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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Sin City -- Gamist, Narrativist, or Simulationist?  (Read 3031 times)
Andrew Morris
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« on: April 05, 2005, 07:30:59 PM »

Okay, so since it seems that many of us here have seen Sin City, what did you think? Yeah, the GNS comment was a joke, but as I'm sick and tired, I'm thinking it might not have been a good one. Eh. Besides, it's obviously Sim.

I'll go first:

I really enjoyed the movie, but then I've never read the comics, so I don't know if that factors into it.
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Bankuei
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2005, 07:33:36 PM »

Have yet to see the movie, but having all the comics-

Nar, all the way.  Each of the stories in the comics involves a Kicker, and a "How far are you willing to go for X?" kinda question.  A couple of the short stories are might be Sim-y, but man, all the major arcs?  Nar, no question.

Chris
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Judd
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2005, 07:46:37 PM »

All stories are Nar.

Any story can be made with combinations from any of the three.

There could be a gamist application wherein the winner of the game is the one who comes up with the most tragic ending as you bid and counter-bid story tokens to gain advantages.

There could be a narrative application wherein the table comes up with the story together through kickers and bangs.

It could be sim...well, okay, i don't know what the fuck sim really means.

But I don't think anything is any one thing.

No?

Shit, this belongs in GNS now.
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2005, 07:55:40 PM »

Quote from: Paka
Shit, this belongs in GNS now.

No, no, no. Just say what you thought about Sin City. GNS has nothing to do with it, that was just a bad joke.
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Judd
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2005, 07:57:10 PM »

Quote from: Andrew Morris
Quote from: Paka
Shit, this belongs in GNS now.

No, no, no. Just say what you thought about Sin City. GNS has nothing to do with it, that was just a bad joke.


I'm sorry.

I've been trying to wrap my head around theory more and more lately, so I took that lame bait.

My bad.

I'm seeing the flick tomorrow.  I've read all of the graphic novels.
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hardcoremoose
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2005, 12:56:43 AM »

No spoilers here, but if you haven't seen the film (and want to), maybe you should stop reading now...

The film left me with mixed feelings.  Not surprising, since the comics did the same, and the movie is about as literal an adapatation as you can get.

In some ways, the movie was better than its source material.  Miller's writing in the comics is a bit long in the tooth - lots of redundant dialogue, lots more internal monologue than is really necessary.  Rodriguez  and Miller pare some of that down in the film, and it helps.  But not all of the actors are really up to delivering that overblown dialogue, and there are times when it really slaps you in the face.

For my money, Clive Owen nails it best.  Maybe I say that because I dig Owen, or maybe it's because Dwight was my favorite character from the graphic novels (although A Dame To Kill For is the better of the two Dwight stories by a long measure, and it's the one that didn't get adapted), but I really think he does a better job of handling the dialogue (or maybe the writing was just less uneven for this particular segment).

The Hard Goodbye is the second best entry, mostly because of Mickey Rourke and Rutger Hauer's performances.  That Yellow Bastard has a couple good moments, but was the least entertaining for me overall; I think a phoned-in performance by Willis combined with Alba, who seems to be fighting with the dialogue, and Madsen, who not only delivers his lines poorly but struggles with his body language (suggesting to me he wasn't comfortable acting in front of the green screen) doomed it.

To a certain extent, my bitching should be ignored.  These aren't challenging stories, and they aren't meant to be.  Having read the books, I knew that, but I was still a little disappointed.

And aside from all that, the film is a technical achievement.  Rodriguez took a lot of chances in making it; quitting the Director's Guild, filming it all green screen (after Skycaptain flopped last fall), and adapting the story so damned literally.  It is nice to see a domestic director willing to take those kinds of risks for a change.

- Scott
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2005, 05:31:50 AM »

I think Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, and Benicio Del Toro were awesome.  Rutger Haur and Jessica Alba were kind of dissapointing, though -- Hauer was wooden and Alba wasn't very credible as her character. Everyone else did a fine job, or at least good enough that they didn't take away from the movie for me.
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Marhault
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2005, 05:54:15 AM »

The Movie was great.  Rodriguez did a fantastic job of putting Miller's work on screen.  It was almost like watching the comics come to life.

Very, very violent.  If you are planning to attend, leave the kiddies and less desensitized friends at home.
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Luke
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2005, 07:06:45 AM »

Ok, first of all, a movie can't be GNS. Egads. Nor can a game, for that matter.

However, I think that if I wanted to play out a story where violent revenge is my character's meat and drink -- in which I can destroy nearly anything when I'm focused on said revenge, but I am vulnerable to a woman's slap when not -- the answer is really fucking obvious.

-L
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2005, 07:19:12 AM »

Christ, Luke, don't you read threads before you post? Andrew is NOT ASKING about GNS! It was a DUMB JOKE. Fuck, this is really annoying me.

I mean, it's bad enough that apparently people get more out of putting their noses in the air and distinguishing themselves by saying "I can't bothered to understand mere theory," but then to seize any opportunity to slam it ...

... and bad enough that people raise the term as a joke, as in, gee, it's supposed to be the be-all and end-all, isn't that funny ...

But put those two together? I say again, Fuck!!

So color me really pissed off at everyone. If the rule at the Birthday Forum didn't include "be nice," I'd be pretty not-nice about now.

And plus, I'd really like to discuss Sin City, with people like Scott who saw the movie and have something to say about it. Why not just fuckin' call the thread "Let's discuss Sin City" as if you actually meant what you said?

I wish I could go do something vicious to someone who doesn't deserve it, and not feel bad about it. It seems to be a great tension-reliever.

Ron
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2005, 07:21:23 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards

I wish I could go do something vicious to someone who doesn't deserve it, and not feel bad about it. It seems to be a great tension-reliever.


(Those who have not seen the movie will not get this.)

If it helps, I'm a hitman.

yrs--
--Ben
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Luke
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2005, 07:21:46 AM »

do it.
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Emily Care
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2005, 07:38:14 AM »

Can't hit me though, Ron, sorry. : )


I walked out of Sin City with mixed feelings too.  Technically it was amazing. Stunning lighting & effects.  I found the dialogue a bit much in the first Bruce Willis bit, but then that feeling receded once Mickey Rourke stepped up. Maybe it was Michael Madsen's dis-ease, as someone else pointed out, that made it play wooden at first.  

But, man, the violence! I'm glad the Nancy character took the name Cordelia in her letters to Hartigan--it brought in resonance of Titus Andronicus which helped me put the hand-losing/dog-eating-a-live-truncated-body thang into perspective.  I had just been talking to my housemate about the huge leap upward in violence level that occured between Die Hard 1 & 2. Anybody else remember feeling shocked around the same time when either Arnold or the baddies used a still warm-corpse as a shield in Total Recall, or watching the body count mount with horror in both this and Die Hard 2?  Every death mattered in Die Hard. Bodies fell like rain in Die Hard 2.

I'm not shy about violence, I love with great love action movies of all types. But I've got to notice when the overall level & tenor of violence in film ratchets up a level.  It reminds me of something I've always thought about John Woo's (pre-hollywood) films.  Watching Heros Shed No Tears put 2 and 2 together for me--the bullets flying, bodies falling action in his gangster films is at the level deaths in a war.  So I see it as bleed in our imaginative world, going from street crime to the slaughter of warfare.

It was also ironic seeing Sin City after hearing about Ben, Vince & Meg's Polaris game.  Beautiful, compelling horror. Ah, perhaps that's another thing that's going on--simple genre cross of action & horror.  Though, we've seen shifts in the kind of violence in horror films too: the 80's slasher film is a far cry from it's primogenitor, Psycho.

best,
Em
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Keith Senkowski
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2005, 07:59:55 AM »

Hmmm.  I expect to love the movie cause I am a Robert Rodriguez fanboy and Frank Miller RAWKS!  However I was disappointed.  I mean it was neat and all.  It was visually interesting and it had some good acting moments but I've reached three conclusions:

1) Direct translations from one medium to another does not work.  It just doesn't.  And this was as direct a translation as I have ever seen.  Hell, as I was watching it I was mentaly going, "Oh I remember that page in That Yellow Bastard."  If the movie was good I shouldn't be doing that, recalling the graphic novels.

2) What is written down doesn't sound good all the time.  I mean did Frank Miller actually read out loud what he was writing.  Didn't they at one point listen to the dialog and go, "Fuck that sounds stupid.  We need to rewrite that shit."  

3) Long internal narration does not work on the screen. I found it fucking annoying.  I also, in conversation with my wife, noted that The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep both lack that and are much better movies as far as the genre is concerned.  Internal monologue works for comics, but man does it feel stupid on the screen.

All that said I enjoyed it on some levels, but overall came away disapointed and felt it was a bit overlong too.

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
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Andrew Norris
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Posts: 253


« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2005, 08:01:12 AM »

Maybe there was something in my head that clicked over to "comic book violence" while watching the movie. It happened for my fiancee, too. We were quietly chuckling to each other at the sheer over-the-top level of the violence Marv carries out -- he's a big, dumb thug, and this is the only way he knows how to do something productive. It was almost endearing. (The young couple on the other side of us didn't seem to share our take on things -- I think the poor guy had his hand squeezed nearly off by his girlfriend halfway through the movie.)

I think we also felt a distinction between the "Bang-y" deaths (like Goldie and the cop in Old Town) and the ones that were follow-ons. It didn't bother me to see the protagonists kill their way through dozens of mooks, because they'd already drawn the line past that.

As for the dialogue issues, someone mentioned to me (and it matched up with my re-reading of the graphic novel) that Madsen's character is going through the motions of dissuading Hartigan. I think the performance was supposed to look like the character being half-hearted, but it definately looked like the actor was just giving a half-hearted performance. Apart from that, there weren't any deliveries that made me cringe.
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