Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 6th, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: USA October 10th, 2003
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Cast:Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Michael Madsen
DVD Released:April 13th, 2004
Approximate Running Time: 107 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: DTS English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo French
Subtitles: Japanese, Chinese, Korean
DVD Release: Miramax
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.99
“Revenge is a dish best served cold.” – Old Klingon Proverb
And with those words so begins Quentin Tarantino’s opus to the martial arts and grindhouse films he loved from his youth. A Lot had changed since Quentin Tarantino last film Jackie Brown and a lot was riding on his first film in six years Kill Bill: Volume 1. Genre films were no longer cutting edge and for the most part most the cinema coming out of Hollywood resembled an assembly line. Jackie Brown wasn’t as a huge of a success as Pulp Fiction and Tarantino first film in six years a revenge movie that was running about 3 1/2 hours long. Would his audience follow him or would he have to find an audience. Instead of releasing Kill Bill as one film what we get here is half of a film that stands on its own and for now it looks like Miramax’s gamble paid off.
Covered in blood Bill (David Carradine) sadistically wipes blood from The Brides (Uma Thurman) face before he blows her brains out. The fourth film by Quentin Tarantino starts off with a bang. Kill Bill is Tarantino tribute to the kung fu and grind house films of his youth. In this film he gives us Japanese sword fighting, geysers of blood, and over the top violence rarely seen in American cinema. Tarantino has crafted a beautifully paced tale of revenge full of enough pop culture references and music cues from some of the best B movies ever made.
Fast forward many years later as The Bride lay in a coma were she has been used as a sex toy by Buck the orderly. She wakes from her coma before she is about to be abused again. She kills the man who tried to rape her and Buck. The Bride makes a to ‘kill’ list and she marks the Assassins names off it one by one. Sonny Chibahas been cast as Hatori Hanzo, a master sword maker. Tarantino has long been a champion of Chiba and his films and it is nice to see him recognized in this big budget flick.
Kill Bill: Volume 1 is filled with wonderful performances by all involved and Uma Thurman really shines as The Bride. Initially Kill Bill was to be one film until Miramax decided it was to long and asked Tarantino to split it into two films. I am still not sure if this was a good idea since I haven’t seen both volumes as a complete film yet. The first film did give us just enough and ended with a clever cliff hanger.
Presented in anamorphic 2:40:1 Tarantino manages to fill every inch of frame with visuals that are stunning and hold your attention. Flesh tones looked natural and are free of digital artifacts. Overall this is a very good transfer from Miramax.
The audio is available in either Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 Surround. All tracks are full with heavy bass and no major distortion or hiss. The music and sound effects on the audio tracks is crystal clear.
Extras are light on this disc and the main item is a twenty-minute featurette, ‘The Making of Kill Bill Volume One’, with comments from the director, producer and stars. Also included are two musical performances by the 5,6,7,8’s, a female Japanese rock group that performs in the movie. A collection of Tarantino trailers and a teaser trailer for Kill Bill Volume 2. If you are fan of Tarantino, Kung Fu, Exploitation and you like your carnage bloody and brutal then I suggest you check this film out. This movie is truely an event and should be seen on the big screen with a crowd.