Based on the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name and filmed almost entirely against green screen, Sin City takes a dip into the sordid world of Basin City. This is a world with pedophilia, prostitute wars and corrupt cops.
Along with general action films, I really like the genre of films made from comics and graphic novels. Sin City takes this to a whole new level. The entire look of the film is like a dark comic strip, with lots of dark shadows and limited use of colour. What’s more, it is extremely and horrifically violent, but in a way that, even though it is clearly fake, it is uncomfortable to watch. I think this is a truly wonderful film, and I’m very excited to see that another Sin City is due to be released next year.
Jeez, that Stephen King can really write-up a storm, can’t he? He’s known for his horrors, like The Shining and It, but then you get the truly amazing, like Stand By Men, Shawshank Redemption and this, The Green Mile. These are his books and short stories; they make for great stories to be made into films.
The Green Mile is told as a flashback from a man in a nursing home, telling the story of his time as a guard on death row during the depression. In particular, of the time during which John Coffey, a large African-American man was brought in. Everyone was fearful of this giant, but there was a magic to the man, a magic that is gradually revealed to the guards.
I’ve recently been contemplating the old man/old woman flashback as a structure. Often, it doesn’t work. Halfway through The Green Mile, I wondered about this as a choice of structure, but it truly does pay off at the end. The film is slow-paced and long – over three hours long. But every minute counts.
The excellent plot is held together by strong performances; Tom Hanks, David Morse and several others as the prison guards; the late Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey; James Cromwell as the Warden; and Graham Greene and Sam Rockwell as fellow prisoners.
I think this is a truly excellent film. Truly.
The Green Mile was nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael Clarke Duncan), Pest Picture, Best Sound and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.
Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is the top NASCAR driver, rising to fame with the assistance of his wingman, Cal Naughton Jnr (John C Reilly). But then, after his first, fairly uneventful accident, he suffers post-traumatic stress disorder and cannot drive. His wife leaves him for his best friend, and it is only the assistance of his absent father, Reese Bobby (Gary Cole) that he can get back on track.
This is one of those dumb Will Ferrell/John C Reilly films. Heaps of people love these films. Not me. I found it such a yawn fest. The characters are so ridiculous that there is no empathy for them. Possibly, they would make good characters for a recurring Saturday Night Live sketch, but a whole film? Whatever.