Jessica Alba as Nancy Callahan in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (The Weinstein Company)
As the summer blockbusters seem to fade away, now we really get to see what films can stand behind their storytelling.
After nine years of anticipation, directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s black-and-white escapade returns to the cinemas with Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Pulled directly out of the thrilling graphic novel, the mixed tales of Sin City’s citizens are spawned in this fast-paced crime-action flick. Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis and Rosario Dawson return to reprise the roles so elegantly played in 2005’s Sin City, along with new cast members Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Eva Green joining in on the fun.
The blood-soaked predecessor that reinvented the film noir genre has become a cult favorite throughout the years. However, A Dame to Kill For looks like it may be overreaching on what Rodriguez and Miller collaborated on in the past. The originality, style and uniqueness Sin City brought in ’05 appears to be drowned out by technological advancement in film over the past decade. In other words, this movie looks overdone, kind of what The Phantom Menace was to A New Hope. Although that’s an exaggerated comparison, you get the point. It’s the individual stories and how they are executed collectively that will make or break this film. The sin continues in A Dame to Kill For, out in theaters Aug. 22.
Matthew Weiner, writer and producer of “Mad Men,” directs his first film about the obstacles of true friendships in Are You Here. Childhood friends, Ben (Zach Galifianakis) and Steve (Owen Wilson), plunge into a road trip when Ben finds out he has inherited a large sum of money from his recently deceased estranged father.
Are You Here appears to be a straight-up laugh with big hitters such as Galifianakis, Wilson and Amy Poehler rounding out the cast, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie switches tones in trying to be dramatic and heartfelt. The campy mold of the wacky troubled guy in need of his tied-down depressed friend pretty much sums up the direction in which this flick is headed towards. Nonetheless, this bromance comedy might actually shed some light on the values of having a bonding relationship with someone you truly credit as a friend. Catch Are You Here with the homie this Friday and maybe learn a thing or two about companionship.
This next film, Love is Strange, takes the bromance genre into an exquisite, loving romance plot. John Lithgow and Alfred Molina play, Ben and George, a newlywed couple that are forced to live apart from each other after they lose their house due to rough times in New York City.
This film could not look more naturally diverse and aware of the social conditions that effect everyday lives. Director and co-writer Ira Sachs not only captures a sense of realness in Love is Strange but embodies the tribulations of life through themes of love, family, adulthood and empathy. The instinctive, kindred connection between Molina and Lithgow’s onscreen performances is what makes this film work beautifully, not to mention the gratifying supporting roles of Marisa Tomei and up incoming Charlie Tahan. For the more mature audience member, find Love is Strange in select theaters Aug. 22.
Also in theaters: If I Stay; To Be Takei; When the Game Stands Tall