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stephen_speicher

Movies: Kill Bill

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I haven't seen Vol. 2 yet.

But I really did like Vol. 1. The storyline was cliched and lacked depth (it was influenced by Japanese Comics), but it was very well executed and directed. The soundtrack was stunning. The end theme is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard.

Uma Thurman was a convincing heroine dispensing justice, and so it was a movie where good triumphs over evil. Two thumbs up.

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I really enjoyed Kill Bill Vol. 1. I like action movies, and QT movies. I looked forward to Vol. 2, then was let down when I saw it. I went into Vol. 2 expecting it to be like Vol. 1, having not read or followed anything about it prior to the viewing. The pace of the movie is considerably slower, the action is greatly reduced and it focuses much more on the QT dialouge, humor and unusual situations.

I may give Vol. 2 a second shot and try to view it from fresh perspective. While Vol. 1 is supposed to be a tribute to Japanese style martial arts films, Vol. 2 is more of a tribute to the Chinese version of that genre, based on what I have read since I saw the movie.

All that said, they are both quite obviously QT's style, and I've observed that either people like him or they don't.

VES

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I highly enjoyed both Kill Bill Vol 1 and Vol 2.

I was let down by the lack of QT story in Vol 1 because of it's strung out cartoonish action. Then I was let down by Vol 2 because of it's lack of strung out cartoonish action because of the QT story.

But when I went home I though about the entire movie in general and found out nothing was wrong with either movie. I bought Vol 1 and continue to enjoy it today. I really want to see Vol 2 again, sometime next week I believe.

True Romance/ Resevior Dogs are extremely slow paced and there not among my favorite QT movies.

Pulp Fiction/ Jackie Brown/ and Kill Bill are fantastic.

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Vol 2 actually had a more Western style. There was a couple of Western moments in Vol 1 especially with the El Paso scenes and the Shaw Brother views. Vol 2 had a couple of Japanese/Chinese martial arts scenes like Uma's time with Pei Mei.

As a whole Kill Bill is quite the brillant film in my opinion.

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I've only seen Vol. 1, but I was okay.

It looks like Tarantino has tried to mesh every type of movie genre into one story. Action, mystery, anime, western, kung-fu, gangster, and blackploitaion comes to mind. And that is only in Vol. 1. I think he did a good job. It's not supposed to be deep or moving, it is supposed to be a fun experience. The live action anime blood squirting was a little over the top though.

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Stephen, have you seen it? And if so, what are your thoughts on it?

I was sincerely hoping no one would ask. Or, at least, not until a large number of others had chimed in. But, now that the jig is up ...

I wil just say, without further explanation or justification, that I consider Kill Bill: Vol 1 to be one of the great films of all time, and Tarantino to have established himself as one of the great directors in the history of film.

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I wil just say, without further explanation or justification, that I consider Kill Bill: Vol 1  to be one of the great films of all time, and Tarantino to have established himself as one of the great directors in the history of film.

Did you just come to that conclusion about Tarantino upon seeing Kill Bill, or did you hold him in high esteem from his other films?

Sadly, I haven't seen Kill Bill yet, but I have great respect for his work on other films.

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I was sincerely hoping no one would ask. Or, at least, not until a large number of others had chimed in. But, now that the jig is up ...

I wil just say, without further explanation or justification, that I consider Kill Bill: Vol 1  to be one of the great films of all time, and Tarantino to have established himself as one of the great directors in the history of film.

I am shocked by this too. I saw both Pulp Fiction and Resevoir Dogs and thought them both to be nothing more than the glorification of depravity. But w/ that kind of reccommendation for Kill Bill, I may have to rent it. Maybe QT has greater depth to him than I previously gave him credit for.

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I wil just say, without further explanation or justification, that I consider Kill Bill: Vol 1  to be one of the great films of all time, and Tarantino to have established himself as one of the great directors in the history of film.

No doubt about it.

I mean - I've seen only part 1, but it was absolutely beautiful. Even the bloodiest parts. Next week a friend of mine might be throwing a private screening of parts 1 & 2 together.

The cartoon part was a little too much even for me. But then again - which is worse: being completely shocked by a murder scene, or being indifferent, or even cozy with it?

Tarantino has a talent to shock. I liked his movies long before I met Ayn Rand, and while his sense of life is probably the exact opposite - there is no doubt he is a cinematic genius.

Every shot leaves you breathless. This man is creating his own cinematic language, in a way that few others succeeded (Steven Spielberg was one of them).

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I haven't seen pt. 2, but since everyone is praising it, I thought I'd offer that I didn't like pt. 1 at all. It was very stylized, but incredibly meandering. Almost nothing happens over the course of 2 hours. It was very unselective and indulgent in almost every respect. Because of Tarantino's love of time lapses, you knew the outcome of the final battle in the first scene. Nothing was dramatized. It's basically just a long series of stylized action sequences.

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I grant that it's a well crafted, loving tribute to Asian cinema with Hong Kong style action. I understood what QT was trying to do and he succeeded. Despite the fact that all the pieces were there, I regard KILL BILL Vol. 1 & 2 to be the weakest of all his films. I enjoyed TRUE ROMANCE more (I know he only wrote the screenplay, but it felt more like a QT movie than this.)

I did enjoy Vol. 2 more than Vol. 1, but I just can't imagine wanting to see either films again. The whole KILL BILL epic has an unserious, wink at the audience feel about it. I know that's what he was going for, but that just served to take me out of the realm of movie magic. I think the biggest problem for me was the dialogue. After RESERVOIR DOGS & PULP FICTION came out, a slew of movies tried to mimic its success with sub par Tarantinian dialogue. Ten years later, that's what KILL BILL felt like for me. It has the flavor of Tarantino's dialogue, but seems like a pale imitation. I also felt emotionally detached from the whole proceedings. I didn't care for any of the characters because they felt like one note caricatures who only exist in the movies.

Even though I give it 4 stars out of 5 (mostly for technical merit), I was disappointed.

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Can someone explain to me the appeal of Tarantino. I haven't seen the Kill Bill movies because I wrote him off after his earlier films. Pulp Fiction was a nightmare; I agree with Robert Tracinsky's review of it in the '95 TIA ('The Spider and the Worm'). Resevoir Dogs was tough to watch between the bloodshed and the meaningless philosobable (this applies to Pulp Fiction too). Without Selma Hayek, "From Dusk Till Dawn" would be just another mindless vampire film. True Romance? More mobsters. So please tell me what I'm missing.

Characters with the sense of life of mobsters, needless blood and gore, rarely a virtous character anywhere to be found, dialog that only a post-modern philosophy student would admire, etc, etc. What is great about Tarantino?

It may be that he has changed directions with Kill Bill but based on his past I can't see how he can be called great.

Also, If I'm not mistaken, he has been heavily influenced by Oliver Stone. This alone could place him on a very low rung of hell (metaphorically speaking).

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I wil just say, without further explanation or justification, that I consider Kill Bill: Vol 1  to be one of the great films of all time, and Tarantino to have established himself as one of the great directors in the history of film.

No doubt about it.

I mean - I've seen only part 1, but it was absolutely beautiful. Even the bloodiest parts. Next week a friend of mine might be throwing a private screening of parts 1 & 2 together.

The cartoon part was a little too much even for me. But then again - which is worse: being completely shocked by a murder scene, or being indifferent, or even cozy with it?

Tarantino has a talent to shock. I liked his movies long before I met Ayn Rand, and while his sense of life is probably the exact opposite - there is no doubt he is a cinematic genius.

Every shot leaves you breathless. This man is creating his own cinematic language, in a way that few others succeeded (Steven Spielberg was one of them).

Unfortunately, Vol 2 is not on the same cinematic level as Vol 1. And, lest anyone misunderstand, it is not the particular values which the film portrays (although there are some things of merit), but rather my judgment of this movie is based on every technical and artistic function in a film which elevates it towards an art form. It is the brilliance of the artistic craftsmanship to which I refer, not the philosophical value of its content.

I admit I meant this as a "shocker." Fact is, Vol. 1 shocked me.

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But what is the point of praising someone for using great artistic skill to portray irrational values?

First of all - in this specific (Kill Bill) case the values are not irrational. Uma Thurman is seeking revenge, and is ruthless in persuing justice.

Second - there is a value in experiencing a great work of art, even if the values it embodies are false, or even evil.

The aesthetic experience of a concrete perfectly embodying an abstract principle is a value in itself (and even more so for aspiring artists, I must add). Every great work of art, regardless of its author's values, is a lesson in concretization, and as such is invaluable to everyone who wants to be able to connect his abstract ideas to reality and avoid "floating abstractions".

Ayn Rand, for example, considered the novel Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz to be the best artistic concretization of Christianity. While definitely critical of Christianity - her admiration for this novel is apparent. So is her admiration of Dostoyevsky, who was probably opposite of Rand both in philosophy and in sense of life (I have to admit I only read a novel and a half by him, until now).

I think Leonard Peikoff deals with this issue in his lecture titled Survival Value of Great (Though Philosophically False) Art.

As I see it, there is definite survival value in Tarantino's movies. Even though the more sensitive among you will be compelled to cover their eyes in certain points. :D

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AR admired Dostoevsky for his "superb mastery of plot-structure and for his merciless dissection of the psychology of evil, even though his philosophy and his sense of life are almost diametrically opposed" to hers.

On the other hand, she conceded that Tolstoy was a good writer, but she couldn't stand his writings, and considered reading him the most boring literary duty of her life.

She also greatly admired Hugo, while completely disagreeing with his philosophy. Her excellent statement was that reading "Hugo gives me the feeling of entering a cathedral---Dostoevsky gives me the feeling of entering a chamber of horrors, but with a powerful guide---Spillane gives me the feeling of hearing a military band in a public park---Tolstoy gives me the feeling of an unsanitary backyard which I do not care to enter."

So would you say Tarantino is comparable to one of these writers? I'd equate him with Tolstoy.

Would you compare him to Alfred Hitchcock?

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I agree with KH's comparison. I watched the first film and was bored by most of it. It would be extremely difficult for me to sit through it again. There were indeed some pretty pictures and pacing etc. As such, I would say Tarantino is a "good" director in that he knows the technical end of his craft (though some of the techniques he use violate what I consider to be good filmmaking). I must disagree with Stephen, however, in saying he is a "great" director, let alone one of the greatest of all time. Nothing I have seen, in ANY of his films, let alone Kill Bill v1, would bring me even close to that conclusion.

Because of this, I have stayed away from KBv2.

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Tarantino, in a sense, makes me feel like entering a circus - where you can never know what is going to happen next, except that it will be fresh and superbly performed & directed.

I don't like his sense of life, and in this regard I think Pulp Fiction is the worst. But meanwhile (seeing only part 1) - Kill Bill is actually the best.

It might seem strange to anyone who did not see the movie - but every single frame of this movie is an artwork in itself. Nothing is left to chance.

The battles are choreographed more strictly, more esthetically, than any ballet I've ever seen. You get plenty of reasons to admire the heroine, and plenty of reasons to hate Bill. To want to kill Bill.

And that's what it's all about, actually - the dance with death.

If anyone here ever read Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth, let me tell you that Kill Bill isn't half as violent. Except that here you see it all on the screen, and in the novel, if you have a limited visual imagination, you don't.

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In terms of cinematography and choreography, and I’m sure some other areas, the movie is a paragon of stylization in a way that few films have matched. In terms of plot and characterization, the writer and/or director fail to stylize anything. (I’m speaking of Volume 1 here.) Thus, it is boring in terms of the events and structure of the film.

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