It's been nearly a decade since Robert Rodriguez brought Frank Miller's graphic and violent comics Sin City to the big screen. But now they're back, and they've brought a cavalcade of stars with them for Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.
Our theatrical review will weigh in on whether or not this new release is worth your time, while this column will focus solely on the film's use of 3D. Considering seven separate categories, To 3D Or Not To 3D evaluates the full scope of the 3D viewing experience. Think of it as a consumer's guide for your movie-going, complete with a viewers poll where you can weigh in on how you plan to see Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.
Note: The reviewer saw Sin City: A Dame To Kill For in Dolby 3D Digital.
Shot mostly on green screen stages, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For has a great start for 3D from a post-production point of view. Scenes of violence and mayhem are great venues to pop things out at the audience. However, as Rodriguez and Miller leaned heavily on the stark look of the 2D comics, there's not a lot of opportunity to revel in the kind of landscapes that can make 3D five-star marvelous. There are lots of close-ups with flat black backdrops behind, little depth to be had there.
Planning & Effort Score
In 2012, Dimension Films revealed Sin City: A Dame To Kill For would be in 3D. This was ahead of the beginning of production. However, It's unclear on whether Rodriguez would be shooting with 3D cameras, as he did with Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, or if the 3D would be post-converted. Personally, I hold no bias either way as I've seen great and bad movies in both columns. But I'm docking a point because--having seen the results--Rodriguez should have made more of an effort to change up his shot choices if he wanted to make full use of 3D's merits.
Before the Window Score
This is the element of 3D that seems to throw elements of the movie out into the theater. For Sin City: A Dame To Kill For that means blood, shattered glass and other debris, including the occasional hard-top car. They are minor flourishes, but fun.
Beyond the Window Score
On the other end of the spectrum is Beyond The Window, which is the part of 3D that seems to stretch the world of the movie deep beyond the screen. Most often, this element sings when used in rich landscapes like forests or towering cities. As mentioned above, the high contrast style of the Sin City comics rebels against this tool. But to his credit, Rodriguez worked in some wide shots of the city to get some punch out of this part of 3D. But the best use of Beyond The Window comes in a scene where a seedy photographer is snapping blackmail shots of a shady tryst through the skylight of a hotel. There the depth is felt, and crucial to the plot.
The downside to 3D glasses is that their grey cast dims the appearance of any print. So 3D prints need to compensate. The high contrast look of Sin City: A Dame To Kill For has no trouble with this criteria. Everything--while dark--is crystal clear.
Glasses Off Score
This is an extremely rudimentary test to show in the basest terms how much 3D you're getting on screen. Take the glasses off, and observe the blur. This will show you where different perspective is being manipulated to create the 3D effect. Every frame I tested had apparent 3D. It's just a matter of framing as to whether it was spectacular or not.
Audience Health Score
Bad 3D can be bad for you, causing nausea, headaches, or eyestrain. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For's 3D caused none of the above.
3D SCORES RECAP
P & E
Before The Window
Beyond The Window
Glasses Off Test
Final Verdict: Though it's not an especially high score, I liked the 3D for Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. It gave an extra bit of excitement to some of the action sequences, and it's an added oomph the movie sorely needed. If you're committed to seeing this sequel cost be damned, then I'd say treat yourself to the 3D. But if you're on the fence to begin with, the 3D is unlikely to salvage this viewing experience for you.
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Staff writer at CinemaBlend.