Sunday, January 15, 2017

Movie Talk - Kill Bill

So, Quentin Tarantino… is alright. I’m not exactly the biggest fan of the director but I have liked some of what he’s done. He was even behind getting Iron Monkey released in theaters over here. I’ve really only seen a few of his movies like Django Unchained and most of Pulp Fiction. I still haven’t seen Inglorious Bastards but I have been meaning to. Some of his other movies don’t interest me too much though. One thing that’s obvious is that he’s a fan of the old exploitation movies of the 70’s. It definitely shows in the ones I’ve seen and the two movies I’ll be talking about today.

Kill Bill Volume 1 was released in October of 2003. Its sequel, Kill Bill Volume 2, was released the next year during spring of 2004. They were both filmed at the same time. Originally, the movies were supposed to be one separate movie, but you’re talking four hours worth of movie there. I actually saw Vol. 2 first at my uncle’s house when it was released on DVD. I don’t know where I saw the first one though but I know I saw it somewhere. I actually think it was on a bus band trip. My sister likes the movies, so I’m actually borrowing her copy to revisit this pretty bloody affair.

Volume 1 starts out with The Bride (Uma Thurman) waking up from a four-year coma. She was part of an assassin group called the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad.  When she wanted to leave and get married, her former friends slaughtered everyone at the wedding rehearsal. She was the only one to survive. After she gets her bearings together, she goes on a revenge spree against her former squad mates and their leader, Bill. She ends up taking on two of her former squad mates, Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox) and O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu).
One of the coolest fight scenes.

Volume 2 starts out right after the first one and concludes the story. The Bride tries to take on the next squad mate, Bud (Michael Madsen), but she ends up getting taken down and captured. During her “imprisonment,” we essentially get her origin. Afterwards, she takes on Elle (Daryl Hannah). Finally, all there is left is Bill (David Caradine). She not only finds Bill, but she finds something much more important. She finds out that the daughter she thought died is actually alive.

This was a blast to watch again. While the series as a whole is pretty much a revenge fest, it’s at least a good one. I thought the story of B____ K____ was well told.  While it sometimes gets a little confusing since Tarantino decides to get all “non-linear” with the story, that’s not a bad thing. You just gotta pay attention. I also liked the comedy in the movie.  It kind of takes place in a world of its own. Just look at the plane the Bride takes to Japan.
That was weird.

The cast sells it all. Uma Thurman completely sold it as the Bride. She had the acting chops and the look down. She pretty much makes it all worth seeing.  The rest of the DVAS all were pretty cool too. They were unique and had nice backstories. Their acting was nice as well. I also liked that the assassins all had some nice moments to shine. I don’t know who from the group would be my favorite since they all were pretty much the same shade of douchebag. I also thought including martial arts actors like Gordon Liu (36th Chamber of Shaolin) and Sonny Chiba was nice. The anime sequence in the first movie that tells O-Ren’s backstory was also well done.
Bill, you got a nice gun, but leave the Superman talk to me, 'kay?

The action was good and intense. The fight choreography was awesome all the way through. Since this is a Tarantino movie, it is pretty bloody. While I’m not a gore-lover, the action makes up for it here. All of the major fight scenes are really good and it would be tough to choose my favorite one. If I had to though, my favorite from Vol. 1 is The Bride vs. Vernita and for Vol. 2 it’ll be the Bride vs. Elle. I also liked the different nods to the whole martial arts film genre.
You know, I haven't checked out any Sonny Chiba movies. I may have to fix that.

Is there anything about the thing as a whole I don’t like? There are some things that didn’t work. Vol. 1 does get a little too heavy with the action. It definitely gets like that with the fight in Japan. While the action was good, it did get taxing after a while. As for Vol. 2, there are times where it gets slow at times. The story’s good but some scenes do get a little long in the tooth. The final “bout” with Bill is definitely an example even though it was a good sequence.  There was also some dialogue in the series that didn’t completely hit. Last, there was some gore that was a little too much but that was a nitpick for me.

Overall, the Kill Bill series is a good one. It gives a nice story, a cool female protagonist, and some awesome action. If you haven’t seen them yet and are okay with gore, check them out. As for what’s next, you’ll find out when I find out. Until then, Peace, God Bless, and don’t trust a woman with an eye patch.

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