Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Naked Gun

The Naked Gun
Director: David Zucker
Cast: Leslie Nielsen, Prisilla Presley, George Kennedy
Released: December 2, 1988

This comedy, starring the late Leslie Neilsen as police officer Frank Drebin who finds out that there is going to be an assassination attempt on the Queen of England who is visiting Los Angeles, is full of jokes, one-liners, and physical gags and definitely made me laugh throughout the movie. Even the commentary is very funny. As you may (or may not) know, O.J. Simpson is in the movie. He plays Nordberg, Frank's partner who spends most of the movie in a coma and getting abused by Frank's antics. When his name shows up in the opening credits, one of the commentators states, "O.J. Simpson's in this? What's he up to now?" (Not sure if the commentary was recorded pre or post him ending up in prison). The first scene you see of O.J. is him sneaking around wearing dark clothes on a marina and holding a gun and one of the commentators says, "Now is this from the movie or is this actual footage?" Funny stuff. They also mentioned that after the whole scandal happened, they got calls from TV stations asking their permission to use clips of O.J. from the movie. Even O.J.'s IMDb page is funny as it has a list of movies he's most well known for. Yeah, something tells me he's more well known for something else...

Prisilla Presley plays Jane, Frank's love interest and there's a really funny montage of them to a hokey song (written specifically for the movie) doing various things like running on a beach, walking in a park and eating hot dogs, sailing, coming out of a movie and laughing (and we see that the movie they just watched was Platoon!),  and a bunch of other things that makes you think this is taking place over a course of a couple weeks. At the end of the montage, they return back to Jane's house and she says something to the effect of, "I had such a wonderful day! I can't believe we just met yesterday!" Very funny payoff to a very funny montage.

My favorite moment in the movie is when Frank is chasing a bad guy and while the bad guy steals a car and gets away, Frank stops a car, gets in the backseat and tells them to "follow that black car!" We then see that in the driver's seat is a student driver and sitting next to her is her instructor. The instructor, in a very monotone voice, tells the driver to lift her arm and extend her middle finger after another driver cusses her out.

I watched the sequels, Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (1991) and Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994) and while funny, the first one is the best. The third one features another notorious person who's in the cast: Anna Nicole Smith. She's actually coherent, though so this must have been before she started taking all the drugs. In that movie, Frank finds out that there's going to be a bomb at the Oscars so he attends it and pretends to be Phil Donahue who is presenting with Raquel Welch. I have no idea why Phil Donahue would be at the Oscars, but there's a funny moment when one of the guys in the control room says, "We're never asking Phil Donahue to the Oscars again!" Well, at least they kept their promise!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fourth season!

I have once again completed another season of Beverly Hills 90210 and the gang have headed for college at California University! I will give an account for each character in alphabetical order:

Andrea - First of all, I love it when Andrea gets pissed off whenever somebody calls her "Andrea" and she goes, "It's AUNDrea." Andrea, who was the star newspaper writer in high school applies to be on the college paper, but decides she doesn't want to join the team when she has to write a review about the Peach Pit and doesn't want to write pieces about her friends that may paint them in a bad light. Obviously they didn't want Aundrea going in the same direction she did in high school, so they went in a different direction. Andrea starts dating her R.A./teacher (uh, I don't remember any of my R.A.s being teacher even if this guy is a grad student) and sadly, the first guy she ever sleeps with is just butt-ugly. I mean, damn, Andrea, it was true you were a lot cuter in high school with your curly hair and glasses (wait - isn't that suppose to make girls uglier? But for some reason Andrea needs curly hair and glasses to look attractive!), but dang, girl you could do better than that ugly (and racist as we soon learn!) ass! Luckily Aundrea comes to her senses and dumps Dan Rubin's ass and starts dating Jesse, a Latino studying law. She becomes pregnant because I guess Gabrielle Carteris was pregnant in real life. She and Jesse get married and she's planning on moving to San Fransico with Jesse where he's been offered a job. Does this mean no more Andrea in Beverly Hills? I certainly would not care if she left! Her baby girl was born a premie, but it looks like everything will be okay. They name her Hannah. 

Brandon - Brandon is talked into running for student body president because of how he organized rallies when he was in high school (and you have to give him lots of props because that was before Facebook was invented so he couldn't just send an invite out to everyone). His main opponent, who also writes for "The Condor", the college paper, is not happy that Brandon is the school's new golden boy and plans to find out if he has any skeletons in his closet. Brandon has a summer fling with a slightly older woman from NYC (it's Jenny Calendar!) but she's only in two episodes, so that doesn't go anywhere. Brandon's main storyline with a woman involves a twenty-seven year old married grad student/teacher. She starts flirting hardcore with Brandon before he knows she's married and when he finds out she's married to his sociology teacher who has asked him to tutor a star athlete, he asks her to back off. The athlete finds out that she is flirting with Brandon and tells Brandon that if he doesn't take his test for him, then he's going to tell the professor that his wife is cheating on him with Brandon. Well, Brandon doesn't take the bait because he knows there is nothing going on between them. Lucinda, the married women gets a divorce from her husband and she and Brandon start having a relationship. When Brandon finds out that she kissed Dylan, he gets jealous and tells her it's off...but she's still very persistent. Speaking of persistent, there's another woman, or in this case, girl since she's a high school senior, who keeps throwing herself at Brandon. Her name is Claire Arnold and she's the chancellor's daughter. She is one fucking annoying character and unfortunately she's going to be in the series for a few more seasons because I looked her up. Ugh! She relentlessly is throwing herself at Brandon and won't take no for an answer even though he tells her he's not interested...but he does end up kissing her, so way to stay strong, Brandon. But, ugh, I can't stand girls who act like that...and god, this girl is gonna grate! Oh, remember Emily Valentine from season 2; the girl Brandon dated for awhile before she started getting into drugs, stalked him, and had to be sent to the psych ward? Well, Brandon just thought he would head up to San Francisco to visit her because she had been on his mind. Who doesn't want to visit their crazy ex? He goes to the address of her parents' home (apparently she was released) but it turns out some woman is living there and tells him the family before her moved to Athens. "As in [someplace in California]?" Brandon asks and the woman replies with, "As in Greece!" Ha! I was thinking as in Georgia. So Brandon is on a trolley and the camera pans over and you see none other than Emily Valentine herself sitting on the other side, so they're back to back. The scene is so stupid and contrived because just when Emily is about to get off and they're going to miss each other, Brandon gets up to move and he runs right into Emily. LOL, the actress playing Emily is so horrible. When she sees him, she's like "BRANDON!" Okay, well it's hard to do without seeing someone do it...but trust me, it's horrible. She's only in two episodes, but they rekindle their romance (you are so fucking stupid, Brandon) but they have to end it because Emily is moving to France to study marine biology....uh, when the hell did that happen? I don't remember her being interested in marine biology... Brandon ends the season by going to Washington D.C. with the task force and there he meets President Bill Clinton. They show actual footage of Clinton at an outdoor event, but when they show Brandon meeting "Clinton", it is so obviously fake. He's only shown shaking hands with the president with a side view and a back view of "Clinton". The side view you can see the profile of "Clinton's" face and you can so obviously tell it's not Bill Clinton - I guess he didn't want to meet Jason Priestly! He also ends the season by sleeping with Kelly and starting a relationship with her...he took her to a retreat while she was still dating Dylan because he was dating Lucinda at the time and obviously he couldn't take a teacher to a school retreat, so he asked Kelly to go with him and they kissed while they were there and that's where they found out they had feelings for each other. Of course they do.

Brenda - Last season on Beverly Hills, 90210...Brenda decided she was going to college at the University of Minnesota and she's only there for the first two episodes (and they show the campus which is cool because that's where my brother went to school!) before she decides she misses Beverly Hills, her friends, and the warm weather (apparently the year she went back was supposed to be the coldest winter in Minnesota's history! Hmm...I'll have to ask my sis-in-law if this is true since she grew up there!) At first she's not sure if she wants to go to college when she gets back, but of course she attends CU because that's where everyone else goes to school. Her father introduces her to his boss's son, Stewart, and he and Brenda start dating. It's only three weeks later when Stewart (Stuart?) proposes to her. Of course she says yes because he is rich, and while he is no Dylan McKay (but really, who is?) he's not that bad-looking. SERIOUSLY, BRENDA? THREE WEEKS???? The wedding is suppose to be in six months (her parents are very much against it - Jim and Cindy are sensible people), but his parents want it to be a huge event. Brenda and Stuart decide they're going to elope in Las Vegas. Brenda tells Brandon and makes him promise not to tell their parents. Because Brandon is the good son, he lets it slip to his parents, but tells them that he will go to Las Vegas and talk some sense into her. He also tells the other gang and of course they all have to come along :::rolls eyes::: We keep getting hints from Dylan that he knew Stuart in the past and apparently he's not such a great guy, but he won't say what he did even though Brandon keeps asking him. Um, dude, this is your ex-girlfriend and your best friend's sister....maybe you should care a little more about who she's gonna marry. Okay, maybe you shouldn't care who your ex is going to marry, but you should care enough to tell your best friend if that's his sister. It turns out, minutes before they about to tie the knot, that Brenda and Stuart realize they're rushing into things (you think?!) and call the wedding off. I thought they had also called their relationship off because for the longest time you don't see Stuart at all, but it turns out he had been in South America working on some business deal. He and Brenda break up after he gets mad at Brenda for locking the keys in the car and they're out in the desert. Yes, I can understand being upset about that, but he was a huge jerk about it and needless to say, they broke up. We find out that Brenda still has feelings for Dylan (surprise, surprise) and they kiss in the last episode. There's another plotline involving Brenda where she becomes an activist turned extremist for animal rights. The school's med lab, which Aundrea is a part of, uses animals as part of their research and Brenda, Kelly, and Donna are all against it. Brenda finds herself involved in an extremist group who plan to ransack one of the labs and set al the animals free. She thinks this means one of the labs Aundrea doesn't work in (I don't know what the difference is), but it is the very lab and she tries to tell everyone not to do it, that they're using the animals for a good cause, but they let all the animals lose anyway and they get caught because it turns out one of the people in their group was a FBI agent working undercover and he tells Brenda that he will drop the charges if she gives up no jail time for Brenda, whew! Brenda, an aspiring actress, auditions for the lead role in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Kelly also auditions for the lead, even though Brenda thought she was just going to audition for another part and she gets jealous when the director really likes Kelly. Kelly decides to drop out because acting isn't her passion. The only competition Brenda has left is a girl named Laura (who I will talk more about later) and even though Laura had a great audition and Brenda choked on hers, Brenda still got the part. Rumors go around that Brenda got the part because she slept with the director who is known for getting close to his leading ladies. I really can't blame people for thinking that because we see Brenda arrive at his house wearing a black dress and while we never see what goes on, I thought it was kind of implied she was there to make sure she got the part, if you know what I mean. But people believe that she never slept with him, even though she never denies it! Well, even though she choked at her audition, she did a great job at the actual performances. The director invites her to join an acting school in London for the summer. This was Shannen Doherty's last season. I will actually miss her because Brenda is one of the best characters!

David - David has moved into a townhouse on the beach with Kelly and Donna, only he has to pretend he doesn't live there when Donna's mom visits because she wouldn't approve. David and Donna, who were the school DJs at West Beverly High, apply for a job at the college radio station and the only slot available is the 3-6 am time. Donna wisely quits because she can't handle that and school work. David keeps up with it and gets help from Kenny, the station manager who supplies him with speed. I guess the best way to take speed is with orange juice? David gets so hooked on the stuff that he loses Erin, his little sister in the park (I knew she would be found since she's one of the main characters ofBeverly Hills, 90210: The New Class). He seems to clean up his drug habit (he ends up dumping all these pills that he was holding for a drug dealer down the toilet just seconds before the narcotics police show up), but at the end of the season he makes friends with a bunch of druggies so it looks like he's going to be a druggie again next season. He also breaks up with Donna twice. The first time is because she won't have sex with him, but then they get back together and he ends up cheating on her and she catches him. Oh David, you turd! 

Donna - So Donna and David break up. Donna finds a dog that has escaped from the animal lab that Brenda's little group ransacked and names him Rocky. He has cancer and dies two days later, but she gets a new puppy and names it Rocky Too. Stupid name. Donna's mom finds out that David is living with them, but she trusts Donna to use her best judgement. Donna ends up getting her own show during the day because she had to fill in for somebody and the guy was impressed with her. She also has a fling with some random guy when she goes skiing (this was during the time she and David were broken up for the first time), but realizes she loves David. 

Dylan - Dylan breaks up with Kelly, like twice. OMG WHO CARES??? I always liked Dylan better with Brenda anyway, but whatever. Dylan's story arc for the first half of the season is that he has recently bought a new Porsche (because he should only drive his classic one on "rainy days" - fuckin' rich kids!) and he ends up getting carjacked. It was so stupid. It was the last ten seconds of the episode. He's sitting at a red light with his window rolled down and all of a sudden some dude gets in his face and has a gun pointed at him. Then the show ends and I'm thinking we're going to find out what happens in the next episode...but no. That was the whole scene! Obviously the guy got the car, but what did Dylan do? Did he put up a fight? Did the guy just let him go? I want to know what happened, damnit! After this incident, Dylan decides he's not safe anymore and buys a gun from some guy off the street (IN BROAD DAYLIGHT) who's selling them (illegally, duh) from his van. He almost shoots Brandon one day when he's in the shower and Brandon has to break into his house because he left his parents' anniversary gift there. Fucking dumbass Brandon BREAKS the window so he can open the door from the inside, Dylan hears this and grabs his guns and yells, "I HAVE A GUN" and Brandon says, "Yo, man, it's just me!" and Dylan goes, "OMG man, I could have killed you!" Then Brandon makes Dylan feel bad for almost killing him and Dylan promises he'll get rid of the gun. Now if I were Dylan, I would have been pissed because my stupid asshole inconsiderate friend had just broken into my house (and I hope he made Brandon pay for that!!) Like, dude, you couldn't wait a few minutes until Dylan was done in the shower? JFC! The gun story completely comes to a stop there, too. I thought maybe Dylan was going to find himself in another situation where a gun would have come in handy or else the police would find the disposed gun and trace it back to him and he would get in trouble for being in possession of an illegal gun. Oh, well. The next main story for Dylan is when a woman and a young girl appear at his door, and the woman claims to be friends with Dylan's father and he had given them his address as a possible place to stay. They're from Iowa and are moving to Beverly Hills because there was a flood. We learn that the little girl, Erica (around 12 years old) is Dylan's half-sister. Dylan wants to give them money to help them settle, but Jim Walsh wants to make sure they really who they say they are and needs the woman's social security. Erica's mom gets mad when Dylan asks her for it, but Erica gets it out of her mom's purse when she's not looking and we find that she's not as poor as she thinks she is. We do learn that she did know Dylan's dad, but she admits she's not sure if Erica is even his daughter (because she was a slut back then, I guess) and Dylan says he doesn't care because she's already his sister to him. The woman is getting married to some guy who looks like a child molester (and I seriously thought that was going to happen with him and the little girl...) but works in environmental studies. At the very last episode we learn that they have gotten married and are planning on moving to South America, but haven't told Dylan and the woman mentions something about "I didn't come all this way for this scam not to work" so there's some scam going on....hopefully we find out what's going on in the next season. It's so funny and stupid because Erica and her mom and new stepdad are at the airport about to leave for Brazil and she tells them she has to use the bathroom and after she leaves the bathroom we see a piece of paper taped to the inside of the stall door which reads, "If you find this please give to Dylan McKay"... and then it has Dylan's address. The stupid thing is there's no other message on the piece of paper! And it didn't look like anything was written on the back either! So...huh? Well, it turns out the paper fell off the door and is on the ground. 

Kelly - Even though Kelly is dating Dylan at the beginning of the season, this older college guy, whose name I already forgot because I don't give a shit about him, starts hitting on Kelly. Jerkface (we'll just call him that) knew Kelly back when she was a freshman in high school and he was a senior and he did something really jerky to her. You know, typical guy jerk. So he's putting the moves on Kelly and she falls for it and she tells Dylan that she wants them to see other peope. Uh, who the hell breaks up with Dylan McKay? He is WAY better than Jerky McJerkface. So surprise, surprise, Kelly learns (again) that Jerkface is an ass....duh.

Steve - Steve joins a frat and acts like the douche he already is. At the time he's dating a girl who is way out of his league and he's lucky that this girl even likes him, but he screws that up when he sleeps with another girl...that would be Laura, the girl who also auditioned for the same role as Brenda in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Laura accuses Steve of raping her even though he says he didn't. Now I believe Steve. He may be a douche, but he's not a rapist. Laura told him, "I never said yes...but I never said no." Okay, whatever you crazy pyscho. But here's the kicker...a few months after she accuses Steve of raping her, they start dating when Steve helps her out with her audition (because his mom also played the same role in a play she did). Uh.......why the effing hell would you date someone who accused you of raping them? WHY? Steve, you're an idiot! After Brenda gets the part, Laura plans on committing suicide, but luckily Steve is there to stop her. Steve almost gets kicked out of the frat because he's supposed to steal some prized possession from a teacher's office (the guy who happens to be married to the woman Brandon had an affair with), but it turns out that Jerkface had warned the security gaurd what was going to go down and Steve got caught. The frat decides that both Steve and Jerkface can state their cases and one of them will be kicked out. Well, Jerkface was stupid and confided to one of the guys that he did set Steve up and he (Jerkface) ends up getting booted from the frat. Steve learns that the president of the frat is gay when he and Brandon accidently enter a gay coffee shop and he sees him there. The president asks him not to tell anyone, but Steve does, and the guy is going to resign, but Steve tells him he shouldn't and stands up for him when the guys start to give him a hard time, but then they realize that he's always been a good president, gay or not.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Spirit of 1776

The Patriot
Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs, Joely Richardson, Chris Cooper, Tom Wilksinson
Released: June 28, 2000
Viewed in theaters: July 14, 2000

Oscar nominations:
Best Cinematography (lost to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
Best Sound (lost to Gladiator)
Best Score - John Williams (lost to Tan Dun for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)

When it comes to movies about celebrating this country of ours, there's only one director you need to turn to for finding that perfect patriotic movie. I'm talking, of course, about Roland Emmerich, the German who gave us Independence Day and the movie I'll be reviewing in honor of Independence Day, and my favorite Emmerich movie, The Patriot. Now I know what you're thinking: Emmerich directs a lot of crap, crazy Mel Gibson is in this movie, this movie isn't the most historically accurate. Yes, it is true that Roland "let's destroy the world" Emmerich is a bit of a one-trick pony (director?) but to be fair, this is one of his few movies where the world isn't being destroyed and it's his highest rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes. Granted it's only 62% fresh, but it's still his highest rated. As for Mel Gibson, well this was before he became a punchline and honestly isn't the fact that both Heath Ledger and Jason Isaacs in this movie enough to make up for that? Plus there's a lot of other really cool people in this movie: (Oscar winner!) Chris Cooper, (Oscar-nominee!) Tom Wilkinson, Rene Auberjonois, Donal Logue (I'm one of the five people who watched Grounded for Life).

When I saw the trailer, I knew I had to see this movie. I'm usually not a big fan of epic war movies that are over two and a half hours, but when it comes to the 18th century and the American Revolution, I am a huge geek. It's my favorite era. If I could go anywhere back in time, I'd choose the 1770s. I think it would be fun! Well, maybe for like a day! The closest I've ever been to that time period is Williamsburg, VA (in 1994!)

Cinematic crush
Now as much as I love this movie as it's the only film about the Revolutionary War besides the one that's a musical starring Mr. Feeney, it does help that Heath Ledger is in it. I would still enjoy the movie even without him, but him being in the movie makes it so much better. I was a bit of a, ahem, Heath fangirl back in the day (and yes, I took his death VERY hard), but his character, who is the oldest child of Benjamin Martin (Gibson) is such a gem....which is actually what his initials are...GEM (Gabriel Edward Martin). He joins the war against his father's wishes and while he's gone, he writes to Ann, the (bland) girl he's courting and he's writing to her in his perfect calligraphy penmanship about how he's thinking of her and how he misses her and signs the letter "Eternally and forever yours." Awwwwww.  There's a lot of cute scenes between him and Ann like when she puts ink in his tea as revenge for when he did it to her when she was 11 and when they get married and he tells his dad that he must dance with her.

Plays an evil guy who hates a family with seven children..
sounds familiar! 
Jason Isaacs plays Colonel Tavington. The good news? No blond wig. The bad news? No pimp cane, although the furry hat makes up for it.  Let's just say Tavington makes Lucius Malfoy look like a kitty cat. When we are first introduced to him he finds out that Benjamin has been caring for wounded Red Coats at his plantation, and, thinking that Gabriel is a spy, demands for his hanging. His father tries to stop them, but he takes him anyway. Thomas, the next oldest Martin child, tries to save Gabriel, but is immediately shot and killed by Tavington who calls him a "Stupid Boy."

If you think just shooting innocent kids is bad enough, it gets worse. Just days after Ann and Gabriel get married, he gathers a bunch of the townspeople into the churching, including Ann and her parents, to hold a conference. After he gets information he needs from some blabber mouth, he demands for all the doors and windows to be shuttered and throws a torch onto the roof thus burning all the people inside. I didn't understand why everyone didn't just pry the pews from the floor and break the windows with them. Have they never seen Titanic? You know that event that happens about 130 years in the future and then a movie was made about it 85 years later? :-) But if Ann hadn't died, then we would have never gotten really hot Gabriel seeking revenge (he is really hot when he's angry!) So, uh, thanks, Tavvie. That's one of my favorite scenes when Gabriel and the others go after Tavington and his brigade after they discover the burned church. I love the scene where the priest (Auberjonois) has been shot and as he's falling in slow motion, he throws up his musket and Gabriel catches it to shoot Tavington with. It's just really cool and badass the way it's shot. It's just too bad that Gabriel had to get personal and stab Tavington himself. It's so obvious he wasn't dead after Gabriel shot him and when he drops the musket, I'm screaming, "What he hell are you doing? Shoot him again! SHOOT HIM AGAIN!"

Even after Tavington kills two of the main character's children and burns a church with a bunch of civilians inside, I still laugh at one of his lines during the final battle scene:
Tavington: "On my command, we charge!"
British solider: "But sir, we haven't been given the order yet!"
Tavington: "CHARGE!"

LOL! Tavington may be an evil SOB, but he sure can bring the funny.

Benjamin's youngest child, Susan, hasn't spoken since her mom died. She starts talking again when her father and oldest brother are out recruiting people to fight in the war. When the audience first hears her speak (along with Gabriel), she tells him that she hates their father and wishes he would go away and never come back. Later, Gabriel tells his father that Susan is talking and saying how much she loves him and misses him and understand why he's gone. That always makes me laugh how he just blatantly lies. When little Susan cries and begs the day after Gabriel's wedding when her father is about to leave again, I cried too! It  is so sad! I remember watching this in the theater and tears were streaming down my face! Did I cry when Thomas died? No. Did I cry when Gabriel died? No. (I was very disappointed though!) Did I cry when Ann and the others were burned alive? No. Did I cry when that one guy found his wife and  little red-headed son had been murdered? Yes, yes I did. But not as much as when Susan kept crying and saying, "Papa! Don't go! I'l say anything! Don't leave me!" OMG, it's sooooo sad! It just broke my heart.

Watching the movie now, there's no doubt that everyone would agree that the most famous Martin child is played by Heath Ledger, but when the movie came out 12 years ago, I would say there was probably someone else who played one of the Martin children who may have been a little more recognizable than Heath, who American audiences may have only known from Ten Things I Hate About You. Of course I'm talking about Gregory Smith, who played Thomas, from Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century. Haha, no I'm just kidding. Third-oldest son Nathan is played by Trevor Morgan who had just come off playing Tommy Tammisimo (perhaps you've seen his cough syrup ads?) in a little movie called The Sixth Sense. Yeah, you may have heard of it. I love that movie even more than I love this movie. I remember watching this in the theater and thinking, "Be careful, Tommy Tammisimo!" when he was hiding under the table from Tavington.

Besides the great cast and the era this movie is set in, I also love the score, the costumes, and the cinematography.

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! In the words of another character from another Roland Emmerich movie, "Tonight we celebrate our Independence Day!"

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:::