The Miller's Tale

Today is our tribute to Sin City, the movie adaptation of several stories selected from Frank Miller's seminal series of crime drama graphic novels. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, the film is a geek's wet dream come true. I've been a fan of Frank Miller since the late 80's when I picked up my first copy of Hard Boiled, at the insistence of Phil himself, by no small coincidence. I have also marveled at the cinematic genius that is Robert Rodriguez since the El Mariachi phenomenon of the early nineties. The merging of these two masters of their craft is not without its parallel in the merging of chocolate and peanut butter, the proverbial "two great tastes that taste great together". The product of both unions unfailingly satisfies and has the potential to cause an euphoric sensation for those with a fondness for one or both of the binary components. Clearly, our own Phil falls squarely into that category.

The positive buzz surrounding Sin City bodes well for Mr. Miller, as silver screen adaptations of his work in the past have been, well, lacking to say the least. To say the most is to say they were complete bull shiat. For reference's sake, please direct your attention to RoboCop 3. If you please, fast forward ahead to the scene where the cyborg defender of Old Detroit takes on the android ninja. You'd think, based on that sentence alone, that this would make for a pretty exciting fight, wouldn't you? I'll wager that it was, the way Miller had originally envisioned it; but it seems that a penny-pinching budget, a shift in focus to make the movie family-friendly, and a b-movie director at the reins conspired to eff poor old Frank's vision right in the ear. What you end up with is about twenty minutes of a Japanese guy circling RoboCop while menacingly brandishing a katana and hacking off metallic limbs here and there until Robo decides enough time has been wasted that he can bump off the ninja-droid in some lame-duck fashion that escapes me at the moment, and then fly away in a commandeered jet-pack using special effects techniques that make the flight scenes from the original Superman look like The Matrix.

The tale of how Rodriguez convinced Miller to approve a screen adaptation of his most beloved work is now the stuff of legend. The movie pulls from the first eponymous Sin City graphic novel (also known as "The Hard Good-Bye"), "The Big Fat Kill" and "That Yellow Bastard", as well as the Sin City short-story "The Customer is Always Right". Sources indicate that Rodriguez is planning to film all of Miller's stories in the future, which can only mean one thing: Phil's gonna need to get some bigger pants.


Updates and other assorted effluvium follow:

Coranto Archive

Week of March 27, 2005

I'm Wearing Boots of Escaping! -- Posted by Mike on Wednesday, March 30 2005, 5:24 AM

Man, that Castor guy is a piece of work, eh? Doesn't he know that blaming D&D for society's ills is so late eighties? All the cool DAs are blaming Grand Theft Auto and Hitman for the downfall of civilization these days. I mean, get with the friggin' program, pal.

Anywho, I found these clips from the old Comedy Central show Reno 911 in the talkbacks on that /. article Phil posted. Click on the links below and get ready to roll 1 d 20 to avoid laughing out loud: 14 or higher with a +10 Pure Funny modifier to ROFL. Unless you're wearing your -5 Mithril of Mirthlessness or your -10 Cloak of Chronic Depression, you're gonna be hard-pressed to make that saving throw, Dungeon Master.

Boots of Escaping []

Axe Scuffle []


Discuss -- Posted by Phil on Tuesday, March 29 2005, 20:43 PM

Since we don't have forums open yet (it seems kinda silly to open up forums when we'll have like two people sign up...thanks Ma and Mike's mom!), I've decided to link my LiveJournal for the week's entry here. In the future, I'll link to it in the first update I do after Mike's initial post. You don't have to sign up with LJ to leave a comment, but you do have to sign up if you want a nifty icon. It's free, though, and already in use by thousands of people.

Geek killers -- Posted by Phil on Tuesday, March 29 2005, 7:11 AM

So here's the latest sign that the judicial system has a geek's best interests in mind. In the interest of full disclosure, the news page that originally hosted this story no longer has it listed. Long story short, deranged madman stabs three people to death. Tragic, but (unfortunately) not unheard of. Here's the magical part that makes me glad I don't live in King of Prussia: the DA working the case is investigating a connection between the slayings, and Dungeons and Dragons. A quote: "I mean, you have many, many stab wounds and those 'Dungeons and Dragons' fantasy games involve swords and knives and daggers and things of that nature."


I had to check a calendar to make sure it wasn't April yet. When I discovered it wasn't, I decided to call the DA myself to clear up some questions I still had:

ME: So you really believe there's a connection between D&D and these slayings?

DA BRUCE CASTOR: Yes. I have conducted studies involving watching all of the old 80's Dungeons and Dragons cartoons, and after watching the lot of them, I felt like strangling someone. Surely there's a connection.

ME: Anyone else you're looking into?

CASTOR: We are currently trying to subpeona Emeril LaGace, I've seen his show, and he seems to handle a knife pretty well. Also, I just watched Pulp Fiction again, and we're very interested in talking to Raven McCoy.

ME: Raven McCoy?...That was a fictional character played by a fictional character!

CASTOR: I don't follow.

ME: Never mind. Well, it was nice chatting with you Mr. Castor.

CASTOR: The government.

ME: Huh?

CASTOR: Refridgerator.

ME: Ooookay...

So there you have it. More proof that Gary Gygax is the devil and is trying to make a legion of knife wielding killers intent on taking over America.

First, a confession -- Posted by Phil on Monday, March 28 2005, 7:38 AM

It shames me to have to admit this...but I have not actually read an entire volume of Sin City. It came out about the time I was actually getting out of comics. In my case, it was a victim of bad came out in '92, when I (along with the rest of America) was getting burned out on comics. There was a time when I was spending $500 a month on comics and related items (True story. The comic book store owner loved me so much, when Superman died, I didn't have to stand in line to pick up a copy, like everyone else), but around the time Sin City came out, I had negative interest in anything comics related. I've started to get back in, and picked up a bunch of TPBs from the past decade or so.

Don't let that fool you. If we were to get our hands on a reel of the Sin City trailer, I would stuff that bad boy down my pants and strut around with my chest puffed out like a robin. Frank Miller is one of the greatest comic minds of our time. I would recommend his material sight unseen. Even his sequel to Dark Knight, which I felt was significantly weaker than the original, is a more worthy read than a lot of the other pabulum that's out there. Recommended reading includes The Man Without Fear, the aforementioned Hard Boiled (WARNING: Not for the squeamish), and of course, The Dark Knight Returns. One of these days, I'm going to make a trip out to Borders, and pick up a bunch of these TPBs that I missed out on while I was shunning comics.

One more thing: Although we link a lot of stuff to Amazon, that's purely out of convenience. We don't make a single dime off them...yet.

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Questions? Comments? Sandwiches? Send them all to Mike and Phil. Phil likes mayonnaise and is partial to Reubens, BTW. Mike likes blue drinks and "anything with bacon in it"