Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 20th, 2012
BluRay released: April 26th, 2011
Approximate running time: 137 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 French
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
BluRay Release: Lions Gate / Miramax
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $19.99
The first scene of the film is the wedding rehearsal that was shot in beautiful black and white. Those who have seen volume one have already seen part of this scene and know what the outcome is. This time around we get to see the whole wedding rehearsal and when the death squad goes in to kill every at the wedding reception the camera pulls away in a non Tarantino like way implying what has just happened instead of showing it. The Bride this time around must kill Budd and Elle Driver before she can exact her revenge on Bill. One of the films highlights is when we get to see Pai Mei (Gordon Liu), as he teaches The Bride martial arts. Gordon Liu steals the show as Pai Mei as he shows that he still has a trick or two up his sleeve.
After seeing Kill Bill: Volume 1’s non stop adrenaline ride last fall, going into Kill Bill: Volume 2, one the first thing that crossed my mind was? Did Tarantino make the right decision splitting this film into two parts? Would we see more blood and guts like before or would Volume 2 be more character driven like most of Tarantino’s other films. I went into Volume 2 with high hopes as I watched it the week it came out in theatre’s this past April. Upon leaving the theatre I felt good about the conclusion to the Kill Bill saga. Now a few months later as I re-watch Volume 2 for the first time since seeing it on the big screen I have mixed feelings. The fight scenes in Volume 2 pale in comparison to the fight scenes from Volume 1. They are less graphic and in many cases anticlimactic as they don’t have the punch the previous films fight scenes had. Acting wise once again all the cast is really and for my money besides Gordon Liu, Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver was one of the films strongest assets.
The collection of songs for volume two have a Spaghetti Western feel to them and Ennio Morricone’s ‘L Arena’ plays as the Bride is buried and trapped in a coffin is Volume 2’s most moving moment. Tarantino inspiration draws from many sources and just like Volume 1, here in Volume 2 he expertly weaves a tale that is engaging and at times evokes melancholy.
So should Kill Bill have been split into two parts? After watching both films I would have to say no, both films are like night and day when comparing the two. Volume 1 moves along at a nice pace, while Volume 2 drags most of the film and there are plenty of scenes and moments that Tarantino should have trimmed. The Section that suffers the more then any other in Volume 2 is Beatrix’s and Bill’s reunion/showdown. Overall the conclusion to the film I found satisfying even if I felt the journey getting there could have been smoothed out.
Kill Bill: Volume 2 comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors look vibrant and accurate, black and contrast levels look solid throughout. Details look crisp, there are no problems with compression or DNR.
This release comes with three audio options, a DTS-HD Dolby Digital 5.1 mix English, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in French. Directionality is consistently strong throughout, dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too. This release comes with two subtitle options, English SDH and Spanish.
Extras for this release include Premiere footage of a performance from the band Chingon, Deleted scene featuring David Carradine and Michael Jai White and a twenty six minute ‘Making of’ featurette. Topics covered in the ‘Making of’ featurette include covers similar ground to what was covered in the ‘Making of’ featurette that was included as part of the Kill Bill: Volume 1 BluRay release. Overall Kill Bill: Volume 2 gets a solid audio / video presentation.