|One From The Bookshelf - The Hard Goodbye||1 out of 1 user found this review helpful.|
The Hard Goodbye was released in the on April 1, 2005 as one of four stories told in . It centers around a man named Marv, who finds purpose to his existence when he looks into the death of a woman named Goldie.
Little is known about Marv prior to The Hard Goodbye. He considers himself a down-and-outer with no direction in life until he meets Goldie one night at Kadie’s Bar. They share a night of passion, and Marv wakes to find Goldie dead beside him in their bed. Police arrive too quickly to be coincidence and Marv breaks through them to get away.
He winds up at the apartment of Lucille, Marv’s parole officer. She knows about his history with police and knows that if arrested again, Marv will be imprisoned for life. She gives him some medicine, which keeps Marv from becoming confused, and he tells her that Goldie brought meaning to his life. He’s out for blood, and will stop at nothing until he learns the truth behind Goldie’s death.
Word of Marv’s snooping gets out, and he’s soon taken by some low level thugs. Marv kills them after learning a little more about the hit on Goldie, and continues up the food chain killing everyone he finds, including a priest. His actions lead him to Roark’s Farm, where he’s taken down by Kevin - the caretaker of the farm. Marv wakes up in a basement cell with several women’s heads mounted on a wall, and Lucille…who is missing her left hand. She tells Marv that Kevin is a cannibal, and he ate the women whose heads are mounted as well as her hand. She also tells him that Goldie was a prostitute.
Marv breaks out and tries to escape with Lucille, when a small S.W.A.T. team approaches the farm; they kill Lucille, and attempt to kill Marv. He fights back, and learns that Cardinal Roark is involved. Marv heads to Old Town to learn more about Goldie where he gets the attention of Wendy, another prostitute and Goldie’s twin sister. Marv is captured, tied up and beaten because Wendy is convinced Marv killed her sister. He explains that because of his looks, he could never get close enough to any of them to kill them, and that he’s been trying to find the truth behind Goldie’s death. Wendy believes him, and together, Marv and Wendy go back to the Farm. On the way, Wendy tells him that Goldie worked the clergy.
Marv fights and kills Kevin, and then storms the Cardinal’s home. Marv learns that Kevin went to the Cardinal for spiritual guidance because of his cannibalism, and the Cardinal ended up joining Kevin’s habits, killing prostitutes to serve their needs. Goldie found out, and was on the run when she found Marv at Kadie’s. He was to be her protector, but he failed. Marv kills the Cardinal, and is shot down by police. Marv survives, and is forced to sign a confession for killing Roark, Kevin, the prostitutes they ate…and Goldie.
Marv dies in the electric chair, content that he got Goldie’s killers.
Notes of Interest:
1) While Sin City had three directors, The Hard Goodbye had two: Robert Rodriguez, who last directed Once Upon A Time In Mexico and next directed The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D; and first time director Frank Miller, who next directed The Spirit.
2) I had the pleasure of seeing this in one of those restaurant style theatres, with the recliner chairs and full menus. It was my first time in a place like that, and I got there early enough to have an appetizer and a soda before the movie began. I mention all this because I had a bathroom emergency that couldn’t wait until the end of the movie. I had no idea how long the movie was, or how much was left, but I couldn’t hold it any longer and missed what ended up being the last five minutes. The good news is that The Hard Goodbye was the first full story in the film, and I saw it all.
3) Why do I love The Hard Goodbye? Two words…Mickey Rourke. He won awards from four different events for this role and truly deserved them.
4) It’s interesting that Miller makes his only cameo appearance here as the priest Marv kills in the church, rather than as a character that appears in all four stories. Why that part? Why this story? Because The Hard Goodbye was the first story Miller created and was originally called . Miller changed the name later, most likely right before the movie’s release.
5) This movie was very faithful to the comic book, which was the first story Miller created in the series, but a few significant changes were made. The biggest one was putting Dwight in Kadie’s Bar. In the comics, Dwight doesn’t appear at all, and his monologue about how Marv was born in the wrong century was actually written in A Dame to Kill For, Miller’s second Sin City story.
Another was when Marv and Lucille were trapped in Kevin’s basement. In the comics, they escape through the door after Marv broke it down. In the movie, they escape through the window after Marv pulls it out of the wall – which in the comics is what Marv initially tries to do before deciding to break down the door.
The third was actually an omission. In the comic, after Marv convinces Wendy that he didn’t kill Goldie, they check into a motel to get some sleep before getting the equipment needed to storm the Roark Farm. Marv makes a move on her, confusing her with Goldie. She smacks him and tells him to go back to sleep, and he does - apologizing the whole way.
The fourth involved the scene with Marv and Wendy right before his execution. Marv is wearing a cross necklace throughout the story, and in the comics he’s still wearing it prison when Wendy comes to visit him, but he isn’t wearing it when he’s executed. In the film, we last see the cross when he’s shot after killing Cardinal Roark. Also, it isn’t clear in the movie if Marv and Wendy have sex in the cell. In the comic, it’s obvious they do.
Finally, there’s the use of color. While there was no color at all in the comic, several appeared in the film - Red for Goldie’s dress, the pillow and sheets on the bed where Goldie dies, Marv’s blood, Kevin’s blood and the light on the power box for the electric chair; Blue for Becky’s eyes; Orange for Marv’s pill container and the fiery explosion of the Roark Farm; and Yellow for Goldie’s hair. The last was most significant because it was Rodriguez’ idea to use yellow to differentiate Goldie from Wendy, and he asked Miller if that was acceptable. Miller replied that if he had thought of it when he created the comics, he would have done the same thing.
Moment of Shattered Disbelief: Jessica Alba’s dance sequence. I’m not saying she can’t dance, and it’s well documented that she was dancing to different music from what’s in the film. But her lack of sex appeal on stage combined with Rodriguez’ inability to edit the footage so her moves were more in sync with what music was in the film shattered my suspended disbelief...until Mickey Rourke came back on the screen.
Music In The Film: There are twenty-four songs on the soundtrack for covering all four stories and featuring three composers. The Hard Goodbye has nine, including the opening and closing themes, features compositions from Rodriguez and Graeme Revell.
1) “Sin City”, the opening theme, composed solely by Rodriguez.
2) “Goldie’s Dead”, composed solely by Revell, is heard as Marv escapes from the hotel, and during Wendy’s first two appearances.
3) “Marv”, composed by both men, is played from when Marv walks to Kadie’s Bar until the hit men show up.
4) “Bury The Hatchet”, by Revell, is played during Marv’s first encounter with Kevin, as well as Marv and Lucille’s escape sequence.
5) “ Girls”, by Revell and Rodriguez, is a short 45 second piece played as Marv walks through before getting shot by Wendy.
6) “The Hard Goodbye”, by Revell, is played during Marv’s final encounter with Kevin, and returns when Marv is executed.
7) “Cardinal Sin”, by Revell and Rodriguez, is played when Kevin enters Marv and Goldie’s room at the motel, as Marv walks in the rain deciding what to do, and when Marv storms the mission and kills Cardinal Roark.
8) “Her Name is Goldie”, by Revell, is played while Goldie and Marv have sex, and both times Marv confuses Wendy for Goldie.
9) “ End Titles”, the closing theme, composed solely by Rodriguez.
WTF? Moment: Exactly how did Kevin kill Goldie? Marv says there’s not a mark on her, and there wasn’t. Was it suffocation? Was she injected with a poison? However he killed her, I’m inclined to believe that it was the same method he used to kill the other prostitutes.
WTF? Moment #2: Why would Marv drive the police car into the river? To remove evidence? Most of the cops that stormed the weren’t killed, so any one of them could have easily identified Marv as Goldie’s killer.
WTF? Moment #3: As Wendy beats a tied-up Marv, she asks him what he did to Goldie and “the other six”, but when Marv woke up in Kevin’s basement with Lucille, there were only five heads on the wall. My guess is that number six was still in the fridge, and Kevin only mounts the head after the rest is gone.
WTF? Moment #4: How many hookers did it take to drag Marv’s unconscious body to where they tied him up? It looks like they’re above the ground level too, so hopefully an elevator was involved.
WTF? Moment #5: The only “over the top” moment for me was what Marv did to Kevin, but MAN was that funny!
WTF? Moment #6: Am I the only one who finds it odd that Jessica Alba’s character is a stripper that we never actually see strip, whereas Carla Gugino’s character is a lesbian lawyer we see naked not once, not twice, but FOUR times (including the scene in Kevin’s cell)?
I bought this movie on the 2-Disc Recut-Extended-Unrated version.
I hadn’t read any of the books before seeing the movie. I did know that Frank Miller’s creation was very popular, had a film noir feel, and was primarily black and white with some color thrown in from time to time. In fact, the first full story I read came with the DVD - The Hard Goodbye. I was surprised how faithful Rodriguez was to the original work. My only disappointment was that there wasn’t more in the movie…until I played the second disc.
This DVD set has a lot of extras, which is the main reason I buy DVDs. Bells and Whistles. Love ‘em. Can’t get enough of ‘em.
The first disc’s extras allow me to watch The Hard Goodbye four different ways:
1) The theatrical version with DTS 5.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.
2) The theatrical version with commentary by Rodriguez and Miller.
3) The theatrical version with commentary by Rodriguez and Tarantino. And most cool…
4) The theatrical version with an audio track recorded live in .
The fourth version is the best because you feel like you’re back in the theater. Not a lot of movies can pull this off, but it’s as good as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The audience is that animated, and is a lot of fun to listen to.
The version on Disc 2 is still my favorite, because that features the extended cut of The Hard Goodbye. What does that mean? That means that the sequence in the graphic novel featuring Weevil, a Wolverine-esque character, appears in the film, with a Hugh Jackman-esque actor. I laughed out loud when I first saw that, and I know…I KNOW…that if this version appeared in theatres, the crowd would have laughed too.
I wish they included “making-of” docubits for each story separately, but what they include pertains to the whole movie. We do get to see Special Makeup Effects Supervisor Greg Nicotero describe getting Marv’s look just right - he had Miller draw a quick sketch and saw that Marv’s profile is basically a semi-circle with the nose and mouth cut into it – and that look is what Greg went with. We also see Rourke in the chair getting his make-up put on, or at least starting to.
There’s also mention of how quickly some of the actors were cast, and this brings up a point. I’m not sure if this is how Rodriguez usually works, but there was a lot of editing done on this project because actors were cast at various times. Rourke was cast as Marv pretty quickly, but most of the characters he’s on screen with were cast after he finished. Elijah Wood, Rutger Hauer and Jessica Alba all came in later, which is really amazing to me. It’s one of those things where going into the movie knowing that information is the only time it shows. At least he had Jaime King and Carla Gugino to act with. Those scenes would have been very hard to pull off otherwise.
There’s a documentary about the cars featured in this film, and we learn that the car Marv drives while he’s “having a ball” is a 1968 Chevrolet Corvair, the priest that Marv kills in the confessional owned a 1990 Mercedes 420 SEL, Wendy drives a 1955 Porche Spyder Convertible, and the taxi Marv hotwires to get to Cardinal Roark’s mission fortress is a 1949 Chevrolet.
There’s another feature on the DVD called “Sin”-chronicity. It has Miller describing each scene in each story separately, and shows how they connect to each other within the movie. This is how we know that The Hard Goodbye takes place after That Yellow Bastard, while The Big Fat Kill begins later the same night Marv goes to Kadie’s Bar and talks with Weevil, and ends well before Marv’s execution. Miller also describes each major location in the film, which is how we learn that Goldie and Marv spend the night at the , as well as some insights to each character when he created them for the comics.
There’s also a lot of Rodriguez basically gushing over Miller’s work, and how it took some convincing to let the artist/writer agree to let the director have the property. Rodriguez had Miller on the project as co-director at the cost of membership to the Director’s Guild. I’m sure that wasn’t an easy decision, but was certainly the right one. Miller’s hand in this movie had a lot to do with how good it is. Miller even participated in casting decisions, and the hardest sell was Rourke as Marv. Miller wasn’t sure it would work, and Rodriguez had to convince him by having them meet. By the end of the talk, Miller was convinced.
If I could change one thing it would be: the (dis)appearance of Marv’s cross. We see it throughout the film, and it would have been nice to have Marv wearing it in prison before Wendy visits, and not wearing it when he dies.
|Name||The Hard Goodbye|
|US Release||April 1, 2005|
|UK Release||June 3, 2005|
|AUS Release||July 14, 2005|
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