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This is by far and away the better film of the two. I find the storyline easier to follow, there's more fighting and quite frankly it's not as long winded. There are a few scenes that could be shortened but they are few and far between.
For me personally the storyline was easier to follow than the second one. You do get the occasional flashback scene and classic QT style where the past is shown before the present. Pausing the storyline to explain more of it in detail. This does work well, and isn't over used in this film.
The acting is excellent, all the actors are clearly skilled and have fully immersed themselves into their roles. The facial expressions are realistic and not faked, they speak as if they know more about the subject than just what's in the script. Let me give you an example that I quite liked: The scene out in the snow in the snow covered garden used several emotions in the matter of a few minutes, each of them seamless but not over exaggerated. I think this showed understanding, because how can you get a script across to an audience if it weren't for the actors expressing it in their own way? So clearly the actors understand the subject more than the script is letting the audience in on, and this is shown on screen beautifully. There's nothing better than to have character with background that is expressed without anything in the script about it.
The fighting is well choreographed with perfect skill and balance between fast and slow combat. The sword fighting scenes are intense and gripped me quite well actually. They slug it out in stages rather than just sporadic violence, with waves of enemies gradually trickling through to battle before the final boss. (Sounds like a video game right?)
I thought the script was absolutely perfect, it really brings out the individual personality of each actor. There's always this sly sense of James Bond style one liners, more of them in this one than the second one. At the beginning of the film the knife fight in the kitchen is dealt with an equal amount of discussion and fighting. Too many films just have fights without delving deep into the reasons why a fight has broken out. They also continue to talk through the fight, so you have this excellent blend of violence and reasoning both at the same time. Absolutely perfect, by far my favourite scene of the movie.
Overall I really enjoyed this movie, it is the better of the two and I have to say much more gripping than the second one. I'm not really a fan of martial arts but this did interest me. It gave me that sort of "intrigued" feeling you get when you see an expert do something you've never seen before, and they make it look easy. It wasn't easy though, and that's what makes this film excellent, so I will be awarding a full 5 stars.
KILL BILL VOL.1
Even though this movie was first released in 2003 I didn't watch it until two weeks ago! It was on the telly and I thought I'd give it a go and was stunned at how much I enjoyed it. The film has been around for years but It didn't seem like my cup of tea. Upon watching it my view changed completely. I have since bought Kill Bill vol.1 & 2 on DVD.
The film surrounds a women known as "The Bride" who was a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. The Squad is lead by her lover 'Bill'. His face is not shown, we hear his voice and see things like his hand in the shot, but never his face. This added a bit more mystery to it for me. The Bride falls pregnant with Bill's child and decides to escape her life as a killer, to protect her unborn child. She flees to Texas meeting a new man but on their wedding day, the bride and everyone in the church was shot dead by bill and his deadly squad of killers. Or so they thought...the bride awoke 4 years later from a coma thinking her baby was dead and seeks revenge on the 5 responsible people. All the members of the squad have codename's including the bride, who's real name is beeped throughout the whole film and Isn't known until Vol.2. The bride's codename is "Black Mamba". The first to suffer at the hands of Black Mamba is Vernita Green, codename: Copperhead. As both women are trained assassins the fight scenes are long and intense. There isn't that much of a story behind Vernita, she was once a Squad member then years later was living a normal life, with her young daughter Nikki. Black Mamba shows up unexpected! Next is O-Ren Ishii, codename: Cottonmouth who witnessed her parents being brutally murdered under orders of a Yakuza boss, she was nine years old. Two years later O-Ren kills the boss in an act of vengeance. She later becomes one of the best female assassins in the world. Though she was once a member of the Deadly Viper Squad she became head of the Tokyo Yakuza and gathered her own bodyguard army, the "Crazy 88". Black Mamba needs to take out O-Ren's large body of murderous protectors before getting to her.
The other three squad members who we don't see much of in the first movie are; Elle Driver, codename: California Mountain Snake. Elle is a loyal swordswoman to Bill, and it is implied that they have had relations. Budd, codename: Sidewinder Is Bill's brother who was also part of the church killings. Last is the infamous Bill, codename: Snake Charmer who is the squad leader. All the members have codenames referring to snakes and Bill is the Snake Charmer. Elle, Budd and Bill are targeted in Kill Bill Vol.2 which is also a thrilling watch. Volume 1 ends on an intense cliff-hanger so I had to watch Vol.2!
As far as movies go this was amazing. From start to finish it was intense and exciting, and Vol.1 & 2 are now 2 of my favourite films. I'm not really into action/thriller type films but I really enjoyed this. There is a part in which I was particularly impressed; It is a 5/10 minute anime scene depicting O-Ren's parent's horrific murder. Also there are scenes which are in black and white. Things like these keep a movie from becoming boring especially the way it was brought to screen in this film.
This is an extremely violent flick, showing limbs being cut off with samurai swords and things like that. I would advise squeamish people to give it a miss!
The script is well written and the actor's performances are spectacular. Nancy Sinatra's wonderful song 'Bang Bang' is played at the start.I like this song and think it fits the film perfectly.
I loved it!-5 stars
Uma Thurman - The Bride/Black Mamba
Lucy Lui - O-Ren Ishii/Cottonmouth
Vivica A. Fox - Vernita Green/Copperhead
Daryl Hannah - Elle Driver/California Mountain Snake
David Carradine - Bill/Snake Charmer
Michael Madsen - Budd/Sidewinder
The cover is bright yellow with a black stripe down the right side, with a picture of Uma Thurman standing in a yellow biker's suit holding a samurai sword. The words Kill Bill are beside Uma in black bold letters, with volume 1 written smaller underneath in red. Also 'written and directed by Quentin Tarantino' in smaller red letters as well.
Director- Quentin Tarantino
Age Rating- 18+ (Strong bloody violence, language and some sexual content)
Runtime- 111 minutes
Colour- Colour/Black & white
There are three directors that can get away with directing bizarre films. Two are Joel and Ethan Coen, with such films as The Big Lebowski and Oh Brother, where art thou? The other is Quentin Taratino, who is behind Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. The difference between the three directors is that Joel and Ethan Coen are often far more subtle. Quentin Tarantino's films are more like a bull in a china shop. And no film makes that clearer than Kill Bill, Volume 1, which is one of the most bizarre and outrageous films of all. Yet, because of Tarantino's expert direction, wonderful dialogue and purposefully scrappy style, this film is another classic. If you're a fan of violence, the bizarre or both, then you'll love this. It's a revenge story, and Volume 1 stars Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, Julie Dreyfus and the late David Carradine, all of whom are on top form in what is a shocking, violent and ultimately totally compelling gore fest.
The film starts with s short scene filmed in black and white, where The Bride (Uma Thurman) is lying on the ground in her wedding dress having been shot. The mysterious Bill stands above her. She tries to speak to him, but is shot before she can say what she wants to .
We then cut to another scene 4 years later where the Bride, now awake again, engages in a vicious knife fight with Vernita Green in revenge for what happened. However, before they can kill each other, Vernita's daughter comes home. They stop fighting for a moment, and talk as Vernita's daughter goes upstairs. As they talk, we learn that Vernita was part of the group that tried to kill The Bride (who's name is purposefully covered up). We also learn that the Bride herself is a hitwoman, who was working with the team. Suddenly, Vernita tries to kill the Bride. She misses, but the Bride does not miss her and kills her with a knife to the chest. And that sets the tone for the film, as the Bride goes on her revenge spree as she tries to find the man responsible for attempting to kill her, the mysterious Bill. We also learn why the Bride was shot, and how the Bride was able to escape her death, leading to the end of Volume 1 of this story, where there is a climax in Japan.
Only Quentin Tarantino could spend 4 hours killing a man called Bill and his team. The plot itself is very simple and if it was a 'normal' film, it would have been avergage. Yet Tarantino adds his quirky touch, changes the order of the film, adds some cracking dialogue and some wonderful action mixed with a brilliant soundtrack and suddenly we have a film that is so compelling you'll not take your eyes away. It's totally relentless all the way, from the first fight scene to the outstanding final scene set in a Japanese garden. This also boasts some of Tarantino's finest camerawork again. And again, it's in the final scene in the Japanese Garden. And watch out for all the references to 60's shows and Japanese martial arts movies as well.
The cast is just as outstanding. Uma Thurman puts in a career best in this film as the Bride, and she seethes with anger throughout as she tries to get her revenge in some wonderful scenes. There is great support from Daryl Hannah as Ellie Driver, who wants to kill The Bride (more of her in Volume 2), and Julie Dreyfus as Sofie Fatale. And in his brief moment, David Carradine as Bill adds a real element of mystery. But the actress who steals Volume 1 is Lucy LiuO-Ren-Ishii, the head of the Japanese Yakuza. She is outstanding in her scenes.
So, the first Volume of Kill Bill is a fast paced action film with Tarantino's magic touch. This has everything, from brilliant acting to stunning and perfectly choreographed action. Then there is Volume 2, the conclusion.
Please note that this is a review of the film only. I do not watch bonus discs, director's comments/cuts or anything like these, therefore I won't comment on them in this review.
Written by Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarrantino, and directed by Quentin Tarrantino, Kill Bill is a story of blood thirsty revenge that was released back in October 2003.
The Bride suddenly awakes from a four year coma. The wedding in El Paso was meant to be perfect, however it went horribly wrong and with husband gone and the loss of her unborn daughter there is nothing left and nothing to lose. Despite her ordeal the Bride has flash backs of that day and remembering who did what, she has one thing on her mind.......revenge.
This is one seriously violent and 'messed up' film, but then given it is directed by Quentin Tarrantino, who is renowned for over the top violent films, this is to be expected. From the opening scene the over the top foul language, and blood flows all the way through to the end, and in some cases it is just too much. The blood baths through decapitation, slicing off limbs, stabbing etc. are very graphic and there were times when it was just too much and way over the top for my liking.
The overall story line was totally unrealistic and I thought it lacked originality and depth, yet it kept my attention throughout. I was captivated and wanted to see how it was concluded. Whilst this film is not thought provoking, but then given the genre I guess it would have been naive to think it would be, I found that it did have me asking questions throughout, most of which were answered and I guess the remaining ones will be answered in Kill Bill Volume 2.
In my opinion this film is very disjointed and whilst the story progresses at a fair pace it does keep jumping between the past and present, which I actually found quite annoying. I appreciate that this method 'fills in the gaps' and answers any questions the viewers may have as the story unfolds but, in my opinion, there are better ways this can be achieved. I also disliked the way in which the film moved from the main character telling a story to her being in the present. In addition a couple of other things that annoyed me about this film was the way it was split into different chapters and the amount of 'cartoon scenes', which did absolutely nothing for me.
The one-on-one fighting scenes were simply awesome and Uma Thurman and co did an absolutely amazing job. The originality of the moves, the speed of execution and the choreography was mind blowing and made up for the lack of realism (not many people will immediately jump up after being stabbed, thrown through a glass table etc. and retaliate against the aggressor), but this lack of realism is the same in all similar films. Whilst the one-on-one battles were brilliant I think the group bouts were a bit of a letdown, and the 'main' one was particularly poor.
The main group battle was simply ridiculous and lacked any realism whatsoever, and the outcome against so many assailants is just nonsense and the carnage and amount of blood was just too farfetched for me. I also found this battle too long and it got very boring and it got to the point where I was willing it to end and the film to carry on, and to make matters worse just when I though the fight was over a load more enemies turned up to be slaughtered. Clock watching during a film is not good since it is often the point of no return although this film did manage to recapture my attention before I got too bored.
There were other scenes which could have been executed better and just weren't right, such as the aeroplane scene and the motorcycle scene. These two scenes in particular were pretty poor and with the technology available I would have thought the producers could have pulled something out of the bag with both of these.
Personally, I think a sound track can make or break a film and the sound track to this film is simply brilliant. Every track and musical piece used was simply spot on and so was the timing of it which really enhanced the film and made for an improved viewing experience.
So, would I recommend this film? With so many unanswered questions this is only half a film although I think it is very entertaining, even with its flaws. It isn't Tarrantino at his best and I can't see this ever becoming a 'classic' but it is definitely worth having in your DVD collection.
Personally, I think this film is only suitable in certain circumstances. There are some films that are great any time and any place but Kill Bill is not one of these. If you like films that are deep, meaningful and thought provoking but don't like mindless violence, graphic blood scenes and foul Kill Bill definitely isn't for you, however if this statement does not apply then you may just like it.
****The main cast****
The Bride - Uma Thurman
Vernita Green - Vivica A Fox
O-Ren Ishii - Lucy Liu
Elle Driver - Daryl Hannah
Bill - David Carradine
Gogo Yubari - Chiaki Kuriyama
Run time - 111 minutes
Certificate - 18
12 award wins, 41 nominations and a nomination for a Golden Globe
Since moving in with my girlfriend, I've been trying to teach her my rules to an easier life. The first of these rules is "always confirm the kill". The amount of hassle that would be saved in movies if the attacker *just checked the victim were dead* before moving on is staggering - but they never learn!
Anyway, had Bill and his Deadly Viper Assassination Squad followed my simple rule, the movie Kill Bill would have been over before it began. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that the film centres around The Bride (Uma Thurman) and, more specifically, her quest to exact bloody revenge upon the Deadly Vipers after they attempted to kill her. Ultimately, of course, she must complete the job by killing the leader of the pack - Bill.
The film is a Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs) flick. It seems he was unable to edit the film enough to make it a decent length movie, so shortly before the release of the film he split it into two volumes, imaginatively entitled "Volume 1" and "Volume 2". Volume 1 tracks The Bride as she tackles the first names on her "Death List Five" - Cottonmouth and Copperhead. The other two members of the squad - and the "Snake Charmer" are addressed in the second volume.
Volume 1 is a masterpiece. It's direct, slick, fast paced and, as you're guaranteed from a Tarantino movie, loaded with style. There's dry humour throughout and plenty of action. The movie's definitely violent, but rarely what I'd call gory. There's an animated scene and one other that I find a little disturbing, but for the most part it's what I'd characterise as "comic book violence". Once armed with her trusty samurai sword, The Bride wastes no time in lopping off arms, legs and heads with aplomb. Each severed appendage is greeted with a squirt of tomato ketchup high into the air which, for me, keeps the film thankfully at arms' length from reality.
As you'd also expect from a Tarantino movie, the film is set to a fantastic and varied soundtrack, with highlights being "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" by Nancy Sinatra, "Battle Without Honor or Humanity" by Tomoyasu Hotei and "Woo Hoo" by The 188.8.131.52's.
Direction, throughout, is from the very highest of drawers. Fight sequences are cut quickly, so you get a good sense of "thwack", "pow", "boom" - but they're slow enough to easily follow. There's some cool tricks - shots that pan through walls, backlit silhouette fight scenes, top-down shots...But they're all slotted in really tastefully. The direction's clever enough to be noticeable, but never ostentatious to be distracting.
It's a good job the cutting is slow enough to follow, as some of the skills on display are well worth seeing from a single angle. The fight choreography throughout is superb. There's a great mix of fighting styles, ranging from close-quarters knife fighting through to open battles with swords. Most of the techniques are pretty well executed overall too - and whilst you can occasionally see the body doubles at work, this never really ruins your enjoyment of the film.
The fighting occurs in a number of locations, from a suburban home to a snow-covered zen garden - this variety really gives QT a chance to stretch his creative legs. Everything's perfectly lit, each shot is well composed and each scene is just pretty as a picture.
The cast do a really fantastic job in the movie, Uma Thurman is worryingly believable as a hardened killer. Lucy Lui, Vivica Fox and Gordon Liu are solid if unremarkable bad-guys. Special mention, though, should go to Sonny Chiba who is fantastic as retired swordsmith Hattori Hanzo. He's funny, warm and graceful on screen. Chiaki Kuriyama also plays the part of the mentalist bodyguard/schoolgirl, Gogo, brilliantly.
The fact pace and comic interludes ensure the movie passes in the blink of an eye and you end up with your appetite for Volume 2 well and truly roused.
I've just got the regular UK release of Kill Bill Volume 1 and have to say the extra features are a little disappointing. There are a couple of trailers and a music video, but that's about it. It might be worth keeping eyes open for a collector's edition with a little more content.
Overall, the film is a complete triumph. It's practically a "how to" in direction, it has a fantastic soundtrack, great cast and simple, but effective, storyline. If you're particularly squeamish or upset by violence, it's probably one to think about skipping, but otherwise it's a great couple of hours of romping bridal doom.
Quentin Tarantino is one of the world's most famous directors, and Kill Bill series remains one of his signature! Starring Uma Thurman in the protagonist's character, the film also showcases Lucy Liu in a negative character. The film stands at number 134 on the imdb top 250 list.
Uma Tharman plays a revenge seeking bride, who was back stabbed by her gang members on her wedding day. Following the surprising survival and comatose for several years, she looks for her revenge, plans it out and is set to execute it.
This is Tarantino's forte- crime/thriller/mystery! Written and directed by Tarantino himself, the screenplay is typical Tarantino style- switching between time frames. I also love the fact that he splits the film into several chapters, much like Inglorious Bastards. The film does cross the barrier of logic but as you know with his films, you need to overlook those nifty details, for his films are amusing and thoroughly entertaining overall.
The film starts with a bang- with Uma tracing down her first target. Tarantino takes his time to develop the past history of the primary characters, mixing animation with real life portions to a great effect. Tarantino's aim for international audiences is evident with the variety of characters in the film, and the same goes for his affinity for kung fu and other forms of fighting. The film tends to drag on a little when Uma goes to kill O Ren Shii(played by Lucy Liu), he could have done without so much flashback portion!
Uma Thurman as the revenge seeking bride is the soul of the film- rarely will you come accross a more kickass performance by a female lead. The others dont get much scope. Kill Bill Volume 1 is entertaining, provides you with enough punches and kicks abd leaves you waiting for the next installment of the series!
Quentin Tarantino has a reputation for being a quirky yet visionary film buff who likes to direct films. Occasionally, he even acts in them. In 2003 and 2004, he released this homage film in two parts (mainly due to it being nearly four hours long), paying tribute in it to martial arts films, Sergio Leone's epic Westerns and other styles of film along the way.
The plot itself is one of revenge, and after an old style introduction with hints of the older martial arts films, we meet The Bride (Uma Thurman) on her quest to get back at the people who killed everyone at her wedding and left her for dead. The film actually starts off as she arrives at the house of Vernita Green (Vivica A Fox), the first stop on her revenge tour. The pair recognise each other instantly, and an exaggerated fight scene breaks out in Green's front room, halted only by the arrival of Green's young daughter. It's quite surreal, but impressive, with a number of sound effects and camera angles working towards helping the martial arts element of this opening scene achieve its goal of making you sit up and pay attention.
It sort of paves the way for the rest of the film, billed as Kill Bill Volume 1, and into the second film as well (Volume 2). Tarantino shows the influence of Leone's Westerns by bringing in the power of music, applying crescendo horn music as well as raw strings sounds to heighten any tension, and it very much adds to the quirky surrealism that the film does bring. His style of direction is very unique, and his ability to tell a story done very much through the visual effects of weird angles and intense facial expressions. This combines well with the martial arts side of things to create a sort of cross-mix of the various genres he pays tribute to here.
But it's the dialogue at the same time. The conversations between the characters have been a forte of Tarantino's throughout his directing and writing career, with the dialogue from Pulp Fiction still remaining my favourite I have to say, particularly that of Samuel L Jackson's preaching assassin character. Here, the revenge tale allows for rare dialogue, as a lot of it is visual, but when it does, it is often in the form of backtracking flashbacks. The film may start off with The Bride visiting Green's house, but this is sort of halfway along the journey. The flashbacks take us occasionally to the wedding scene, shot effectively in black and white, where The Bride's special day was ruined by the as yet secretive character known only as Bill, and of whom we only see an arm. Bill has a team of trained deadly assassins, which included The Bride. She was known as Black Mamba, until she fell pregnant and wanted out of the life to raise the baby. She is set to marry a different man when the massacre happens. The only mistake they make is in believing they have left The Bride for dead.
Green, as part of the group of assassins Bill sends to kill them all, has the code name Copperhead, and through the film we get glimpses, if not prolonged scenes, of the other assassins. In essence, though, this first film concentrates on filling us in on past events and developing The Bride as a character. Thurman does a fantastic job in this role, sultry and sassy while looking haggard, at the same time as being violent and dangerous. There is something appealing about her as a character, and as an actress she has always managed to appeal in that gangly, tall and freindly way she has. Tarantino has used her well in films before, referring back to Pulp Fiction again, where she plays Mia Wallace with great skill, particularly in the scenes she shares with John Travolta. Here, the shared scenes result in violence, almost as if she can't help herself, and there are a number of casualties along the way as she tries to exact her revenge.
The one other character that Volume 1 dwells on is O-Ren Ishii, the assassin known as Cottonmouth (Lucy Liu). She has managed to make her way to the head of the Yakuza, and commands a band of fighters known as the Crazy 88. She is also surrounded by a number of fighters such as Gogo, who has a spikeball and chain as her chosen weapon. We are introduced to Cottonmouth with a glorious animated flashback history, which provides a nice change to the constant moody and atmospheric feel that the film has. This is, naturally, matched by a change in style and music, with Tarantino switching away from Leone's influences and more towards the kung fu films of the 60s and 70s. These are referred to by the Shaw Scope intoduction of the film before The Bride visits Copperhead, and now with Cottonmouth towards the end of the film, the influences come back into it again.
Lucy Liu does a very good job of playing the deadpan Cottonmouth, and the fight scene between the two of them is preceded by an excellent series of fighting between The Bride and the Yakuza leader's gang. Tarantino shows his trademark exaggerated violence and bloodshed moreso here than anywhere else in the film, with spurting blood and closeups on slash-style wounds inflicted by The Bride's specially made sword. It's exaggerated to the point where the potential horror it could bring is annulled somewhat. It results more in interest and intrigue at the film's style and the impressive fight choreography, while giving you the reminder that this results in death, and lots of it, that has come about through the determined revenge of a wronged woman who will stop at nothing to exact it. The fact that Tarantino makes sure this is all done with the outward calm Thurman's character displays throughout adds to the tension, and makes me think of the the phrase 'Serenity now, sanity later!'
Both Kill Bill films were received with great success, and are regarded as modern masterpieces combining various genres and unashamedly paying tribute to a wide collection of styles. Taking his cue from stars such as Bruce Lee and controllers of the screen such as Sergio Leone is a brilliant move from Tarantino. There was a bit of a wait for Kill Bill to come out, and there was much talk before its release of what it was about, how it was being approached and just exactly what we were all to expect. It is over violent, but there is something glossy and appealing about the amount of blood that is shed throughout the film. The removed feel you have as a viewer makes it very much a work of fiction, the clever dialogue and voiceovers helping to make sure that there is enough to combine with the impressive cinematography and fight choreography. Everything combines very well, and I was thoroughly impressed.
Kill Bill Volume 1 has only one minor negative for me, and that is that if you have watched it, you'd be hard pushed for gaining closure and understanding on it without watching Volume 2 as well. It is almost necessary, as without it you feel as if you have merely watched an episode of a TV series. This means that watching Kill Bill Volume 2 should be on your radar soon after watching Volume 1. The two were released as separate films because Tarantino had essentially made a 4 hour film, and felt this was too much for people to bother with. I reckon he'd be right. There was a one year wait between the two films, and you quite often find them sold as a double DVD pack. This is perhaps where he got the idea for his more recent double A side movie harkening back to the days of going to the cinema where you would get a B movie as well as the main feature.
However, there is no B movie here in these two films. Volume 1 is, for me, the better of the two films, and I urge you to watch it. Be warned of the swearing and violence and excessive blood. It is over the top, which takes away some of the realistic nature of it, but it is still there. The acting is brilliant, cinematography and fight choreography equally so, but the key factor here is Tarantino's vision, direction and unashamed tributes to some legendary cinematic greats. Highly recommended.
This is one of my favourite movies, however if you're not into all this then it can be pretty bloody and brutal. Released in 2003 this is the first installment of the two volume epic Kill Bill directed by Quentin Tarantino.
The heroine and main character in the movie is known as 'The Bride' or her code name 'Black Mamba' played by Uma Thurman. She is fantastic in this role and probably helped to resurrect her career somewhat. She has amazing determination in the face of overwhelming odds and against adversity and combines that with some fantastic kung-fu expertise.
The whole story is not revealed to the audience until Volume 2, the plot surrounding Volume 1 is as follows. We learn that Uma Thurman's character was attacked by Bill's 'Deadly Viper Assassination Squad' on her wedding day. The man she was supposed to be marrying was murdered and she was visciously battered and shot in the head. Her unborn infant was then stolen from her womb. She remained in a coma for four long years before waking to remember the horrific events that led her to be here.
She naturally can only think of bloody revenge on those that did this to her and her would have been husband and child. This volume charts her as she begins to take down the squad, killing two of it's members and involved in countless sword fights with other enemies along the way.
The whole movie is set up perfectly for the second volume so if you make it through the first one you have to see the second part to find out how it ends.
I found the fight scenes the most entertaining part of the film. Despite how violent the movie is these kung-fu and sword fight scenes are the highlight of the whole film and if you like this sort of thing as I do you won't be disappointed as the movie is fast paced with alot of this action throughout.
This is where Tarantino seemed to have focused a lot of his energies and to great effect. The storyline is pretty simple but there are twists along the way and also in the next volume where we discover more about the attack and the aftermath. I would recommend watching this if you're not squeamish with some of the deaths but definately not one for the kids.
Kill Bill is possibly one of my favourite films of all time. It's jam packed of action and amazing fighting scenes. In my opinion its directed well and has a great script to it. This is one of those films that I could watch over and over again and never get fed up of it.
It also has some of my favourite actors, including Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu and David Carradine. The story line is well thought about, but some concentration is needed to watch this as it goes back in time and may get people slightly confused.
It begins with Beatrix (Uma Thurman) in her wedding dress, covered in blood lying on the floor (a great start to a film!).
"Do you find me sadistic? I bet i could fry an egg on your head right now, if i wanted to. Now kiddo, id like to believe you are well enough, even now, to know there is nothing sadistic in my actions, maybe towards those other jokers, but no you. Well kiddo, at this moment, this is me at my most masacistic.' -Bill, David Carridine.
Through out the film, the veiwers do not find out Uma's Character's name only her assasin name 'Black Mamba'. She was due to marry a man in the church where she was killed. Beatrix Kiddo used to be part of the Deadly viper assasination squad along with 4 others. She had to abandon her role in the squad as she became pregnant with Bills baby, worried that it may come to harm. Seeing this as treachery, the Deadly Viper Assasination Squad find her in the church and make her pay.
Little do the Squad know but after taking ALOT of beating and even a bullet to her head, Black Mamba survives, and sets out to seek revenge. she first goes to the house of Vernita Green 'Copperhead ' and fights with her. Thats the second name crossed of her 'Kill List'.
The film then cuts to the church where she was killed and in hospital. The bullet put her in a coma, which she would lie in for four years. When she wakes up she finds a car, and while waiting for her legs to recover, tells the viewers the story (in Japanesse Animi) of her next (First person she killed but the next one shown second in the film) taget O-Ren Ishii (Cottonmouth). After receiving a specailly made Samerai sword, she goes after O-Ren Ishii, but getting to her is harder than she expected. O-Ren (who is now queen of the Tokyo underworld) has a group of body guards, names The Crazy 88. After fighting all the group (with one of the best fight scenes i've ever seen in a film) she gets to O-Ren and they fight to the death.
The fight with O-Ren actually happens before she kills Vernita Green but Quetin set it out to go back in time in parts. He also does it very dramatic in the fight scenes, with blood splurting out like volcanoes!
I was recommended this film by a friend and have recommended it to many people. I have yet to come across a person who has a bad word to say on it. Quentin Tarantino is a great Director who has produced many hit films and this film in my opinion represents Tarantino at his best.
Thank you for reading.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill is one of his finest works - it's not as refined as, say, Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs, and it is ultimately a work that just puts slices of pop culture and cult cinema into a blender and then recreates them, but it is a thoroughly entertaining gorefest that's going to please anyone that's a fan of exploitative, slightly cheesy homage. It also features some killer performances from the Tarantino regulars, such as Uma Thurman and Michael Madsen, and also some career-resurrecting appearances, such as the late David Carradine.
The film revolves around The Bride (Uma Thurman), a woman who was shot and almost killed at her wedding by Bill (Carradine), a man who led a pack of undesirables, including Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah), Budd (Madsen), O-Ren Ishi (Lucy Liu) and Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox). The Bride wants revenge for herself and for her baby who sadly was never born due to her damaged state. To get to Bill, she'll have to pass through his Viper Squad, consisting of the above enemies. This is the start of that bloody quest, which ends in the second installment.
This is a gloriously violent film, but has the requisite Tarantino dialogue that has made his previous works so great too. It's one of his better recent films for sure, and didn't get the complains that part two got, where the action was far more toned down.
This is a fanastic film, even for Tarantino. Sure, he borrows everything from obscural cultural vestibules of Asian cinema, but it's gloriously done, and the word "homage" never had greater providence. The dialogue has the usual Tarantino flare, and the action scenes are incredibly entertaining to watch. The manner in which the film ends leaves you absolutely salivating for Volume 2.
When former assassin Black Mamba (Uma Thurman) is viciously attacked at her wedding, her fiancé is killed and she is put into a coma resulting in her losing her baby. The coma continues for a further 4 years but luckily her memory is still intact when she wakes up.
Immediately subsequent to waking up, The Bride goes out to avenge her fiancé's and unborn child's death by brutally murdering everyone who was involved in the incident. The four Deadly Vipers are those responsible for almost killing her and at the head of the operation is her former lover and boss, Bill. She then vows that she will kill Bill...
Kill Bill is a film that you'll either love or you'll hate simply because this movie is so extreme and outrageous. I better just say for the record that I'm by no means a fan of Quentin Tarantino's work, I find most of his films to be too fragmented and outlandish as they're either way too slow that they'll send you to sleep or they move at such a frantic pace that it's hard to keep up. Kill Bill showcases both of these traits however because of the eccentricity of the movie it keeps you entertained until the end because you'll feel that you're watching something very individual and different to other films.
There's nothing new about this story, it could easily be described as just another bloody revenge thriller however because of the content of the movie it stands out among the crowd. Martial arts movies don't usually reach such a wide spread audience as they don't generally appeal to everybody's tastes however Quentin Tarantino has made martial arts accessible to everybody in this film, similar to how Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee did. Those of you with a keen eye will have noticed the homage to numerous martial arts movies, in particular the yellow and black tracksuit that Uma Thurman wears for a large majority of the second half of the film is worn in homage to Bruce Lee and his film Game Of Death released back in 1978. This sets the tone for a lot of the movie, it includes several popular culture references throughout the films entirety.
What really stands out for me concerning Kill Bill is the sheer pace and franticness of it all, right from the opening sequence we witness the brutal 'murder' of The Bride which then leads straight onto an excellently choreographed fight between The Bride and the first of the Deadly Four, Copperhead (Vivica A. Fox), who in reality is the last in this volume to die. This is one of my favourite parts of the movie as it shows what a sharp sense of humour Quentin Tarantino has, the scene doesn't entail any laugh out loud moments but it's subtle comedy mixed with the brutality which makes it somewhat disconcerting because you don't know whether to laugh or not. One of the funniest parts of the film for me was near the end when she's sat in the aeroplane writing a death list, she makes no attempt to shadow what she's writing and does it in full view for anyone to see. Of course next to her is her samurai sword with the people around her seemingly undisturbed by the weapon she has. I think if I was on a flight opposite to somebody with a samurai sword (not that it would happen) I'd probably be a little disturbed, but of course this is Hollywood and anything goes. This is pretty much the tone of the comedy that you should expect to see all the way through and it's absolutely fantastic.
I really enjoyed how the film was staged and played out in front of the audience, Quentin Tarantino uses a nonlinear narrative which he sets out in chapters of what happens however this isn't in chronological order therefore in theory the film doesn't actually begin until about 40 minutes in. This however doesn't become confusing like other similar narratives have, it's simply in place to keep the audiences interest and isn't something that you really have to think about because the story of the film is really very simple.
Even though Kill Bill parodies other films in clever and subtle ways it's also become the subject for numerous parodies itself, with a fight scene that has arguably become more famous and more recognisable than what it was parodying in the first place. The fight scene depicted in The House Of Blue Leaves has now become synonymous over the years since it's release. There's so much critique that I could give to the scene because it's utterly farcical and implausible but then on the other hand it's superb. This is a film that requires the audience not to take it too seriously, at one point you have a prolonged fight scene where you witness The Bride fighting 88 trained assassins at once, if you haven't seen this film you're probably thinking how absurd it sounds but take my word for it, this film is worth watching if only for that scene and that scene alone. The face off subsequent to this scene is a little disappointing, considering how prolonged the scene with The Crazy 88 is it seemed a little bit of a letdown that what should have been the main and best fight sequence fall flat, it only lasts a couple of minutes and the majority of that is filled with talking. Of course you're watching this feeling that after fighting 88 people at once The Bride will probably be a little fatigued and probably need a bottle of Lucozade to give her a lift the maintain her unrivalled stamina but I was still left disappointed at how quick the end fight scene was.
Uma Thurman was undoubtedly the highlight of the film, she's a lot like Quentin Tarantino in a way because people seem to either love her or hate her, fortunately for me I love her and she's simply tremendous in Kill Bill. She manages to completely encapsulate the character of The Bride and with that it gets the audience on her side within seconds of the film beginning because we instantly witness her would-be murder. As we go through the film we learn little bits of information about her which only adds to the adoration of her character and even though her actions are appalling you will find yourself sympathising with her all the way through because of what happened to her.
The film ends at exactly the right time leaving the audience hungry for more, the snippet of information you find you right before the end, leads you to feel for The Bride even more because she is unaware of this crucial bit of information.
Overall this is a fantastic film, there are so many faults yet I think the faults are what make this film so utterly superb. If you haven't yet seen it it's a must for your list. It's extremely violent and arguably one of the most violent films I've ever seen however it's so over exaggerated that even squeamish people will be able to watch this and not cringe, you're more likely to laugh at just how over the top the film becomes.
The DVD is currently available from play.com for £15.99, a little expensive but it's worth it because guaranteed you'll notice something new and interesting about this film everytime you watch it.
The special features include:
'Making Of' featurette
The 5,6,7,8s perform 'Jayne Mansfield' and 'I'm Blue'
Volume 1 trailer
Volume 1 teaser trailer
Volume 2 teaser
This came out while I was in my first year at University, and I remember it well, because everyone was talking about it. Whether it was the massive death count (about 95 - fictional deaths of course) that the film was meant to have, the gore, the use of Japanese Samurai swords or the fact this was a Quentin Tarantino film, expected to be violent even for his standards, it was a must-see. It's weird because I still remember going to the cinema with only one other person, and to a very quiet cinema too (I think the football or something was on because there had been a bloody fight outside when we finally left!). In spite of the turnout, I could understand why so many people were talking about this film. Before I say any more, I hadn't realised, and nor it seems had many others, that the name of "The Bride" - our main character, is actually mentioned at the beginning of this film, so is not kept secret until the next film - unless I just saw another version. I had thought the name mentioned was a pet name, but actually it is her real name, however, I will not mention it here anyway since there may be people who'd regard it as a spoiler.
The thing that thrilled me most about this film was going in knowing absolutely nothing about it, so of course I feel sort of bad if I am now going to write a plot summary that will tell you exactly what to expect, because it would have spoiled it for me! I am bearing in mind though, that this film was out in 2003 - six years ago - and by now you are bound to at least know people who've seen it and know something about it. Plus it was on telly just before I wrote this review! Nevertheless, for the few of you who know nothing, and for those who want to avoid knowing everything, I will keep it simple!
The Bride is out for revenge. All we know in Vol 1 (there is a Vol 2, by the way) is that her wedding was gatecrashed by Bill and his "Deadly Viper Assassination Squad," who murdered her 9 guests and put a bullet in her head. Worse still, she was pregnant at the time. Miraculously, The Bride wakes up 4 years later from a coma and sets out on a brutal relentless and unforgiving trip of revenge, ready to kill each perpetrator one by one, leading up to the top dog, Bill. How will she get on? Watch Kill Bill to find out!
As I say, lots of people were talking about this film at the time, and even now people seem to be very opinionated about it, not necessarily in a good way. A lot of people felt that there was just too much blood and that the fight scenes dragged on too much. However, The Bride narrates her own story, as well as the stories of the people she is after (particularly O-Ren Ishii) and we do learn quite a lot from this, even if not particularly intelligent, it is certainly interesting. The film is broken into chapters, which seems to add in suspense and a kind of Frasier-like expectation of what might come next. Coupled with the narrations, you might easily think you stumbled upon a video-book!
Unfortunately films like this can never be free of fault, and being so drastic can only mean that there will be the potential for plot holes, errors and things that simply could never happen - and this film does not appear to claim to be a fantasy in any way. The truth is that this is a film that is not interested in minor details and sometimes common sense, maybe even has intentional errors but if you can choose not to care about its flaws, it could still be worth watching.
The only other thing to point out here is that you must not be misled into thinking that this is, an intelligent film. It is really only aimed to surprise us in new and mostly violent ways. The glorification of revenge is not something to be encouraged, and the emphasis on this in the film was a bit of a shame, because it made it seem like there was really no other way. Most people will be sensible enough not to be influenced by this sort of thing, but may still be disappointed by it.
This first volume features some interesting characters, well, some more than others I suppose.
Before Kill Bill, I have to admit I knew very little about Uma Thurman, in fact I had probably been guilty of seeing films with her in but never really remembering her specifically (e.g. Pulp Fiction!). Well, this was definitely the film for her because after seeing Kill Bill, I could recognise this lady anywhere! Uma plays The Bride, the woman who refuses to remain a victim for long, suffering this horrible ordeal only to put all her energy into getting her revenge. She is passionate and shows different sides to her personality, often misleading us in our estimations of her, then taking us by surprise. It's the variety in her display of emotions that makes her so special, and also something about her appearance always seems to fit. Perhaps another actress could have played this role well, but personally I think Uma played it brilliantly.
The other key character that stood out well to me was O-Ren Ishii, played well by Lucy Liu. I've heard people say she has a constant fierce expression, but to the contrary in this film, she is quite unpredictable. Her actual scenes are only small but effective and the tension between her and Uma is powerful.
Also good were the other members of the assassination squad, and some really creepy or crazy characters. The other squad members to notice are the cold blooded Elle Driver, played by Daryl Hannah and Bill's younger brother Budd, played by a sly looking Michael Madsen. Also look out for 17 year old Gogo Yubari, played by Chiaki Kuriyama - she is intriguing. Then there's the nasty Buck, by Michael Bowen.
It stood out more to me the second time, than the first time I saw this film, how much had been put into this film to make it look totally 1970s, yet I'm really not sure if it was meant to have been set in the '70s, or that was just an idea to make it look different. This includes the use of a lot of bright colour, as props, costume and also random flashes of colour across the screen.
The narration of O-Ren's life story by The Bride is completely illustrated by cartoons, rather than real actors. I thought this was really clever, and seemed to keep an element of mystery about O-Ren's past, whilst still making it easy to relate to the drawn on characters.
Alongside some really amazing music on the soundtrack (my favourite was Spanish-style music during a fight with O-Ren), there were suddenly '70s-style sounds thrown in. First time I saw the film, the soundtrack seemed pretty random, but on a second viewing I suppose I appreciated it more. I hate old-fashioned stuff, and in my opinion things left in the past are left there for a reason! However, this was actually quite good and at least I was able to appreciate, if not enjoy the '70s bits.
The fighting choreography is impressive, particularly on the first viewing when you have no idea what to expect! The moves often seem much too fast and in too many different directions to be real, but following it with your eyes is where the fun lies anyway.
There is a hell of a lot of blood in this film, and for some, even though it looks like bright red ketchup, blatantly, watching it spurt from wounds could be off-putting still! There are too many, erm, severances in this film, and after a while it actually gets a bit tired. Blood does spurt rapidly from the biggest arteries, but the 70's style used here means it looks completely fake, and personally I didn't like this effect. I suppose you can't just go halfway with the '70s style.
The rating could not have been any less than 18 and the reason is pretty clear. This is one bloodthirsty movie, filled with crude imagery, swearing and although no sexual scenes, ideas about them that would make a porn star cringe. So to give a lower rating would not just be wrong or irresponsible, it would be crazy. As I said above, most people would not be easily influenced by this kind of film, but the exception probably is younger audiences, and before you accuse me of exaggerating I was once unfortunate enough to meet someone who thought threatening people with fake Samurai swords was clever (he remained a stranger, thank God). This film definitely makes violence and revenge look clever and sexy, and that means people who can't think of any other way to look clever or sexy will pick up the wrong principles.
Whether you watch this film or not is going to depend mostly on whether you like violent action films and lots of blood (ketchup) or not. The acting is good and amusing first time, and there are some really funny moments, but funnier the first time. You might also enjoy it for the choreography, but even this gets tiresome after a while, whether reflective of how determined this woman is and how well she needs to hold out, I don't know and am past caring. I've seen the film twice now, and second time around I was probably only half as impressed as viewing number 1. I probably won't want to see this film again, and if I do see it, I'll be flicking through channels on the telly! This film was like a raging fire when it was released, but now the flame is dying. My advice - it's a shame if you missed it on telly - is to just rent or watch once, and just enjoy it for what it is. Probably lots of people just see it for the sake of saying 'yes, I've seen Kill Bill'.
First things first. I am not fan of Quentin Tarantino, nor do I think that Pulp Fiction is greatest film in cinematic history. I personally find Tarantino to be a rather unimaginative, at best bland, director who utilises and rehashes ancient cinematic techniques under the impression of startling originality. So when Quentin released Kill Bill, his first truly solo project (and by that I mean he wasn't using Roger Avary as a creative crutch), my expectations were justifiably low.
Kill Bill stars Uma Thurman as the Bride, a retired assassin who is attempting to settle down to a life of matrimonial bliss after ditching her murderous comrades. Unfortunately assassination is not like working at a petrol station: you just can't give notice and disappear. Take one wedding, four skilled assassins, and one very disgruntled boss, well, you can see where this is going. Years later the Bride (codename Black Mamba) awakens from a bullet-wound induced coma, and is mortified to realise her unborn child was lost during her ordeal. Swearing vengeance the Bride heads off on a gory kung fu massacre, as she attempts to hunt down the five people responsible for her babies death.
Kill Bill is the first part of a two part movie, with the assassins Copperhead (Vernita Green) and Cottonmouth (O-ren Ishii) at the top of the Bride's list. Throughout the movie she must struggle to pin down her targets, whilst overcoming numerous body guards and her own personal grief.
Considering Tarantino prides himself on his originality, Kill Bill is hardly the freshest idea out of Hollywood, since the idea of a vengeful heroine seeking retribution for a loved ones death is about as old as Stone Henge. Quentin only seems to have two tactics: one) shock with gratuitous displays of thoroughly unconvincing gore, and two) throw enough flashy editing techniques at us in the hope that we'll be stunned into approval. He's pretty much taken every trick in the directors book and mixed it in there, creating nearly two hours of unexplained colour changes, catchy but nevertheless ill-fitting music, and a rather suave manga sequence, which although cool, has absolutely nothing to do with the plot and is yet another excuse for Tarantino to show off. And that's pretty much what Kill Bill is: Tarantino showing off. Of course, it doesn't work on everybody. To me it just proved what I always knew, that Tarantino can't produce anything worth while without having Roger Avary hold his hand. Admittedly this review is a little mean, but he's so unbearably smug it feels good to give him a good blasting.
Kill Bill consists of two volumes both directed by Quentin Tarantino, in which this is the first half. It is a brilliant mix of action and drama and was released in 2003.
The plot follows The Bride (Uma Thurman) who is looking for revenge on the members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, who she used to be a part of before they attempted to kill her. She basically picks off the members in incredible samurai fighting scenes.
Kill Bill is strange in the way that there are so many things that are ridiculous yet the movie is stunning. For example, the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. After five steps you die if this is done to you! I mean, it's completely absurd, just like the gore scenes; when a limb or head is chopped off it looks very unrealistic - blood pores out in one stream, like if you were to squeeze a bottle of water. However, I think this is what Kill Bill was aiming for. A mix of stylish and brilliantly written dialogue, with over the top fighting and unbelievable names and techniques.
It's a difficult movie to describe and you would have to watch it yourself but I still thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend you try it out.
Kill Bill is supposedly one film split into two parts- this is part one. Here, the film concerns a character called 'The Bride' (Uma Thurman) who was an assassin and when trying to escape the world of crime and marrying into the normal world with a normal life, was the victim of a murder attempt. This occurred in fact at her wedding to a normal guy. The attempt fails and after waking up from a coma, the film is fuelled by her revenge as the watcher gets to see her go after those who she used to work with and those who tried to kill her.
There is a brief appearance from Daryl Hannah, however the majority of this film features mainly Uma Thurman and she does carry it very well. The film is very over the top with a lot of violence and silly amounts of blood. For these reasons and the way in which it is presented it cannot be considered absolutely fantastic nor a classic. However if you accept that realism is not the intention of Tarantino and rather entertainment is, then you should be able to really enjoy this no-thinking-required film and have a good night.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is a classic and a cult film that will be mentioned by many in years to come. Uma Thurman brushes aside memories of Avengers and Batman and Robin with this action caper centred upon the Klingon phrase ' Revenge is a Dish best served Cold' .