It’s been a while since my last post and I’ve got quite a few movies stockpiled to write about. So here’s hoping I get around to all of them.
I finally watched Kill Bill (both volumes) and it definitely lived up to Tarantino reputation. Both movies were definitely cinematic experiences, but in different ways. I find it difficult to talk about the movies without considering each volume separately because each volume seemed to offer something slightly different (or rather offered more of something as compared to the other volume). **Disclaimer: potential spoilers ahead**
Volume 1 was definitely heavier on action and fight scenes, which were all a pleasure to watch. Very few of the fight scenes actually seemed believable, but they were still satisfying to watch; it carried the traditional Tarantino signature of a lot of blood, but also very unbelievable at the same time (if that makes sense). This is what, I think, made it possible to become engrossed in the story telling of the movie (suspension of disbelief, etc.). Volume 1 also seemed to emphasize the actual cinematography more. Not that Volume 2 didn’t have some brilliant shots, from brilliant angles, but nothing can really surpass the way the entire tea room scene was filmed (from the moment The Bride enters the restaurant to the point when she kills O-Ren Ishii. The way the camera would pan from room-to-room and overlook the central area, it was really beautiful. The final battle scene in the snow was brief, but also really memorable. I can hardly say the same for the battle scenes in Volume 2. (Kind of unrelated, I really loved the animation sequence with O-Ren Ishii’s background story, some might have found it a bit out of place and the bloodiness of it a little…too much, but I really appreciated it.)
But, whereas Volume 2 paled in the cinematography and action, it made up for in character/story development. Volume 1 felt very limited in scope, it revolved a lot around the mystery element of the story (i.e. Bill is never seen, only heard, and we never fully get the background story, just bits and pieces); furthermore, Volume 1 was really heavily focused on the O-Ren Ishii portion, but not much The Bride’s story itself. Volume 2 makes up for it by giving the rest of the character development and really pulling together the picture of Bill, Beatrix, and the rest of the squad. Even though sometimes it felt like a lot (story wise) happened in Volume 2, it definitely allows the story to really tie together in a way that the viewer is left satisfied. Also, Pai Mei is just super legit, and his relationship with The Bride (albeit predictable) still also pretty satisfying.
As of late, I’ve had more of a preference for cinematography over pure story/character development so I enjoyed watching Volume 1 more than Volume 2. But, it could be worth watching the two together, back to back, to get the full story experience so as to better form an opinion. Regardless, I highly recommend it to those who haven’t seen it. I doubt it’ll disappoint.