Just came back from Kill Bill: Vol. 1 minutes ago and it has to be the movie that has me wondering the most wether I like it or not. (you might want to skip this if you haven’t seen it yet)

The quirky Tarantino stuff is there, the soundtrack is superb and varied, might very well have to buy it. There is homage after homage, pop culture nods galore, martial arts movie re-enactments, stylistic recreations, you name it. Q.T. likes to pay respect to his inspirations and I think he might reach his highest level of respectfulness here.

I’m not sure if it’s my tastes changing or if he really goes overboard but I used to be a fan of the ‘ole ultraviolence and here I just got tired of seeing limbs falling everywhere and blood spurting like crazy. Might also be that I was expecting too much…

Liked the chapter thing, liked Uma and Lucy Liu, loved the very last fight scene, impressed with some of the martial arts, very impressed with some of the stylistic “tableaux” and 2-3 specific shots. Just not sure yet how I feel about the movie once you put it together. I liked it but I can’t seem to muster much enthusiasm. As I write this and message with csc though it’s kind of growing on me. Huh. Maybe 8.0?

[Later] Haven’t read Ulysses so I can’t comment on that part but this review on Flak nails everything I think better than I said it above.

Not only is Kill Bill Vol. 1 both brilliant and dull, and intelligible and obscure, but it raises the question: Are Kill Bill’s bloody frames contributing, like a bit of mosaic, to a detailed picture which Tarantino is seeking to construct for his viewers? Or is this cinematic masturbation, the little drops of blood lightly splattered on Lucy Liu’s face just a perverse wet dream?


In this incomplete state, it’s impossible to tell whether all of this adds up to anything. The piles and piles of allusions, ranging from Busby Berkley to Brian De Palma to Sergio Leone to Akira Kurosawa to a 20-minute anime interlude, certainly enrichens the texture of the film, and to his credit, Tarantino manages to agglomerate these styles into a unique cinematic voice. For the unskilled director, this type of meta-homage becomes disaster, but when a virtuoso like Tarantino is involved, the effect transcends the traditional tonal limitations of cinema.

[Much Later] Another review, this one by one of my favorite bloggers for the last few weeks who expresses the same doubts as I did but in a much much more detailed and thought out manner. Good read and same resulting score.


TheDon October 29, 2003

I’m boycotting the theatre release of Kill Bill but may see it via DVD later.

My reasoning is simple: I’ve seen most, if not all of the films that QT pays “homage” to and quite honestly, I’d feel like a herd animal if I went to see it.

“Homage” is and always has been Hollywood’s way of dressing up the word “copy”. In a time where Hollywood production companies are furious about online movie theft I find it totally hypocritical for a movie like Kill Bill to be produced when all it does is rip other movies.

Personally, I question if it wouldn’t be absolute poetic justice to download the screener and watch it that way. ;)

Patrick October 29, 2003

I agree that I prefer seeing movies with something new but sampling is popular and accepted in music nowadays, in this case he’s sampling but without taking the original images, maybe it’s just a sign of the times?

Michael Heilemann November 7, 2003

TheDon, you have a very good point. And it’s one of the reservations that I also have: How can this movie be its own if it’s nothing more than a mix of all these other movies?

I’m still not sure :)

But I’ll wait for Kill Bill 2 to ‘lay down the law’ so to speak ;)

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