Author Topic: Kill Bill Vol. I (2003)  (Read 4483 times)

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Kill Bill Vol. I (2003)
« on: December 09, 2009, 10:50:49 PM »
Kill Bill Vol. I





Year: 2003
Film Studio: Miramax Films, A Band Apart
Genre: Action, Martial Arts
Length: 111 Min.

Director
Quentin Tarantino

Writing
Quentin Tarantino...Writer
Quentin Tarantino ...Original Characters By
Uma Thurman ...Original Characters By

Producer
Harvey Weinstein (1952)
Bob Weinstein (1954)
Erica Steinberg
E. Bennett Walsh
Lawrence Bender (1957)

Cinematographer
Robert Richardson (1955)

Music
The RZA ...Composer

Stars
Uma Thurman as The Bride
Lucy Liu (1968) as O-Ren Ishii
Vivica A. Fox as Vernita Green
Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver
David Carradine (1936) as Bill
Michael Madsen (1958) as Budd
Julie Dreyfus as Sofie Fatale
Chiaki Kuriyama as Gogo Yubari

Review
       For a new generation of filmmakers, actors and movie fans, Quentin Tarantino has supplanted director Robert Altman in Tinseltown’s version of the 'Emperor’s new clothes'. Whatever this overrated ‘wunderkind’ slops onto celluloid is lauded as the finest form of artistry this side of Michelangelo. Unfortunately for Tarantino, he has started to believe the hype hallowing his persona and each successive movie he makes is even more pretentious and uninspiring than Quentin’s previous film. Which brings me to part one of his chambara ‘opus’, Kill Bill vol. 1, a visually striking film that is weighted down by its overindulgence in bloodletting and insipid dialogue.

       What first struck me about this film was an uncanny resemblance in its visual presentation to Oliver Stone’s bloated bloodbath, Natural Born Killers. Surreal scenes of senseless violence interspersed with quirky and campy characters dominate the breadth of this films duration. While this concept worked well in Reservoir Dogs and to a lesser extent in Pulp Fiction, it now seems as fresh as day old bread. Countless scenes that were ‘sampled’ by the director from his favorite films of the past are re-imagined in his own ‘vision’ to fill out his banal screenplay. Two examples of Tarentino’s penchant for this practice come near the end of the film.

       First, after Uma Thurman has beheaded, dismembered or disemboweled almost every yakuza thug in Tokyo, she gives pity to one villain by putting said bad guy over her knee and spanking him with her samurai sword. She then instructs him to go home and he runs away whimpering. Sound slightly familiar, it should, as it is eerily reminiscent of Sanjuro’s handling of the rookie member of one of the gangs he decimates in Yojimbo. Although he doesn’t spank him with his sword, he spares the young man’s life and instructs him that a long life eating gruel is more desirable than incurring death at such a young age. Yet Tarantino’s version supplants Kurosawa’s dramatic irony with a cheesy moment of subliminal sexual domination by Thurman’s character, which plays well to his audience base of young men and adolescent boys.

       The second instance comes in the final showdown between Uma and Lucy Liu just prior to doing battle outdoors in a light snowfall. As they stand apart at opposite ends of the screen and are about to do battle, its déjà vu all over again as Tarantino lifts the showdown scenario from Samurai Assassin. Whereas Okamoto uses the silence of the snowfall to add tension between the protagonists, and the virginal purity of the blanket of snow to juxtapose the blood that’s about to be spilled, Tarentino inserts snippets of useless hipster dialog to belay the fact that Uma and Lucy are two BMF’s. A good example of this kind of trite verbiage takes place just prior to the showdown, when Liu’s character stares at Uma and quips, “Silly rabbit”, to which Uma responds, yes you guessed it, “Trix are for kids.” Maybe Quentin should try his hand at commercials. Just think of all the material he could lift and re-use to pay ‘homage’ to the golden age of advertising. At first I was dumbfounded as to how anyone can believe that QT is a dialogue writing master, and then I nearly doubled up in laughter at how vacuous this exchange came across. But this is what Tarentino has become, cinema’s version of a rap music artist, lifting wholesale fragments of content from quality work by his predecessors and passing it off as an innovated new form of fodder. But because his target audience is in the age demographic of 15 – 25 year old males, most of his fanboys have never seen the original works he’s ripped off and therefore think Tarentino is the Messiah of movie land.

        In an interview he did promoting this movie, Tarentino stated that Kill Bill was his version of a yakuza, samurai and spaghetti western all wrapped up in one film. If you’re one of his tunnel vision devotee’s, take the time to delve into the films by the true masters of each genre he’s ripped off. For yakuza films, check out Branded to Kill or Youth of the Beast by Suzuki. For samurai flicks, try Okamoto’s Samurai Assassin, Sword of Doom or Kill!, and  Kobayashi’s Samurai Rebellion. For a film with a vengeful female assassin, you only need to watch Lady Snowblood and you’ve pretty much won’t have to waste your time with this bloated, narcissistic endeavor in comic book cinema.




Ratings Criterion
5 Stars - The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
4 ½ Stars - Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
4 Stars - Historically important film, considered a classic.
3 ½ Stars - An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
3 Stars – A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
2 ½ Stars - Borderline viewable.
2 Stars – A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
1 ½ Stars – Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
1 Star – A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
½ Star - A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 04:55:19 PM by Antares »

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2009, 10:54:42 PM »
I await the slings and arrows... :whistle:       :tomato:

Critter

  • Guest
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2009, 10:57:27 PM »
*strings up my bow*   :P.

Nah it's cool, I do like the film myself, I take it as a bit of light-hearted entertainment and I love the strength of the bride herself. Yes yes I know there are better female action stars out there but hell, I suppose I should call this one a guilty pleasure  ;).
I understand the way you don't like it though, I know many people who just cannot stand this film.

By the way thanks for all those recommendations. A film about a young female assasin? Lady Snowblood? I'm there! ;D
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 11:00:13 PM by Critter »

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2009, 11:01:40 PM »
*strings up my bow*   :P.

Nah it's cool, I do like the film myself, I take it as a bit of light-hearted entertainment and I love the strength of the bride herself. Yes yes I know there are better female action stars out there but hell, I suppose I should call this one a guilty pleasure  ;).
I understand the way you don't like it though, I know many people who just cannot stand this film.

By the way thanks for all those recommendations. A film about a young female assasin? Lady Snowblood? I'm there! ;D

It's a much better film. :thumbup:

Critter

  • Guest
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2009, 11:05:05 PM »
Quote
It's a much better film. :thumbup:

I see it is based on a manga. That makes me even more excited to see it, I am a huge anime fan and while I have not yet read much manga (only seen content based off it) I hope to do so in the near future.

snowcat

  • Guest
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2009, 11:05:55 PM »
Hmm, when I first turned this film on the way the characters speak annoyed me so much I felt like turning it off... but by the time I had finished watching I had already ordered volume 2.

What I like about Kill Bill

It was funny - To me it has the most random storyline ever, I think its hilarious no matter how serious its trying to be
the choreography - I felt the fight scenes were well choreographed and fun to watch

What I didn't like

The anime scene - I felt it was pointless... maybe that was the only way to get away with that scene but I fast forward through it now.
The amount of blood - Ok I know what it was trying to do, and blood doesn't bother me... but if I cut someone's head of they don't spray blood out the top
of there neck 50 meters into the air.


I think that the film was a lot like Natural Born Killers because Tarantino wrote NBK I personally don't see that much in common but its been said alot... as a writer I know how annoying it is to see something you have written get directed in a way you didn't want it to... maybe Tarantino purposely was trying to recreate NBKesque film without remaking it? who knows.

Critter

  • Guest
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2009, 11:12:00 PM »
Quote
The anime scene - I felt it was pointless... maybe that was the only way to get away with that scene but I fast forward through it now.

I agree, I love anime as we all know but even I didn't quite think it fit in this film. Out of both the Kill Bill films this anime scene is probably my least favourite to watch.

Quote
The amount of blood - Ok I know what it was trying to do, and blood doesn't bother me... but if I cut someone's head of they don't spray blood out the top
of there neck 50 meters into the air.

The amount of blood is one of my favourite parts of the film  :P, I just love how ridiculous and not realistic it is. You cut off someones head and the blood sprays directly up in a waterfall, not only that but its this almost flourescent red colour that hardly even looks like blood. Makes me laugh everytime  :hysterical:

Offline Jimmy

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6754
  • Yes this is me...
    • View Profile
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2009, 11:13:10 PM »
Anyway if I want to watch a film with a Japanese woman assasin type I will choose a Reiko Ike's film before anything else.

The day Tarantino will do something as great as this one (even 10% as good) my oppinion will change on him


Antares I don't think it will be a surprise but I like your review ;D
Glad to see that I ain't the only one who don't like this guy here anymore :laugh:

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2009, 11:22:22 PM »
Anyway if I want to watch a film with a Japanese woman assasin type I will choose a Reiko Ike's film before anything else.

The day Tarantino will do something as great as this one (even 10% as good) my oppinion will change on him


Antares I don't think it will be a surprise but I like your review ;D
Glad to see that I ain't the only one who don't like this guy here anymore :laugh:


Back at the old DVDSpot forum, it was said that "No one brings on the QT hate like Antares!" I was always proud of that association. ;)

You'll definitely like my review for volume two then.

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2009, 11:24:06 PM »
Knew it wouldn't take long for Mr. Jimmy to find this! :laugh:

Love this film. Absolutely sodding love this film! The anime bit, the blood, the dialogue... I'm right there. :hysterical: I wish he'd get on with it and release the four-hour cut of both movies. The shift in tone between the two is beautifully done and shows some clever writing, because he lost a few people who were expecting an extension of the first one and they got something quite different.

...comic book cinema.

Right there. That is why I love Kill Bill and now Inglorious Basterds. His narratives run like comic books. That flippancy and outrageous exaggeration, yet still with some heart is just as a comic writer might approach it. For example, you could easily slate Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen for disrespecting the stories of The Invisible Man or Jekyll and Hyde because he has them team up, superhero style. As I look back over his films, I see this style even in Dogs and Fiction.

First, after Uma Thurman has beheaded, dismembered or disemboweled almost every yakuza thug in Tokyo, she gives pity to one villain by putting said bad guy over her knee and spanking him with her samurai sword. She then instructs him to go home and he runs away whimpering. Sound slightly familiar, it should, as it is eerily reminiscent of Sanjuro’s handling of the rookie member of one of the gangs he decimates in Yojimbo. Although he doesn’t spank him with his sword, he spares the young man’s life and instructs him that a long life eating gruel is more desirable than incurring death at such a young age. Yet Tarantino’s version supplants Kurosawa’s dramatic irony with a cheesy moment of subliminal sexual domination by Thurman’s character, which plays well to his audience base of young men and adolescent boys.
 

Ok, obviously you don't like the film and I'm not on a mission to change that, but here you have it completely wrong and I think you've dug too deep. I never got anything sexual from it (and if it was there, I'd have found it! :hysterical:). On one hand, The Bride is not a sexual character at all and is typical of Manga archetypes. On the other, this "villain" or "bad guy" is neither. He's just very young. That's all it is. She's spotted a 14-year old amongst all the killers and spanks him as a mother would.

take the time to delve into the films by the true masters of each genre he’s ripped off. For yakuza films, check out Branded to Kill or Youth of the Beast by Suzuki. For samurai flicks, try Okamoto’s Samurai Assassin, Sword of Doom or Kill!, and  Kobayashi’s Samurai Rebellion. For a film with a vengeful female assassin, you only need to watch Lady Snowblood and you’ve pretty much won’t have to waste your time with this bloated, narcissistic endeavor in comic book cinema.

I haven't seen all of those properly, but I love Samurai flicks. I don't see Kill Bill taking anything from that because it is so irreverent and the plot, as I said before, just like a comic book. I don't feel John Wagner's Button Man takes anything away from classic hit-man films, so I certainly don't feel aggrieved here.

By the way, of that list, Sword of Doom I did own for a little while, but didn't like it at all. I err on the side of traditional cause/effect Western narrative and I like stories to end properly!  :laugh:

Love him or loathe him, his work has just given you and Jimmy a base from which to recommend some incredible movies. Give him some credit at least!

Critter

  • Guest
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2009, 11:29:50 PM »
I can't be assed quoting it all, but to Jon's entire post I say  :clap: :thumbup: :yahoo:

snowcat

  • Guest
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2009, 11:38:08 PM »
Hmm I am intrigued to see how the other planned volumes of KB are going to pan out... he says he has also filmed scenes in preparation which also intrigues me.

Jon I agree, id like to see the extended cuts just to see what they are like but I think id fins more things that make me cringe. I like the films alot but there is more in them that makes me cringe then makes me think WOAH! ;P ill stick to my statement that Dogs is his best film.

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2009, 11:40:28 PM »
By the way, of that list, Sword of Doom I did own for a little while, but didn't like it at all. I err on the side of traditional cause/effect Western narrative and I like stories to end properly!  :laugh:

It does 'end properly' because it was suppose to be the first in a trilogy of films derived from the book Dai-bosatsu tōge, which is a famous novel in Japan, almost on par with the epic Miyamoto Musashi. Which is considered the Japanese equivalent of Gone with the Wind. For some reason, Okamato could not secure financing for the othet two films, and like Abel Gance's troubles with his mega-project on Napoleon, it never came to pass.


Give him some credit at least!

Why is it that fans of Tarantino are always looking for someone to throw them some kind of bone in regards to that putz' 'legacy'?  :tomato: :tease: :laugh:

Critter

  • Guest
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2009, 11:41:54 PM »
Quote
Hmm I am intrigued to see how the other planned volumes of KB are going to pan out... he says he has also filmed scenes in preparation which also intrigues me.

I am looking forward to Kill Bill 3. I like the way Tarantino wanted it to be set 10 years after the second film, so he has actually waited 10 years to make it, instead of just making them all in a row and saying it was 10 years. This will make the actors ageing look much more realistic anyway.

Offline Jimmy

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6754
  • Yes this is me...
    • View Profile
Re: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2009, 11:43:57 PM »
his work has just given you and Jimmy a base from which to recommend some incredible movies.
I don't need Tarantino to recommand great films :P