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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » What's so good about Kill Bill?

   
Author Topic: What's so good about Kill Bill?
Book
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All right, I just saw the last half of Kill Bill. I've heard a lot about this movie, such as that it was mind blowing, incredible, and utterly amazing.

What I saw, however, was a woman in a pretty ridiculous outfit hacking up ridiculous Japanese men with ridiculous stunts with a lot of ridiculous gore. It was laughable. I'm usually pretty good with sustaining my belief, but when it came to blood pouring like a fountain and men flying miles across a room because they got struck in the face by a flying axe it started to get pretty redundant. The only saving grace was the sustaining thought at the back of my mind that maybe that was the intent, that maybe Tarantino wanted this to be like a bad comic book movie. But is that a saving grace at all? To think, "Well, it's supposed to be bad. So that's okay, right?" sounds pretty dumb.

Well, I went online to see what other people thought of it, and Vol 1 is #80 beating out Jaws, Braveheart, Donnie Darko, and others, and Vol 2 is #111. I went to see what Roger Ebert thought of it, and he gave both of them four stars, whereas he gave the first two LOTR films 3 and ROTK 3 and a half, and the Shawshank Redemption 3 and a half as well.

Please, will someone out there tell me what makes this movie so fantastic? Was all the genius in the first half of the movie? Are you going to tell me that the idiotic, redundant gore and obnoxious 70's cliches are the intrinsic beauty of it? Because if it is, then The Rundown was clearly the apex of American Cinema.

Sorry for being so riled up. I'm just mad that some people actually think this movie is divine, let alone better than Braveheart.

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Slash the Berzerker
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Hey Book. Remember when I once said our opinions of things were usually different?

*points to above post*

But it's like comedy. Explaining the joke won't make it funny. I can never make you see the brilliance of Kill Bill, so I won't try. But there are a lot of us that see it.

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Taalcon
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Tarantino is for grindhouse and exploitation films of the 60s and 70s what Lucas and Spielberg are to the Serialized Actioners of the 30s and 40s.

They stay incredibly faithful (and downright reverent) to the original genres while bringing refreshing new elements to them for the new generation. They take the backbone of pure shlock and add poigniancy and heart.

[ April 30, 2004, 01:00 AM: Message edited by: Taalcon ]

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Slash the Berzerker
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Taal, that is all true, but it won't mean a thing to someone who thinks kill bill is derivative trash.
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Book
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I really thought it was more silly than anything. But seriously, I'd like to hear your opinions in order to see exactly what my clearly slow and unimaginative mind is missing here. Am I just not artsy and chique enough? Or am I TOO artsy, and a snob? Also, don't just dismiss me. I want to hear what you guys have to say, don't blow me off, here.

EDIT: I think that there was something really good underneath all the gore. I liked the end fight a lot, how it ended in an empty and anticlimactic murder, something detatched and... almost utterly pointless. The Bride seemed hollowed out by what she had done. But at the same time all of this was blunted by the fact that about a hundred men had just been hacked to bits in what seemed to me to be a very silly fashion, and that Lucy Liu was talking even though the top of her head had just been hacked off. That was a bit of a disappointment. I liked how you saw the blood trickling out of her kimono after she had been cut, and the slow realization that all of this was about to end, but then... It seemed to be... just ridiculous. The top of her skull had just been sliced off.

[ April 30, 2004, 01:15 AM: Message edited by: Book ]

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WheatPuppet
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Yes. It's meant to be bad. In a lot of ways it's meant to be a tribute to cheesy 60s and 70s Japansese martial arts films and animations. That's where the spraying blood is from.

I don't think it's an amazing movie that changes everything about filmmaking, but I think it has some good elements in the same way that Resivoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction also have some good elements, but are otherwise difficult to watch. The movie also has storytelling styles that I'd like to see again in movies.

One thing that I wonder about is why other directors don't disjoint time like Tarantino does.

If you don't like it, you don't like it. I can completely understand why someone wouldn't. I get the feeling that a lot of critics gave it good reviews because they got burned when they gave Pulp Fiction bad reviews and a lot of people liked it.

I actually think Vol. 2 is a lot better. Leaps and bounds better. It has more story and less hacking off of limbs, which, as you said, gets pretty tiresome. The fight scene with the Crazy 88's bored me, for the most part. But, then, so did a lot of the fight scenes in Lord Of The Rings (the battle at helms deep was like four years long gahhh!).

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BelladonnaOrchid
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Book, the film is so great because its Uma Thurman going on a mass killing spree. How is that not cool?
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MaydayDesiax
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Let me first say that as a Wallace, I am offended that people thought Kill Bill was better than Braveheart. [Wink]

Like WheatPuppet said, it's a tribute to anime and old Japanese martial arts movies. Also, the second half IS better than the first--although you have to see the first to get caught up in the second.

[Dont Know] It's just... Really... Really... Good. It just is! ::loved it:: To each his own.

[ April 30, 2004, 06:46 AM: Message edited by: MaydayDesiax ]

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Chris Bridges
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Book, it's hard to explain if you didn't grow up watching Kung Fu Theater on Saturday afternoons. Rest assured that nearly every aspect, from the ridiculous arterial sprays to the off-focus zooms, is a reference or homage to a classic (and usually cheesy) Asian movie.

There's also no reason you have to like it, it works for you or it doesn't. No worries.

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Dagonee
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Book - please add spoiler warnings before the Edit in your second post.

*Puts fingers in ears*
*Na na na na na na na na na na na*

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Olivetta
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This reminds me of the hours Ron and I spent trying to explain American humor to his Mexican (and fluently bilingual) roommate. *sigh* He really just didn't get the sarcasm, for some reason. He understood the words, but the essence was lost on him. We had the same trouble with his Standup routines, which other people from his culture found quite hilarious. It had a lot to do with farm animals, but we just didn't get _why_ it was funny. Different culture.

Either you get it, or you don't.

The fight scenes were unbelievable, yes. But that was the point .

****Spoilers for those who haven't seen KILL BILL vol.I******

Oh, and you CAN actualy talk with part of your brain missing, especially if you're female (the speech centers are not as localized in the female brain). The quibble Ron and I had with that scene was that she probably could have survived that way for quite some time, had she not fallen over, or if she had had prompt medical attention. NOt that it matters. I think Ron actually whispered to me, "I don't think that would kill her." But then she fell down and I said, "But THAT probably would."

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KarlEd
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I thought it was brilliant. For one it was repeatedly and relentlessly surprising, which is very hard to do in any film and nearly impossible to do in a genre film. I also love the way Tarantino's scenes can be so serious and his characters can take themselves so seriously yet be thoroughly peppered with the ridiculous.

SPOILER WARNING:

I loved the character of Elle Driver in her first scene. She came across as a chilling killer, yet at the same time her costumes make me laugh out loud. I loved the white trench-coat outfit with all the stitching and detail drawn on with a sharpie. That was a brilliant touch. A bit of haut-couture and whimsy that was so implausible on such a character, yet somehow was the perfect touch. Ditto with the Nurse uniform w/eye patch.

I was never a big fan of the 70's martial arts films, but even I could appreciate what Tarantino was doing with them. I think his brilliance lies in his perfect marriage of homage and parody.

I, also, can see why some (maybe even many) people won't like Kill Bill, but they are the two best movies I've seen in the past six months (with the exception of LOTR: ROTK).

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TomDavidson
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Kill Bill IS derivative trash. Whether you find it brilliantly derivative trash or tiresomely derivative trash depends, IMO, on how much you appreciate old kung fu movies.

Tarantino has always believed that his talent lies in his ability to recycle old themes in interesting ways. He's wrong, but you wouldn't necessarily know it from the reactions of some of his fans.

(BTW, I'm a mild fan, myself. But I find it difficult to call Kill Bill a work of genius.)

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Alexa
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You are all wrong. What makes Kill Bill so good is girl on girl action. [Wink] Gogo and The Bride. [Blushing]
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KarlEd
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I'm not sure I'd call it genius, but I do think it's pretty brilliant. Sure it's derivitive. It hinges on being derivitive.

An interesting comment one of my Russian-imigrant co-workers made was that she believes you have to be an American to "get" Tarantino. (Though she hasn't told me how she reconciles that statement with the fact that she's a Tarantino fan.) I think she's right to some degree, but I think what you really have to be is someone who grew up on 70's American cinema and TV.

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Nick
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I still haven't seen it. Is there anything special about it besides just gore?
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Nick
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Well I like Star War espisodes 4-6 immensely, as well as Indiana Jones, but from what I can tell, is there any plotline?
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Pod
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Can you people at least give my heritage some credit?

While there were certainly Japanese people in the films (the first one primiarly), this movie was very CHINESE. well hong kong chinese anyway.

And i'm just irked, because the second film, short of the swords, had nothing to do with the japanese.

Anyway, the thing that makes the kill bill movies cool, is that it puts to use all the cool things that older asian films used, with an american twist. Ultimately i just think the story is cool, because it starts as a typical "My life has been destroyed, i have nothing left but to extract my revenge on the people who have done this to me," but in the end she ends up getting her life back.

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TomDavidson
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Yeah. Mass murder is apparently therapeutic. [Smile]
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Nick
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Okay, that's it, I'm seeing it.
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KarlEd
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So, Tom, Did you like them or not. I can't really tell from what you've posted.
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Pod
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TomD: if you're an assassin, perhaps. Or if you like to wipe out bad people.

And anyway, i don't think it was about therapy [Razz]

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