When Sin City was released in 2005 it was widely praised for its innovative visual style and exaggerated neo-noir tone. I was there at the beginning, a 15-year-old watching with a group of friends as part of a birthday celebration. My sister was there too. She didn’t care much for the film, but it worked for me. Sin City was a touchstone for me at the time. It was the first R-rated movie I snuck into. It was a comic series I would leaf through in Borders (RIP), hoping to be titillated. It was everything a teenager could want. But I’m not a teenager anymore, and Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller made the mistake of waiting 9 years to put out a sequel. So if I’m not watching Sin City: A Dame to Kill For for titillation – why am I doing it?
Besides a little age on the returning actors, not much has changed in the 300 universe since 2006. And even the ravages of time are negligible, thanks to either make-up or digital effects. 300: Rise of an Empire (which I consistently mis-type as “Rose of an Empire” – smells so good) depicts events before, during, and after what we saw in 300. It is The Pacific to 300‘s Band of Brothers, the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to 300‘s Hamlet, The Lion King 1 1/2 to 300‘s The Lion King. Yeah, those are perfect analogies.