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Saturday, April 17, 2004

Kill Bill Volume 2

Written and Directed by “Q”

Reviewed by Mil Peliculas

I love L.A. Where else can a schlub like me get to see “Kill Bill Volume 2” TWICE before it’s even been released. Okay, maybe New York, maybe, but it snows there and you have to be rich to live in the city, so screw that. So I caught “Kill Bill Volume 2” on Wednesday at the lovely Grove Theater in the Fairfax district, then I saw it again, along with “Volume 1” on Thursday night at the best theater in Hollywood, The Arclight. I’m pleased to report that Q delivers again.

The second film follows the story of the blood-splattered bride (Uma Thurman) on her quest to kill the five people responsible for the slaughter of her wedding party, her unborn daughter, and (damn near) herself. Most of you know that "Kill Bill" was originally envisioned as one big film, a roadshow picture, with an intermission and the whole works. But writer-director Quentin Tarantino ran into trouble with Miramax about how to release it. They apparently wanted him to cut it down, but he compromised with this Volume 1 and 2 thing. Once Kill Bill has been melded together into its intended single piece in the form of a director’s cut, I think Kill Bill will truly come to be known as Quentin’s "mishmashterpiece." He’s successfully taken some of the coolest movie moments from all manner of genre, from his vast memory of such moments, and somehow made them all get along rather nicely. The second part is a very different film from the first one, not nearly as violent, although it has its moments—replacing bloody spectacle with good old-fashioned plot twists that Hitchcock and Wilder could be proud of. The film even opens with a black and white film-noir process shot of Uma delivering a femme-fatale style introduction. Quentin is the only guy making movies like this these days. Myopic critics might say he’s the only one “remaking” movies like this these days, but a friend of mine (La Mujere de Gris) made an interesting point about that as we were standing in line. After pointing out that “Kill Bill” follows the plotline of an old Japanese film called “Lady Snowbird,” she went on to say that if she’d remade “Lady Snowbird” it would not have been anywhere near the film that “Kill Bill” is, and I’d say the same for myself. And therein lies the talent of Quentin Tarantino: he’s a clever thief. But we love cleverness in thieves. What is more exciting than watching a master safe-cracker do his job? Tarantino is a virtual encyclopedia of movies, but more than that, he truly LOVES movies in a way that not many of his peers do today. Movies really shaped his consciousness—I think he lives in a movie—and as a result, his mastery of character and plot is not easily matched. Quentin has succeeded in creating another slew of great cinematic moments…props to “The Man.” Sad thing is, for Bolsa de Queso and I (Bolsa de Queso is the guy who thought of this website, but never writes any reviews) is that we may have to wait another five or six years before we get another Tarantino film. Oh, woe is us.

War Out - Mil