Movie Review: <i>Kill Bill Vol. 1</i>

killbill.jpgThose who remember Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction will recall the dark humor, noir backdrops, scattered bloodbaths, and choppy flashbacks that made the film so appealing and challenging. In his new project, Kill Bill Vol. 1 (Vol. 2 is due out in February), Tarantino cranks up all these attributes a few notches.

In an opening flashback, Uma Thurman is a bride-to-be left for dead by former associates of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. After spending a few years comatose, she’s back and looking for revenge. The revenge is coupled with cinematic homages to 70s martial-arts movies, Japanese anim?, spaghetti westerns, and dismembering violence that, while gory, is cartoonish enough to remind you that this is exaggerated fantasy rather than a portrayal of realism. Tarantino has the knack of making you laugh and groan even during a slice-n-dice in a Japanese mafia meeting, with Lucy Liu as mob boss.

That said, this movie is not for the squeamish at heart, nor anywhere near a 'date movie'. Little is left to the imagination, and the film definitely earns its R-rating.

Another honorable mention: School of Rock, featuring Jack Black as a failed rocker turned fraudulent schoolteacher trying to form a band comprised of young children, is also a worthwhile film. Black does a dead-on impersonation of every metal and classic rock clich? there ever was. You’d probably have to be over 25 years old to 'get' the many of the yesteryear references, but it's a fine comedy nonetheless.

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I saw Kill Bill last night

I saw Kill Bill last night and School of Rock this afternoon. I was somewhat disappointed with Kill Bill, but that might be a function of overanticipation.

I expected a bit more plot or dialogue or something out of Tarantino, based on his previous movies. While the set design, music, and overall look and feel of the movie was impressive, as were the pop culture references and homages, the fighting alone did not carry the day for me. It was perfectly obvious that stunt doubles were used for all the main characters, as was string work for the acrobatic fight scenes. This kind of fighting is not enough to carry a movie like Jackie Chan's martial arts ballet.

School of Rock, on the other hand, was more than I expected. It's rare to find a family movie that is able to avoid cheesy sentimentality.

"It was perfectly obvious

"It was perfectly obvious that stunt doubles were used for all the main characters, as was string work for the acrobatic fight scenes."

Don't you think that was partially intentional?

See also this.

See also this.

Shonk, I'm not sure what you

Shonk,

I'm not sure what you mean. Was Tarantino trying to prove some point by using stunt doubles and string work? If so, I didn't get it. My point is that fake action sequences are all well and good, but they don't carry a movie all by themselves in the way that Jackie Chan's do.

I was hoping for more from

I was hoping for more from the fight scenes as well. I like the wide angle fight scenes like those from Jackie Chan movies or the Matrix series. I hate when they flash the camera around to make like there is more action than there really is.

overall the movie was ok. Even though it was better than Jackie Brown, there really wasn't anything new here.

Another bloody but good movie is Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Even though I'm not a Johnny Depp fan he was awesome in this movie.

I saw Kill Bill last night

I saw Kill Bill last night and I was also disappointed with it, perhaps, like Micha, because of overly-high expectations. It seemed to me almost like QT was trying to make a live action anime. I liked the characters and I was enjoying the movie up until Black Mamba fights The Crazy 88 in the restaurant. As the fight went on, and on, and on I just got bored. If you're going to do a movie with fight scenes that long, you need real martial artists. Uma did her best, and was not horrible, but she's no Michelle Yeoh.

Francis, Yeah, that

Francis,

Yeah, that Easterbrook article was all over the place.

Re: Perhaps they really believe that movies such as Kill Bill and The Passion have the ability to jolt the viewer out of his civil constraints, rendering him more likely to crucify popular prophets or slice and dice his way through a crime family with a samurai sword. The argument has been applied to video games.

That is essentially the argument that Chris Bertram's post discussed below made.

"Was Tarantino trying to

"Was Tarantino trying to prove some point by using stunt doubles and string work?"

I'm not much of a film buff, but it seemed like in using those staples of martial arts movies he was paying homage to that genre. Sort of his way of validating that form of expression.

At least, that's how it seemed to me; I could be wrong. Maybe he was working on a tight budget.