Thursday, August 12, 2004

Dear Charlie:

I just finished watching Kill Bill, Volumes 1 and 2. I always told myself I'd watch them together or not at all. Guess I lived up to that one, ne?

At any rate, I watched for several reasons. Dared to, which is always nearly irresistible. Wanted to when they first came out, which is less compelling. Was told a story of mine resembled the structure, which perked my curiosity -- which, as anyone who knows me knows, is a fearsome thing! Was admonished that I couldn't very well trade movie lines from it if I hadn't seen the damn thing, which was probably the least compelling but most effective reason of all.

So, I watched them both all the way through. I gotta say that it's a shining example of Tarantino's work. It's out of order and seems almost randomly thrown together. It's a stylistic hodge-podge. People spewed entirely too much blood (and I'm the LAST person to complain about that, as I love bloody movies). The music was rockin', but a little weird.

However, as is usual with a Tarantino experience, when it was over, there was an obvious beginning, middle, and end -- though they didn't come in that order -- and it all made sense. The seeming hodge-podge of styles provided an incredibly detailed order to what initially seemed chaotic. The over-spewage of blood was ridiculously effective, especially in the black and white scenes where the over-stylization would have made that much RED splattering everywhere just look silly.

In all, Tarantino showed a remarkable and completely unsung restraint. He'll never be praised for it, as he does have a flashy style that almost charicatures various movie genres, but it's there for anyone who cares to really consider. Even his anime section -- which I, as a DBZ lover and a new anime recruit, absolutely loved -- was incredibly understated, for all the screaming and blood-splattering and slaughtering. If it's not possible to use those four words together, well....

Somehow, he managed it.

There. Now I've done my little review and even managed to sound pompous at the same time. *grin* In all, I gotta say I loved the Kill Bill movies for one reason and ONLY one reason. I'm sure, if you really think about it, you'll guess.



Those scenes were almost obscene in their sheer brutal beauty. The contrast of kickin' music while the entire world attacks to sheer silence when O-ren and The Bride go at it alone in the snowy garden is almost haunting. The swordplay is visually stunning, even over-stylized as it is. They treat those katanas with respect. And the footwork -- I begin to wonder if Tarantino doesn't have some kind of foot fetish after watching this film -- is as intricate as an old Regency period quadrille and a hundred times more impressive. Yeesh.

Yes, the fight scenes were the jewel in the crown.

So, I liked the movie. Not the best I've ever seen, but it did keep me from playing mahjong all night long, as I was more interested in watching the sheer spectacle than pursuing that last, stubborn board. *grin* That oughtta tell you SOMETHING.


At 10:06 AM, Blogger The Lizard Queen said...

I saw both Kill Bill movies in the theaters and enjoyed them both, but I suspect that not as many men liked the second one as much as they did the first one, and I didn't see that many women in the theaters for either of the movies.

I agree with you about the fight scenes. Beautiful in their grace, power and sheer audacious violence. Uma Thurman makes a great avenging angel. And Lucy Liu. Amazing. Simply friggin' amazing.

I also like the female-bonding scene in Kill Bill 2 between The Bride and the female assassin sent to kill her. The Bride tells her she's pregnant and the assassin backs off and wishes her luck.


At 10:46 AM, Blogger GutterBall said...

I know! It was almost absurd, you know? But so darn well done you don't even question it!

Everything about the movie was like that. One step further and it would've just been goofy, if not actually offensive, but Tarantino didn't take that step. Which is why I say he showed restraint.

And he'll never, ever get kudos for that restraint because most reviewers won't see it. *sigh*


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