Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)

Genre(s): Adventure / Drama / Thriller
Miramax || R - 111 minutes - $19.99 || July 13, 2004
Reviewer: Elyusha Vafaeisefat || Posted On: 2004-09-04


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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

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

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


Theatrical Release Date: June 14, 2002


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • The Making of Kill Bill Vol. 1
  • "5, 6, 7, 8's" Music Videos
  • Tarantino Trailers


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

I wasn't the biggest fan of Tarantino going into this film. I've enjoyed all the films that he has made, but I've never been a huge fan of his. Oddly enough, everyone seems to have Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction as their favorite Tarantino film, but mine happens to be Jackie Brown. But I will say that Kill Bill Vol. 1 is a very close second.

I am a huge fan of Kung Fu films of the 70's as well as the classic Bruce Lee films like Return of the Dragon and Enter the Dragon. I also am a huge fan of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns with Clint Eastwood in the mid to late 60's. Kill Bill seems to combine elements from these two genres that I really enjoy. I doubt that anyone noticed that Tarantino used "The Green Hornet" theme music until they bought the soundtrack or someone else told them. Being such a big fan of "The Green Hornet" TV Series, I noticed it right away the fist time I heard it in the film. It is this type of homage to the classic films of the 70's that really made me enjoy Kill Bill: Vol. 1 from the first frame to the last. The choreography from the legendary Master Yuen Wo Ping is simply amazing. The entire sequence at the House of Blue Leaves is one of the best action sequences ever created. The film also has a great deal of beautiful cinematography. This can be seen greatly in the final fight between The Bride and O-Ren Ishii. And of course, the music in the film is perfect. One would expect that going into any Tarantino film. The great mix of Ennio Morricone like music, traditional Japanese music and even some American music make this a soundtrack that everyone who enjoyed the film should buy. And last, but certainly not least, is the great directing and writing by Quentin. He without a doubt always creates memorable characters through his unique style of dialogue. His style is so unique that almost anyone can immediately point out that it is a Tarantino film without even knowing who made it. QT seems to have invented a genre all on his own.

Personally, I can't wait to see Volume 2 next weekend. To me, Volume 1 became an instant classic. And if Volume 2 ends up being just as good as Volume 1 (or even better), I think I will have a new favorite Tarantino film.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Unfortunately, we don't get a lot of extras on the DVD. I am sure that Tarantino is working on a special edition similar to the one's he recently put out for Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and Reservoir Dogs. The only "real" extra feature is the 22 minute behind the scenes look at Volume 1. It has some good cast interviews along with some behind the scenes looks at the studio in Beijing where the film was shot. The behind the scenes look is actually a little more in depth than I was expecting. Tarantino goes into a lot of detail about how he and RZA found the music for the film as well as some other influences in his choice for the music. Tarantino also discusses all the cult classic 70's films that influenced and inspired him to make Kill Bill.

The DVD also includes a music video from the set of the film. The group, the "5, 6, 7, 8's", perform "I Walk like Jayne Mansfield" and "I'm Blue." It is really nothing special. The group seems to be a cross between The Bangles and The Beach Boys, but in Japanese. If you like that type of music, then I am sure you'll enjoy this extra. The DVD also includes "Tarantino Trailers," which is exactly what it sounds like. They are nothing more than trailers for Tarantino's old films along with trailers for Kill Bill Volume 1 and the teaser for Volume 2. They also include trailers for Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Jackie Brown.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

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The sound and picture on the DVD are both very good. The sound is great and you can really feel it in all the action scenes. Every detail that went into the sound design is heard on the DVD. The soundtrack definitely shines during the film. The DVD also includes a DTS 5.1 track, which makes the sound even better. The transfer on the picture was a little disappointing however. It's a very good transfer, but it doesn't come off quite as crisp or sharp as it should have. In some scenes, the sharpness is very evident. But in others, there are some noticeable problems that don't come off the screen very well. Overall, it is a very solid transfer, but it definitely could have been better. Maybe Tarantino wanted to give it the look of the 70's grind house films.



.::OVERALL::.

I definitely loved the movie, but as I mentioned earlier, Tarantino is probably working on a special edition of the film. My guess is that they may release a box set of Kill Bill 1 and 2 together sometime by the end of the year. And if not, then I still expect Tarantino to release some sort of collector's edition in the near future. I would definitely recommend this DVD to anyone who loved the film and doesn't really care about the extra features. The audio transfer is great, the video transfer is good (with the exception of a few problems) and the behind the scenes look at the film is also better than expected. But as I mentioned with The Matrix Revolutions, I would wait for another edition with better special features to come out, especially if you are a big DVD collector. That is probably the main reason why I knocked down the overall ranking for the DVD. The film itself is the best feature and as I mentioned previously, it is an instant classic that can be watched dozens of times and still feel as great as the first time you watched it.