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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"Kill Bill" was either a disaster-in-the-making or a one of a kind hit -- a sprawling revenge flick that had to be cut in two and released separately. But director Quentin Tarantino serves up entertainingly mindless gore and twisted thrills in "Kill Bill Volume 1," a salute to homages.

Tragedy strikes the Bride (Uma Thurman) on her wedding day: The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DiVAS) attacks and slaughters the guests, the groom, and wounds the very pregnant Bride herself. Her former boss/lover Bill (David Carradine) finishes the bloodbath by shooting the Bride in the head. But despite his efforts, she isn't dead.

A few years later, the Bride wakes to find that she has been in a coma for a few years, and has been being used as a sex toy for rent. After recovering enough to move, the Bride gets a sword sharp enough to "cut God," and goes on a revenge spree against the people who wrecked her life and killed her baby, including Cottonmouth (Vivica A. Fox) and the deadly O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu).

Don't expect cinematic art in "Kill Bill Volume 1." If anything, this is cinematic pop art, a loving tribute to cheesy martial-arts flicks and westerns. Tarantino even inserts a stretch of anime detailing O-Ren's background. It's pure Tarantino, untainted by typical directing methods and immensely entertaining if you switch off your critical faculties, refrain from asking "How the heck could that happen?"

"Kill Bill" isn't for the weak of stomach; over 450 gallons of fake blood are used in both movies. But the blood usage is more "Monty Python" than "Braveheart"; it's so over-the-top that it's silly and sick rather than disturbing. So is the violence -- hacking dozens of people down without getting so much as a scrape is impossible, but it's sure fun to watch.

Tarantino throws out more one-liners than just about any other filmmaker around. The absurd "Trix is for kids" line aside, there are a number of great lines like "Those of you lucky enough to have your lives take them with you. However, leave the limbs you've lost. They belong to me now." The script teems with impossibilities, but they seem plausible enough in this alternate reality that Tarantino has cooked up. Call it Tarantinoland.

Uma Thurman, with her yellow tracksuit and katana, rules the screen as the Bride. Despite the Bride cutting down people by the dozen, it's impossible not to appreciate her. And the best supporting performances come from Liu as the ruthless O-Ren, Carradine in a brief but intense appearance, and the wonderful, underrated Chiaki Kuriyama as evil schoolgirl Go-Go Yubari.

It's silly, it's creepy, it's gaudy, and somehow it's vastly entertaining. Tarantino's special triumph in "Kill Bill Volume 1" is to somehow rope his vast store of movie homages into a gory, action-packed storyline, and one that is, at the very least, hard to forget.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
After being gunned down on her wedding day by her former colleagues, assassin Black Mamba (Uma Thurman) rouses from a four year coma with only one thing on her mind, revenge! Striking up a death list of five, she sets off for bloody retribution.

Quentin Tarrantino writes and directs what is in all truth, a homage to all the cinema conventions close to his heart. Think an amalgamation of chop-socky, sexploitation, samurai, spaghetti Westerns, anime and cop shows of years past, and you get the heart of Kill Bill. A film that was so epic in scope it had to be cut into two film's. What it lacks in Tarrantino dialogue dynamite it more than makes up for with action and astute visual flair. And it's bloody, very bloody. Thurman is great as the avenging Mamba/The Bride, while the inclusion of Sonny Chiba & Lucy Liu adds a touch of class as QT revels in his east meets west berserker narrative. It could have been trimmed down, particularly in the middle section where Tarrantino deals in a calm before the storm ideal. But Volume 1 was one of the most exciting movies of 2003, and most notably it shows Tarrantino to be adept at action directing. Something that perhaps explains why the script doesn't crackle with the witt and panache of his previous offerings. You sense he wants more than the words "fine writer" engraved on his granite mined Curriculum Vitae.

Hugely enjoyable with a neat end of film cliffhanger, roll on part 2...... 8/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2006
'Kill Bill Vol. 1' is a kind of return-to-roots for Tarantino, echoing back to 'Reservoir Dogs' and 'Pulp Fiction', and certainly moving away from his more mature 'Jackie Brown'. The beauty of it is, putting aside its closeness in style and violence to his earlier films, it manages to set out in a completely different direction at the same time.

With genre nods to 'femme fatale', spaghetti Westerns and of course, Japanese martial arts, KB1 is a wonderful blend of a variety of different styles. If had been anyone except Tarantino, it would have never been pulled off.

The highlight of the film is difficult to choose, what with there being so many fine moments to choose from ('wiggle your big toe!') has got to be the stunning piece of anime depicting the murder of Oren-Ishii's parents. It is simply breathtaking.

Of course, special mention has to go to the Bride's butchering of the Crazy 88 (so violent it's shown in black and white) and her final showdown with Oren in the Japanese garden.

The ending is wonderful, and actually leaves you eagerly awaiting the conclusion. Tarantino's return to what he does best means that it probably won't appeal to mainstream viewers, but that doesn't matter. It's already a cult classic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2008
If you already own this on one disc there is no point in buying this copy unnless you want the stell case because it has exactly the same features just spread over two disc instead of one but either way the steel case is awesome the price is good and the film is also awesome wherth buying if you havent done already.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 September 2006
Opening with 1970's style 'Our Feature Presentation' and then you are straight into a roller coaster of a film. Yes it is violent, and there is a lot of blood. But its very well done and of course a homage to the films that Tarantino grew up with in the 60's and 70's. Spagetti westerns, Kung-Fu movies are all referenced in images and the soundtrack. Spot Sonny Shiba as the greatest sword maker ever.

A third of the way through the film we get an anime section as well. Tarantino may be a fan of anime, but watching this sequence again recently I realised how incredibly violent it is. The whole film is an adult comic strip anyway, but this section is so violent that maybe Tarantino just decided to do it animated to avoid censorship problems. Whatever it doesn't matter, it works.

This is, as you would expect, well directed and fantastic entertainment. The performances from the cast are all good or better.

BTW there is really no point in buying this DVD without buying vol 2 at the same time. The reason it only gets 4 stars? Kill Bill vol2 is better.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2004
So by now everyone knows the plot and storyline to Kill Bill. The Bride (a very sexy but deadly Uma Thurman) is beaten and shot beyond belief on her wedding day when she tries to leave a squad of assassins known as the Deadly Viper Assassin Squad. She survives but is comatose for 4 years. Then she wakes up...
From thereon, it's blood and limbs all the way. To those of you who don't like too much violence, I am sorry to say that Kill Bill is not the film for you. A shame as I would like to recommend this film to everyone. Tarantino has delivered another trump card in film making here and it would be a travesty to miss out on it.
You may have gathered that the film is good, but why? Well there is a whole list of plus points ranging from the well orchestrated bloody fight scenes to the equally bloody but informative Anime sequence half way through the film. The dialogue is as clever as it is witty and blunt. A high percentage of the films dialogue is spoken in Japanese with subtitles which doesn't distract you from the film as much as some people think it does. As always I find the Tarantino soundtracks to be a tad quirky but they do always work. The soundtrack here is no exception. Included are songs from Nancy Sinatra, the theme from the Green Hornet and the RZA tune from the trailer. You know the one. Knowing nods and winks to past samurai films, costumes and fight scenes make this an entertaining film all round.
There will be some of you who just don't get the whole idea of the film. From the cheesy opening feature presentation, through the Anime and the spouting bloody limbs everywhere. It's homage to films gone by, mainly Japanese and it's brilliant.
Overall, yes it is bloody and yes there is foul language and yes there are disturbing scenes. But yes it is one of Tarantino's best films and brings something a little different to the screen. Buy it, rent it, whatever...just watch it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERon 24 September 2014
It's hard to judge this film. It has a lot of one star reviews, which are a bit harsh, but which I can kind of understand. It has many more five star reviews, which would suggest that it's a work of brilliance. It isn't really. It's no Pulp Fiction, it's not even a Reservoir Dogs, it falls very far short of both those movies - Pulp Fiction [1994] [Blu-ray]Reservoir Dogs [Blu-ray] .
Uma Thurman plays The Bride, a lady who is lethal with her fists and feet, with knives, and with guns. She gets shot in the head at her wedding, and goes into a coma (some of the one star reviewers would have you believe that watching this movie is like being stuck in a coma, but that's far too harsh). The Bride is gunned down by her former boss, Bill, who is played by David Carradine (though you don't get to see his face).
He has a deadly squad of talented assassins (the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad), who work in all four corners of the earth. Daryl Hannah is one of the killers, who sports an eye patch and is itching to dispatch Uma. Lucy Lui plays a sword wielding Japanese killer, who is equally keen to end Uma's life, and is aided by a gang of other vicious Japanese killers.
Uma, after 4 years in a coma, rises like a phoenix from the ashes and goes on the path of vengeance, looking to take down Bill and his gang of world class assassins.
Right from the outset, there are gripping scenes of hand to hand combat between Uma and one killer or another, which are stunningly choreographed and a tribute to the actresses, who clearly spent a lot of time in the gym, and must have had some sort of coaching in martial arts. The scenes of violence are graphically violent, some would say gratuitously so, but they suffer from a fundamental handicap.
You don't really get to know Uma as a character, and you don't get to know any of the assassins, which means that it is hard if not impossible for the viewer to have any emotional involvement in what happens to any of the characters. This is one way in which the movie really pales by comparison with Pulp Fiction. In Pulp Fiction, you get invested in the characters, you get to know John Travolta's hired hit man, you get to know Bruce Willis's failed boxer and French girlfriend, which means that you actually care about what happens to them.
Quentin Tarantino knows all about flashy and stylish direction, and cool dialogue, but Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs spent more time focussing on and developing personalities. Kill Bill falls short in that respect, because the lead characters are largely one dimensional and underdeveloped. There is a decapitation scene, where the headless body fountains blood, whilst the surrounding assassins smile and make light of it.
It's annoying, because you know if twenty people were sat in a room and actually watched somebody's head cut off, most of them would be repelled and reaching for a sick bag. The jokiness of the scene just rings hollow, as does much of the film. The film is interspersed with cartoon segments, which give flashbacks of the past, but they actually make the movie feel disjointed. For sure the artwork in the cartoons is pleasing, but I think they should have shot the flashbacks with actors.
There are some writers, Will Self springs to mind, who ram their intelligence down your throat with each sentence that they write, which makes their prose turgid and pretentious. Quentin Tarantino seems to have fallen into the same trap, i.e. too many of his films, including this one, and Death Proof, seem to be an exercise in the director ramming his skills down the viewer's throat, which can make the viewing experience a bit tiresome.
You only need to watch a Tarantino interview, to know that he is desperate to be cool, but this is impeding his undoubted considerable talents. This film is actually very similar to Death Proof. Both have a running time of about 105 minutes, both have spectacular action sequences, both make it very hard to have any empathy for or real interest in the characters, both are flashily directed, and both are, ultimately, somewhat unsatisfying.
Each time I watch Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs, they hold my interest and remain entirely engrossing. Each time I watch Kill Bill, I like it just a little bit less, which is why I'm not surprised it attracts its fair share of one star reviews. However, credit where credit is due. The film score is inspired.
The stunt work in the fight scenes is highly impressive. About 75 minutes into the film, Uma goes head to head with Lucy and her team of many killers, and the whole sequence is a bravura performance, staged with imagination and flair, especially Uma's fight with Gogo, which definitely has to be seen to be believed. I've reviewed Death Proof elsewhere and I give it 4 stars, primarily because of the amazing car stunt sequence in the final 20 minutes, but really that film merits 3 stars for the most part - Death Proof [Blu-ray] .
I've given Kill Bill 4 stars, primarily for the brilliant 15 minute fight sequence, when Uma single handedly staves off an army of Japanese martial artists, but really the film is 3 star all the way until that point. Kill Bill is a good revenge movie, but if you want to see a really brilliant movie, about assassins or revenge, try Nikita (the original French version), or else Bedevilled (the Korean movie) - Nikita [Blu-ray]Bedevilled [Blu-ray] .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2009
Uma Thurman plays an assassin known only as the Bride, who after being left for dead on her wedding day, leads a miraculous recovery. Consequently she begins to plot her revenge - `samurai' style.

Kill Bill is Tarantino's tribute to Eastern martial arts films and more noticeably to Bruce Lee. Viewers can expect an ultra-violent, colourful and well choreographed revenge movie. It's also an enjoyable film, sometimes outrageous and defying logic; but that is expected of a `chopsocky' flick. Since when have they allowed samurai swords as hand luggage on planes, and how is it possible to survive being shot in the face without any facial defects! Thurman herself is convincing in the lead role, delivering her dialogue successfully with minimum effort, but full of emotion.

Kill Bill functions well as a homage, as QT finds the right balance of presenting a film which is a semi-spoof, but without being condescending. It actually positively promotes the genre to a wider audience. It was also a good decision to split Kill Bill in two parts, as the second film will be the western, ensuring both genres are dealt with separately.

We don't get the QT dialogue we have come to expect of him as this is deliberately left out to make way for the perfectly executed set pieces. Such a decision results in Kill Bill not coming across as a Tarantino film, and probably the only QT film not to do so.

Nevertheless, Kill Bill is ultimately an action film and nothing else, and this is how it should be perceived. As an action film it's probably one of the best to come out in the noughties. It's a martial arts film with added urban cool; giving it an edge over many other films under the same category. It also proves that everything Tarantino carries out is fresh and innovative (even where he borrows and makes references to other genres) and QT will not make films - for the sake of making films.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2009
I loved this film when I first saw it as a teenager, and couldn't quite put into words just why I found it so empowering. With retrospect, the reason is this: it was one of the first action films (if not the first film) I'd seen with so many strong, powerful female characters.

A female assassin, referred to as The Bride (Uma Thurman), is attacked and left for dead on her wedding day by the Deadly Viper Assasination Squad, led by the mysterious Bill (David Carradine). Four years later, she wakes up from a coma looking for revenge. Throughout the course of the film, she relentlessly takes out the minions who ruined her life - Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox), Sofie Fatale (Julie Dreyfus) and O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu). The film ends with The Bride moving towards the assassination of her ultimate target, Bill.

An obvious positive aspect of this film is the abundance of women in strong, pivotal roles in this film. As well as the Bride, the assassin squad is comprised of three women and only one man. Ex-DiVAS assassin O-Ren Ishi-i's bodyguard, Gogo, is female, as is her lawyer and best friend, Sofie Fatale. All of them are forces to be reckoned with. The utter dominance of women in, of all things, an action movie is a very rare thing and should be welcomed with open arms.

As well as being physically strong, the Bride is also mentally strong, embodying typically male characteristics such as decisiveness, resourcefulness, determination, good judgment and tolerance of pain, as opposed to sexual submission, ineptness, and an act-now-think-later aggression so often seen in female action heroines.

Another positive aspect of this film is that the women involved are not over-sexualised. They wore long, loose-fitting kimonos, androgynous gangster suits, hospital gowns, black jumpsuits, jeans, yellow tracksuits and school uniforms, but nothing which would reduce them to sex-symbol status.

Those of you who are particularly squeamish may want to give this film a miss, as certain scenes make for rather uncomfortable viewing. However, if you can see past the gore, this film a definite must-see - it buzzes with energy and visual exuberance, with impressive fight sequences. I highly recommend this film, particularly if you need an antidote to the mind-numbing awfulness of other "girl-power" films such as Charlie's Angels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 17 June 2008
Viewers tend to 'get' Tarantino or not, but you can't view any of his films without seeing them in the context of the styles he mimics. Everywhere Tarantino goes, there is an affectionate nod towards the legacy of film-makers and writers. Where his previous nods have included Elmore Leonard, important because Tarantino has learned well Leonard's 10 rules of writing, notably the most important: "My most important rule is one that sums up the 10: If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."

And like Leonard, Tarantino "leaves out the parts that readers (viewers) skip." In short, forget profound meaning and concentrate on what matters: entertainment, but with his own mastery of small talk dialogue, bizarre camera angles and intricate construction and plotting into bijou chapters.

For Kill Bill volume 1, this means a beautifully stylised martial arts film that incorporates a very bloody anime sequence but works best if you view it as one big cartoon, absurd blood spray and all. How else could poor Uma Thurman fight off and execute literally dozens of heavily armed assassins? The choreography is simply breathtaking, on a par with the finest of its type - nobody could fail to be impressed with the flying bodies and swords, even if the lopped limbs are absurd.

This is not a film to be taken seriously: the director's tongue is very firmly in his cheek, no matter how deadpan the tale of bloody revenge. The weakness is really that Tarantino has robbed himself of half his strengths. The script in Kill Bill is minimalistic, deferred in favour of hugely extended all-out action sequences.
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