Sin City: A Dame to Kill For appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I thought the original movie looked great and the sequel followed suit.
From start to finish, sharpness was immaculate. Wide shots, close shots, medium shots – it didn’t matter, as the presentation always kept the picture tight and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I also noticed no signs of edge enhancement. Shot digitally, the movie looked like it came straight from that source., as I didn’t detect any defects through this pristine image.
Like its predecessor, Dame was a black and white film with splashes of color. Within those constraints, the colors always appeared terrific. They demonstrated the appropriate clarity and definition at all times.
Since they dominated the movie, the black and white tones became especially important. They also seemed positive. Blacks came across as deep and firm, while contrast was brilliant within the movie’s design. Low-light shots offered great delineation and visibility. All told, I found nothing about which I could complain in this excellent transfer.
I also really liked the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio of Dame. With all the action of the various stories, the mix had a lot of room for involving material, and the tracks took good advantage of that.
Of course, the many violent scenes worked the best. Gunfire and other attacks zipped around us to fill the room with mayhem. Vehicles also zoomed about accurately and helped this mix create a good sense of place. The track also demonstrated fine stereo imaging for the music and a strong feeling for general atmosphere during the quieter scenes.
Audio quality was top notch. Speech was concise and crisp, with no edginess or other issues. Music sounded bright and dynamic, as the score always appeared lively and full.
Effects packed a wallop. With all the action, they had many opportunities to blast you through the wall, and they used them well. The elements were accurate and clean, and bass showed good definition and strength. Chalk this up as a terrific soundtrack.
While the Sin City Blu-ray came packed with extras, Dame skimps on these materials. The package provides both 2D and 3D versions of the film. The comments above about picture quality reflect the 2D edition – what does the 3D image bring to the table?
A nice sense of pizzazz, that’s what, as the 3D rendering gave the comic book visuals even more dimensionality and verve. Much of the image concentrated on depth, and those elements worked quite well, as the 3D opened up the material to give us a dynamic sense of space.
Occasional “pop-out” moments occurred as well, and those seemed fitting for the wacky tone of the movie. The 2D version offered clearer visuals – I saw more “ghosting” artifacts than I might like – but the 3D contributed a lively sensibility to the action.
The Movie in High-Speed Green Screen – All Green Screen Version runs
16 minutes, 28 seconds and indeed shows a very fast version of the movie as shot – or most of it, at least, as I don’t think it includes literally every image. This means we see the action in color and without the CG sets that would be added later. It sounds silly but it offers a fairly interesting look at the original shoot.
Under Character Profiles, we see four segments: “Eva Green Is The Dame to Die For” (4:08), “Jessica Alba Is Nancy” (3:52), “Josh Brolin Is Dwight” (3:26) and “Joseph Gordon-Levitt Is Johnny” (2:12). In these, we hear from actors Green, Alba, Brolin, Gordon-Levitt, Powers Boothe, Christopher Lloyd and Rosario Dawson, director Robert Rodriguez and writer/director Frank Miller. We get notes about characters, cast and performances in these sequences. A few decent details emerge, but the clips remain pretty promotional in nature.
Next comes the six-minute, 40-second Makeup Effects of Sin City. It offers notes from Rodriguez, special makeup effects artist Greg Nicotero. As expected, the program looks at the makeup work done for Dame. Nothing deep appears here, but we get a mix of reasonably informative comments.
With Stunts of Sin City, we find a five-minute, 38-second piece with Rodriguez, Nicotero and stunt coordinator Jeff Dashnaw. As expected, this one looks at the stunts and action featured in the film.
Lastly, the disc includes the trailer for the original Sin City. Oddly, the promo for Dame fails to pop up here.
A third disc provides a DVD copy of Dame. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
After the gritty, pulpy fun of the original film, I expected similar pleasures from Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Unfortunately, the movie comes across as nothing more than a slick, pointless exercise in style over substance, with little of its predecessor’s vivacity or excitement on display. The Blu-ray provides excellent picture and audio but lacks significant bonus features. Outside of some Eva Green-related eye candy, Dame turns into a bore.