Sunday, 20 December 2009

(500) Films of Empire - Day 96 - RIP Brittany Murphy

I was saddened to learn that Brittany Murphy had died this evening. She died of a heart attack at age 32. Another tragic death at such a young age. Great in films like 8 Mile, Clueless and Girl Interrupted, but often picked poor projects like Just Married or Uptown Girls. Next year we'll get to see her final screen role as part of Stallone's The Expendables. If reports are to be believed, and the death had something to do with prescription pills, her death will be compared to that of Heath Ledger's, another talent who died before truly realising their potential.
So as a tribute to her, and because its on the list, I decided to watch:

274 - Sin City - 4 stars
The most faithful comic book adaptation of all time, Rodriguez never even wrote a screenplay or storyboards, simply using the comics as reference.
Four of Frank Miller's hard boiled, ultra-violent film noir tales were filmed in a strikingly bold black-and-white pallete with flashes of colour, backed up by great performances by Benecio Del Toro, Clive Owen and Bruce Willis. Also features the best work Jessica Alba has done (writhing around a pole in her pants), and Elijah Wood trying to shake off the shackles of being Frodo.
Rodriguez didn't really get the credit he deserved for creating the visual style (that would be replicated in such other comic book films as 300 and Watchmen), but also coaxing great performances from the likes of Mickey Rourke, this was his real comeback not The Wrestler.
To see just what a great job he did, watch The Spirit and find out how badly Frank Miller did when Rodriguez wasn't around.
And Murphy's performance? One of her best. She's the common link that appears through the storylines, portraying a perfect blend of sexy and sassy in keeping with the noir style. What's most impressive is that due to the filming techniques, she actually filmed all of her scenes in one day!

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