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kill bill vol. 1

kill_bill.pngIn the mid-90s I went to the theater with a friend to see a movie by a-then unknown director called Quentin Tarantino. We had chosen the movie at random, a couple of days after opening night, without knowing what we were walking into. It was, of course, Reservoir Dogs, and I had never seen anything like it. The 70's retro-style, the great dialogue (like that unforgettable discussion of the meaning of Madonna's 'Like a Virgin'), the characters.... for me, an instant classic.

Then came Pulp Fiction, which not only rebooted John Travolta's career but also provided a boost to Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman. Pulp Fiction was similar (somehow) but better than Reservoir Dogs. Way better.

Jackie Brown was also immensely enjoyable (it's still a favorite of mine) but it was more subdued, with less edge. I started to wonder if Tarantino had somehow lost it a little.

Enter Kill Bill.

Kill Bill is, more than a movie: it's an incredible cinematic experience. It has a beginning with a punch that rivals that of Pulp Fiction, and it only gets better from there. The mix of styles and techniques, black-and-white footage when the Bride is enraged (or in fear), Anime (and great Anime too) to tell the story of a Japanese-Chinese-American character in her youth, reinforcing the fantasy/legend aspects, well....

And, is it violent? Yes, of course it is. I mean, come on, it's a Tarantino movie. But a lot of the violence is so cartoonish that it doesn't really count (and cartoonish but in a good way, not cartoonish like the violence in Schwarzenegger's Commando which was also incredibly stupid and pointless). People who don't like violence at all though will be well advised to steer clear of this movie (a couple of women behind us stood up and left mid-picture--I can't help but wonder what exactly did they think they were walking into). This isn't good or bad, you just have to be into that sort of thing to appreciate it, kinda like you have to be into Kung Fu movies to appreciate them. It's not bad. It's not good. It just is. And as far as I'm concerned, it is great.

I sound like a zealot, don't I? Well, I really, really liked it. Really, really. Really. Even the opening titles where excellent.

I can't wait for Volume 2! And unlike the (remote) doubts surrounding the potential screwups in Matrix Revolutions, there's no question that I'm going to like that one. :-)

Posted by diego on October 19 2003 at 1:15 PM

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