Kill Bill Vol. 1

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Zhukov, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    Twice now I’ll be reviewing a movie after it arrived on DVD. I don’t make it to the theatres too often because quite honestly most movies aren’t worth it. This movie would have been worth it, and it may prompt me to see Kill Bill Vol. 2. in theatres.

    This is an interesting movie.

    It is simultaneously many different kinds of movies at once. In so being, it is everything it is supposed to be, and nothing it needn’t be. Elements of anime, Dirty Harry cynicism and that genre, comic books, Bruce Lee kung-fu and that genre, and what can only be called “Tarantino” and his penchant for jumping around in the timeline of a story are all obvious, and accompanied by an appropriately diverse soundtrack. The soundtrack was great, incidentally.

    Violence is one thing this movie is not short on, but as the movie is primarily about violent revenge that shouldn’t come as a surprise. But the violence comes in two distinct varieties.

    On the one hand, the opening segment before the credits being the best example, the violence can be cruel, and jarring, and uncomfortable. While watching the opening sequence I wondered exactly what type of movie this was.

    On the other hand in numerous instances the violence is appropriately cartoonish, with amputations and ridiculously exaggerated spurting blood.

    The writing is clever with just the right amount of humour thrown in at odd moments, and just the right amount of cheesy props and situations.

    The story is outlandish, cartoonish, and almost unnecessary to the point of the movie. I say almost. Enough important moments are thrown in, and acted out well by Uma, for us to understand the anger behind “the Bride’s” motivation. Uma delivers a believable emotionally wrenching performance in one instance while later admirably participating in the flat-out foolery of another instance.

    Not too much is explained by way of Vivica Fox’s character, but a good deal of time is spent describing the origin of O-Ren Shii ( the beautiful Lucy Liu ) and her ascension to the head of the Yakuza (I love the scene where she solidifies her control).




    I'm going to type this in English, because I mean it:
    This was a very good movie in my opinion, worth a rent. If you like Tarantino, you may as well just go buy it, because I’m fairly certain you’ll love it.



    Incidentally, does anyone know why it it says “The Fourth Film by Quentin Tarantino”?
     
  2. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    'Cause it is. Ah doy!:D

    No, honestly, I'm guessing he's counting his portion of the movie 'Four Rooms' (the movie has 4 different segments, each done by 4 different directors. Tarantino's sucked, incidentally, though Robert Rodriguez's was awesome). Or, maybe he's counting True Romance, which he wrote, but didn't direct, but still, it's got 'Tarantino' written all over it. And, I heard he did some movie way back in '87 or so that nobody saw, but I think that's just a rumor.

    I have seen it in theaters and at home, and I can say, yes, it is better in theaters (or at least with a badass home theater). This movie is big on noise and flash, and relatively short on story (from what I hear, Vol. 2 is the complete opposite), and to get more into the visceral experience of the film, its best to just be bombarded with all its insanity.

    Yeah, it's hard to say "well if you liked ____, you'll like Kill Bill." As for the soundtrack, it is amazing. Just 2 complaints:

    1) A couple of the tracks that were instrumentals in the movie have words on the soundtrack, which would be alright if some of the lyrics weren't so stupid ("This song is dedicated to Oren Ishii/Half Chinese, half Japane-shi" kinda takes you out of a song quick:rolleyes: ).

    2) If you (or anyone) know, what is the name of the song that is played during the fight with the Crazy 88. I don't know exactly when it starts, but I know it's playing when she lies down on the ground and starts spinning and chopping off people's legs. It's also playing as she runs up the stairs after pushing the one guy into the crowd of others. It sounds like a late 50's/early 60's rocker, and I have no clue what it is! I wish it was on the soundtrack.

    You know, I noticed this myself. That opening scene as well as the scene in the hospital room were about as real and disturbing as you can get, and I think it was important for Tarantino to do that as a contrast to the insane violence in the end, just to say "look, this is real. This isn't. This is just a movie, it's just for fun!"'

    Well, Tarantino is trying to (and I quote) "make this movie fill up an entire shelf of a DVD rack, I want to put out so many editions". Then again, Tarantino likes to talk, so who knows? Supposedly, he plans on putting out the bare-bones editions (no extras) of each volume just to satisfy the studio and all the people who just want the movies. Then he wants to put out a single version, editing the two together, with a ton of extras along with it. And, finally, he wants to put out a definitive edition, which would include about 4 discs of extras, according to him, and also include like seven or eight other movies that inspired Kill Bill (because apparently, some of the scenes and fights were lifted verbatim from old kung-fu movies). Sadly, I could see myself buying all of these. I already have the bare-bones Vol. 1.


    I heard the Japanese version of the movie is different from the American. According to what I've heard, the Japanese version doesn't cut to black and white before the fight with the Crazy 88, apparently, the MPAA (understandably, I suppose) wanted Tarantino to cut most of that blood and gore. But, rather than do that, Tarantino did something they did on the old kung-fu movies he used to watch as a kid, he just changed it to high-contrast black and white (I guess it's less violent if you don't see the red of the blood?). Personally, I think it works better, artistically, in black and white, I think it looks cool as it is. What do you think?
     
  3. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    Well...Resevoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and I thought he also did....I can't think of it right now, George Clooney and Tarantino kidnap Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, and some kid and end up in a bar in Mexico populated by vampires. Salm Hayek is in it too. Also, I had actually thought 4 Rooms was all his. What about Desperado?

    The only thing I could come up with was that he wrote this movie fourth and only now got around to making it.

    But who knows, maybe it is only his fourth.


    I hope not. She still has three people on her list.

    I actually thought the cut to b&w was just another homage to comic book fight scenes.
     
  4. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    That movie's called From Dusk Til Dawn, and he wrote that one, but didn't direct it. Desperado was Robert Rodriguez.

    Yeah, I mean, it's still got some death and destruction in there (from what I've heard), but nothing like Vol. 1. According to most of the reviews, this one is mostly a more personal story, and actually a love story between the Bride and Bill. I think Ebert mentioned that there are only about 12 deaths in this, including the church congregation at her wedding. Kind of a far cry from the 100+ death count of Vol. 1.
     

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