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A lot of people have come up to me and said "How can you love Quentin
that much, he is just too extreme!" or "Oh come on, Kill Bill is just
SO not realistic.." Yes. No.
Mr. Quentin Tarantino is rather extreme, yes, and it's lovely! And No. Kill Bill is not realistic, but it's not meant to be realistic! Just like... Lord of the Rings, that's not realistic either! But because it has clear unreal elements, like wizards, it's acceptable?
You don't go to see Kill Bill, or any other Q.T-film to see "Stepmom", in the same way you don't go to a Marilyn Manson concert hoping that they will play some Spice Girls..
Kill Bill, both volume 1 and 2, is absolutely gorgeous! The art direction is beautiful! The camera angles are perfect... just Gorgeous! The lighting, the sound, the dialogs... and of course, the details! No one works with small details the way Quentin does. I must also say that the soundtrack is brilliant and the whole film is just so well casted! Uma Thurman is perfect in the leading role, Darryl Hannah has never been this good before, ever! And Chiaki Kuriyama, even though she has a quite small role, is excellent, even better than she is in "Battle Royale". David Carradine is painfully perfect, Michael Madsen is ALWAYS excellent, but never as good as when he works with Tarantino. I must also say that Sonny Chiba was great. I've never been a big fan of Vivica A Fox until now, and I used to think that Lucy Liu was just your average actor but she turned out to be fierce. Pretty much everyone who is in this film is ten times better than they've ever been.
But above all things, Kill Bill is artistic, beautiful... Perfect colors, perfect everything... gotta love it.
I know it's a couple years late, but I had to write a review for some
of the few people that haven't seen one of my favorite and refreshing
I've seen over the last few years. Kill Bill Vol. 1 is yet another
quality film of Tarantino's short, but distinguished list.
Kill Bill involves a nameless woman (Uma Thurman) who is slowing seeking revenge on her former hit squad the Viper Squad and her boss Bill (David Caradine.) Her former hit squad wronged her by gunning down her closest friends and family during her wedding and putting her into a coma while being pregnant. A few years later she awakens in a hospital, without child, and tries to track down each member of the squad. As the story progresses (through this film and the sequel), you find out who she really, why Bill wanted her dead and the fate of her daughter.
The movie is really a combination of Tarantino's love for the 70's over-dramatized Kung-Fu movie era and story of revenge with rich dialog. Yes, this movie is violent, but in a cheesy way. This created some controversy and really had audiences stirred up, failing to realize it was supposed to be over the top without no sense of realism. Like I said, it was supposed to be a tribute more so than a gruesome action flick. With all cheesiness aside, I can understand how some people could feel a little woozy after seeing someone lose an arm and having 4 gallons of Kool-Aid red blood shoot out of the body like a whale's blow hole. What really makes this movie is Tarantino ability to make bad to mediocre actors seem like good ones, a smart and hilarious dialog and a good storyline. Of course, this is what he does in pretty much in all of his movies.
There are various plot holes in the story, but we are really meant to ignore them unlike most movies. Just like the gory scenes, come to grips to the fact that the most of the implausibilities are there just to fill in the gaps of the movie. The movie also features a couple of classic Tarantino showdowns, including an unforgettable one with the Japanese infamous crime lord, O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Lui.) Once again, Tarantino puts his imagination at work again in his story telling by using some of his old techniques like jumping timelines and some new ones like adding Japanese animation for character backgrounds.
I wouldn't really recommend this film to someone who is really not from the Pulp Fiction era. This film is really just homage to flicks that frequently appear on Sunday Samurai Showcase, revenge and Tarantino's continuous fascination with Uma Thurman. This film contains extreme violence and sometimes strange dialog coupled with some pretty good acting and directing. If you're not a fan of Tarantino's films, you should pass on this one because it is doesn't stray to far from his other stuff. If you like his other works, this is a must see due to its originality and quality. And, if you just don't like Tarantino himself, and find him annoying like everybody else, I don't blame you but it's still worth your while seeing.
Man, what a film. As a fan of 70's martial arts movies, it was great to
see all of the references. I also thought the use of B&W throughout was
extremely effective. The cartoon sequences seemed a bit much, but did
fit in with the overall feel of the film. I have seen many people
posting about the sheer amount of blood and guts, but you have to
remember this was Tarantino's homage to Bruce Lee-era action pictures.
In those movies, the stories were very similar epics of revenge, and
they never had much of a budget for good "gore" effects. It was more or
less "throw some fake blood on the guy who just got killed" type of
effects, which were duplicated accurately by some of the deaths in this
movie. The plot also followed closely the plot of most 70's Kung Fu
movies; something despicable happens to the weak hero (whole village
razed, family slaughtered, etc..) and the hero goes away for years to
learn the secrets of a particular style of Kung Fu. All of these movies
contained the "secret move" which the master normally does not teach,
except of course, in this rare instance. That move, as depicted in Kill
Bill Vol. 2, is always used on the evil leader of the clan whom had
brought death and chaos to the hero.
Kill Bill was a terrific modern take on those movies which were always set in ancient China. I was very impressed with Uma Thurman's swordplay, at no point did I feel that it looked scripted or fake. Even when fighting against more than 50 Crazy 8's, it replicated admirably the incredibly one-sided fights from some of the best martial arts movies made 30 years ago.
All in all, a great and original film! R.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
`The fourth film by Quinton Tarantino', as the credits shamelessly
is yet another bankable classic from a director who's already changed the
art with `Reservoir Dogs', `Pulp Fiction' and `Jackie Brown'.
From `Kill Bill's first surprising gunshot to its monumental cliffhanger ending (right up there with `Luke, I am your father'), the movie is relentlessly intense, tearing an audience between wanting more action and wanting a cigarette to calm frayed nerves. We follow the tale of `The Bride' (played to convincing, vengeful perfection by Uma Thurman) as she sets out to murder her former colleagues, members of the `Deadly Viper Assassination Squad', and their leader, the enigmatic, faceless Bill. After attempting to leave the group of assassins for a normal life, the Bride is tracked down on her wedding day and witnesses the murder of her wedding party, right before Bill puts her in a coma. Four years later, a very angry Bride wakes up.
Tarantino pulls no punches, creating, as one critic put it, `The most violent film ever released by an American film distributor'. Squirting blood and flying limbs abound, but the director does it all with a breathtaking sense of style. We witness one sword-dance in silhouette, one in black and white, one over a beautifully filmed snow-covered Japanese garden, and even a sequence in Anime. `KB's story is minimal, but Tarantino's aim is style: Sergio Leone, Cheh Chang and Bruce Lee are all paid homage, and then gracefully outdone.
The soundtrack, primarily Japanese artists performing American styles, is haunting: Tarantino breaks form by not using well-known American classic rock (who could forget being `Stuck in the Middle' of Mr. Blonde and a helpless cop?), but by doing so sets the perfect mood of the film. They're songs we've never heard before, but feel strangely connected to.
Yes, the movie is in two volumes. However, the end feels right, coming after an epic battle that puts `Reloaded's `Burly Brawl' to shame. `Kill Bill' is a testament to Tarantino's ability to take the craft of his idols and make it his own, mixing classic cult film style and mixing it with his own wicked sense of Cool. Not for the faint of heart or anyone looking for a `feel-good' film, but `Kill Bill' is at the very least an instant classic.
Sure it's outlandishly violent and bloody. Can anyone expect Tarantino's
movie not to be a true mind-blowing, adrenaline-pumping shocker? Of
not! Gritty and slick, his first installment of KB rocks with moody
imagery, the '60s and '70s-era of Hong Kong martial arts-action, the
influences of the ritualistic samurai swordsmanship, and Japanese anime.
Like in all his films, Tarantino never fails to merge dark humor with
terror. It's impossible not to smile over the Shaw Bros.' iconic
introduction ploy and the De Palma-esque split screens. Observe the
blank-starry eyed image settled on The Bride's gory face as she's
to the audience. Perhaps, Uma Thurman in her yellow suit is a salute to
yellow-suited Bruce Lee in his last film, The Game of Death. Or is The
'Just another little Western girl playing at being a samurai' - as O-Ren
Ishii blatantly puts it?
This film's a sampling of the Tarantino 'fury,' short of the Tarantino customary fiery tongue. It celebrates the Tarantino trademark of avoiding the use of computer-generated CGI special effects. It's almost as if I'm watching a colorful and bloodied kabuki stage that's displaying a stunningly massive tournament of multi-layered kung-fu and female samura sword-fighting styles to dazzle the audience. It's examining how Tarantino catalogues the great stylistic elements of his favorite 'old-school' filmmakers and transforms them into a phenomenally creative and mesmerizing film. Yep, there's a great deal of captivatingly artistic boldness in this film. Powerfully portrayed and not to be easily forgotten. Violently brutal and gloriously gory without doubt, and yet so aesthetically operatic and astoundingly artful. The music and lyrics that accompany the scenes are astounding. They set the moods so appropriately with the events.
Even at 'The House Of Blue Leaves', we get to see Tarantino weaving the artistic styles of Lucio Fulci, Chang-Che, Sergio Leone, Kurosawa, Zhang Yimou and Busby Berkeley to bring the audience a stylistic exhibit of remarkable montage grandeur. The themes of betrayal and revenge come off strong. Every camera shot and scene seems to scream out, non-stop, `Kill Bill and all of Bill's DVAS members.' My adrenaline's still flowing as I'm recalling the scenes. Tarantino has make a solid point with this film to show that martial arts scenes should stick to the artful and realistic choreographic treatment to sustain the true spiritual spirit of martial arts. A+
It has been six years since we have seen a movie from one of the world's
most talked about directors, Quentin Tarantino, but the wait for me, has
been worth the while. Tarantino can now add the martial arts masterpiece
'Kill Bill' to his resume, a film that left me speechless after I had
it. It certainly is one intense, hateful movie, containing some of the
greatest sword fighting sequences ever filmed in a movie. Tarantino has
KB with class, precision and close intense attention to every detail.
what else should we expect from a movie freak, like Quentin Tarantino?
An entire wedding party is slaughtered during a dress rehearsal in a rural chapel: the pregnant woman in the blood-splattered wedding dress is Black Mamba, better known as 'The Bride'. The assassin, Bill, and his circle known as 'The Vipers' leave 'TB' for dead, however she was merely comatose. Four years later, 'TB' suddenly awakes from her coma, ferociously focused on one mission, to seek revenge on her former master. One by one, she will kill the various assassins. She is saving Bill for last.
I am not sure where I want to start with my review of Kill Bill. I love parts of it, but then find other parts to be extremely difficult to watch. Quentin Tarantino has written and directed another powerful piece of cinema, in a way that only he could. This time we see more violence, the action and the result of that violence, with it being a bit over-powering in the end. But without the violence, KB would have not been the movie it was.
This time Tarantino has not focussed on the dialogue in this movie, when it came to writing its script, more he wanted to show what the characters he had created, and why they were in the position they were in. For me I can appreciate both aspects of what Tarantino shows, as he can express himself either visually or with dialogue.
The other part I like about KB is the way Tarantino dedicated the movie to certain aspects of cinema history. To quote Quentin he said Kill Bill is 'my yakuza movie, my samurai movie, my spaghetti western movie', and it was quite clear for me how passionate Tarantino was in showing these parts. However it was also so much more, with one of the great sections of the movie being presented in Japanese animation. I also believe that there was a clear reference to black and white movies and silent movies, as KB had these sections a few times. I also feel that Tarantino is in some way trying to show his appreciation to Pulp Fiction, the movie that made him successful, via KB. If this is true, I do not feel it is gloating, rather I give Tarantino great praise, because some movie makers ignore the movies that give them success, but not here.
While 'KB' has some interesting characters, none are what I would call 'likeable'. 'The Bride', aka Black Mamba (Uma Thurman) is a girl totally driven by the desire to get revenge. Thurman really suits her part well, as she not only looks attractive, but is really believable as this American martial arts tough girl. Helping 'TB' on her quest is Samuri sword expert Hattori Hanzo (Sonny Chiba). This character brings a very oriental feel to the movie, something I liked. The bickering with his assistant was fun to see being played out.
'The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad' are the cruel callous people who inflict horrific harm on 'TB'. Bill (David Carradine) is their leader, a person we only hear and see in hand gestures, which is reminiscent of Marsellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction. Bill still has a very strong presence in the film, even though we never see him. Under Bill are killers like O-Ren Ishii, aka Cottonmouth (Lucy Liu), whose introduction, via the Japanese Animation, was great. Under Cottonmouth is her personal assistant, lawyer and translator, Sofie Fatale (Julie Dreyfus), who was present at the slaughtering of 'TB'. When 'TB' sees Sofie once again, she is pretty bitter about what Sofie let have happen to her. What we hear has happened to Sofie at the hands of 'TB', is truly unbelievable.
Another of Cottonmouth's women is a little girl, Go Go Yubari (Chiaki Kuriyama), who is more deadly than she looks. Her school girl sound and look is very interesting, while her confrontation with 'TB' highly entertaining. Then there is the evil nurse, Elle Driver, aka Californian Mountain Snake (Daryl Hannah), who shows very little emotion towards 'TB', other than hate. Vernita Green (Vivica A Fox) is another woman that 'TB' has on her hit list. Her demise was highly entertaining to say the least, again reminiscent of Pulp Fiction.
All the scenes with fighting in KB are a highlight for me, especially the sword fighting, as they are so fun and intense, with the last hour of the movie purely exhausting, with the final showdown between 'TB' and Cottonmouth & co. being terrific. The middle section of film was also great, as it tells the majority of the KB Vol. 1 story, although parts are pretty disturbing.
Kill Bill is another film by Quentin Tarantino, where I have to say it was 'exceptionally well made'. There is a scene in Volume 1, which reminded me of 'Matrix Reloaded'. Now I have heard that Tarantino hates the Matrix franchise, and you can see what he is making a stand against, film's laden with SFX. KB is 'not guilty' of being that. The violence is very graphic in KB, but at certain times the violence was 'laughable', as it seemed to look deliberately fake. But perhaps I am wrong? Volume 1 ended at a good point, setting up the conclusion, Volume 2 beautifully. So Kill Bill: Volume 2, get here, A.S.A.P.
CMRS gives 'Kill Bill: Volume 1': 4.5 (Very Good - Brilliant Film)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. The story line was
in RD and less so in PF. PF, though, had interesting sub-plots that
wove together to make a good movie.
I also see the genius in the dialog in RD and in the characters in Pulp Fiction. I was expecting to see something in this movie.
Unfortunately, Kill Bill was not interesting, nor genius and did not have a plot. Basically, the main character was screwed over in a previous time in her life and made a top 5 hit-list of people from which to extract revenge.
The way she extracts revenge is to engage in hand-to-hand or martial weapon on weapon combat. Of course, the protagonist wins the fights and the people are checked off the list.
I think Luci Liu (sp?) is the 3rd person on the list. The movie goes into a 20 minute section on how she gets a Okinawan curved sword. Now armed with the best weapon, she takes on Liu's whole team of trained martial artists - and whips them all single handedly. I'm talking 20, 30, 40 individuals who all attack her at the same time in the same room. She still wins.
Then, she battles the "board leader", and after sufficient scenery changes, she wins again.
Each of these battles is full of graphic violence and blood, as you'd expect from the director (I won't try to spell his name). But, you can only show an arm getting lopped off and the resulting gieser of blood so many times. Wait, my mistake, you can show it for 2 hours if you are the movie Kill Bill.
After the Liu's character is killed, #3 is checked off and the movie ends.
There is no plot. The special effects and battle scenes were state of the art, but do not make a movie.
I have no interest in "Part 2" because I have no interest in any of the characters or in more film about Uma killing people with swords. 2 hours was 1.5 hours too much.
Two thumbs down. Don't believe the (if any) hype.
Probably Tarantino's most universal movie to date, with a little less
character dependency than most of his films and a more linear approach
than usual, Kill Bill Volume 1 is a great place to start for anyone new
to his movies. I don't mean to imply this is a shallow film (far from
it), i simply found it easier on the mind than Tarantino's other
Uma Thurman, left for dead by her ex-boyfriend (Bill) doesn't die and begins her quest for vengeance, by hunting down Bill's gang members in a search for Bill. Armed with a Samurai sword and a deadly blend of martial arts skills, Uma delivers action, violence and passion as she plays out the character with beautiful precision.
Need i say, this is excellently directed, brilliantly scripted and cast, and should be in everyone's Tarantino collection.
10/10 Second only to Pulp Fiction. Although it has wider appeal (I think)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Do I think this movie is absolutely brilliant? Yes. Do I think this is
the all time greatest movie ever, or even a top 50? Nope. I find the
dichotomy between people who hate this movie and those that think it's
the greatest film ever made is interesting. Even more interesting is
the apparent split between fans of Volumes 1 and 2. Like the thread
says, I think most of it's a matter of those who prefer style to
substance. For my past, Volume 1 destroys Volume 2, but I concede that
everyone has their own tastes and experiences and that no one pinion
has any more weight than the other. Two scenes in particular really
make this movie brilliant in my opinion, and both are fairly subtle in
their portrayal but fascinating by their tone and the cinematic
elements that come together to carry them off:
1.) The scene where Oren and the Crazy 88 enter the House of the Blue Leaves. Absolutely magical. The score, the pacing, the atmosphere....simply magnificent. The slow motion pull away and the obvious hierarchy of characters, Lucy Liu was absolutely made for that part and that part was made for that scene. The beautiful and menacing Gogo Yubari and the goofy 88s trailing behind. You can also feel the tension the owners feel at having such esteemed guests but one's who admittedly exude as much fear as they do respect. Add to this the nameless, faceless people dancing who are oblivious to the regality (and lethality) of Oren's entourage.
2.) Oren is called out by Kiddo who subsequently whacks off Sophie's arm in a highly symbolic gesture. Words can't describe how moving that scene is. The score is superb and the timing is nothing short of perfect. I especially love the way the crowd pauses after the arm slicing...like they're all stunned or still convincing themselves it rally happened...then all rush out screaming. Kiddo makes a slow, deliberate plod through the panicked crowd, a march to destiny filmed from several perspectives that combine holistically to give the segment a life of it's own.
One aspect of this movie that puzzles me is the emphasis it's critics make of the gore. For my part the gore was so outlandish it's hard for me to see how anyone could take it seriously, and that was part of the appeal. Buckets of blood spraying 15 feet in the air is so beyond the realm of reality how could you possibly take it seriously? For my part it was borderline comical and really brought out the flavor of the scenes, rather than being their focus. And regardless of what you think of Tarrentino as a director, the man is bar none the best at matching musical scores to a scene in the business. A few other noteworthy scenes...
*The end-fight between Oren and Kiddo....marvelous stuff. The backdrop of the snow and the water, the smooth silence interrupted by the fountain, again, a great accompanying score. Fine piece of film craftsmanship.
*Kiddo's overhead film shot while walking to the bathroom of the House of the Blue Leaves. Simply amazing. 5,6,7,8s performing live is just quirky yet proper enough to really add some depth and the unique filming make this a scene to behold.
Well,ladies and gentlemen,it's a new millennium and Quentin Tarantino
has got a new movie for us. After changing the popular film landscape
in the 1990's with the classics "Reservoir Dogs","Pulp Fiction",and to
a much lesser extent,"Jackie Brown",Tarantino spent a half a decade in
hibernation,accompanied by little more than a television set,a movie
projector,and collection of Johnny Cash records and a bong. But now he
is back after a six year hiatus with "Kill Bill",a thrill ride with the
grand style of his earlier films and a brilliant tribute to those Shaw
Brothers martial arts flicks of the 1970's and the action heroes of
that same decade with includs Charles Bronson,Telly Savalas,Burt
Reynolds,Clint Eastwood,Fred Williamson,Steve McQueen,Jim Brown and
James Coburn. "Kill Bill" is also a chockablock of references to bygone
movies like "Master Of The Flying Guillotine","The Wu",and the
television shows like "Hattori Hanzo". This contains many of the
elements that have made his earlier films so entertaining and he
continues the tradition of that to.
You have the wicked wit,the funky score,the hip-retro cultural artifacts and lots of non-stop,brace in your face action that is not to be missed. Also once again,he has divided the action into chapters with voiceover narrattion to boot,plus he's even got a new trick up his sleeve in which the story is told with some fancy Japanese anime. Basically the film gives much of the screen time to actress Uma Therman and she carries the film with the assurance of a golden diva that she is. The film rises and falls with her,and Thurman pulls that off beautifully in one of the best performances of the year. Thurman plays a professional assassin,attached to a criminal group of bodacious martial arts-trained killers(Vivica A. Fox,Daryl Hannah,and Lucy Liu)who are lead by the unseen,shadowy Bill(unseen in the first installment played by David Carradine). Among the crew she was called Black Mamba,but otherwise simply known as The Bride because she was betrayed on her wedding day when they gunned her down and left her and her near-term child for dead. But she gets her revenge against the ones that tried to kill her and from there the story is a thrill ride of sorts leading up to the next so expect the unexpected. However,a lot of body parts get slashed here and some of it is very gruesome includes scenes of decapitation of heads and a half a head,a leg in severely cut off and a Achilles Tendon gets slashed,a eye and some fingers get chopped off too. This film also has brought back some really good Kung-Fu stars from the 1970's which includes Sonny Chiba,aka "The Street Fighter",and so many more....... I'm surprised that martial arts actress Michelle Yeoh is not in this one. And by the way,what Quentin Tarantino movie wouldn't be correct without his main man Samuel L. Jackson in the role as The Organ Man. Jackson,however was in two Tarantino films including the role he should have gotten the Oscar for in "Pulp Fiction",which also starred Thurman and opposite Pam Grier in "Jackie Brown".
However,the film ends in a cliffhanger so we will have to wait for the next installment which will be out in early 2004. Be forewarned,this not for the kiddies,so use caution when seeing it. In all,one hellva thrill ride.
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