Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Ultimate Revenge Flick

Kill Bill: Vol 1
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah
Released: October 10, 2003

Kill Bill: Vol 2
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen
Released: April 16, 2004
Viewed in theaters: April 23, 2004

I think there should be a law that Uma Thurman should only be allowed to be in movies directed by Quentin Tarantino because the only good movies she's been in have been Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction. Granted, I haven't seen all of her movies, but the ones I have are pretty awful. While it's true that probably 90% of all movies are pure crap, you think she would choose better scripts! Luckily she did with this one. She carries the entire story and does a great job. I thought she should have been nominated for an Oscar for at least one of the films, but at least she was nominated for a Golden Globe both times.

I believe Kill Bill was originally supposed to be one movie and would have clocked in at over four hours, so I think it was smart of Tarantino to divide them into two movies. One of the things I like about Quentin Tarantino, besides his non-traditional way of filmmaking, is that he's a huge fan of a lot of mainstream stuff and isn't ashamed of it. He directed an episode of CSI:; he was in two episodes of Alias; and he was a judge on American Idol....a film director...a judge on a singing competition. Most people of his caliber wouldn't admit to being fans of such low brow fare! (Although the first two seasons of Alias was pretty awesome).
The Deadly Viper Assassin Squad

Like I mentioned in the title line, Kill Bill is the ultimate revenge movie. Uma Thurman plays "the bride" (it's in Vol. 2 where we learn what her full name is), a former assassin who used to belong to The Deadly Viper Assassin Squad along with four other members and their leader, the titular Bill. After she becomes pregnant (the baby is :::gasp:::: Bill's!) and decides to get married (NOT to Bill), her former colleagues gather to kill her, her husband-to-be, the preacher and his wife, and the rest of the wedding party during the wedding rehearsal at a small church in Texas. Bill shoots her in the head right before she confides to him that the baby is his and while everyone else died, she was in a coma for four years. And when she wakes up, she vows revenge.

She makes a list of the five people she plans to kill. She only kills three out of the five (spoiler alert: she DOES kill Bill). One of the people is killed by another person on the list and instead of killing the other, she just leaves her blinded. Let's just say there's a lot of severing of limbs and organs in this movie, but nothing made me really squeamish until Uma snatches Darryl Hannah's eye out of her socket. Ewwwww. And then she stepped on it! Ewww! On purpose!

Like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill isn't told in chronological order. It's sometime shown in black and white and at one point, anime is used to tell the backstory of O-Ren Ishii (Liu), who I thought was the most interesting member.  One of the best scenes out of both films is when The Bride fights the Crazy 88s and O-Ren. Interestingly enough, I actually liked the second volume better than the first when I first saw the movies (I rented Vol. 1 right before Vol. 2 was released in the theater and later watched both films again when I bought them on DVD at the end of the year. I hadn't watched them in eight years). The first one has more action, but I really liked (and still do, don't get me wrong) the storyline where The Bride is buried underground and it flashes back to when she was trained to become an assassin by an old Chinese man named Pai Mei (trivia: he was played by the same guy who played Johnny Mo in Vol. 1) who "hates Americans, loathes white people, and despises women". (Probably didn't get that quote verbatim, but you catch my drift!) The whole montage scene where she's training with him reminded me of the "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan...can't believe I just compared a Disney movie to a Tarantino film, but it totally reminds me of that!

Watching the movies again recently, I definitely had more fun watching the first film. I still like the second film and there's still plenty of action, but there is a lot of boring talking dialogue. That Billl, he never shuts up! I didn't remember the conversations between him and Uma going on f-o-r-e-v-e-r! And honestly, the way he dies is a little anti-climatic because you know what's coming (thank you, foreshadowing!) I do love the credits at the end; I think those are great.

This is probably my favorite Quentin Taranino movie; I think everyone has their own fantasy about getting revenge on the people who have wronged us in our lives. Or maybe that's just me. :::looks around innocently:::

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