Sunday, February 18, 2018
Things To Do

Review: In 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,' noir style is everything

Style is everything in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, whether it's the clothes women barely wear or their men's silhouetted beatdowns. The town is like a newspaper: black and white and red all over, except this blood is white. Save the reds for what's urgent: a police siren or a looker hooker's lips.

Substance is another matter. For all of its lurid action and hardboiled soliloquies, the dangers that screenwriter Frank Miller assembled from his graphic novels are thin as the paper they were printed upon. There is a brutal, misogynist sameness to the noir that Miller and co-director Robert Rodriguez can't episodically shuffle away.

Based on three of Miller's nonchronological comic books, this is both a sequel and prequel to 2005's Sin City. First film fatality Marv is back as this movie's anchor, with Mickey Rourke's zest shining through heavy facial prosthetics. In the opening sequence, Marv awakens from a car crash with amnesia, killing a few frat boys to jog his memory, establishing the thrilling visual style and Miller's nihilistic verbiage.

The action is centered on Kadie's strip joint, where Marv has a protective crush on Nancy (Jessica Alba), who has a grudge against corrupt senator Roark (Powers Boothe), who facilitated the murder of her first-film defender Hartigan (Bruce Willis, ghostly). That'll be settled last, and least satisfying, mostly due to Alba's unconvincing grit. Her performance is all bump, grind and groan.

Meanwhile, a cardsharp named Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) invades Roark's poker game at Kadie's, bragging he'll win and he does, too much for Roark's pride. Nasty things happen, and the tough guy byplay between Gordon-Levitt and Boothe (the movie's ace, along with Roarke) is electrifying. The film's palette works best here, saturated to pulp with playful reversals of color hues on playing cards.

Then there's the continuation of demonized Dwight (Josh Brolin, replacing Clive Owen), and his obsession with Ava (Eva Green), who married rich. It's a '40s film noir setup with Green's frequent nudity as the pinnacle of this film's objectification of women. Lauren Bacall would be appalled.

Despite its unsavory aspects, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is always a pleasure to observe, so artfully artificial with its green-screened backdrops and CGI props. Miller's lines can occasionally curl a smile ("I wake up in mid-air; the pavement rushes up to give me a big, sloppy kiss"), while Rodriguez nimbly illustrates it. Style is no problem. A reason for this movie besides it is a mystery.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

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Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosDaytona 5003 p.m.Fox; 102.5-FMBowlingPBA: 60th Anniversary Challenge1 p.m.ESPNCollege basketballWomen: USF at UCFnoonCBSSN; 1040-AMWomen: Wake Forest at N.C. StatenoonESPNUWomen: Miami at Virginia12:30 p.m.Fox SunDuke at Clemson1 p.m.Ch. 44...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

TAMPA — Leonard Bernstein would have turned 100 this year. The Florida Orchestra performed two of his works Friday, the second of which paired the dances from West Side Story with the overture to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet.The orches...
Published: 02/17/18
Review: Kelsea Ballerini gets close to fans, digs into ‘Unapologetically’ at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Review: Kelsea Ballerini gets close to fans, digs into ‘Unapologetically’ at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Kelsea Ballerini has a story to tell. It's the story of the last three crazy years of her life, from a breakup to the Grammys to a marriage and all the "life, growing up, self-discovery" in between.If you heard her new album Unapologetically, it's a ...
Published: 02/17/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 17

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 17

Bay Area Renaissance Festival: Highland Fling: The 2018 festival runs weekends through March 25 in a time-travel village of kings, queens, jousting, jugglers, mimes, madrigals, archery contests and a human chess match. 10 a.m., Museum of Science and ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosXfinity: PowerShares QQQ 300 qualifying9:30 a.m.FS1Xfinity: PowerShares QQQ 3002:30 p.m.FS1College baseballIllinois-Chicago vs. Southern3:30 p.m.MLBAlabama State vs. New Orleans7 p.m.MLBCollege basketballSMU at UCF11 a.m.ESPNUSyracuse at Mi...
Published: 02/16/18
Five things that make Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Volta’ different and fun

Five things that make Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Volta’ different and fun

TAMPA — Cirque du Soleil is back in town with a new show.The Montreal-based company always puts on an extravaganza, splashing around color with the abandon of a toddler playing with paint buckets and a storyline several layers deep, the artistic skel...
Published: 02/16/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 18

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 18

Mutt Derby: Bring your non-aggressive dog for a day of dog races and other doggie games. Races will be done in weight divisions. All dogs racing must have proof of vaccinations. Greyhounds are welcome, but are not allowed to race. Benefits Greyhound ...
Published: 02/16/18
What to watch this weekend: ‘Everything Sucks!’ on Netflix, ‘Wreck-It-Ralph,’ ‘Star Trek’

What to watch this weekend: ‘Everything Sucks!’ on Netflix, ‘Wreck-It-Ralph,’ ‘Star Trek’

1996 MISFITS: EVERYTHING SUCKSAdd this one to your list if you were alive in the 1990s. Even if you weren't in high school, it's sure to bring back memories of Fruitopia, Oasis, flannel shirts and Alanis Morissette. Everything Sucks is a quirky comin...
Published: 02/16/18
Disney World announces June opening date for Toy Story Land

Disney World announces June opening date for Toy Story Land

Get ready for a playdate with Andy's toys. Disney World just announced the opening date for Toy Story Land. The area in Disney's Hollywood Studios is set to open June 30, just in time for the busy summer season, The Orlando park announced Friday on ...
Published: 02/16/18
‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

The American Library Association announced its 2018 Youth Media Award winners Monday during its midwinter meeting in Denver.The annual awards honor books, video and audio for children and young adults and are highly regarded guides for booksellers, t...
Published: 02/16/18