Sin suffers from a severe case of identity crisis. The film opens with a wide western vista and a lone grave in the wilderness. The music is soft and the atmosphere Unforgivenesque. The peace is rudely crashed with a quick cut to an urban techno-dance club. Ving Rhames plays a one-armed vigilante, but if you watch close enough you can see him cheat and use the “useless” arm. Gary Oldman is the only bright performance in the film. Be warned the central theme of the film involves a brutal gang-rap… that is not only disturbing in its depiction, but forced on us several times throughout the film. I really didn’t need to be hit that hard on the head with it. I got it already.
Eddie Burns (Rhames) is a violent ex-cop with little conscience about killing bad guys. His sister is raped and he is being taunted by the brother of one of Eddie’s last busts (Oldman). Eddie declares war “High Noon” style.
What we have here is a fairly mediocre Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Surrounds are unimpressive and rarely include the rear speakers. Dialogue is often muddled, but I can’t be sure if that is poor production or just Rhames’ terrible diction. There is virtually no dynamic range. I checked 15 minutes worth of bit rate and it never went above 2.7bps. Everything stays very comfortably in the mids.
Sin is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Colors are quite soft and unremarkable. I was disappointed in the style, which at times appears almost monochromatic. Some of the vistas would stand out if not for the poor lighting. It seems like shots are either oversaturated or simply too dark. Blacks are well defined and carry a surprising depth. There are occasional specks and a fair amount of digital artifact.
There is a trailer. I have never seen quite so many caption languages included on a disc before. The list includes Thai, Korean, and Chinese.
With the total lack of extras and a mere 107 minutes running time, I don’t understand why there is so much compression trouble with this disc (digital artifacts, low bps rate). It appears Columbia just didn’t have enough faith in the film to give it even a minimal amount of care. The effort was obviously made on a thin budget with a very international crew. I don’t know who was ultimately responsible for the style, but “it sounds like the guy’s seen one too many bad westerns”.
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