Monday, April 30, 2007

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

2 comments:

  1. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is a film that benefits both from its pleasant but not annoying homage to many genres, as well as the fact that the slower, less interesting half was cut off and made into Kill Bill: Vol. 2.

    Director and co-writer Quentin Tarantino made his two Kill Bill movies a mishmash of genres and styles from old films that he loved. For movie fans, that previous statement might seem a little odd considering that's basically Tarantino's entire career, but Kill Bill is more pronounced. It works, too.

    I love nostalgia and the past as much as the next guy who loves nostalgia and the past to similar levels as I do, but I am always leery when filmmakers focus too much on the "used to be" and get stuck in a rut of been there, done that. Vol. 1 is fresh, though, kind of like Star Wars was when it came out. Sprinkled generously thoughout this "revenge film" are aspects of kung fu flicks, samurai tales, anime, westerns, and more. There's drama and comedy with enough story to keep Vol. 1 sensible and coherent without dragging it into a marsh of backstory that sucks the viewers into its murky depths.

    The Bride (Uma Thurman, who is referred to as beautiful far more often than I am willing to tolerate) has been wronged, and she's going to kill all of those responsible. And, well, she does, fighting and/or meeting a colorful cast of supporting characters along the way. Yeah, there are parts of Vol. 1 that are cheesy, and parts that are nothing more than eye candy, but as a package it works as something of substance. It's more than just a flashy movie with nothing to offer; it's a deliberately crafted cornucopia that reminds us not only of what we love about goofy cinema, but why we love it.

    Vol. 1 is fast paced, over-the-top excitement from beginning to end. The movie starts with a fight and ends with a fight. The final battle is truly epic, of the kind we would expect from comic books or cartoons. The fact that there are not literally eighty-eight "Crazy 88s" (as noted in pretty much every review of the movie ever written) is not important; the fact that you see The Bride hack up a massive amount of bad guys is the point. Plus, it's accomplished with stellar action cinematography.

    Part of what separates Vol. 1 from style over substance, image focused movies is that it is so outrageous. A lot of generic action flicks will show a guy walking away from a car in slow motion while the vehicle explodes...Vol. 1 has a school girl that crushes people with a mace. Generic action flicks will have cool muscle cars or state of the art luxury vehicles...Vol. 1 has a Pussy Wagon (which isn't really all too great, but it's an example). Generic action flicks have the latest hip hop and hard rock soundtracks...Vol. 1 has soul, surf rock and classic themes (such as the theme for Ironside (1967), which starred Raymond Burr).

    Kill Bill: Vol. 1 was made as reverent worship to those crazy B movies of years' past, and for anyone who has ever enjoyed a 70s martial arts flick or an exploitation film, this is definitely worth watching.

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  2. Is that Byting Reviews' biggest picture ever? Because I think it is! Outstanding write-up, but what I really want to say is:

    Pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop!

    ReplyDelete

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