Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Crime / Thriller
Miramax || R - 111 minutes - $34.99 || September 9, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-09-25


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer(s): Quentin Tarantino (written by)
Cast: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Michael Madsen


Theatrical Release Date: October 10, 2003


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • The Making of Kill Bill: Volume 1
  • The "5, 6, 7, 8's" Musical Performances
  • Tarantino Trailers


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Uncompressed PCM 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

After being shot and left for dead on her wedding day, The Bride (Uma Thurman) awakens from her four year coma to seek revenge on those that harmed her. First up would be the male nurse taking care of her who has been letting other men pay a couple of bucks for a quickie...well, that does not make The Bride very happy and he becomes the first person to die. After stealing his truck keys, The Bride slowly re cooperates and then sets out on her first of five kills - O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Lie).

The Bride first needs to get herself a really nice sword, so she seeks out the help of Hattori Hanzo - a man who has sworn off making swords for the past 28 years. After a little convincing, she gets a brand new sword and tracks down O-Ren Ishii at The House of Blue Leaves where one of the most epic, blood wrenching sequences happens.

I've never been a Tarantino man. I have yet to see Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, or either volume of the Kill Bills. In fact, the only Tarantino I have seen is From Dusk Till Dawn; and while I enjoyed it, I felt it still has some major flaws to it. So when both Kill Bill's showed up on my doorstep for review... I was not thrilled. But after watching them back to back, I'm ready to go rent all of his films right now.

There is just so much to love about this film. First we get Uma Thurman who does an amazing job as an unlikely assassin. Just look at her - tall, blond and freaking gorgeous, yet she posses so many different skills that she could kill you before you could utter her real name. O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) is probably the only other main person in the film and her acting skills have already been proven with "Ally McBeal" and Charlie’s Angels. While she barley utters more than a few sentences in the film her presence is still noted and she becomes a much better villain than The Bride's next victim (which is technically the first one we do see in the first ten minutes), Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox). Since Vernita is only in the film for a few minutes (though she was heavily featured during the Trailers I remember seeing), I was disappointed that she was skipped over in favor for a shorter run time.

Besides the acting, the amount of influence from 70's films, especially Kung Fu, is heavily featured. From the theme song of "The Green Hornet" to the costume Bruce Lee wore in Game of Death, if you like classic Kung Fu films you will love Kill Bill Vol. 1. Now, there is no way anyone could simply not like the great battle at The House of Blue Leaves... there is so much violence going on - limbs flying everywhere, blood gushing out like a volcano erupting - that when the film turns from color to black and white...well, you know you're in for a treat.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All Special Features are presented in SD.

Also included is a $10 mail-in rebate if you own the previous DVD edition.

The Making of Kill Bill: Volume 1 (~24 Minutes) - An incredibly boring feature that discusses very little on how the film was made. Luckily most of the cast is back for this at least.

The "5, 6, 7, 8's" Musical Performances (~6 Minutes) - A music video from the all girl band in the film? Lame.

Tarantino Trailers - A collection of trailers from Tarantino films. Yawn.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 finally arrives on Blu-ray being presented in its Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 (AVC.MPEG-4) on a 50GB disc. Considering the last Disney catalog title I received was Gangs of New York, which was one of the worst Blu-ray transfer to date, I am excited to say Kill Bill Volume 1 looks absolutely amazing on Blu-ray. Uma looks delicious in her yellow suit, blood looks very, very red and you could even count each individual snow flake falling from the sky during the last scene. Disney has really stepped up with this release.

Disney has included an English Uncompressed 5.1 PCM track as well as standard English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 track (Be careful, the standard English track is pre-selected when you put the disc in, make sure to change to PCM!). Just like the picture quality, another amazing job by Disney. Everything about this track is great, from gun shots, to sword fights, to the very loud music...you will fall in love with the film just because of the fine work done to it. A small word of note, the loud BEEPS you hear two or three times during the film are deliberate; they are used to make The Brides true name. The first of this comes at the eight minute mark when The Bride and Vernita are fighting... its incredibly loud. Regardless, I'm glad Disney is sticking to PCM tracks for most of their releases.



.::OVERALL::.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 is easily going to rank in of my best films this year that Ive reviewed on Blu-ray and the disc itself is one of Disney finest. With near perfect Picture and Audio, the only thing lacking is the special features...but I'm willing to forgive that due to the fact the movie kicks some serious ass. If you're new to Blu, check out Amazon where both Kill Bill 1 and 2 are being offered together for less $39.99. You won't find a better deal on these films!