Kill Bill Volume 1 review (by S. Haselbeck)
From The Quentin Tarantino Archives
Quentin Tarantino is back with "KILL BILL VOLUME 1"
Unauthorized reprinting or publishing without permission is prohibited.
Finally. After years of waiting, and one week after everybody else saw it, I finally made it. I took my car to Munich and saw Kill Bill Volume 1. For once, Munich sucks. I mean, they probably have the best movie theater in the whole south-east of Germany, but the city itself sucks. The traffic is just plain crazy, the town is ugly and the prices are high. But after you've suffered yourself through the crappy streets and finally found an expensive parking lot, you are in for some real shit. The Cinema Movie Theater has one auditorium. They show movies mostly only in their original language (sometimes with subtitles) at fair prices. Itâ€™s a THX certified surround sound movie theater with comfortable seats and a huge screen. Me and my girlfriend where anxious to finally see it so when the curtain opened and people were still flooding into the hall, it got annoying. But then.... the room went dark..... get ready for the kick-ass movie by Quentin Tarantino I said to myself.
The movie opens with the Shaw-Scope logo, of which hardly anybody knows what it is. It's the logo of the biggest Chinese production company, and they of course shot in 2.35:1, and they called it no cinemascope, they called it the Shaw-scope. And then, the Klingon proverb. And everybody laughed. Well, the theater was filled with yuppies and bizarre older people and students, I doubt that more than 40% of the audience really understood the movie, based upon the laughing on scenes that werenâ€™t supposed to be funny (they just didnâ€™t get it). Then, the movie hits with a bang. Violence, suffering, black and white. From the very first minute, thereâ€™s great music, genius back and forth cutting and a rhythm that makes you drool.
Get ready, Vernita. The Brideâ€™s coming. As much as we knew from the trailers, this was pretty funny. But it got even more funny when they shifted from fighting to talking to the girl, and then just started to talk and make coffee, and then again, the Bride just killed Vernita and BANG, next chapter. Thatâ€™s how funny it was. Short and great. You know, thatâ€™s what was so cool about it, the scenes didnâ€™t leave you thinking about it, they just hit you and left you staring at the screen wondering, while the next chapter already opened.
And thatâ€™s how the entire movie was based upon: Surprise, excitement and fun. Kill Bill is, after long years, the first movie that was really a movie. I am not talking about the usual crap that opens in theaters around the world, I am talking about a movie, that is so much a movie, that you donâ€™t even dare to look at the girl next to your seat (okay, sometimes I did), you just stare at the screen and let the movie absorb you. And thatâ€™s what Kill Bill did with me. It absorbed me, it absorbed me so much that at the end, I really started to hate Tarantino for cutting the movie in half. Donâ€™t get me wrong, the movie still rocks and the ending is great, but.... god damn it, we couldâ€™ve sat there another 2 hours without a problem. This movie lets time pass so fast you donâ€™t even notice.
The hospital scene, just great. How Bowenâ€™s character Buck pimps around and shit, the â€œblobbâ€ sound of the moskito stinging Black Mamba, and the â€œugliest pot of vaseline in movie historyâ€. All great. Every damn detail of this movie is so great. Everybody laughed when the Bride tried to wiggle her big toe, everybody laughed when it all then cut back to wiggle your big toe and everybody sighed when the â€œhard partâ€ was over. And then, the shot that satisfied me the most: the pussy wagon keychain. Not because itâ€™s so cool, but because I have it. And because I am one of the few people that have it, because in Germany, the only way to get it, is to get it off ebay, and guess whoâ€™s the seller, hehe.
Ok. Now off to the real funny part of the movie. Well, the movie is funny â€“ partially. But most people laughed all the time and the real funny part wasnâ€™t even up yet: The man from Okinawa. Thatâ€™s comedy. Thatâ€™s Tarantinoâ€™s homage to comedy, to sit-com or to stand-up comedy. The sushi chef and the sushi assistant, a great Laurel and Hardy kind of team that made me laugh a lot, and that all in subtitles. Just great. That couldâ€™ve lasted for an hour. And then, the swords..... swords, swords, swords. The funny thing about the swords is, you may have noticed, that everybody seems to have one. The whole plane to Tokyo was full of swords, and the airport, too. And why is Sofie Fatale on that big ad screen on the airport? Who knows....
And thatâ€™s when it gets violent. Because itâ€™s time to introduce yet another person on the kill-bill: O-Ren Ishii, played by the awesome Lucy Liu. Thatâ€™s when the audience hardly laughs anymore. Because now it got cruel. The whole anime sequence was cruel and unusual, and what was what made it so intense. Although I kind of didnâ€™t like the way it was drawn, it was good. I mean, I am not a fan of anime, but still accept it. But it was just drawn very low-detailed and gritty, and Animes in general have the problem, that all the backgrounds are incredibly detailed, but the characters look like Lego figures.... but well, whaterever.
Letâ€™s get back to the movie, which switches right back to movie-movie with the Bride in the house of Blue Leaves. The entire thing is a little James Bond like, with the dressing up in the bathroom and all that. And yeah, thereâ€™s another comedy aspect to it: the waiter and the supervisor!
And thatâ€™s when we come to the climax, thatâ€™s when the famous House of Blue Leaves gets its leaves bloody, thatâ€™s when the Bride goes all Krakatoa over the Crazy 88 killers, O-Renâ€™s killer squad. And thatâ€™s when it gets real ugly. Blood everywhere, limbs, heads, eyes, punches, hits, cuts.... the entire program.
Thereâ€™s an incredible speed to it, too. And while at first it stops from time to time, it then turns into some kind of ballet, when the music starts and the Bride starts moving in a fluid motion killing all kinds of fighters, and then, kills Johnny Mo, too. And GoGo, the female Master of the Flying Guillotine, so to say.
That is just great. A half-hour martial arts chop-socky flick squeezed together in a very intense and stylish way. The Bride all fighter, the others all losers. A great showing off of martial arts skills. Great. And then itâ€™s time for revenge, time to kill O-Ren.
A beautiful snow-covered garden. Blue leaves, blue sky, silence. White and blue glimmer dominates the picture, until, they get busy. Lucy Liu lovers cover your eyes, she will not walk away unharmed! Stay tuned for Volume 2.
I loved Kill Bill. From the very first to the very last minute of it, I loved it. The movie is so fresh, so exciting, yet so familiar, so homely. All the references to past Tarantino movies, past characters, then the homage to all the other movies, the samurai movies, the spaghetti westerns, the kung fu flicks. It all ads up to such a great experience, and in the end, when the credits rolled, by honey turned around and said to me â€œdamn, I could sit here for another 2 hours, that was fucking awesome!â€. Thatâ€™s the point. After all the discussions about splitting it apart, after youâ€™ve seen it, you want more, you hate it. Because 110 minutes is not long! It goes past like 30 minutes and you wonder, why Tarantino doesnâ€™t allow you to sit there for another 110 minutes. And the funny part is: There is still popcorn and coke left, because the movie didnâ€™t allow to pause, didnâ€™t allow you to munch on your corn or whatever, thatâ€™s how intense it was.
And the style, damn man. The style. The shots, the black and white, the split screen, the colors. This movie was so beautiful, so well-done, so to-the-point and so movie-movie that you donâ€™t even want to see another movie anymore. You just want Volume 2, and then you want both movies on DVD so that you can invite your friends over and can watch it all over again and again. Because this is not a movie that gets boring after you know what happens. You donâ€™t watch Kill Bill because you want to know who dies, because you know whoâ€™ll die. You watch it because you wanna see in what cool fashion it goes down.
Kill Bill Volume 1 is the best movie ever made in years, and surely the best movie of the year, if not past five or so years. You will have to wait until February to see Volume 2, but if itâ€™s only half as good as Volume 1, and it will surely be BETTER, then itâ€™s worth the wait.