Frank Miller’s Sin City: Recut and Extended Edition

11/28/2005

sincityBuena Vista, two discs, color/B&W, R, 124 min. plus supplements, Dolby Digital 5.1, widescreen, Street: Dec. 13, $39.99; First Run: W, April. 2005, $74 mil

Robert Rodriguez takes pride in depicting himself on the DVD releases of his films as a genial control freak. With Sin City, he ceded some of that control to his co-director Frank Miller, the author of the Sin City graphic novels on which the movie is based. The first release of the film on DVD, which streeted in August, contained only one featurette. This edition, being a Rodriguez-supervised production, is bursting with extra materials. Rodriguez and Miller discuss the production on one audio commentary track; Rodriguez and “guest director” Quentin Tarantino (who helmed one sequence featuring Benicio Del Toro and Clive Owen) concentrate on the technical aspects on a second track. The film’s uncanny faithfulness to Miller’s stylishly noir visuals makes it only fitting that his is the voice that guides the viewer through this two-disc set’s most intricate feature, “Sin-chroni-City,” in which one can hear his reflections on each of the characters, locations and events in the picture. The package also includes two cuts of the film: the three lengthy story lines can be seen in their intertwined theatrical version on disc one and as separate shorter films on disc two. The latter versions of the stories include deleted scenes, which aren’t spotlighted in any way. The single most valuable supplement is an installment of Rodriguez’s “Flick School” concept, begun on the Spy Kids and Desperado DVDs. Here he runs through Sin City‘s production in a mere 15 minutes, discussing both the shoot, in which the cast performed against a green screen, and the complicated postproduction process, in which Miller’s noir backgrounds and lighting were added digitally. Rodriguez’s devotion to digital technology is shown to have paid off wonderfully in this instance, as a very cinematic style has been forged out of a collection of very playful computer gambits and “tricks.” —Ed Grant