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Guest Russell Lucas

Kill Bill Volume 2

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Oh, and I finally remembered that other thing I was going to say. David Poland talks about how everyone is going to remember "the Superman speech" when they come out of this film, but I actually wasn't so blown away by it. I've heard that idea expressed before, and it reflects a rather outdated understanding of the character. When John Byrne revamped the character and started over from scratch in the mid-'80s, one of the things he emphasized was that CLARK KENT is the real person, and SUPERMAN is just the disguise he wears so people will leave Clark alone. I have no idea to what degree this conception of the character has filtered into the popular consciousness, but I hear Smallville reflects this influence.

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Wow! CT Movies' review, by Russ Breimeier, gives the film 3 1/2 stars out of 4! That's a rather bold move. I hope they're braced for the mail they're going to get.

How exactly does one go about reviewing a film like this for a Christian website? Some Christians will watch anything Hollywood has to offer, while others avoid movies and theaters like the plague. And there are plenty between those extremes. Suffice to say that if you're offended by bad language, by less-than-scrupulous characters, and/or by scenes of strong violence

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Guest Russell Lucas

Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: Hey, good connection!

Thanks. When I saw Vol. 1, I thought that exchange was just another gratuitous pop-culture reference, but I wonder now if it was something just a little bit more -- like, was it an in-joke that these characters used to have back when they worked together, was it a nod of some sort to an earlier time before they became enemies, that sort of thing.

I wonder also what significance the "tricks are for kids" line might have in a story such as this which hinges on the fact that Uma Thurman's character is a mother.

I also find myself drawing parallels between The Bride and the Samuel L. Jackson character in Pulp Fiction -- specifically, the way each person responds to something unexpected in his or her life (you might call it an "act of grace") that compels them to change their ways. People sometimes say that birth, and thus pregnancy, is a "miracle". I don't think anyone makes that exact claim in these films, but certainly The Bride's pregnancy serves the same function in her life that the "miracle" of not being shot served in the life of the SLJ character.

This post is just adding to the ridiculous degrees of anticipation cascading over me as I long to curl up in a theater seat and see this film.

In the eleven-page thread I had mentioned that the "silly rabbit" exchange seemed, well, dumb, and while I don't want to attach any sort of talismanic significance to it, I'd like to find that there was some method or meaning to that bit.

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Saw Kill Bill Vol. 2 last night and I too LOVED IT! I can't wait to see the two parts put back together into one movie. Not much to add that others haven't said, but I loved Pai Mei as well. Loved the beard stroke and his fight against The Bride. I thought Budd was great as was Elle.

However, what few have mentioned was how great Bill is. He really is the star of this volume. His speeches, his cool gravelly voice. I agree with Roeper's assessment that David Carradine should get an Oscar nomination.

All in all Tarantino has cemented himself as one of my favorite directors. Kudos!

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I repeat, it is a hassle having to cut-and-paste the quotage from the "quote" window to the "post" window.

: He also wants to work with Tarantino again. The director is working on a script for

: "The Vega Brothers," which would pair Madsen's "Reservoir Dogs" character Vic

: Vega with John Travolta's Vincent Vega from "Pulp Fiction."

I remember there being rumours of such a thing way back in 1995. I guess this rumour, and the rumour about Tarantino wanting to make <i>Casino Royale</i>, are bound to come up every time Quentin makes a new film.

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Just got back from it, and I too loved it, much moreso than Volume 1. Then again, I was in a strange mood when I saw Volume 1, and am itching to watch both movies back to back. Not to echo everyone's comments, but I loved the scenes with Pai Mei... reminded me of why I love those old Shaw Brothers movies so much. Everything was spot on - the beard flick, the zooms, the choreography (the silhouette scene was just gorgeous). I think the couple next to me didn't quite know what to make of my fits of laughter.

And for all of the hyper-violent Asian films I've seen, I never expected to cringe that much during the fight between Uma and Daryl. I don't think I've ever heard sound utilized so well to emphasize a fight scene (and I'm not just talking about the rad soundtrack).

BTW, did anyone see the trailer for Hero? I had no clue it was being attached to Volume 2, and as soon as it appeared, I was like "It's about freakin' time, Miramax". Nevermind that they gave away a bit too much of the plot, and that they're trying to trumpet it as a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon clone (which it isn't, at all), I'm just stoked that there's even a sliver of a chance that I might get to finally see it in a theatre after having watched it umpteen times on DVD.

Edited by opus

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I wonder also what significance the "tricks are for kids" line might have in a story such as this which hinges on the fact that Uma Thurman's character is a mother.

spoilers1.gif

Don't forget... her name is Beatrix Kiddo.

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Hey, folks... David Carradine is making his second "Alias" appearance tonight. For what it's worth...

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especially with Jet Li's presence.

Yeah, it'll be good to see Jet in something good again. His American films just don't cut it as far as I'm concerned.

spoilers1.gif

As for the fight between Elle and The Bride, there was this rather large woman sitting infront of us at the film and when The Bride executes that particular strike on Elle she was screaming, though I wasn't sure whether from horror or laughter, perhaps it was a bit of both. Horrible, yet brilliant.

One scene that really strikes me though is the final conversation between Bill and Beatrix. I don't know about anyone else, but even though as he says, he's a horrible person, a part of me kinda wanted her to forgive him for "overreacting". But another part of me feels it just wouldn't be right and that, as Budd says, "That woman deserves her revenge,...and we deserve to die."

I think there is some interesting insight into revenge, justice and forgiveness to be found in this film. I don't want to make too much out of it, but I think that people who dismiss this film as being pure popcorn are missing out. There is a more interesting and insightfull look at the revenge motif in Kill Bill than in many films for my money.

Also, does anyone else find it interesting that both Kill Bill Vol. 2 and The Punisher both opened this weekend and both involve a parent seeking out revenge?

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: : a part of me kinda wanted her to forgive him for "overreacting".

Uh, well... yeah, except that he makes it VERY VERY CLEAR that he's going to go on being a malevolent murderous devil. He has shown no remorse and shows no sign of interest in changing. In a normal movie, I'd want the Bride to pursue proper law and order here, but this is a comic book universe and she's Wonder Woman fighting a supervillain who cannot be contained by that world's law and order. He's not immune from grace, he's just not interested in it.

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Question: Pai Mei made me think of a martial-arts film I saw years ago, but I can't remember its title. The villian was some kind of warlord with flowing white hair, like Pai Mei, but dressed in yellowish robes, and his power was in his hair.

The protagonist trains against a large metal dummy--he dropped marbles that rolled through channels in the dummy--catching each one before it hit the ground. He ends up defeating the villain by ripping off (the bun of) his hair.

Anyone?

It's called the "Executioners from Shaolin" ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076168/ ) and the villian's name is Pai Mei. Even the scene where Beatrix's foot becomes immobilized in his groin is taken from that movie.

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It's called the "Executioners from Shaolin" ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076168/ ) and the villian's name is Pai Mei.  Even the scene where Beatrix's foot becomes immobilized in his groin is taken from that movie.

Thank you, this has been bugging me endlessly. The spot where he catches all the marbles in that film is a great scene.

The references in this film are even more abundant and overt than the first one. Darryl Hannah completely reprises one scene from Bladerunner, pretty hard to miss. And, vindicating for me, there is a poster for Mr. Majestyk in the trailer during the fight scene (which is the best trailer fight scene since Raising Arizona).

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Saw it. One of the biggest let-down's of my movie watching life. Loved vol 1. Did not need (or care about) any backstory. That's all I got in 2. Blah. Considering this is a filmmaker who made me want to get into movies, I feel pretty raped right now.

Oh, and Carradine is TERRIBLE. Oh, so annoying. I wish QT would have got Beatty, as originally planned...

Edited by SoNowThen

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Darryl Hannah completely reprises one scene from Bladerunner, pretty hard to miss.

YES!!!! I laughed and laughed when that happened. It was so great to see she can still thrash about like that!

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A-ha... I was wondering what Blade Runner reference people were talking about.

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Has anyone here watched much of Carradine's old show? I used to watch it religiously but haven't seen it for so long. The only strict reference I could catch was when he tells the Pai Mei story and blows cheesily on his flute every now and then. It was just as cheesy in Kung Fu as it was in KB II, Carradine has an amazing ability to make fun of himself.

Interestingly enough, I was watching Dragon - The Bruce Lee Story last night and Carradine got the part that Bruce Lee was supposed to get. Lee was too Asian for American TV at that point.

I didn't know that Beatty was originally slated for the part. Would that have brought in the whole 40's TV noir genre to the mix or something?

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Interestingly enough, I was watching Dragon - The Bruce Lee Story last night and Carradine got the part that Bruce Lee was supposed to get. Lee was too Asian for American TV at that point.

Yeah... Lee never forgave Carradine for that, as Lee thought the role was custom-tailored for him (obviously).

spoilers1.gif

I just remembered another part in Vol. 2 that made me chuckle. When Bill asks if she B.B. wants to watch a video with mommy before going to bed, she responds with Shogun Assassin (a re-edited version of the first two movies in the Lone Wolf And Cub series that was an obvious stylistic influence on Kill Bill - you can read a review here). It made me chuckle because I doubt there were more than 2 other people in the theatre who had seen, much less own a copy on DVD. Heh...

Oh, and another trivial connection... Shogun Assassin was heavily sampled by GZA on his album Liquid Swords. GZA is/was a member of the Wu-Tang Clan along with RZA, who composed much of the soundtrack to Kill Bill.

Edited by Guest

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I wish QT would have got Beatty, as originally planned...

NO! Beatty would have been TOTALLY wrong for the kind of movie that this is. Carradine is great! I mean Caine! Come on, Caine! Even my dad, who doesn't watch that many movies, thought it was great that the star of KUNG FU was BILL!

And yes, that Mr. Majestyk poster was great.

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Guest Russell Lucas

spoilers1.gif

I like the way the film referenced the Man with No Name's trek across the desert when Black Mamba is trudging along after her escape.

I enjoyed the fact that Kiddo seems to make a couple of mistakes that you wouldn't think a master assassin would make.

Wow-- I can buy this as one large film, with a rather abrupt change in tone, but it really could be unwieldy, and the way Volume 1 ends is so effective that it really might work much better as two films.

Perhaps I should be embarrassed that I bought into the emotional resonance and teared up at the reunion. Still, while I'm sure there's some merit in maintaining some degree of normalcy when you've just met your daughter for the first time-- I couldn't help but be bugged that the first and second thing they do together is watch television. Yeah, that's Tarantino's canon, and you can't expect him to plausibly pull off a scene with much deeper emotional resonance, but still. (Though--an aside-- that shot of Thurman lying on the floor crying with joy and relief is really something-- and, contradicting what I just said, full of emotional resonance of which I didn't think him capable.)

Last fall when our daughter Virginia was born I pushed hard for the name Beatrix-- not knowing this would be revealed to be the Bride's name-- and my wife pushed hard for Virginia. We went the right way, but being ahead of that geek curve would also have been cool.

I had hoped to see some resolution of Sofie Fatale's character or some (he admits with embarrassment) approximation of the damage she sustained.

If this was one film, you could trim five or so minutes by getting rid of Budd at his job. It tells us about who he is now, but it's not terribly essential. Not that I'd presume to cut somebody else's film.

Edited by Guest

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Guest Russell Lucas

Beatty as Bill would have been odd. Would we have bought him as a martial arts master? As a gangster, yes.

I've heard two conflicting reports as to why he dropped out. One was that he was miffed/indisposed after filming was delayed due to Thurman's most recent pregnancy, and his suggestion to have her replaced was disregarded. The second was that he was unwilling to learn the requisite martial arts.

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