Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 Reviews
Kill Bill(as a whole)would probably be my overall 3rd favorite Tarantino movie, these movies are great to watch back-to-back the way they were originally made. This movie is Tarantino's shrine to old-school kung fu movies with a little of every other genre thrown in, naturally just like any other movie Quentin creates.
Overall what makes this movie so great besides the awesome revenge story, is all of the great characters in this movie portrayed by some great actors. I will confess that i'm really not the biggest fan of the late David Carradine, but he's really good in this movie.
The other two supporting characters that really shine in my eyes are Michael Madsen and Daryl Hannah, who are the two main antagonist of the 2nd part of this movie.
But of course Uma Thurman is the soul of this movie, portraying Beatrix Kiddo aka the Bride. Uma and Quentin create probably one of the greatest kick-butt female protagonist only second to maybe Ellen Ripley.
Usually when I hear the reasons that some people don't like this movie like "It's to way over the top." or the one I hear the most "I think it's dumb, that their blood sprays out like a sprinkler." No joke i've heard the later like a million times as the sole reason for someone not liking this movie.
But everyone does have there own taste, so i'm not going to sit here and discriminate the people that don't like this movie. But it's one of my all time favorites and I will continue to watch this movie many times throughout the years.
I give it a 9.6/10
P.S. I know that i've been doing a lot of positive reviews lately, but I can't help it, I don't like to bash movies unless I just absolutely loathe it.
I love every Tarantino film that I have seen. Pulp Fiction used to be my favorite of his, then I watched Reservoir Dogs, and watched Reservoir Dogs again, about two more times to get the specifics. That became my favorite of his. Then I saw Inlourious Basterds, and waited for the dvd to see it again (once again, to get the specifics). That one almost became my favorite. Now that I have seen this masterpiece, I do not know which of his movies I like the best. My point is that Quentin Tarantino is one of the most consistent director and writers doing it today. He may not be able to make a bad movie. How he manages to make classics in every different genre is far beyond my comprehension. He is simply a genius. But back to the subject at hand, Kill Bill (volumes one and two combined). Like I said before, this movie is a masterpiece.
Uma Thurman owned this film, in every sense. She gave probably the best performance out of every single Quentin Tarantino film, obviously besides last year's Supporting Actor winner (Christoph Waltz), and my personal favorite, Samuel L. Jackson as Jules in Pulp Fiction. Her energy completely lunged off of the screen. But she was not the only strong link in this chain. David Carradine was fantastic as well. I hated him, then I actually liked him, then I hated him again. Not to mention all the members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. Lucy Lui was the best, in my opinion. She earned herself a spot on my "My Favorite Villains" list, with her performance as O-Ren Ishii/Cottonmouth. I won't spoil anything, but when she proved her authority to that Yakuza boss that questioned her multiple ethnicities, I may have jizzed in my pants. The other members are worth a mention too.
Vivica A. Fox had a very short role, as Vernita Green. She was great, but her role was too short for her to make too much of a lasting impact on me. Daryl Hannah was also great as Elle Driver, the eye patch sporting assassin. Finally, I'm not quite sure if he was a member of the squad, but Michael Madsen did a phenomenal job as Bill's brother, Budd. Besides them, there is a long list of names I do not know, but I do know that no one did a poor job in either volumes of this move. They were all amazing. One thing, besides the actors, that I want to point out is a small segment in the first volume that features an anime-esque cartoon scene, illustrating O-Ren Ishii's life as she grew up. Before I saw it, I kept thinking to myself that this should be a graphic novel. Then after I saw that cartoon, I felt it even more. So in case you haven't realized, Kill Bill is brilliantly done, and everyone should she it. Not volume one, or volume two, both.
The very beginning is antiquated film from some old drive-in theater it seems (seemingly warning you to hurry up at the snackhut and run back to your car cuz the show is about to start). Even the sound is all scratchy and warbled and sounds like it's coming out of those awful speakers you or (like me) your parents had to hook up to the car window. A start like that and you know you might be taking a trip back in time.
Funny parts to break up the serious violent bloody mess that some scenes turn into. It's an homage to old Kung Fu movies... but was it an homage or poking fun at it? Doesn't matter. It's a fun ride if Kung Fu movies are your thing or even if they aren't (like me). Psycho sirens blaring loudly for the closeups of a characters eyes just before a battle ensues? Hysterical. Just think... those soundtracks were once used seriously. Too much.
I don't know how to choose a winner between the two movies, so it only seemed fair to review them together. Both are so similar that if you like one, you'll probably like the other. And if you did not like the first, well... I don't know what to tell ya. :)
There are untidy bits to the film, but the cast performances and interwoven stories make this more than pleasing. If it was as tight and stylish as Crouching tiger and Flying Daggers I'd have given it 100%. As it is, it's just as good as Reservoir Dogs.
The only difference between the two parts is that the first one is focused on Japan and the Sword, while the second part takes place in China and in the US, using Kung Fu and different weapons during the fights.
But no matter how you split the movie - it's always gonna be amazing!
It was very brave of Tarantino to take on a complete new genre. After Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown - which were gangster movies - I think he too had the urge to try out something new.
And thank goodness he did.
Because the result is complete entertainment, an innovative story (with the dialogues we've gotten so used to) and some breathtaking fights. Maybe it's because I like very much the old Easterns, that I find Kill Bill so great. And Tarantino - alongside with Martial Arts Legend Yuen Woo Ping - creates allusion after allusion to the good old days with his fight scenes.
And unfortunately, although Hollywood produces many Action Movies, you don't get very often to see fight scenes of such a level.
Uma Thurman is amazing - like she was in Pulp Fiction. David Carradine and Gordon Liu are practically allusions of themselves - and perfectly cast.
I have to give the movie 28 out of 30 points. Actually everything is perfect. Unfortunately no oscars (which count the remaining 2 points).
The presentation is beautiful and this time the music really sets a great and unexpected tone throughout the movie.
[/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif][size=4][color=white]Even so, after ?Pulp Fiction? opened my eyes to hyperlink cinema, film noir and strong graphic violence, I thought maybe it?s more to the ?Kill Bill? films than Uma Thurman splattering blood all over the screen. I?ve imagined myself in the position of waiting six years for ?Kill Bill? to be released. Waiting and waiting and waiting? I would?ve started asking myself how this movie will finally be and if the waiting was worth it. I would?ve been so scared that this would turn out a ?Jackie Brown? type that I would?ve ended up in the situation of not wanting this film to ever be finalized (I do know that feeling now, after ?The Vega Brothers? project was dropped). So, were these six years of waiting worth it? Yes! [/color][/size][/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif]
[/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif][size=4][color=white]Although Quentin Tarantino, along with Bob and Harvey Weinstein were criticized for splitting the film in two, there are some of us who believe (actually, are sure of it!) that ?Kill Bill? couldn?t have been released otherwise. It is true that basically none of the two movies work separately, but that?s the point, giving the background of the story, creating all the suspense, throwing in tones of fake blood and then taking a six month break (during when all the waiting and waiting and suspense feeling recovers), so we can finally get to the emotional and moral of the whole story and ask ourselves if ?Kill Bill: Vol. 2? is really directed by Tarantino. Not even Dante?s ?Inferno? works by itself (it would?ve been pointless if not followed by ?Purgatory? and ?Paradise?). [/color][/size][/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif]
[/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif][size=4][color=white]This is the structure for the ?Kill Bill? story. We get this nightmarish, bloody and over-the-top first part, much like Dante?s first part of the ?Divine Comedy? trilogy, followed by a more relaxed, sophisticated, philosophical (but still with some action and violence) second part, so we can get to the climax and ending that go directly to your heart. The entire first volume is presented like the ?Inferno? (and Japan is one of the most unbearable circles in the film), while volume two is structured itself into two parts: ?Purgatory? (El Paso) and ?Paradise? (Mexico). These references to one of the pioneers of post-Medieval literature are obvious, even if the whole story is presented from an opposite perspective. Beatrice (in this case Beatrix) wants to find Dante (Bill) and not to reunite with him, but to kill him, although for the same purpose of fulfillment. That?s the reason Bill?s face isn?t even on-screen in the first volume, much like Dante?s Beatrice who wasn?t present in ?Inferno?. I personally consider this a reference to Schopenhauer?s six stages of phenomenology, as well. This is unquestionably more than a revenge story. [/color][/size][/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif]
[/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif][size=4][color=white]So, we get to see underground, vanguard surreal visual stories, spaghetti westerns, splatter horrors, hentai mangas, kung fu classics, romantic tales, family epics, Lumiere type references, eastern philosophy, classic literature, pop culture connections, placebo feeling, unique life experiences etc all in one film, under a simple two monosyllable words title. [/color][/size][/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif]
[/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif][size=4][color=white]From his very first feature length motion picture, ?Reservoir Dogs?, Tarantino made a name for himself as an auteur. ?Reservoir Dogs? and ?Pulp Fiction? were something new, never seen before in the history of universal cinema. Well, even after we got used to Tarantino?s style, I don?t think anybody was ready for ?Kill Bill? at the time of the first screening. [/color][/size][/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif]
[/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif][size=4][color=white]The musical score for the first film is composed by RZA and for the second volume by Robert Rodriguez, even though several songs are taken from films like ?The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? or ?Lady Snowblood?. This isn?t at all plagiarism, like some critics used this argument to denounce Tarantino?s ?ignoble homage style?, this is him paying his respect to the artist who made his vision burst into life. [/color][/size][/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif]
[/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif][size=4][color=white]Analyzing the actors? performances now, we can say that Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu, Michael Madsen, Vivica A. Fox, Julie Dreyfus, Sonny Chiba, Michael Bowen, Chiaki Kuriyama and all the others did a splendid job! Uma Thurman was two-time nominated for best actress at the Golden Globes of 2004 and 2005 and David Carradine, as well, for the second volume. Apart from that, the films were overlooked entirely at the Oscars and partially at the BAFTA (where they should?ve been more awarded than they were). The story isn?t carried at all by the actors, because we can notice Tarantino?s trademark in everything, even in our leading lady?s performance, but we have to give her credit because following the cinema maniac?s direction isn?t easy. She had to physically prepare herself for the role and practice some martial arts techniques that aren?t easy at all to master. She basically became The Bride, also known as Beatrix Kiddo, Black Mamba or Mommy. We also see her in countless situations that highlight her capricious personality and immutable determination. To sum up, The Bride was extremely hard to portrait and Tarantino couldn?t just hand over the part to any actress, but only to one he was sure would understand the role and be ready to leave her real self behind completely during filming. [/color][/size][/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif]
[/font][font='Times New Roman', Times, serif][size=4][color=white]To conclude I probably should name the ?Kill Bill? films some of the best I have ever seen, but? that is the most obvious in my review! These films remind me why I love movies so much, why my purpose in life is to become a film director and what this means to me. I?ve seen these films so many times because whenever I was depressed, fed up with all my limits at the moment or with my damn pointless school I hate more than anything, these films were always there to remind me of a sense in life and all the positive things I can aspire to. Every time I watch them, I discover new perspectives, other hidden symbols I had never seen before, much like in the case of my other all time favorite film, ?2001: A Space Odyssey?. I give them the maximum of stars and well-deserved cheers.
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The soundtrack is great and always fitting. The acting performances are dead on. The aesthetic is unique and exciting. Somehow despite the eclectic mix of action subgenres the characters have a very real depth that the audience gets to know and identify with. These will forever be classics of the action genre.