on September 6, 2004
Kill Bill Volume 2 has continued Volume 1 amazingly. It doesn't let down the audience at all: more story, more character development, more Tarantino-ized but without a lack of action. Some people may think this one was too slow but keeping in mind they were meant to be watched together, if you do do that, it won't seem slow at all because Volume 1 ends with a huge battle. So please, buy this DVD because it is the best thing in the world and please, watch Volume 1 and 2 together in one sitting.
on July 13, 2004
First of all, understand that I am not reviewing the DVD, as it has not yet been released. I saw this film in the Good Old movie theatre, right on the second row. KB2 is definitely a different animal from KB1, as the martial arts action is not as predominant (except for a few key scenes), and there is more character development. A large chunk of the film concerns the back-story, or what happened prior to the beginning of KB1. Tarrantino flips back and forth in time, but this never slows the flow of the basic plotline. The episode featuring Michael Madsen is by far the most entertaining, and his comeuppance is quite grisly indeed. Dialogue is superb and oftentimes hilarious, with Gordon Liu getting off some really choice lines; in fact, he is one of the best things about this film. Don't be put off by some reviewers, who have stated that the film is boring, compared to KB1. This is like comparing apples and oranges (they both taste good). All Tarrantino fans should love this film, it delivers all of his trademark style and eccentricities.
on May 11, 2014
I had previously owned both Vol 1 & 2 on VHS, so these were a much needed upgrade. The steelbooks have some really nice artwork and it was my main reason for purchasing them. Unfortunately I was slightly disappointed as both volumes had marks and dents on the case in spots that jump out at you while admiring the art.
I would very much recommend these steelbooks, but the seller should really be taking better care as I've seen another buyer post a review with the same denting issues. If you'd like to avoid the risk I would avoid buying these online.
on May 23, 2013
The movie is simply stunning. It's my favorite Tarantino's film. What really amazing with Kill Bill (both part 1 and 2) is that the more I watch it, the more is getting better. I bought the steelbook case version. Even though it's more expensive, it really worths it. It's one of the most beautiful steelbook out there. It's a must for every Tarantino's fan or collector.
on July 19, 2004
A radiant bride-to-be (and mother-to-be) who calls herself Arlene takes a few minutes out of her wedding rehearsal to talk to her former boss (and ex-lover) about the peaceful new life she's planned. She tells him she'll be working in a record store where she'll get to "listen to music all day, talk about music all day. It's really cool. It's going to be a great environment for my little girl to grow up in."
"As opposed to jetting around the world, killing human beings, collecting vast sums of money?" her one-time employer asks.
Yes, Arlene is actually The Bride (Uma Thurman), a.k.a. Black Mamba, one of the Deadly Vipers Assassination Squad (D.I.V.A.S., for short). And, yes, the man with whom she's sharing her future plans is Bill, the enigmatic, shadowy D.I.V.A.S. commander who never showed his face in "Kill Bill, Vol. 1."
Bill, played to diabolical perfection by David Carradine, is visible throughout "Kill Bill, Vol. 2," and that's only one of the many changes between the first and last installments of writer-director Quentin Tarantino's epic saga of revenge and retribution. "Vol. 1," which took place largely in Japan, was a magnificently gory, almost operatic homage to the Hong Kong and Japanese cinema of the 1960s and 1970s; "Vol. 2," set primarily in Texas and Mexico, is considerably more controlled -- although no less stylish -- and moodier, paying tribute to the unconventional Westerns of director Sergio Leone and, in its black-and-white flashback sequences, recalling such late-1940s/early-1950s thrillers as "Gun Crazy" and "The Big Heat."
No one ever accused Tarantino of being shy when it comes to laying out his catalog of influences.
Cinematographer Robert Richardson's all-seeing camera swoops, slithers and moves stealthily around each scene, just like our unstoppable heroine, then throws in some extreme close-ups that feel like a fist between the eyes. Editor Sally Menke and production designers David Wasco and Cao Jui Ping do wonderful work as they recreate everything from "In Cold Blood" to the washed-out-looking, jumpy Chinese chop-socky films of the 1970s.
But far from being merely imitative, "Vol. 2" features a few breakthroughs for its creator as well. A prolonged sequence involving a character who is pummeled, drugged and buried alive is one of the most gripping episodes of Tarantino's career, and The Bride's apprenticeship to merciless martial arts master Pai Mei (Gordon Liu), a deceptively wispy-looking type with a strong chauvinistic streak, is outrageously hilarious. "Your so-called kung fu is really quite pathetic," Pai Mei taunts as The Bride tries -- and fails -- to impress him with her moves. "Like all Yankee women, all you can do is order in restaurants and spend a man's money!"
The finale of "Vol. 1" was a blood-drenched, wickedly hilarious free-for-all, with The Bride dispatching scores of would-be hitmen in a showdown in a Tokyo nightclub, but the last half-hour of "Vol. 2" is a shocker of an entirely different kind, as Tarantino aims for the heart instead of the funnybone. He tried something somewhat similar in the bittersweet wrap-up of "Jackie Brown," with mixed results. He's much more successful this time out, partly because he's created a steadier build-up to the crucial emotional crescendo (set to a marvelously trippy remix of The Zombies' "She's Not There") and partly because the tension Carradine and Thurman generate in the pivotal scene, as bloodlust collides with memories of happier days, is utterly riveting.
Tarantino's cast fills out a classic rogues' gallery, dominated by Carradine's Bill, a psychotic who conceals his sadism beneath a calm, paternalistic exterior. Daryl Hannah's one-eyed Elle Driver and Michael Madsen's Budd, both of whom were briefly seen in "Vol. 1," get ample opportunity to prove their worth as antagonists of The Bride. The face-off with Elle, in particular, is so delightfully demented only Tarantino could have conjured it up.
Was the director wise in turning "Bill" into a double-bill? Absolutely. For one thing, he must have realized he had made an extravaganza that would have been too intense and certainly too emotionally exhausting for most audiences to process in a single four-hour sitting. Also, he obviously knew he had a second half that would be well worth the six-month wait.
"Gargantuan -- always liked that word; so rarely have a chance to use it in a sentence," the icy-hearted Elle murmurs at one point. Try this on for size: The frenzied, funny and unabashedly ultraviolent "Kill Bill" saga represents a gargantuan achievement in action cinema.
on July 11, 2004
As with "Kill Bill, Volume 1," Quentin Tarantino shows his maturation as a bonafide filmmaker--here, he takes familiar themes from westerns and embeds them in a story that rises above the usual action movie fare. In the second half of the tale of "The Bride" (revealed here finally to be "Beatrix Kiddo" in a scene that features an even more witty screen name), Tarantino and star Uma Thurman explore the ramifications of her revenge. At stake are the lives of her innocent daughter and the nefarious Bill, played with terrific, snakelike charisma by David Carradine, who hasn't been this good since TV's "Kung Fu." (People familiar only with the silly 90s TV sequel really missed out on this talented--and under-utilized--actor's ability to carry a scene.) Featuring the great Gordon Liu (seen briefly in the first film), the always oily Michael Madsen, and that other blonde virago, Darryl Hannah, the supporting cast is topnotch, but once again, it's Tarantino's sense of vision that dominates, even if he lifts quite a few images from elsewhere. Check out "homages" to John Ford's "The Searchers," for instance, as referenced in a broken-down trailer. And, as with the previous film, there are great music bits, only some of which, sadly, make it to the soundtrack CD. Fans expecting the faster pace and over-the-top violence of the first film may be disappointed, but those able to get involved in the characters' plights may discover that this film actually delivers a bit more than its predecessor.
on July 10, 2004
Okay, first to the person who said that a great filmmaker would have told the movie in order, told the main character's name, not show the wedding scene, not use bad music etc., let me educate you:
A typical filmmaker would have told the movie in order.
A typical filmmaker would have told us the character's name right off the bat.
A typical filmmaker would have put in unoriginal, crappy pop music.
A typical filmmaker would try to be original and not put in the wedding scene to try to make you use your imagination.
Quentin Tarantino is obviously NOT your typical filmmaker and I find his movies to be fresh and original takes on common themes and plots. There are revenge flicks a-plenty, told the same way, with the same type of character, same reasons, etc. QT took that and molded it to his own vision with Uma Thurman (one of her top performances), Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, and all in mind the whole time he wrote this movie. QT writes his screenplays around the music because that's already in mind as well. In fact, he would scrap a scene if he couldn't get the rights to the song he wants to go with the scene. You can tell too. Who else can make an Ennio Morricone spaghetti western song go along with a samurai movie scene? Using old music was part of the homage (especially using Morricone and Meiko Kaji (see Death Rides a Horse and Lady Snowblood)).
About the wedding scene, while I would have liked to see the DiVAS beat The Bride to the ground, QT pulled away at the exact moment to make you use your imagination, but still gives you an idea of what went on in there (using one of his trademark camera shots, by the way).
Telling the movie out of order works brilliantly and causes a mix of foreboding and hindsight. The chapter thing was a nice touch as well.
Not telling the character's name was a way to show the dimensions of the character. In the first Volume, The Bride is a nameless killing machine, without mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and conscience. In the second movie, she's a woman, a fighter, still a killer, a mother, a lover, with a name. She's more fleshed out, more three dimensional.
This movie was a refreshing break from the dull and unoriginal. I loved it and I appreciate it for what it is on its own and not compare it to anything else because it far surpasses anything else. As it is said in Volume Two, "You don't compare a Hanzo sword to another sword except with another Hanzo sword." You don't compare a Quentin Tarantino movie with another movie except another QT movie.
on July 8, 2004
Do not care what anyone says,this is the shiznit right here. People thought the first one was better. It was only because of its array of anime sprinkled in with blood squirting action. This one is more of a layed back, fill in the blanks movie. You dont have to sit threw this one then watch the first one to get it, its like its complete all on its own. Flashbacks to the past with Bill and Beatrix Kiddo fill the blanks.Pie Mei is a hoot as the white long bearded,small, old chinese guy. Subtitiles and foreign language get to be boring after awhile but once the action kicks in, in the final 2 chapters it's worth it all. The final climax with Elle and Budd is great, as Michael Madsen(in a role fit for him) gets venom from a snake in him. The plucking of the eyeball part and bitch-fight scene between Daryl Hannah and Uma Thurman was a highlight. The final chapter is longer then the rest, being the final chapter. David Carradine plays Bill to the maximum. Folks, Tarantino loves to create story and long pieces of dialouge, he knows what he is doing. Loved Bill's speech about all the superheroes. Loved Thurman all dirty and sweaty. Loved everything about this movie. A movie too good for itself. Samuel L.Jackson has a small cameo in the wedding scene. Though no one can beat Charlie Brown in the first one, he ruled. The Kill Bill scene where she pokes him in the chest was a little let down but still, great movie.
on July 5, 2004
If you are willing to let this two-part movie simply exhilarate you, then you will agree with me that it is one of the best movie experiences you've ever had. If you're going to try to analyze it by other means, you may not be wholly satisfied with it.
The two parts are perfect together, they complete each other, they need each other. The first part supplies us with some of the most visceral, thrilling action scenes I've ever seen in a movie, and I'm glad to have experienced that. But the second part made me love the whole all the more, deepening the characters and the story and the emotion enough to anchor this tale, so that what you're left with is a greatly satisfying whole. I wouldn't say that the first part is better than the second, or that the second part is better than the first. The two parts need and complement each other.
This is one of my all-time favorite movies. (And I don't, by the way, know a thing about the movies these are meant to pay homage to. There are probably a lot of little in-jokes that I don't get, but that doesn't lessen my enjoyment in the least.)
on July 4, 2004
They say that art mimics life, and vise versa. It's all about mirrors, and how we see ourselves in them. What one person sees might not be the exact same thing that another sees, but the general visual is still retained. Every detail altered to perfection, or skewed, pending on the eyes of the viewer. This can be said about the saga that is Kill Bill. Everyone who watches this film might not catch all the great references, and tributes, but rest assured, everyone will walk away more pleased than they have with a film in ages.
When we last left our intrepid heroine she was two notches into her "Death List Five" with three remaining, the last name on that list being the title name, Bill. We witnessed the Bride, codenamed Black Mamba (real name unknown, but discovered), take on an entire Japanese Yakuza clan, the best in all of Tokyo, and win. We felt her "mercy" towards another that had betrayed her, and the wicked life that remained. Oaths were broken, and lives were shattered. The gloves have now come off.
Those going into Volume 2 expecting more violence are going to be sadly misplaced. This is where the film really begins for the viewer. True, there are some great fight scenes, but every one of them are right to the point, no messing around this time. Is this a negative thing? Not at all. With those three names remaining on the List, we can expect some action true, but we now need the back story as to where we are now.
We are rightly thrust at the very beginning of the picture to the fabled scene at the chapel. We meet the Groom, and get a glimpse at the life the Bride wanted into. This is where we actually get our first look at the Bride's ex-lover, whom she introduces in quite the fashionable manner. This is where the story turns sour for the yellow-haired warrior. Sadly, we all know the outcome of that chapter of this tale.
The story from there is quite entertaining, spawning numerous chuckles at the hands of Mr. Blonde himself, Michael Madsen. It is interesting to see the lives of the Deadly Vipers now that they have become defunct. A man of Budd's skill should be quite able to be well off in life, but then again, determination is always a factor. He feels that they should die for what they have done, but then again...Where this takes the journey, expected, but all shall be pleased.
We are given a glimpse into the training of Black Mamba at the hands of Pai Mei, the Fist of the White Lotus Clan. It is here we listen to the most entertaining fireside tale created in ages, and where we hear about the Legend of Pai Mei and his 5 Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. To hear this attack described alone, shall make you fear it. The scene will make you shake with laughter at the style in which it is completed. The grain and texture of the visuals mixed with Gordon Liu's (he also played Johnny Mo, General of the Crazy 88's in Volume One) stylized presentation of Pai Mei is one of the finest treats of film nostalgia.
The final confrontation itself is not one that will have the feel that you think. It becomes this truly emotional roller coaster. Bill describes to us what it is we all aspire to be in our lives, a cunning use of Tarentino's observance of the modern myths. It is there we find ourselves questioning the journey. In the end, all good things, and people, find their conclusion, even if it isn't quite the one they (or we) wanted.
The visuals have a much grittier feel this time around, and do not give us a comic, greater than life, impression. We can actually see the things that happen in this installment, actually happen, to some degree of course. The cinematography will not let the audience down, have no fear. QT has always had a great eye, maybe it once belonged to Elle, and he really puts is to the finest use.
One thing that was extremely noteworthy of Volume One was its soundtrack/score. There are certain emotions that can only be brought about when the right audio is combined with the visual, and QT has it down to science. Again, the score reflects this chapters mood and intentions, but it isn't the fast-paced, high energy sound of the first. We hear from a good friend, the Man in Black, Johnny Cash, as well as Robert Rodriguez, who brings us some quality vibes, along with the RZA once more.
The acting is far beyond anything we have seen yet. David Carradine is the treat, in all honesty. His wisdom of the world is brought to us through Bill, and in turn we learn from the man we want to hate, but find it hard to. Uma Thurman's voyage through the character she helped to create is sublime. She brings about the best and the worst characteristics of this ill-lived woman, and brings about bloody satisfaction in a way unlike anyone else. When the two share the light, the love that exudes is easily over-whelming, but at the same time quite underplayed.
Be prepared. This might be the best thing you will see in a long time. In a world where all we see in the theatres are re-hashed ideas, sequels, and adapted films, this saga is the freshest thing sent to us in quite a long time. What has been witnessed will truly be a movie that will outlive the bounds and limits of the cinema around it, and set new standards, new obstacles. Get ready to complete the journey, and bear witness to mercy unlike any other, at the hands of Black Mamba, assassin supreme of the DiVA'S, the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad!