on November 3, 2003
"Kill Bill" is an anomaly in today's Hollywood culture. Here is a movie that neither makes you think too hard nor tears at you heartstrings--and it is a truly excellent flick. Under the shrewd (and possibly insane) hands of Quentin Tarantino, "Kill Bill" details an ultrally brutal and even more emotionally statisfying quest for revenge.
Beat to a bloody pulp and shot in the head and left for dead at her wedding day, The Bride (Uma Thurman, whose name is never revealed) is carted away in a four-year-long coma. She wakes up and vows revenge. And, oh, does Thurman play revenge well. It seems that the supporting cast (Lucy Lui, Vivica A. Fox, among others) truly beat Thurman to the edge of death. Her eyes convey her emotion--the limited and brief dialogue isn't even necessary. She is surpremely convincing in every aspect of her performance, even throughout the amazingly stylish fight sequences (which put "The Matrix" to shame). She fights like a pro with samurai swords, lethal daggers, butcher knives, and frying pans.
One of the main draws to this redefining adventure is the hilarious subject matter. Tarantino goes overboard. Blood flies about like fruit punch, gushing out of wounds like a torrential downpour (sometimes, in fact, you will even wonder if the human body has that much blood), and in any other movie, that gore would force you to leave--but here, it doesn't. Why? Because Tarantino never takes himself too seriously. Fight scenes are punctuated with effective and sometimes laughable dialogue. But beneath the hokey action scenes and the cute quips, there is a real movie at work here. Tarantino dances about the timeline, bouncing the story back and forth to a dizzying point, which forces your full attention on the gradually unfolding general story. The cliffhanger ending merely seals the deal.
"Kill Bill" deserves all of the accolades it gets. Although it may seem to be a hackfest on the surface, there is true talent at work here. Uma Thurman and Lucy Lui give inspiring performances; the story, however linear it may be, it instantly grabbing; and Tarantino's masterful direction is as inspiringly as it is slightly distubring. A true masterpiece. One of the films to beat for 2003.
on September 11, 2008
An excellent blu-ray transfer for an awesome movie. The picture quality is one of the best video transfers on blu-ray and the audio is equally pleasing. Its a must own in the collection of best blu-ray titles. Not much on the extras side, but the Movie itself is worth it.
on February 4, 2010
Quentin Tarantino is arguably the best film-maker of his generation. His ability and passion to tell stories through film is second to none. "Kill Bill" bears witness to Tarantino's love of film by referencing a variety of genres such as blacksploitation, marital arts, anime, spaghetti westerns, and superhero movies. Some might find it easy to dismiss him as merely a movie fan who makes movies about other movies. I argue that he's far more creative than that. He draws upon these genres for inspiration and creates stories that are fresh, intelligently written, and compelling to watch. For example, in the third act of volume 2, Bill, played by the late David Carradine, shoots [Uma Thurman's character] with a dart filled with truth serum forcing her to answer his many questions. While waiting for the serum to take effect, Bill monologues about his fascination with comic books and, in particular, superhero mythology. "The point emerges" as Bill compares [Uma Thurman's character's] alter-ego, Arlene Plympton, with Superman's alter-ego, Clark Kent. No one but Tarantino could reference comic books in a film and make the dialogue sound so interesting.
In the realm of cinematography, he "pulls out all the stops" using a variety of camera techniques like split-screens, long-shots, and fast close-ups on the eyes. Some of these techniques can be traced backed to Martin Scorsese, one of his biggest influences. Of course, do I even need to mention the music? I believe I can best describe the selection as cooler than Dante's ninth level of hell. "Kill Bill", while packed with dozens of exciting ideas, can be enjoyed simply as fun movie viewing which, in my opinion, is a trademark of an excellent director.
The Box Set isn't anything extraordinary. Based on my own copy, all that I can determine is that the Box Set contains the regular DVDs............................. in a display box. Unless you are obsessive over display boxes, you could do just as well to buy the two movies separately either online or at your local movie retail store. I personally enjoy the DVD extras but don't be deceived. The Box Set doesn't contain any additional DVD extras.
on September 6, 2008
Version: U.S.A / Miramax / Region A, B, C
Kill Bill Vol. 1
MPEG-4 AVC BD-50 / High Profile 4.1
Running time: 1:50:43 (U.S Cut)
Movie size: 31,48 GB
Disc size: 36,01 GB
Average video bit rate: 30.06 Mbps
LPCM Audio English 4608 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz / 16-bit / 4608kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz / 640kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz / 640kbps
Subtitles: English SDH / Chinese / Japanese / French / Korean / Spanish
Number of chapters: 20
* The Making of KILL BILL Volume 1
* THE "5, 6, 7, 8'S" Musical Performances
* Tarantino Trailers: "Reservoir Dogs," "Pulp Fiction," "Jackie Brown," "Kill Bill: Volume 1" bootleg trailer, Kill Bill" Volume 2 teaser.
Kill Bill Vol. 2
MPEG-4 AVC BD-50 / High Profile 4.1
Running time: 2:16:57
Movie size: 38,50 GB
Disc size: 42,94 GB
Average video bit rate: 27.26 Mbps
LPCM Audio English 6912 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz / 24-bit / 6912kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz / 640kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz / 640kbps
Subtitles: English SDH / Chinese / Japanese / French / Korean / Spanish
Number of chapters: 20
* The Making of KILL BILL Volume 2
* Damoe Deleted Scene
* Chingon Musical Performance
I want to make it VERY clear, the three stars are NOT for the movie. Kill Bill, in my view, is one of the best movies ever made but this evaluation is for THIS Kill Bill Blu-ray release.
I am totally sold on Blu and, when the Kill Bill bundle became available... well... I ordered it when Amazon offered it at a great discount. The bundle includes Kill Bill 1 and 2 and, IF you wish to upgrade your KBs I highly recommend the bundle because you could save a few dollars. There is no difference between the 2 KBs sold as individual titles and them sold together other than, possibly, the price.
I wish I had a lot to say about the Blu-ray version but I don't so, let me say what is worth saying:
- The contents of the Blu-ray version are EXACTLY those of the DVD edition, nothing more, nothing less.
- Even the artwork is borrowed from the original DVD edition.
- The 'extras' are shot in low resolution, in fact they are the exact extras you will find on the DVD.
- The resolution of the movie is, of course, higher than the DVD's and the audio is available as 'uncompressed' but nothing special was done for the Blu issue. I noticed quite a few artifacts and some graininess but, overall, the picture quality is good. It could have been a lot better. I expect a remastered edition in the near future.
Overall, I am not very happy with this edition which appears to have been put together on the cheap and in a hurry. I suspect that the digital master used to make the DVDs was quickly converted to Blu and thrown out on the market but I could be wrong.
I am looking forward to a complete and professionally done Tarantino filmography on Blu in the near future, meaning that I'd be buying the Kill Bills three times.
On deciding whether to buy this release or not it should be up to one's budget. Those who don't have the DVD edition but have a Blu player, definitely buy the Blu, preferably the bundle because one never knows when a superior version may be released. If you already have the DVD... like I said, I bought my KB 1&2 package when Amazon offered it at a very significant discount.
on January 31, 2004
Kill Bill vol. 1, the 4th feature from Quentin Tarantino, delivers in most every way that we would expect from Tarantino. It is sylish as hell; the cinematography especially struck me as being more impressive than in his previous films. The final scene particularly illustrates this, with the frenetic action being conveyed through silhoutte lighting, b&w vs. color and creative shifts between them, impressive camera shots such as the rising shot right before the battle royale, and the pure cinematic epicity of the setting of the final battle between Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu. Tarantino's brilliantly dark humor is littered throughout the film as well; Buck describing how to have sex with Uma Thurman's supposedly comatose form may be offensive and appaling to some, but as it is delivered (and to all Tarantino fans), it is utterly hilarious (little details such as bucks "P---- Wagon, the "Kaboom!" cereal box, and the water fountain that serves as the only noise through much of the climatic battle also stand out). I was also very impressed with(though initially apprehensive of) the anime segment that served as a segue into the Japanese setting, it added a surprising amount of emotion, and set the feel perfectly for the rest of the film. Nearly everything is done right, beyond right. The soundtrack is amazing, as is to be expected for a Tarantino film. He has impeccable taste in music, and seems to innately know what will enhance the film; in some places it is even cheesy (the 1,2,3,4s in the Japanese club) but we know that this is all intended, as is the "Feature Presentation" card at the beginning; Tarantino is someone who is obviosuly in love with film, and this film is almost an expression of love for all the "cool" films he watched growing up. I have heard Uma Thurman quoted as saying that this film is "pure, epic, Tarantino fantasy" and this is a perfect description of it. There is little to no depth, it is not a film that will stun you with its character development, or method acting, but it doesnt pretend to, or even want to. It simply revels in being the epitomy of "cool", it is an action film that is done in almost all ways, perfectly. Tarantino's gift is found in knowing what will look utterly amazing on film (again, I found myself stunned simply by the appearance of the final, snow-covered courtyard), in being able to write with a great amount of wit and intelligence, and being able to put the two together with a large amount of what must be called genius. Kill Bill isn't Tarantino's best film (an honor reserved for the utterly brilliant Pulp Fiction, [or is it Reservoir Dogs, it seems to depend on which film ive watched most recently] ), nor will it win the Best Picture Academy Award (which it doesnt deserve anyway), but it is a damn good time. Uma Thurman makes a triumphant return to film, and shocks most everyone in being able to pull off her role as the Bride perfectly; after seeing the film I cannot imagine anyone who could be more convincing. The question remains, can a film be given 5 stars based on style alone? The answer, surprisingly, is yes. I give out 5 stars very, very infequently, to only the very best of films, and while this is by no means the BEST action film ever made, it is certainly a damn good one. repeat viewing may lessen the spectale somewhat, but this reviewer was very impressed (and still is, after 3 viewings) with what he just saw. Very Highly Recommended.
on October 8, 2004
1. If you're a serious movie fan then you've probably spent some time hanging out with friends talking about waht you'd do if you made a movie. Alot of people, myself included, talk about putting in icons from movies that we saw when we were younger but don't get alot of work anymore. You'd suspect that alot of filmmakers have converstions like this before they break into Hollywood....but for some reason they never follow up on those ideas. They've apparently forgotten what it's like to be a movie geek. Not Q.T. In Pulp Fiction he got Travolta. In Jackie Brown it was Pam Grier. And here in Kill Bill he got Carradine. All 70s icons. You just know that Tarentino was sitting around at one point with some friends talking about how he'd get Carradine in his movie no matter how old he was. Q.T. keeps it real.
2. Game of Death costume. Again, as with No.1 it's the ultimate geek fantasy to pay homage to some of your favorite films in your own film. The biker suit that the Bride wears during the House of Blue Leaves fight is a replica of Bruce Lee's suit in the movie, Game of Death.
3. Hatori Honzo. Sonny Chiba played a character named Hatori Honzo in a Japanese TV series called Shadow Riders. The thing with this show, however, is that each season contained the same characters but a completely different story that had no relation to the previous one. Q.T. decided to carry on the legacy of Hatori Honzo in his own movie by getting none other than Sonny Chiba himself to play Honzo. A true testament to Tarentino's dedication to classic filmmaking.
4. Gordon Liu. What can I say. If you've ever seen Shaolin Master Killer....then you were no doubt freaking out at the presence of Gordon Liu in BOTH Kill Bill volumes.
5. The Fights! Yeah we all know how incredible and intense the House of Blue Leaves fight is. My favorite shot being the silhouetted fighting in front of the blue backdrop similar to scenes in Samurai Fiction. But how about the brutal and realistic fight between the Bride and Vernetta Green? Since when have you seen two women fight in a movie and end up ACTUALLY SWEATING AND BLEEDING afterwards? Awesome.
Of course, there are many more reasons to love this movie....these are simple reminders as to why everyone should own this film.
on February 15, 2004
Oh, the joy of being a movie geek. This year has been a tremendous blessing for all of the human race, or just us film fanatics, as the movie gods have listened to all our prayers to deliver cinematic goodness. One of these that came as a major grace is called "Kill Bill: Volume One", the latest offering from the dark, perverted but brilliant mind of Quentin Tarantino. Last seen under the spotlight in 1997 with "Jackie Brown", we have been painfully awaiting his next move throughout a six-year-span. Well, time finally came upon us and the wait is definitely worth it.
Appropriately entitled "Kill Bill", Tarantino tells a simple revenge story, albeit through his usual non-linear storytelling structure, about a lanky blonde woman (played by the invigorating Uma Thurman) only known as "The Bride" a.k.a. "Black Mamba" who wakes up from a coma to exact revenge on her former assassin group called "The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad" lead by Bill (David Carradine), who aren't really happy of her decision to quit and marry someone in El Paso, Texas. Hence, bloody carnage ensues as Bill and the gang made of eclectic members-Budd, Vernita Green, Elle Driver and Oren-Ishii-massacres The Bride's family and guests on her wedding day, including her unborn baby. Bill saves her for last and shoots her head (on what could be one of the most startling introductions in a movie). Thinking that she's dead, they leave her cold in her blood-splattered wedding dress, which is a terrible mistake on their part, as The Bride gets up from her hospital bed after four years with furious determination and will to destroy every single one of the perpetrators, saving the best for last, which is, of course, Bill, proving that as far as justice goes, it can easily get very poetic.
However, this is only half of the story, as Miramix, the film distributor, and Tarantino himself decided to cut the three-hour long movie in half and released them four months apart. That being said, I am very sure that Volume Two will be as equally brutal and vigorously entertaining to what I've seen four times in the theaters (Yes, four times! It's that good!)
"Kill Bill: Volume One" is perhaps the most violent American movie ever (and I've seen a lot of movies). It can be easily be used as an example of how the morals of the Western world have dramatically fallen in the 21st century. But it's most important to know that this movie was made as an ode to those rare, odd, cheesy and absurd kung-fu, Western, exploitation, slasher and grindhouse movies we usually see gathering dust in the cult section of a video store or occasionally seen playing on television at 3 in the morning. Kill Bill: Volume One on the surface looks like a very empty fluff made to only shock the already seemingly desensitized viewers, but underneath, it is really a very intelligent piece of art. Intelligent in a sense that it knows the rules of the cinema: it knows it audiences are and doesn't give a damn thing or two to those who don't want to get involved. For instance, The Bride wears a yellow jumpsuit during the last hour of the movie. To the uninitiated, it's just a striking sexy vintage number. To those in the know, it's a replica of Bruce Lee's tracking jumpsuit from his 1979 movie Game of Death. And this is just only a fraction of Tarantino's endless references, in-jokes and homages to old and obscure cinema. From Brian DePalma to Godzilla, from giallo films to Japanese animations, God knows what else are there he injected. I say this movie is an entire pop culture of pop culture.
Even without this quality, it's still deliciously entertaining, boldly creative and visually arresting, it's safe to say that this is an instant classic. No, this is not an Oscar-winning movie, let alone be nominated. But not everything has to have a deep storyline with complex characters to be a great film. This movie has no substance and as empty as a dead shell. But it's an amazingly great film, nonetheless. The fact of the matter is that Tarantino made this with great respect, love and passion of the medium, that he practically utilizes everything to its full advantage from complicated camera shots (the long tracking shot of The Bride going to the washroom is incredible), beautiful cinematography (the claustrophobic and filthy Hospital environment, the beautifully exotic and bright Japanese backdrop), the amazing eclectic selections of music (from Nancy Sinatra's "Bang, Bang" to "The Green Hornet" theme song) and the excellently choreographed fight scenes as if we're watching an amazing, exhausting ballet dance with swords. Oh yeah, and the beautiful gushing of the blood and gore like water coming down from Niagara Falls.
"Kill Bill: Volume One" is an extravagant, highly-stylized, ultra-energized, uber-violent piece of celluloid. It's made up of a world were grativity is without law, violence is sheer poetry, pissed-off Caucasian women likes to play with samura swords, and even assassins have feelings. It's a world where obscure 1970's disco music goes perfectly seamless along with the motion of decapitation and maiming.
Oh what fun!
Aside from that movie that left me with tears featuring hobbits and wizards and that fetus-looking boy-fish who seems to say the word "Precciooooooussssss...." a lot, this year belongs to Kill Bill: Volume One (and I cannot wait for Volume 2!)
Thank you, Tarantino for your sick and twisted mind.
on May 4, 2005
Actually there are two subtitles, full english captioning and just the translated subtitles, the modes are Subtitle Off, Engligh 1, and English 2.
And the aspect ratio is actually letterboxed in 2.35:1 instead of the standard PSP widescreen, so I don't know what is being misprepresented. I've heard more people complain that it is in its original widescreen and not formatted to fill the PSP screen (Spider-Man 2 for example actually was cropped from 2.35:1 down to the PSP's screen size).
This is a great UMD, it has great looking animated menus, it actually HAS a scene selection menu, and it has extras too, a Making Of video and music videos. Compared to the rest of the UMD pack this disc is a feature packed jewel.
I basically forgot about Quentin Tarentino for a number of years. After watching the fantastic "Reservoir Dogs" years ago, followed by the even better "Pulp Fiction" a couple of years later, Tarentino seemed to drop off the radar. Occasionally, you would see his mug turn up on one of those television talk shows, or hear about him doing an interview somewhere, but his career as a director seemed to have hit the skids. Then he did "Jackie Brown," a film that certainly embodied many of the Tarentino stylistic elements (wrapped around a still foxy Pam Grier), but failed to compare favorably with his two earlier efforts. Fans of the man sat back and waited patiently for his next project, which turned out to be the hyperkinetic "Kill Bill Vol. 1." This film reaffirms one essential fact about Quentin Tarentino: he's one of us. What I mean by that is that he's a fanboy of the sort of cheap, cheesy cinema pumped out of diverse locations such as Asia and Italy. The Spaghetti western is what I'm talking about, and chop socky potboilers from the great old days of Hong Kong. His knowledge of these usually ignored films is incredible; I've seen my fair share of low budget cult classics, and many of the references in "Kill Bill" soared right over my head. But I know enough to see where he gets his inspiration, and it's nice to see someone paying homage.
Why even discuss the plot of a film so overanalyzed since its release? Because I like to write to excess, so here goes. The Bride (Uma Thurman) survived an assassination attempt carried out by her former partners in crime, specifically members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, and has just woke up from a lengthy coma. Her last memory is, unfortunately, the sort of memory that would give the rest of us a coronary; she remembers the enigmatic leader of the group, Bill (David Carradine), putting a bullet into her head. Now she's wide awake, having lost her unborn child, and ready to get back out on the street to seek revenge against her former associates. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, they say, and boy are they right! The Bride works hard to restore her body and mind to pre-injury levels, and makes a list of five people who must go down for the agony she has endured. Victim number one is Vernita Green (Vivica Fox), who perishes after an ultracool knock down drag out fight in Green's suburban home, a fight that pauses long enough for Green's little kid to go up to her room after arriving home from school (!). The next killer to go down will be O-Ren Ishi (Lucy Liu), a scary thug who now runs her own organized crime racket in Japan.
Before taking down Green and Ishi, Thurman's character heads to the Far East in search of the elusive Hattori Hanzo (Sonny Chiba), a sword craftsman extraordinaire and the man who trained Bill himself in combat techniques. But there's a big problem: Hanzo has had a change of heart and isn't interested in making weapons anymore. The Bride must convince him that what she's doing is right, which she does, and the craftsman makes his best sword for her so she can carry out her revenge plots. Hanzo's clout carries such weight in the underworld that O-Ren Ishi visibly pales when she learns what The Bride has accomplished. That's all in the future, however, as Thurman's character must battle her way through a veritable army of dangerous goons to get to O-Ren Ishi. The sinister Gogo Yubari (Chiaki Kuriyama), a willowy teenager who is a whiz with painful looking weaponry, is Ishi's personal bodyguard. So are the Crazy 88s, the yakuza goons that form the central pillar of Ishi's organized crime network. In a finale that one must see to believe, The Bride wreaks havoc--no, apocalyptic carnage--on O-Ren's criminal empire. Gore, blood, limbs, and assorted other body parts soar through the air as Uma goes on a one woman killing spree of epic proportions.
I could go on and on about the various details of the movie, such as the animated sequence telling the story of O-Ren Ishi's transformation into a professional assassin, but I won't go into more particulars. "Kill Bill" is a film best experienced for oneself. I think it's wonderful that people--most of whom would never watch the sort of films Tarentino lovingly cribbed from for this masterpiece--went to see his movie in the theaters. Now do you understand why we obsess over cult cinema? Even if you don't understand the references in the film, you can still get a kick out of the over the top performances, the scorching soundtrack, and that ultracheesy atmosphere Tarentino throws around all over the place. I loved the sound effect we hear whenever The Bride homes in on one of her targets, a sort of loud siren effect that must have had viewers scratching their heads in bewilderment. My favorite part of the film was none of these things, though. I have to say Lucy Liu was the best part of "Kill Bill Vol.1." For such a lovely looking woman, she's downright chilling as O-Ren Ishi. I thought she did a phenomenal job with her role.
The only extras I saw on the disc I rented was a music video and a behind the scenes feature. I wouldn't even consider buying this disc right now because you just know they'll release a double disc set of both films, probably with a third disc chock full of extras. Incredibly, I have not seen "Kill Bill Vol.2" yet. I know, I know--I'll bump it up on my rental list as soon as possible. I don't know if the second installment is as good as this one, but hopefully it is just as entertaining.