Tipped by the estimable Bryant Frazer, here's a must-see trailer for a movie that looks like nothing you've ever seen before: Robert Rodriguez's adaptation of Frank Miller's adolescent pulp-graphic novel Sin City (5 minute video -- be warned), starring Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson (both looking super-hot), Josh Hartnett, Benicio Del Toro, and a host of other luminaries. The trailer has the feel of perfume-porn, but it sports an astonishing high contrast look and spare sets that are a perfect match for Miller's blocky, abstract style (simple thick lines, heavy-inks, and a geometric approach to figure rendering). What you find is a half-dazzling, half-overcooked display of retro-noir expresionism, two parts Jacques Tourneur to one part Luc Besson. The look promises to be one-of-a-kind, but the movie might very well be a turkey for the ages. Why? You can already get a taste of the embarrassingly purple pulp dialogue. Then, there's the creative force behind this thing. Miller's unshakeable alpha-teen-boy sensibility (his stories are filled with brooding, boozing anti-heroes, ninjas, and scantily-clad, utterly shallow femmes fatales) coupled with the often peurile more-chic-than-thou stylistics of Robert Rodriguez promise a synergy that make send shivers down the spines of ComiCon nerds. For those with less caffeinated inclinations, this is recipe for bad, over-stylized nonsense.
But I'm so there. And my cousin Doug is gonna spurt in his pants when he sees this.
 Miller's done some good stuff, foremost among them his Daredevil run and The Dark Knight Returns. But he's strictly a poet for 16 year-old fanboys, a guy who reinvents hoary superheroes for a darker, "edgier" era, not a genius like Alan Moore. Sin City is a pretty poor piece of pulp storywise -- it's an exercise in dark graphic style with nary a compelling theme or character to hook on to. As such, it doesn't approach the level of a dense good yarn like pulp comic series Stray Bullets, not to mention a master novelist like, say, Donald Westlake.