Frank Miller

Aug. 19, 2014 | 4:00 a.m.

‘Sin City': Rodriguez, Miller talk noir yarns, not social commentary

“Robert and Frank couldn’t be more different, but I feel like they bring out the best in each other,” returning "Sin City" actress Jessica Alba said of the directing duo. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
When director Robert Rodriguez and legendary comic-book author Frank Miller released their movie “Sin City” in 2005, they had few expectations they’d ever make the sequel opening this Friday. In fact, they weren’t sure audiences would turn up for the first film at all. A panel-for-panel re-creation of stories from Miller’s popular graphic-novel series, “Sin City” was unlike any comic-book movie anyone had seen. This wasn’t another rousing story of a superhero saving the planet. It was something darker and stranger: a hyper-stylized, ultra-violent noir thriller set in a corrupt urban nether world of hard-edged men and underclothed women, with no cape, cowl or stitch of spandex to be seen. “I thought people just might not get it,” said Rodriguez, who co-directed the film with Miller, perhaps best known for his 1986 Batman comic-book miniseries “The Dark Knight Returns.” “I […]
Aug. 11, 2014 | 3:31 p.m.

‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For': Robert Rodriguez talks Frank Miller

Robert Rodriguez arrives at the "Sin City: A Dame To Kill For" party on Day 1 of Comic-Con International held at the Hard Rock Hotel on Thursday, July 24, 2014, in San Diego. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
In 2005, Texan filmmaking enfant terrible Robert Rodriguez teamed up with misanthropic comic book master craftsman Frank Miller to co-direct “Sin City,” an adaptation of Miller’s gritty comic book yarns of the same name, rewriting the Hollywood playbook in the process. With an ensemble cast that included Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Rosario Dawson and Bruce Willis, the neo-noir crime thriller  painted a stark world in which corrupt cops and underworld strongmen, hookers with hearts of gold and one grotesquely disfigured serial killer operate in high-definition black and white (with select jolts of gold and arterial-splatter red). Come Aug. 22, nearly a decade after the first “Sin City” pressed reset on digital filmmaking and use of green-screen technology, Miller and Rodriguez are back with a second installment of the gritty anthology: “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” (view the trailer above). […]
July 25, 2014 | 7:30 a.m.

Comic-Con: Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, Jim Lee, more talk Batman 75

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If anyone was wondering what has made Batman so meaningful to fans over the last 75 years, these were the people to ask. The Dark Knight comic book stories that Frank Miller, Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, Grant Morrison, Jim Lee, Scott Snyder and Geoff Johns have variously told since the 1970s are among the most influential and bestselling to ever come out of Gotham City. So what is it? The panelists at “Batman 75: Legends of the Dark Knight” on Thursday afternoon at Comic-Con International in San Diego said it was a combination of Batman being terrifying to criminals and inspiring to law-abiding citizens, of Bruce Wayne turning the pain from a childhood trauma into a life of service. “Batman is basically a satanic figure who is on our side,” said Morrison, whose seven-year run of titles featuring the character […]
July 08, 2014 | 1:40 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Frank Miller joins Batman 75 festivities

The man who redefined Batman is coming to Comic-Con. Frank Miller, who wrote and penciled 1986’s game-changing Batman miniseries “The Dark Knight Returns” (along with “Sin City” and “300,” among many others), will be appearing at a panel chock-full of Bat-artists and scribes, including Grant Morrison, Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, the current “Batman” creative team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. Warner Bros. announced the panel “Batman 75: Legends of the Dark Knight,” which will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 24, as part of DC Entertainment’s Comic-Con plans to celebrate the Caped Crusader’s diamond jubilee. In “The Dark Knight Returns,” Miller re-introduced Bruce Wayne as an aging, gritty and embittered hero sparring with Superman and taking on the Joker in a climactic battle for the soul of […]
May 16, 2014 | 11:44 a.m.

‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ animated gifs: Jessica Alba center stage

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It’s been nearly a decade, but Jessica Alba is back at the bump ‘n’ grind. Reprising the 2005 role she so memorably inhabited in “Frank Miller’s Sin City” – an exotic dancer with a shadowy past, a pair of butt-less chaps and a rhinestone bustier – the lithesome actress can be seen revealing her assets in one of a newly released series of GIFs for that hard-boiled neo-noir thriller’s sequel, “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” which hits theaters Aug. 22. As with the earlier film, “Dame” is co-directed by Robert Rodriguez (behind the 1996 vampire romp “From Dusk Till Dawn” and the hit “Spy Kids” film franchise) and iconic graphic novelist Frank Miller, who first broke through as a filmmaker with a co-director credit on the original “Sin City,” an adaptation of his 1991 serial of the same […]
March 07, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘300: Rise of an Empire’ director Noam Murro talks operatic approach

Sullivan Stapleton in "300: Rise of an Empire." (Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures)
Noam Murro had one question when he was asked to direct the follow-up to 2007’s bloody swords-and-sandals action film “300”: How do you make a sequel to a movie in which everyone died? The answer, in short: You don’t. Zack Snyder’s “300” concluded with [spoiler alert!] Sparta’s King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his few, proud soldiers being gloriously slain while making a heroic stand against the overwhelming forces of Persian god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). The new “300: Rise of an Empire” uses that Leonidas-vs.-Xerxes narrative as a crucial plot point. In essence, the new film wraps its story around the earlier movie’s action to function as something more like a companion piece than a reboot. “What do you call it? A prequel? A sequel?” says Murro, 52. “It’s an equal, hopefully. It’s a different perspective of the same time. Thematically, […]
March 06, 2014 | 2:58 p.m.

‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ trailer: Watch new clip for noir sequel

Jessica Alba in "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For." (Dimension)
Robert Rodriguez’s new trailer for “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is out, and it features exactly the same stylized black-and-white opera of violence that made its predecessor a starkly addictive viewing experience. Working with c0-director Frank Miller to bring his landmark graphic novel to the screen, Rodriguez’s 2005 “Sin City” might stand as one of the most faithful comic book adaptations ever made. Panel by panel, down to the last diagonal sheet of rain and stinking garbage heap, three volumes of the popular series were painstakingly “translated” to film for a movie that featured multiple story lines of grim noir action. Miller and Rodriguez reunited once again for the upcoming film, which features such returning cast members as Jessica Alba and Mickey Rourke alongside new additions including Ray Liotta, Josh Brolin and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The visual palette remains […]
Dec. 02, 2013 | 4:36 p.m.

‘The Wolverine’ Blu-ray: Hugh Jackman, James Mangold talk Japan [Video]

“The Wolverine,” the most recent X-Men film starring Hugh Jackman as the troubled antihero, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD this week, a prelude to Jackman’s next turn as the character in May’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and a new stand-alone sequel announced last month. Released this past summer, “The Wolverine” marked a special moment for the Australian actor, who said he first read the landmark 1980 comic book by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller that inspired the film when he was shooting Bryan Singer’s original “X-Men.” Jackman said he was  struck back then by the moody, introspective qualities of the saga and the nuanced portrait it offered of Logan and his exploits in Japan. “The guy who is the outsider, emblematic in a way of anti-authority, anti-tradition, anti-honor, anti-code, is in Japan with all these samurai and ninjas,” Jackman […]
June 12, 2013 | 10:38 p.m.

‘300: Rise of Empire’ trailer: Swords, sandals, the sea and Xerxes

'300: Rise of an Empire' (featured image)
A new trailer for “300: Rise of an Empire” offers the same sort of swords-and-sandals splendor that made filmmaker Zack Snyder’s visually arresting 2006 adaptation of the landmark Frank Miller graphic novel such a hit. “Rise of an Empire” is not a sequel or a prequel but its own free-standing thing, taking place before, during and after the events of “300.” Directed by TV commercial ace Noam Murro and produced by Snyder, the film sees Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro reprise his role as Xerxes, the nefarious 9-foot-tall antagonist. “The movie looks cool. It’s beautiful,” Santoro told Hero Complex in an interview this year. “It’s like ‘300’ but there are fresh things in there. It’s a smart way to do a sequel. The fans are going to be pleased.” More of the Persian “God King’s” back story will be revealed in […]
Jan. 29, 2013 | 5:01 p.m.

‘Dark Knight Returns': Animated movie inspires tears from Kevin Smith

Peter Weller voices Batman in "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2." (Warner Bros.)
Kevin Smith has no small amount of praise for Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns.” “‘The Dark Knight Returns,’ for many people of my generation, for many people that followed, from the moment it was published forward is kind of like ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ of comic books,” Smith said at the West Coast premiere of “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2,” the concluding chapter of Warner Bros.’ animated adaptation of Miller’s landmark 1986 miniseries. “It’s a very important book that we all carry with us and just like the ‘Catcher in the Rye,’ they’ve never done a movie of it, because most people thought it was unfilmable,” he said. Perhaps, though the animated format seems to have served the story just fine, judging from the reaction of the audience attending a screening of the new PG-13 rated […]
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