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Kill Bill Cuts Competition

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KILL BILL: VOL. 1

Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino; director of photography, Robert Richardson; edited by Sally Menke; music by the RZA; martial-arts adviser, Yuen Wo-Ping; fight choreographer, Sonny Chiba; production designers, Yohei Tanada and David Wasco; produced by Lawrence Bender; released by Miramax Films. Running time: 95 minutes. This film is rated R.

WITH: Uma Thurman (The Bride/Black Mamba), David Carradine (Bill), Lucy Liu (O-Ren Ishii/Cottonmouth), Daryl Hannah (Elle Driver/California Mountain Snake), Vivica A. Fox (Vernita Green/Copperhead), Michael Madsen (Budd/Sidewinder), Michael Parks (Sheriff), Sonny Chiba (Hattori Hanzo) and Chiaki Kuriyama (Go Go Yubari)

Kill Bill and the Wave of Globalization
One exiting development in some recent films is the seamless integration of globalization. Say what you will about Quentin Tarantino’s bloody new homage to kung-fu and spaghetti westerns Kill Bill Vol. 1 but it is as close to a movie…
Posted in Blogcritics on October 22, 2003 12:09 AM

Bang! Bang!
Finally got out to see Kill Bill on Saturday night. What I saw was anime come to life… the part that wasn’t actual anime, of course. Tarantino has combined the more over-the-top elements of graphic novels (characters bleed… a lot)…
Posted in Blogcritics on October 20, 2003 08:59 PM

Easterbrook Donnybrook
Word is, Gregg Easterbrook got fired from ESPN for his comments about Jewish studio executives and Kill Bill. Fair punishment, rank political correctness, or just retaliation for taking a shot at the boss?
Posted in Blogcritics on October 20, 2003 12:58 PM

Kill Bill: Volume 1
I saw Quentin Tarantino’s fourth film (he lets you know it’s his fourth in the credits) last night. I could have seen it on the IMAX screen, but their website didn’t detail which screenings were playing where, so we went…
Posted in Blogcritics on October 19, 2003 02:05 PM

Get yourself to a cinema and Kill Bill … Vol. 1
The first line of Vol. 1 is David Carradine’s “I bet I could fry an egg on your face right now, if I wanted to.” By the end of Kill Bill: Volume 1, that’s exactly how you’ll feel, but with any luck your head won’t explode in the chasm of anticipation before Volume 2 graces the million multiplexes in February next year.
Posted in Blogcritics on October 18, 2003 03:18 AM

Easterbrook Apologizes
Gregg Easterbrook apologizes for any perceived anti-Semitism in his remarks about Kill Bill. But he still seems to think Jews should be more sensitive to films that “glamorize” violence.
Posted in Blogcritics on October 17, 2003 11:42 AM

Kill Bill
Tarantino works magic with this film, layering the pieces and fitting them into a sequence that works even though by all rights it shouldn’t.
Posted in Blogcritics on October 15, 2003 06:51 PM

Junk Sellers Who Should Know Better?
Okay, so maybe you don’t like Quentin Tarantino’s movies. Does that mean you have to be anti-Semitic too?
Posted in Blogcritics on October 15, 2003 01:07 PM

The Theory weighs in with his review.

Our Shannon Okey and Fabian Gonzalez (thanks guys) say the negative critics just don’t GET Quentin Tarantino’s new revenge saga Kill Bill – Vol. 1. The public would appear to agree:

    It was payback time for Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman at the box office as their vengeance saga “Kill Bill – Vol. 1″ opened in first place with $22.7 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

    ….The opening installment of “Kill Bill,” director Tarantino’s first film since 1997’s “Jackie Brown,” did well enough to encourage distributor Miramax over prospects for “Vol. 2,” due in theaters next February.

    Tarantino and Miramax chose to chop “Kill Bill,” a martial-arts epic with a three-hour running time, into two parts rather than dish it out to audiences in one big gulp.

    Exit polls indicated 90 percent of the audience the first weekend wants to see “Kill Bill – Vol. 2,” said Rick Sands, Miramax chief operating officer. [AP]

See the trailer here.

NY Times interviews co-star Lucy Liu:

    it is her role as O-Ren Ishii, a kimono-clad femme fatale in Quentin Tarantino’s blood-drenched, slice-‘em-up “Kill Bill: Vol. 1″ (which opened Friday), that has elevated Ms. Liu, 34, to an entirely new level of ruthlessness and secured the actress’s position as one of America’s leading action heroines, at the risk of being typecast as a dragon lady.

    In this estrogen-fueled homage to spaghetti westerns and kung-fu flicks, Ms. Liu plays the archenemy of a character called the Bride (Uma Thurman), a retired hit woman who is brutally attacked on her wedding day and left for dead by a gang of assassins called the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DiVAS). Four years after surviving a bullet in the head, the Bride awakes from a coma and sets out on a revenge mission.

    Her first target, Ms. Liu’s O-Ren Ishii, a k a Cottonmouth, is also beset with a stack of issues. At age 7 she witnesses the gruesome murder of her parents. Four years later she avenges their deaths. By age 20, she is one of the top female assassins in the world. Five years later, at a ceremony honoring her rise to the head of the Japanese yakuza underworld, she swiftly decapitates a male capo for denouncing her Japanese/Chinese-American background. With the nemesis’s head in hand, O-Ren plunges into a speech about open communication that sounds straight out of a human resources manual.

    “I’m going to speak in English,” she calmly states, “just so you know how serious I am.”

    It is both a comical and a painfully disturbing scene in a film filled with them. Of her diabolical character, Ms. Liu said: “I felt like I really understood her emotionally. In my mind she was a survivor, and it was either kill or be killed.”

    ….Born in Jackson Heights, Queens, Ms. Liu, the daughter of working-class Chinese immigrants, recalled many an afternoon spent parked in front of a television set. Though she seldom saw anyone who resembled her on either the small or big screen, Ms. Liu, who attended Stuyvesant High School, said she always dreamed of acting.

    “I just felt like there was something otherworldly about being an actress,” she said. “When you’re younger and you don’t feel like you quite fit in anywhere, you think there must be a community of misfits out there that you can fall into.”

    After a brief stint at New York University, Ms. Liu transferred to the University of Michigan, where she studied Asian languages and culture. (She is fluent in Mandarin.) The actress auditioned for a minor role in the school’s production of “Alice in Wonderland” and waltzed away with the lead, a life-changing moment, she said.

    “I had allowed myself to believe that I wasn’t ever going to be important enough or good enough or right enough, colorwise,” Ms. Liu said. “I thought that I had to be Caucasian to ever see the light of day. Earning that role made me realize that in a weird way, I was being racist toward myself. I had been thinking so small.”

NY Times interviews viewers:

    Jae Song, who caught “Kill Bill” at the Loews 19th Street East Saturday afternoon, came expressly for the film’s much discussed brutality. “I like violence,” Mr. Song, in his early 20’s, said matter-of-factly. “That’s why I wanted to see it. And I don’t think that’s anything to be ashamed of.”

    ….The movie’s weekend take was impressive for an R-rated film that is “very genre specific and very violent,” Mr. Dergarabedian said.

    “It’s not a movie that appeals to a very broad audience,” he added. “Grandma is not going to see this movie.”

    What’s grandma missing? A vivid collage of dismembered body parts, menacing samurai swords and more blood than a convoy of Red Cross trucks.

    All of which suited Zeyd Sheikh just fine. Mr. Sheikh, a college student, stood outside the Loews Kips Bay Theater Saturday evening smoking a cigarette. He looked weary but satisfied, as if he had just devoured a four-course meal.

    “The opening scene makes you want to cringe, but that’s what you expect from Tarantino,” Mr. Sheikh said, smiling, “and he doesn’t let you down.”

In an ambiguous review, the Times’ A.O. Scott is fascinated but ultimately overwhelmed by the violence and “sordid creepiness that occasionally seeps into” the film. But the best part of the review is this summary:

    “Kill Bill: Vol. 1″ is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has shootings, stabbings, beatings, beheadings, disembowelings, amputations, mutilations, eye-gougings, slicings, choppings, bitings and a spanking. Also some naughty words.
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