Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Plastic Clive Owen is a better Dwight than Josh Brolin could ever hope to be.

Plastic Clive Owen is a better Dwight than Josh Brolin could ever hope to be.

Tonight I will do the exceptionally stupid.

Tonight I will watch Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For.

Yes, again.

Let me explain:

I’ve spoken before about how Sin City is one of the most important films of my 20s.  But the story I don’t often tell is this.

A Dame to Kill For got my friend Jason & I back together.

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Mix Tape Monday: The Apology Mix

parks-and-rec-how-a-bill-becomes-a-law-cool-times-summer-jamz-mix-614x341

There’s a lot more to making a mix than just throwing a bunch of songs onto a Spotify playlist or a CD.  It’s about creating a mood or emphasizing an emotion, playing to a theme or singing what you can’t speak aloud.  You don’t make someone a mix unless they’re really important.

So I have a new feature here on the blog–MIX TAPE MONDAY.  I’ll dissect mixes I’ve made for other people, and maybe even a few people have made for me, to dissect what works.  A note before we begin: we’ll use the term “Mix Tape” as a general term here, because “Mix CD” or “Playlist” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The Big Rewind CoverUp first, we have the APOLOGY MIX.  I’ve made a few of these in my day, but this one, titled The All Or Nothing Days (2014) is especially poignant because it was made for my friend Jason.  The epic fight we had, which lead to seven years of silence between us, was part of the inspiration for The Big Rewind, and the first thing we did when we reconnected (thanks to our awesome friend Corey, seriously, she rules and I owe her my whole life.) was make each other mixes.  I would be lying if I said I hadn’t planned a lot of this mix ahead of time, and I was glad I finally had a chance to use it.

A quick word about Jason: He was my mix tape protege, and has taken the art form to a new level.  He can pick songs and clips that are so precise, so devastatingly perfect, that it borders on sadistic.  He has made several of my all-time favorite mixes, including She Doesn’t Think My Tractor’s Sexy Anymore (2005) which should be in some sort of mix CD museum for it’s sheer brilliance.

The Apology Mix is meant to be listened to on headphones.  It’s a close, intimate type of mix, so make sure each of your messages comes through loud and clear.  You won’t around to explain the meaning of each song, so be precise in your choices.

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Guest Post at The Insatiable Critic

Liz, who is one of my favorite people on the entire planet because she’s another fashionable lunatic like me, invited me to write for her awesome blog The Insatiable Critic.  This prospect terrified me, because I’ve seen four movies this year and two of them were Muppets Most Wanted (I fucking loved Muppets Most Wanted) and I got thinking I had to be all smart and cool and not just YEAH PUPPETS ARE FUN.

So when she agreed to let me ramble about Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, I jumped at the prospect of judging a movie I haven’t seen and will do so only out of gun-point nostalgia, and also because Mike said we could see it at the drive in and I will see anything at the drive-in (including You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, Godzilla, War of the Worlds and Fast & Furious 6). Having opinions is something I’m very good at, and Liz is pretty damn generous for letting me voice them on her nice website.

(I also recommend you go over there because there’s a picture of 22 year old me in a black corset and fishnets with Bettie Page bangs.  I was pretty smokin’.)

But after you’re done reading that, I recommend you go to your local comic book shop and buy The Goon and then read that instead of wasting your brain cells seeing Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.   I’ll take this one for the team.

Partners

goon_damesI’m kind of obsessed with Eric Powell’s The Goon these days — Ian got back into it and I got tired of hearing him snicker from the couch and not being in on the joke, sort of how he felt when I was reading Hyperbole and a Half and got laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe or explain why I was laughing.  The Goon hits all the right notes for me; neo-noir, paranormal, voodoo and old-skool zombies, violence and humor and hyper-stylized, Depression-era settings.  Plus I have a weird little crush on Franky that I can’t quite explain.

…But I just finished reading Chinatown and Holy Cats, I haven’t read a comic that awesome since The Hard Goodbye (also: I don’t read comics very often).  I actually cried at the end, when Franky’s sitting there at The Goon’s hospital bed after taking page after page of beatings while The Goon is out kicking it with Isabella.  It hit home, in a strange way.

Most people want to be the hero of their own stories.  Me, I tend to be the Sam_&_Maxsidekick because I’m high strung and excitable and I generally need someone to keep me leveled out.   I’m the Max to Ian’s Sam, the Shane Vendrell to Matthew’s Vic Mackey.  I’m good in a fight and quick with a quip, I’m smart and I think fast and I’m good on my feet.   Great skills to have as a reporter, good skills to have when you’re trying to say, gaslight someone and weedle your way into their empire.  The downside, especially with someone like Matthew, is that damn it, sometimes you need to go in with shotguns blasting and not take so damn long to put all the chess pieces in place.

The problem with being a sidekick, however, is that sometimes, well, you get pushed off to the side.  I once got left the edge of a dance floor because Matthew got wrapped up in talking to a girl he didn’t even like, a girl we called The Jawa.

And that’s where Chinatown hit so damn hard for me.  Because when you’ve got male friends, sometimes dames get in the way.  Sometimes those dames are great, like my friend Bridget, who married my friend Eeon.  Sometimes those dames are no good, and the worst part about a no-good dame is that no one wants to hear their dame is no good.  And when you’re a dame yourself, they’ve always got that “you’re just jealous” card to play.  And sometimes I was jealous, because I was young and stupid.   But I’ve lost more than one friendship over no-good dames, and though I’ve manage to recover all of them, there were a lotta years of heartbreak in between.

So when The Goon’s mummy’d up in bandages and Franky sits down by his bedside and says “Dames come and go, but pals stick together,” I just started bawling.  Like, mascara-down-the-cheeks kinda crying.  Partially because the characters feel so real, not just bullshit neo-noir stock types like every Sin City comic after The Hard Goodbye, but mostly because it reminded me of all the times I stupidly let a dame — or anything, really — get in between me and a friend.