on June 30, 2004
Too Much Blood! Sure, I like plenty of action, but not to the point where it's ridiculously boring while you're watching someone getting their head sliced off. I'M SORRY BUT THIS THING WAS WAY TOO OVERDONE. First of all, what the H*#% was the cartoon sequence all about. That is terrible directing. Go work it Disney, just don't put your Anime strips in a real movie. That was totally unneccessary and frankly, not the style that I would have thought Tarantino would have sunk to. Then there's the sequence when Uma Thurman kills a room full of seventy or so Yakuza henchmen. First of all, the Yakuza is just like the mob and none carry a sword. Second, there was way too much blood for it to believable...You might as well have walked into a slaughterhouse and stared at cows getting brutally killed. IF THIS WAS A REAL ODE TO THE CLASSIC JAPANESE MOVIES - TARANTINO WOULD HAVE LAID OFF THE USE OF RED CORN SYRUP AND FOCUSED A LITTLE MORE ON HUMANIZING HIS CHARACTER. All that the movie does is show Uma Thurman's character as a killing machine out for revenge against somebody for killing her baby. But we don't know what led up to that. I don't know if it'll be explained in the sequel and frankly I don't care, you should have established that already. Take a look at "Once Upon A Time In The West" in just two hours they told a similar story line and in total about a dozen cowboys got killed. THAT'S IT! TARANTINO HAS SUNK TO THE POINT WHERE HE THINKS CHOPPING OFF SOMEONE'S ARM IS CINEMATIC! IF THIS GUY WAS A REAL DIRECTOR/WRITER HE'D HAVE SOME RESTRAINT! By the way, how cheesey is "The Deadly Viper Assassination squad". Maybe he's trying to immitate the old Japanese movies, but then again he's really not when in the first ten minutes you see Uma Thurman bite off a man's tongue and lip! Start to see the picture. AND FOR ALL YOU FANS THAT LIKED "PULP FICTION", NOW THAT'S A GREAT FILM. THIS - NO!
on June 1, 2004
The movie is great! everybody knows that! but to be a Quentin Tarantino movie it have a lot of stereotypes againts the asians.
Quentin says that Hollywood movies are the ones that increase the sterotype againts the minoryties, and now he made a movie that is even worst than Hollywood. I know that he wanted to do a tribute to the martial art films, but I mean...
. Not every asian people knows about swords, anime, samurais, revenge and killing people with martial arts, for example: The fist time that O-Ren (Lucy) appeared, she was quickly introduced by anime sequenses of Yakuzas killing her family, then she grewn up to be an assasin after avenging her family.
. When Uma Thurman arrived in Japan, the only person that didn't know about martial arts and killig people was a lady that sells tickets in the airport.
. In Japan, all the people were born with fake blood that comes out like a shower if you get cut and all the americans were born with normal blood.
. If you saw Kill Bill 2 you realize that anything that is not asian is normal.
There are many more things but I think that I finished for now. Like I said before "the movies is great" because is packed with action, swordfigthing, good story, so-so acting, great music and interesting characters. I could say that is one of the coolest movies ever since Natural Born Killers and Pulp Fiction. The movie is "whorth buy" but I think that Quentin could do a great tribute movie without so many stereotype, so let's hope that he doens't make the same mistake again.
Thank you for lisening! goodbye and take care.
on May 31, 2004
I just wish that reviewers would be accurate with their facts. The Bride is codenamed "Black Mamba" (with an "A") which is a species of fast and highly poisonous African snake (it can travel up to 12mph and 2 drops of its venom can kill a human in an hour) and which makes sense since she's supposed to be an assassin along with the rest of them. The "mambo" is a Latin dance step which is definitely *NOT* her codename. Jeez.
While the movie is somewhat gory, the most jarring part is the flipflop from human actors to cheesy cartoon (describing O-Ren Ishii's history) and then back again--they could've used actors!!! It's even worse than the constant flicking back and forth chronologically (at least the black and white footage helps us to figure out whether we're viewing something in the past or the present). The best fight scene is the one between The Bride wielding a katana and Gogo Yubari using spiked ball and chain in my opinion. Even the final fight scene between The Bride and O-Ren Ishiii is a bit of a letdown.
on May 30, 2004
Kill Bill, Vol. 1, at its heart, is really a simple tale of a wanna-be murder gone wrong and the revenge that courses through the intended victim. However, in Quentin Tarantino's hands, Kill Bill is an overblown blood fest.
Uma Thurman plays "The Bride," who is also known as "Black Mambo." She was a part of an elite killing squad with 4 other adept assassins played by Vivica A. Fox, Darryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, and Lucy Liu. These five killers are headed up by Bill, whose face we never see in the movie. For some unexplained reason, Bill and his four killers set out to murder a very pregnant Black Mambo on her wedding day. They torture and kill Black Mambo and her unborn child...so they think. Black Mambo/The Bride awakens from a four year coma with revenge killing on her mind.
The movie switches back from the distant past, to the recent past, and to the present at lightening speed without making much of a cohesive plot. The flick is filled with Quentin Tarantino -esque pop culture references and psuedo-philosophical speeches from his characters. The only thing lacking in the dialogue is his normal excessive usage of the word n***ger.
Kill Bill, Vol. 1, is an ostentatious homage to the 1950s Japanese samurai, the 1970s kung fu, and the late 80s/early 90s Hong Kong action movies. I even suspect that Lucy Liu's character's name, O-Ren Ishii is a homage to the rap group N.W.A. (O standing for the first letter in Ice Cube's real name, Oshay. Ren for the deejay of N.W.A., and "ishi" sounds a lot like "Eazy-E.") I give the movie three stars out of five for the plot twist at the end, the excellent swordplay, and the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA's spot-on original scores.
on May 23, 2004
Quentin Tarantino's new flick, Kill Bill, is an indulgent film--for surely we've all seen him in countless interviews, discussing the love of Asian action films which pervaded his youth, and Kill Bill--with its blood-spraying severed limbs and smooth decapitations--is Tarantino at his most sentimental. In the film, Uma Thurman plays an assassin who goes by the name Black Mamba who, on her wedding day, was screwed over by her fiancée, Bill, and an assemblage of world-class killers. "Revenge is a dish best served cold," the film opens, and The Bride, after four years in a coma and with a resentful heart, is going to make damn sure of that. Kill Bill is packed out with suspense, and I must admit it is nice to see an action film in which a gun is used only once--in the first scene. Though the film is fast and enjoyable, the real downfall of Kill Bill is in the editing and the writing. It is quite obvious when watching the film--Volume I and II--that it would have been feasible [and probably advantageous] for Tarantino to have written only one film by combining both Volumes and cutting the filler--innumerous shots of a sword being pulled slowly from its sheath or the light gleaming on a sharpened blade--of which there is certainly plenty. If the films were combined and edited, Kill Bill would have gained strength and been even more enjoyable, and the length of the scene which features the fight between Black Mamba and Cottonmouth would have been significantly amended. But more money, right? As for the writing, Tarantino just doesn't have the dialogical precision that he once did. When Black Mamba goes to serve a little revenge to her old nemesis, Copperhead, in the opening scene, she sounds as if she were about to burst out laughing every time she opens her mouth. Both actors deliver their lines without conviction--the fury feigned and the wit short. Of course, this is a fault shared by the actors and writer alike, but if it had been written more convincingly, it could have, in turn, been executed more convincingly. In fact, in order to construct that ghetto bad-ass flair of Jackie Brown, Tarantino has the actors say "bitch" at the end of every line, as if of this good comedy is really made. Though that was in the first scene, Tarantino pulls this kind of crap all the way through Kill Bill, trying to pass the film off as a piece of pulp-fiction instead of a disappointingly written action movie--there is a difference, you know. Kill Bill is, of course, a measurable cut above the average kung fu action thriller, and its writing isn't really that awful, but it is still quite exasperating to watch because it could have been so much better.
on April 30, 2004
If there is any word to describe my reaction to Kill Bill Vol. 1, it is this: Underwhelmed.
Oh, there was plenty to like. Superb cinematography, really nice character and set design, and some very stylish sequences ...
... but ultimately I was left shrugging my shoulders and saying, "yeah, it was alright." Following this film, I won't make any great effort to see Vol. 2, though I'll watch it if it comes my way.
There was a lot of style and gloss and swagger, which is fine, but it was empty style and gloss and swagger. I didn't much care about the story or characters, I didn't find the humor funny, and I never felt drawn into the story or interested to see what happens next. About 45 minutes in I just wanted to see the bloodbath at the end everybody was talking about and be done with it.
(Take note, I am not a fan of many of the genres Tarantino was referencing in Kill Bill, so things that would make a fan of Sunday Matinee Kung Fu smile would not do much for me).
Still, there were some camera shots that were just fantastic - the car and motorcycles racing through Japan, the long single-shot sequence, the pan over the slaughtered wedding party, among others - and the score and soundtrack was flawless in every way, probably the best yet in a Tarantino film. The action sequences were well choreographed, and the special effects were delightfully campish.
Yet in the end I felt a bit empty. Unlike my first viewings of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, when I knew I had just watched something special, Kill Bill Vol. 1 struck me as just ... good. And the hype claims much more than "good."
Certainly an argument can be made that Vol. I was just the first half of the film, and hence is incomplete. The second half may well put the first in perspective. But this review focuses solely on Vol. I as a standalone film, and as a standalone film, it did not work for me.
The film's merits aside, the quality of the DVD was outstanding, with a crisp picture and excellent sound. Techphiles will not be disappointed with the presentation in any way. The extras are sparse, but what is here is solid enough to tide Kill Bill fans over until the Special Edition is released.
If you already know you like this movie, purchasing this is a no-brainer - great DVD presentation, good picture, and, well, it's Kill Bill. If you're unsure if you will like this, a rental is recommended before plunking down the cash on a purchase, because for this viewer, the reality did not live up to the hype.
on April 24, 2004
'Kill Bill' is a difficult film to review. It has many elements simply copied from other, older genres (martial arts films, westerns), has music from 60's/70's TV shows, and buckets of surrealistic blood (gushing like fountains from amputated limbs/heads). Inject Tarentino's bizarre sense of humor, and you have one oddball of a movie!
Tarentino's penchant for time frame manipulation (ala Pulp Fiction) can make things a little confusing for those not familiar with his approach, but it all comes together if one has patience. His cinematography is simply superb, especially in the fight sequences, which are the real stars of the film. The final battle in the Japanese bar is awesome, in spite of the extreme gore. Tarentino has a way of making dismemberment a humorous event: witness the Lucy Liu 'Yakuza' meeting.
I'm not sure I like Tarentino's flippancy toward bloodletting-it's all a sort of cartoon to him. When one thinks about the real blood being shed in Iraq and Afghanistan (which the US government goes to great lengths to PREVENT the American public from seeing), this stuff feels awfully petty. Nevertheless, Quentin makes it all seem like no big deal, and creates a near-poetic way to present it to us. Think about it: if you saw this amount of human devastation on CNN, how would you react? We snicker because we know it's Tarentino, and 'It's Just a Movie'...
on April 15, 2004
I liked the animation seqences (it looks better this way rather then having live actors doing the scenes.) I had no problem with the violence what so ever I thought the viokence was done very cleverly (like the Mandarin films of the late 60's early 70's the omes from that period were bloody and violent like this was) I hope a dvd set of both vols I & II are released uncut and as 1 movie (which I have heard may happen I hope its rated NC-17 as it was intended that way in the first place. The B/W scene plain just angered me why not just film the whole in black and white? If and when they DO release an ultimate collector's special edition I'll be there of course but I hope they change the dvd cover. 5 star flick but a 3 star dvd release the nusic is great too. The R2 Japanese dvd has the house of blue leaves scene in colour but I didn't feel like shelling $40 for a dvd or $200 for a limited box set. I hope Miramax is listening release a nice fully loaded box set with serious extas at the end of the year or early next year PLEASE!!
on April 11, 2004
Quentin Tarantino's epic, blood-spewing, over-the-top, fetishistic, vanity production, KILL BILL Volume1 (Miramax) arrives on DVD just in time to wet anew the appetite for the big screen theatrical finale Kill Bill Volume 2. So much has already been written about this high-profile, visual tour-de-force Asian-cinema martial arts homage and revenge saga (yes, it's all that and more), there's not much left to say. The story of a massacre by an Asian gang at a wedding rehearsal that leaves pregnant former gang member Uma Thurman for dead is the set up. The rest is all back story and exposition as a very lithe and determined Uma seeks out all those who block her path to Bill (a barely seen David Carradine), her ex-lover and the gang leader. But the story is really an excuse for dazzling filmmaking and brilliant riffs of heady dialogue.
At heart, this is the darkest of comedies, a demented parody of excess. In the better than average making-of featurette, Tarantino enthusiastically explains the stylistic inspirations (including Sergio Leone) for his film and the origins of the Bride character that he and Uma jointly developed while shooting Pulp Fiction. Bonus material also includes trailers of Tarantino's three other films and very cool musical performances by "The 5, 6, 7, 8's" an amazing group Tarantino heard on a juke box in a Japanese bar while scouting locations. If there's any doubt that this movie is tongue in bloody cheek, check out the action figures, Pussy Waqon key chains, flasks, lighters and lunch box paraphernalia on the DVD insert. If you plan to see Volume 2, don't miss this dizzy exercise by a remarkably gifted, intuitive filmmaker.
on April 21, 2004
Yes, I have seen many Sir Run Run Shaw kung-fu flicks too. But I would never have thought to rip off that genre to the degree that Tarentino did in this movie. He even used the same music in spots! But if you are going to rip off a genre, this is a good one to pick.
Fortunately, Tarentino manages to keep this film from turning into another "Crouching Tiger" (a snoozefest to end all snoozefests) by adding alot of bloody shootouts, swordfights and knife fights that are well choreographed. Tarentino even managed to throw in some Anime segments as well. I was amazed that two of the biggest acting downers in history are in this movie (Uma "Avengers" Thurman and Lucy "Any-Movie-That-She-Was-In" Lui) but it was still entertaining! Go figure.
Should you buy this? I don't know, I would rent it first if I was you. Some poor fools actually paid serious bucks to see this at the theatres - I would'nt go that far.