Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest The hit street racing film 2 Fast 2 Furious is driving to DVD players near you. Win a free copy from Slush and Universal.
Kill Bill Vol. 1 By Matt Singer
I have seen Kill Bill Vol. 1 twice already - twice on opening day actually, the first time Iíve ever done that, and no, it wasnít some grand geek plan I was dreaming about for months - and my only significant complaint is that after one half of the film, it feels like just that, half a movie. Itís great, exciting, passionate, beautiful, gruesome, and far too short. I could have easily sat through another ninety minutes of Kill Bill. Hell, I sat through the first part twice in one day. Iím still not entirely convinced that the whole 2-part element is just one giant Miramax cash grab, but I must admit how much I liked the movie, and liked it more on second viewing.
Itís a Tarantino picture, obviously - his 4th as the screen proclaims in the credits, as if he had nothing to do with From Dusk Til Dawn, Natural Born Killers, or True Romance. Do you think when the next one comes out theyíll put itís his 5th film? His 4.5th film? Maybe heís doing this just so one day he can make his own 8 1/2. In any event, this one, like his earlier pictures, fiddles with chronology to the point where the first chapter of the movie (there are five in total in Vol. 1) is actually the last piece of the story chronologically, which centers around an unnamed character called The Bride, played very powerfully by the increasingly attractive Uma Thurman. Four years ago, The Bride was nearly killed and left for dead by associates in the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad: O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu), Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox), Budd (Michael Madsen), and Bill (David Carradine). Miraculously alive, she decides to get even, even steven, and kill every last one of them. Vol. 1 finds her in deadly mortal combat with Green, in her idyllic American suburban home, and Ishii, at a club named the House of Blue Leaves in Tokyo.
Article continued below advertisement
Tarantino has pulled off a pretty impressive juggling act to my eye. Heís made a fun action picture that will satisfy a mainstream audience - granted, a mainstream audiences willing to withstand an exorbitant amount of blood and gore for a Hollywood picture - and heís also managed to indulge deeply into his love of samurai movies, grind house culture, anime, and who knows what else. There are big fight scenes bookending this half, but a great deal of the middle is slow, and Tarantinoís dialogue isnít really that prevalent, and often carried out in subtitled Japanese. So audiences have to struggle with the subtitles, and the massive leaps of temporality, and the references to dozens of movies theyíve never seen, but when itís over, judging from the two audiences Iíve been in and my own reactions, heís got you completely hooked and craving part two like a zombie wants brains.
The picture gets better as it goes along and as adrenalyne-rushing, visually-stunning, cool-as-hell sequences go, the final Chapter in the House of Blue Leaves is just about perfect. From start to finish it is just an exercise in cool, in style. Tarantinoís really just going hog wild here, experimenting with color, with editing, with music, you can really tell he had free reign on this thing, not to mention that he went way over budget and schedule, particularly in this one sequence. But hey, whatís a couple dozen million dollars between friends and conglomerates? It paid off artistically in the end. Or the middle I guess, since thereís still half the film left.
My enthusiasm for this stuff is tempered only by that sticking point; that Iím yet to be convinced that this really is 2 movies that I should have to pay twice to see. Any other value judgments you can level against it; that itís too violent, itís too shallow, it has no real motivation, are tough to prove because you can just say ďWell wait for Vol. 2., (And Tarantino has said that in numerous interviews). So I guess I should wait and see. And I definitely will see it. Itís the waiting Iím not too fond of.