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Monday, March 08, 2004



KILL BILL-The Trailer

God, you know I am not a religious man, but I say this to you now: my life of sin is over. Never again will I have impure thoughts about animals. I'll pay back all that money I embezzled from my company. I'll give that retarded kid the right amount of change from now on...I'll even stop taking your name in vain...if you'll just make sure I live to see KILL BILL. I mean it. I now have a new reason not to eat a bullet, because the new Tarantino movie is on the way.

QT is, in this reviewer's opinion, the most interesting and original voice in cinema today. Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, all fine films, and Kill Bill looks to be a fine addition to his directorial filmography. All I know of the story is Uma Thurman is some sort of hit-woman, trained in the mystical martial arts by Asian masters. Her boss, Bill, double crosses her on her wedding day and tries to kill her. She goes into a coma for a few years, and when she wakes up, she's got but one thing to do: Kill Bill. But in the process she has to slice up a bunch of Bill's henchmen. This film looks like it will be the Citizen Kane of grindhouse action revenge movies. A real kitchen-sinker. A cross between Crouching Tiger and Master of the Flying Guillotine, with a little Bruce Lee thrown in. Notice Uma's clothes. In case you live under a rock, her yellow outfit with the black stripe is an homage to Bruce Lee's yellow jumper in Game of Death. There are more than enough delicious shots to absorb. One shot, from a above, features Uma standing on a glass floor above a zen rock garden surrounded by twenty or so baddies. The shot cranes up and over them, as if Busby Berkley had entered the dragon! Basically...satellites are orbiting below my expectations for this one. I may need therapy if it doesn't live up to them.

Knowing QT, I know he truly loves the old Shaw Brothers kung fu films, the old Toho monster movies (now, there aren't any rubber monsters in this film, as far as I know, but QT did ask Toho to design him a miniature Tokyo) and Bruce Lee, so I know he will do his best to do those genres justice, and in the process create something new, like he's shown a knack for over the last (holy Christ, has it been that long?) decade.

Now...how can I get to Cannes in October for the premiere...

Check out the official Kill Bill website...you can view the trailer there too.

KILL BILL VOL.1

Starring U

Written and Directed by Q


I had hoped to wait until I had seen Kill Bill twice before I sat down to review it, but I haven't been able to yet, and it's been a while since the poor website was updated so…

If you've kept up with this site for any period of time, you know that I was waiting for Kill Bill like the Second Coming. Actually, I look forward more to Quentin's fourth coming than I do Jesus' Second. If the latter actually were to happen, I may be in a spot of trouble. You'll also know that I was really expecting Kill Bill to be fantastic. Well, rest assured, it was fantastic. So there were no surprises there. Quentin Tarantino has reminded me, and I hope all of you, what movies are all about. What's that you ask? Well, movies aren't just about one thing, some movies are there to move you, some are to make you angry, some are there to wow you. Kill Bill falls into that last category. Well, "fall" may not be the right word. How about SMASHES into that category? Yeah. Better.

It's the story of a bride-to-be who's killed by her ex-assassin buddies on her wedding day-in the church for Chrissakes. Only she doesn't die. She goes into a coma for four years and wakes up a little ornery. That's where the story becomes mostly a revenge tale, but the story is told in the form of homage mostly to the Kung Fu movies of the Shaw Brothers from the glorious 70s. The opening titles even feature the Shaw Brothers Studios header. It definitely sets the tone. I remember lying on the floor on my living room right in front of the TV turning channels with my foot. Back then, and I ain't all that old mind you, remote controls weren't that common, and we only had a few channels: 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, then into the UHF channels-Speed Racer, Ultraman and Gigantor territory-then back to channel 2. Once in a while on the weekends I'd run across Kung Fu Theater, and see some long-haired Chinamen standing on walls or throwing flying guillotines at each other, ripping off heads. Those movies scored very high in the "originality" category. Quentin has taken the best parts of those films and woven them into one of his own clever, non-linear tapestries.

As usual, the real meat happens in the small moments, Tarantino has always been able to make great impressions with small details, and Kill Bill has plenty of them. The only bad point is that Quentin was really forced by Miramax to cut it way down, or release it as two movies. I'm glad he chose to keep it long, even if we have to wait a few months for the Kill Bill Volume 2. I wouldn't be surprised if the film ends its life on DVD as one full director's cut.

Kill Bill is perhaps one of the most violent films you'll ever see, but the violence is highly stylized, and more funny than disturbing. If you enjoy the fountains of blood shooting from severed torsos and necks you may want to check out some of the early Kurosawa films, as well as many other Samurai movies of the 60s and 70s. Hmm. I think I'll see this one again…tonight.