Stephen Speicher

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

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  1. 1. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

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120 posts in this topic

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

For Vol. 1 that's easy: the whole House of Blues scene culminating in the sword fight in the snow. If that is too broad, then I would narrow it down to the snow scene. Absolutely one of the most gorgeous things I have ever seen on film.

Vol. 2 is a little harder. To me it is a toss-up between the coffin scene and the final battle between Beatrix and Bill. How Beatrix was able to survive the burial -- what she did and how it was tied to her previous training -- was done so dramatically, and it was so exemplary of determination. But the final confrontation, starting from Bill's speech about heroes, to his standing up and buttoning his jacket before taking the five steps to death, was magnificient.

Yeah, I've watched the "sword fight in the snow" scene at least 4-5 times. The clanking water cup was a nice additional touch.

Two of my favorite exchanges are in the Tea House. The first, after Beatrix has dispatched all of O-ren's bodyguards and then she hears the arrival of the "The Crazy 88's" on their motorcycles and slowly closes her eyes as if to say, "uh, oh". O-ren then says to her, "You didn't think it would be that simple, did you"? To which Beatrix replies, "You know, for a second there, I kinda did." O-ren then gives her a little smile, "Silly rabbit".

And the second is after Beatrix has decimated the entire horde of "88's", leaps up on the balcony railing above the dance floor surveying the carnage and announces, "Those of you who still have your lives can now leave. But leave your severed limbs where they are. They now belong to me....Except you Sophie. You stay where you are. I'm not through with you yet."

Bill 2 is definitely harder. One of the funnier bits related to the coffin scene is when Beatrix, having escaped, is walking toward the diner covered in dirt, looking like an apparition and the diner guy spots her, with his jaw almost dropping. She then enters, calmly sits at the counter, "May I have a glass of water, please." Hilarious.

But my favorite scene is probably when she sees her daughter for the first time. Wow. There's any number of ways that someone with lesser talent than Tarantino or a lesser actress than Uma Thurmin could have screwed that up.

But I also love the scene with Elle Driver and Bud. "Bud, I apologize. I was very rude. Bud, meet black mamba. Black mamba meet Bud." Cracks me up. Then she whips out her little notebook and starts reading to him all the things she found about black mambas "on the Internet" and says to him, "Now pay attention Bud, this concerns you."Daryl Hannah should have received at least an Oscar nomination for supporting actress.

Fred Weiss

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

But I also love the scene with Elle Driver and Bud. "Bud, I apologize. I was very rude. Bud, meet black mamba. Black mamba meet Bud." Cracks me up. Then she whips out her little notebook and starts reading to him all the things she found about black mambas "on the Internet" and says to him, "Now pay attention Bud, this concerns you."

As he spasms from the snake bites! I love that scene! There's also a delicious little irony, in that Bud is the only one The Bride is after that she doesn't kill, yet he is killed by a black mamba, her nickname in the gang.

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Fred, you really have your spiel down perfect. I could see every one of those scenes you described, playing almost as clearly in my mind as I saw it on film.

Daryl Hannah should have received at least an Oscar nomination for supporting actress.

You've got that right. And, while we're at it, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, etc.

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

There's also a delicious little irony, in that Bud is the only one The Bride is after that she doesn't kill, yet he is killed by a black mamba, her nickname in the gang.

You caught the black mamba thing. Cool! But, recall the Ellle does not die, though she is left in what for her is probably a worse state than death.

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The thing is, Tarantino spent years giving intense thought to every detail of this film, and whether or not we can make all the connections explicit, the evidence is there in the ones we do connect and, even more importantly, in the total integration of the film. Integration does not happen by accident, and to integrate a work of art on this scale implies a broad array of conscious choices. The man is a cinematic genius.

I have just gone and watched Kill Bill 1 only because of the discussion here. It was about how I expected it to be. I can live with the violence, and I like the determination for revenge. I also can appreciate the stylistic cinematography. But guys, this is comic book stuff, so how does it even maintain your attention? Can you honestly feel some kind of emotional bonding or identification here beyond light amusement? Am I again confronted with a choice between style and substance? Artistic creativity is not enough for me. I want meat on my heroes!

I confess that there are few movies that 'move' me. I can get choked up watching The Winslow Boy (c1953), October Sky (1999), even musicals like South Pacific (1958). But this K.B. stuff substitutes too much action for too little plot. As for Pulp Fiction, I switched it off after 15 minutes, watching low lives in the back of a car seeing how many f**ks they could mouth in a minute, was enough for me.

Sorry, but this is thumbs down with due consideration of it's merits. You couldn't give it to me.

I will get back to you after Vol 2 of K.B., and I bet you can hardly wait :)

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So, my question is; besides the violence, is there any similarity between Pulp Fiction and the Bill movies? Especially the language (and subject matter of discourse), I work in a kitchen, I hear that talk all day long.

Right on. We know all the swear words, and I don't need scum-bags dishing it out to me as entertainment.

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I will get back to you after Vol 2 of K.B., and I bet you can hardly wait :)

Arnold, just wait till you see what you find in your Christmas stocking next year! :)

Frankly, I'm perplexed as to why you went to see Vol. 1. Perhaps you missed my first post in this thread, where I made clear that this movie was not a sense of life recommendation? Otherwise, knowing full well that, as you made abundantly clear many, many times in The Aesthetic Qualifier, What makes art art? thread, unless you like the subject you refuse to even grant a work the title of "art,", much less enjoy it, so why would you go see this movie?

Anyway, save your money and don't see Vol 2. Instead, get a hold of an older film by Fritz Lang, Siegfried, and let us know what you think of that.

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

What's your favorite scene? If you can't bear to pick, I'll make it a little easier on you. Favorite scene from 1 and favorite from 2.

KB1: 2 hot babes. with swords. in the snow. in a Japanese garden. Sweeeeet!

KB2: Yeah, several classic scenes. In addition to those already mentioned:

1. The early black and white scene between Bill and The Bride in front of the chapel: very charming. I love how they slowly inch their way toward each other as they talk.

2. Superman speech. Awesome.

3. The trailer fight. Plus one eyeball. :)

4. Every time Pai Mei stroked his beard and the camera did a rapid zoom-in.

5. The opening and closing scenes with Uma in the car. Opening: great way to segue from volume 1. Closing: how they do the credits with each character's name and alias: like Bill, aka "Snake Charmer".... or Beatrix, aka "Mommy". Nice touch.

Okay, ya get the idea. I really like these movies.

Now where's the next one? :)

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Okay, ya get the idea.  I really like these movies. 

Now where's the next one?  :)

I only hope we do not have to wait the fifteen years or so for Vernita's daughter to grow up and seek her revenge.

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Arnold, just wait till you see what you find in your Christmas stocking next year!  :)

Frankly, I'm perplexed as to why you went to see Vol. 1. Perhaps you missed my first post in this thread, where I made clear that this movie was not a sense of life recommendation? Otherwise, knowing full well that, as you made abundantly clear many, many times in The Aesthetic Qualifier, What makes art art? thread, unless you like the subject you refuse to even grant a work the title of "art,", much less enjoy it, so why would you go see this movie?

Anyway, save your money and don't see Vol 2. Instead, get a hold of an older film by Fritz Lang, Siegfried, and let us know what you think of that.

Regarding "like the subject"; It is only when the irrationality grates on me that I don't see why I need to deal with it, but otherwise don't need to like it in order to credit it.

You may be surprised that I loved "Legends of Romance and Chivalry", a book given to me as a child. I also loved King Arthur, and wept at the death of Robin Hood. My Robin Hood was a man who recovered stolen loot from the King, not the guy who looted the productive to give to the undeserving.

I will look out for Siegfried. How would he do against Ivanhoe in a tournament I wonder? :)

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I only hope we do not have to wait the fifteen years or so for Vernita's daughter to grow up and seek her revenge.

Well, Elle isn't dead. Blind, but not dead. And she has at least a million dollars. This is a woman who would have big time revenge on her mind. Also note the telling question mark put over her name on the end credits.

Fred Weiss

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

There's also a delicious little irony, in that Bud is the only one The Bride is after that she doesn't kill, yet he is killed by a black mamba, her nickname in the gang.

Good heads up on that one! I never made that connection.

Fred Weiss

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But guys, this is comic book stuff, so how does it even maintain your attention? Can you honestly feel some kind of emotional bonding or identification here beyond light amusement?

In my case it's probably cuz I'm something like "60 going on 16". I am sooooo immature.

Mebbe we should ask Jonathan Rosman about it?

"Sorry guys you are beyond help".

Fred Weiss

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II confess that there are few movies that 'move' me. I can get choked up watching The Winslow Boy (c1953), October Sky (1999), even musicals like South Pacific (1958).

Me too!

I am a huge fan of musicals and "South Pacific" is the genre at its best. It's my second-favorite musical. ("Seven Brides for Seven Brother" is my first-favorite.)

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Me too!

I am a huge fan of musicals and "South Pacific" is the genre at its best.  It's my second-favorite musical. ("Seven Brides for Seven Brother" is my first-favorite.)

I saw Seven Brides for Seven Brothers when it first came out. I grew up in authoritarian South Africa in the 1950's, and censorship prevented a lot of rubbish making it into public. The result is that I thought the world was a more rational place than it is. Yes, I own and love this musical.

South Pacific though, is the most philosophical musical I know of. It deals with racism and choices of values being contextual. Consider the Frenchman changing his mind due to a change in circumstances, and placing his life in danger by spying.

The music is just fabulous beyond description. That and the scenery, just swept me away.

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I grew up in authoritarian South Africa in the 1950's, ...

Ohhhhhhh! You are *the* Arnold, the incomparable Arnold, the one and only Arnold Broese-van-Groenou.

Another HPO escapee.

I'm also trying to find Odden. I know he's around here somewhere.

OK, what is Stephen doing to you guys?

Fred Weiss

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Regarding coherence, does anyone else have trouble following 'modern' movies? Sometimes I wonder if all the jumping around is an attempted substitute for depth. Kubrick came close to admitting this with 2001 A Space Odyssey. He refused to explain sequences in the beginning and end, thinking it would reduce their significance in some way.

Oh, you're gonna love Tarantino. This guy takes incoherence and "jumping around" to new heights. He relates the Bills by means of "Chapters". Kill Bill 1 starts with Chapter 2 and you don't get Chapter 1 until Bill2. Or in other words you don't really know what the hell is going on in Bill1 until you've seen 2. And even then you don't really know what the hell is going on.

That is, until Stephen explains it.

Therefore regular attendance at the newly formed Kill Bill Fan Club is mandatory.

Fred Weiss

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

Well, Elle isn't dead. Blind, but not dead. And she has at least a million dollars. This is a woman who would have big time revenge on her mind. Also note the telling question mark put over her name on the end credits.

Fred Weiss

You're right. I was so focused on Vernita's daughter (based on a comment that Tarantino made) that I did not consider a rehabilitated Elle. My, wouldn't that be great! Elle gets equpped with a sort of bionic vision, retrains herself, and seeks revenge on Beatrix and her daughter. Quick, Fred, send this off to Tarantino so he can get started on this right away. :)

p.s. Please try to remember to put a spoiler warning on any post with spoilers. I do not want to start going around deleting spoiler posts that have no warning, but I also do not want to spoil the movie for those who do not want to know the details in advance.

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I'm also trying to find Odden. I know he's around here somewhere.

He was here two days ago.

OK, what is Stephen doing to you guys?

I special maneuver that Pai Mei taught only to me: The Six Finger Grouch Grip!

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

You're right. I was so focused on Vernita's daughter (based on a comment that Tarantino made) that I did not consider a rehabilitated Elle. My, wouldn't that be great! Elle gets equpped with a sort of bionic vision, retrains herself, and seeks revenge on Beatrix and her daughter....

First off, I love these two movies. Aside from that I want to add my thoughts on what I think will happen or would like to see happen in a future movie. My favorite scene from KB2, and from a lot of the movies I like, is the training scene (leading up, in this one, to Beatrix exploding out of the coffin). So, when thinking about the future movie that I would make, some such scene would play an essential role in developing the little girl's character.

I'd play it out like this: Elle is left blind and vengeful, but rich and still wise in the art of killing. Given that much as a starting point, while boiling over with rage one day she discovers that Copperhead had a daughter who witnessed her mother's death. (Just, by the way, like O-Ren Ishii.) And it is here that Elle sees the way to enact revenge. Kill the father, take in the daughter, and mold her from childhood into a killing machine--fashioning herself as, what she would think, is a better Pai Mei. Through training, and countless indoctrination by Elle--plus her memory of this woman killing her mom--Vernita's daughter grows up into a lethal weapon.

The above would be one realistic way for the action to go forward--one moreover that would seem realistic to the viewers (keeping in mind the mythology of the movie). As a bonus, it ties together and integrates much of the "unfinished business" Beatrix thought she left and could leave behind.

Just to add a little more, however: Elle would be killed by Copperhead's daughter, so she would meet her death at the hands of her pupil just like Pai Mei did. Also, Kiddo's daughter would not be some helpless pawn, scurrying behind her mother's knee in 15 years. I think the door is left wide open for her too to become a lethal weapon, just like her mother and father. (In the movie's world, "it's who she is"--plus she was after all raised by Bill for some time. This leaves open implications that I'm sure any good writer will bring out--and Tarantino definitely will.)

Anyway, I love doing these sort of things when the movie or book warrants it. It makes them more enjoyable and allows me to appreciate the integration that the author already made to a greater extent. I agree with Stephen, though, I don't want to wait 15 years for the next movie--the pause between Harry Potter books is bad enough!

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Another HPO escapee.

I'm also trying to find Odden. I know he's around here somewhere.

OK, what is Stephen doing to you guys?

Fred Weiss

Hi Fred, I was hoping to see you here. You have been the backbone of HPO, so I can't imagine it without you, should you ease off on your excellent posts. I never missed reading them. (My posts weren't getting through from my service provider - again-, so I decided on a change). There is plenty enough of disagreement here to keep me on the boil. :)

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

Also, Kiddo's daughter would not be some helpless pawn, scurrying behind her mother's knee in 15 years. I think the door is left wide open for her too to become a lethal weapon, just like her mother and father. (In the movie's world, "it's who she is"--plus she was after all raised by Bill for some time.

I'm not sure about this. Both Bill's and Beatrix's relationship with B.B. was a very sweet part of the film. Each shielded her from the harshness of their lives, and whenever they were together it was a sweet bright shiny world. On the other hand, they did have the shooting game when Beatrix first met B.B. (what drama that was!) though it was so soft and lighthearted that I would be hesitant to think that Beatrix would ever let any part of her previous life (she was redeemed, afterall) affect B.B. in the coming years. So it is hard for me to imagine B.B. as a lethal weapon.

I must say though, you have some really good ideas there. Perhaps you and Fred should contact Tarantino's agent. (You could bring Arnold along for support. :) )

p.s. I wonder what "B.B." stands for? I bet Tarantino knows.

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Hi Fred, I was hoping to see you here. You have been the backbone of HPO, so I can't imagine it without you, should you ease off on your excellent posts. I never missed reading them. (My posts weren't getting through from my service provider - again-, so I decided on a change). There is plenty enough of disagreement here to keep me on the boil. :)

Try the new Google newsgroups. It's vastly superior to the old one. For one thing it's far faster, posts often appearing in minutes (instead of hours, if not days!).

And you know what they say, you can't be rich enough - or have enough disagreements. :)

Besides, aside from me, you're missing Atlas Bugged (aka Charles Novins) who remains in rare form.

Fred Weiss

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