any nudity in the first one; it was all in the mind so we could suggest a lot with costume and attitude."
And modest Alba, who famously has a no nudity clause in her contract, admits she had a ball playing a clothed Callahan in the sequel.
She adds, "In the first film I was 21 and was so young and not really comfortable in my own skin, being on a stage and dancing. It was all kind of terrifying to me. I was terrified. I didn't want to make a misstep and disappoint anyone. In this one I felt more confident and comfortable in my own skin. If I'm gonna be able to do movies I might as well go 150 per cent and really push it and be fearless. That's kind of the attitude I took this time."
And the mum-of-two didn't have to work too hard maintaining her toned physique: "The role kept me energised. I ate a lot of vegetables. You really don't want to eat tacos and burritos all day when you're in a dance costume!"
EVA LONGORIA's hit TV drama Devious Maids looks set to lead the way at the 2014 Imagen Awards after picking up five nominations on Thursday (19Jun14). The top soap, which is executive produced by the former Desperate Housewives star, picked up all of its nods in the Best Actress/Television category, pitting Edy Ganem, Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Judy Reyes and Roselyn Sanchez against each other for the prize.
Crime drama The Bridge earned four nominations, including Best Actor/Television for Demian Bichir, Best Supporting Actress/Television for Catalina Sandino Moreno and Emily Rios, and Best Primetime Television Programme: Drama or Comedy, a category in which it will compete with Chicago P.D., The Fosters, Law and Order: SVU and Switched at Birth.
Other TV nominees include John Leguizamo for Best Primetime Programme: Special or Movie-of-the-Week (John Leguizamo's Ghetto Clown), Nestor Carbonell for Best Supporting Actor/Television (Bates Motel), Aubrey Plaza for Best Supporting Actress/Television (Parks and Recreation), and Bella Thorne for Best Young Actress/Television (Shake It Up!).
In the film categories, family comedy Sleeping with the Fishes topped the nominations with five mentions, including another nomination for Ana Ortiz (Best Actress/Supporting Actress - Feature Film). She'll face off with co-stars Priscilla Lopez and Gina Rodriguez for the prize
The movie also earned nods for director Nicole Gomez Fisher and Best Picture, where it will battle with A Miracle in Spanish Harlem, After School, Cesar Chavez and Coyote.
Rosario Dawson and America Ferrera (Cesar Chavez) and Michelle Rodriguez (Fast & Furious 6) will also compete in the Best Actress/Supporting Actress - Feature Film category.
The 29th annual Imagen Awards, which recognise and reward positive portrayals of Latinos in the media, will be presented during a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on 1 August (14).
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Sin City star Rosario Dawson and legendary guitarist Carlos Santana were among the stars feted at the annual American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) Awards in California on Friday (27Sep13). The actress and the rocker were presented with the Outstanding Commitment to Cause and Community Award for their philanthropy at the ceremony, which celebrates Latin entertainers.
Taking to the stage, Dawson told the audience at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, "I accept this award knowing that despite continuous challenges, new and old ones, challenges which could easily dampen the most optimistic of hearts, we have strived, we have pleaded and we have given it our all to push through those obstacles because the grand and attainable visions we have for ourselves and our communities far outweigh any challenge that come (sic) before us."
Other ALMA Award recipients included the Latino cast members of U.S. TV drama Dexter, and Dawson's Sin City director Robert Rodriguez, who took home the Anthony Quinn Award for Industry Excellence.
The prizegiving, hosted by Eva Longoria and Mario Lopez, also featured a special tribute to Jenni Rivera, who died last December (12) after her plane went down in Mexico.
Actress Michelle Rodriguez discovered her Fast & The Furious character was set for a return from the dead the same way film fans did - by watching the speedy movie franchise's fifth movie. The star's character, Letty, was left for dead in the fourth film and even she admits she didn't think she'd return and rejoin pals Vin Diesel and Paul Walker on the big screen.
She says, "We shot 4 with the idea of leaving it open in case they did want to bring me back... but it had been two years and already they had announced that they did (Fast Five); I went to visit the set - I'm obviously not in it."
But then Rodriguez decided to check the film out when it hit cinemas, and was stunned by the ending: "I was in Paris and I bought a ticket to go (to see the film) because I wanted to see Vin Diesel go and fight The Rock.
"The movie ends, the credits roll, I get up to leave and I hear a voice and it's Eva Mendes and it's, 'Do you believe in ghosts?', and I turn around and I look and can you believe it, that's how I found out that I'm alive.
"Vin's one of my best friends and he didn't tell me."
It looks like you'll have to wait another year to see Jessica Alba hit the big screen again as Nancy Callahan. According to Box Office Mojo, the release date for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For has been pushed back from October 3, 2013 to August 22, 2014. Gee, we've already been waiting eight years for this movie. What's one more?
Seeing as production for the film only began earlier this year, it makes sense that they had to delay the release. After all, Sin City was a highly stylized, special effects-filled monster of a blockbuster — and that was back in 2005. Sin City 2 promises to be even more visually stunning, with a stellar cast to match. In addition to Jessica Alba, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For also stars returning cast members Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Powers Boothe, and Mickey Rourke, along with newcomers Eva Green (as the titular dame), Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeremy Piven, Juno Temple, and many others.
So the Sin City sequel has been postponed for 10 months. We can only hope this means that the movie will be out of this world. The pressure is on, Robert Rodriguez. The pressure is on.
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Fans of Robert Rodriguez's crime thriller Sin City will have to wait more than a year to see sequel A Dame To Kill For as its release has been pushed back. The follow-up to the 2005 cult classic stars Eva Green, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba and Rosario Dawson, and it was due to hit cinemas in October (13).
However, fans will now have to wait until August, 2014 to see the long-awaited movie, according to Boxofficemojo.com.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is now due to hit cinemas on 22 August, 2014.
It's going to be awwwwkwaaaaard in the South of France this year when both Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee show up to be on the jury at the Cannes Film Festival which starts on May 15 (my birthday!). After intense campaigning Lee and Spielberg were the frontrunenrs for the Best Director Oscar, with Lee taking home the trophy for Life of Pi and Spielberg taking home a greasy In-and-Out Burger from the Vanity Fair party. How will the every decide on a winner?
Well, they'll have Nicole Kidman to help. She and double Oscar-winner and Tarantino muse Christoph Waltz are the high wattage stars this year. They'll be joined by Scotsman Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin), Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, Japanese director Naomi Kawase, and Indian actress Vidya Balan. Wait? Isn't Cannes in France? Well, they have actor Daniel Auteuil repping for his home country. Let's hope he can break up any fights that might erupt about whether or not CGI tigers deserve a golden statue.
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