KILL BILL and it's target audience

I haven’t seen it yet but thought i’d pose the question to those that have.
From the reviews I have seen thus far it looks like KILL BILL is getting mostly good reviews with some mixed.
I was wondering if it’s targeted toward a certain audience and some people will just not get it?
I grew up watching BruceLee, Kung Fu, JackieChan, and anime so I know it will appeal to me since 1) I like these type films and 2) having seeing films like this I can get any satire.
Now someone like my wife who enjoyed Pulp Fiction but hates any “karate” movies and hates “anime”, will she also hate this movie?
Has Quentin made a masterpiece but only for those who prequalify to watch such a film?

Haven’t seen the movie, but from everything I’ve read, the answer to your last two questions appears to be “yes.”

it doesn’t sound like she’d like it to me, either. You’re gonna owe her an Opera or two after you take her to Kill Bill.

My two favorite goto review sites, Cranky Critic and Flick Filospher, both hated Kill Bill. That disappoints me. Rotten Tomatoes showed a much better score, though, so I might go see it. However, I am not a huge fan of the genres you cite so the jokes will go over my head, but I have enjoyed QT’s other work (NOT the acting though. Geez, the guys an awful actor!) so I will at least watch it on video or maybe catch it on a matinee. By myself as I’m quite sure my wife won’t be going.

I dunno-- I haven’t seen it yet. (Tomorrow night, most likely.)

I read the script though, and I think it will appeal to folks who don’t have any particular love of the martial-arts genre.

If she liked Pulp Fiction, I’d guess she’ll like Kill Bill. A very similar mix of humour, ultraviolent action, and arcane film references. I think it also has a more calculated “feminine” appeal, with dissonance between a typical melodrama with typicaly suburban characters, and the fantasy flash-bang that the arguments are resolved with.

Early on, for example, there’s a scene that reminds me a lot of a scene in John Woo’s The Killer. It’s the first payback confrontation, and takes place in a Housewife’s kitchen, after she has moved on, got married, and spawned. The Bride (Uma) shows up and there’s the obligatory challenges and ass-kicking-- and then Housewife’s four-year-old daughter shows up, and by unspoken agreement both women try to shield her from the nasty, taking on soothing tones, trying to give her a reassuring (but unconvincing) explanation for the damage already caused, and directing her attention elsewhere. Even while they’re in a life-or-death struggle, they’re very maternal figures, and their thoughts are with their kids. I love the end of the scene:[spoiler]

Sorry about that, sweetie. I hope you’ll understand.[/spoiler]

My husband’s a huge fan of martial arts movies, and I can’t stand them. However, I’m in love with Quentin Tarantino & I think I’m even more excited about seeing this movie tonight than Mr. Bunny! Tarantino could make a craptacular movie about a mentally challenged Julia Roberts discovering the beauty of love for the first time, and somehow I’d still be there. :smiley:

Sitting through the trailer without knowing it was a QT film I thought it looked horrible. It seems to be “Crouching Tiger meets Charlies Angels in: The Revenge”.

From the way they keep pushing the movie on TV and giving all these positive early reviews I think they are worried it is going to be a disaster. Better get the people to the theature early before the word of mouth spreads how bad (or unoriginal) it really is.

I won’t waste my money on the seemingly over hyped and over budgeted kung fu flick. Hell I won’t even waste my money on a under hyped under budgeted one either.

Ok, I just wrote a lovely post explaining how great the movie is, how much fun, and how I think women might like it more than they expect if their SOs drag them to it. Hell, women should be going to see this flick in packs on a girls’ night out. I’ve seen it already, am female, and absolutely loved it.

I’m pretty sure guys will like it too. :slight_smile:

Yeah, all the great press and positive reviews that Gigli garnered was a real heads-up, too. :rolleyes:

[No Spoilers IMHO, but if you’re a purist, you may want to stay away]

Like its heroine, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 seems nearly skeletal. It’s skinny, very skinny, and you doubt that its capaable of doing anything else except its one purpose, fighting. The plot is a familiar, cliched even, revenge story about a person who loses everything to assasins, and then sets out to kill them (and anyone else who gets in the way) one by one. The plot exists only to set up this tableau, introduce the largely two-dimensional characters, and then take the audience from one (admittedly stylish and well-done, by anyone’s standards) fight scene to the next.

Don’t believe it. Don’t believe it for a second. Kill Bill is one of the deepest and most fucking brilliant films I have ever seen.

Firstly, it is a pitch-perfect distilliation of the action film (the Hong Kong martial arts genre in particular). There are no wasted actions and no superfluous scenes. Unlike films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, it doesn’t “transcend genre” (if a critic says that, he or she doesn’t know what they’re talking about), it revels in its place as a Kung-Fu beat-em-up, taking place in some bizarre paraell universe where gansters prefer swords over guns and limbs are severed at a light touch of a sword. Action fans will be pleased.

But it’s more than that. It’s also the most effective feminist parable I’ve ever seen on film (or any other media, not that I’m well-read on feminist works). Just as Pulp Fiction served as a great summation of the mores of contemporary American masculinity, Kill Bill is a tale of the post-feminist woman. Aside from the titual Bill, there are no major male characters (another, Budd, is saved for Vol. 2, we assume). All of our warriors are female. Many of them have been raped, this only makes them angry, and stronger. Our heroine, known only as “the Bride”, has her entire family massacred at her wedding. Deprived of her family, she has nothing left but revenge. Indeed, if a woman is deprived of the familiar feminine roles, what’s left for her but the masculine ones? The soldier, the killer, the leader. And if she successfully assumes these roles, as the characters in this film certainly have, where does that leave the men? Indeed, the film is rife with sexual violence, but for once, its against the men. “Do you want to penetrate me?” Asks one villainess to some hapless lech “Or will I penetrate you?” As she slips a knife between his ribs. Another henchman is symbolically castrated by our heroine, as she chops away his sword piece by piece. She then spanks him with the flat of her sword and sends him home to mother. Hero and villain alike is female, for a “liberated” female becomes the opressor (opressess?) of her more tradition-minded sister.

But it’s more than that. It’s a commentary on how Eastern culture, as conquered and reinvented by the West, is now conquering the West in turn. It’s a treasury of cinematic references. Some films, like the Matrix (which I adored), wear their philosophy on their sleeves. Kill Bill is more subtle, and deeper. You must see this film.

I’m a big fan of QT and a bigger fan of the genre and I was a bit disappointed in both respects. I will, however, reserve final judgement until I see Vol. 2 because 3/4 of the story is yet to be told. It is by no means “trademark” Tarentino, i.e. no witty dialogue peppered with pop culture references - but in it’s defense that’s not what he was going for either. If you are going to see it because you’re a fan of what QT is traditionally known for then you will be disappointed. Personally, I was disappointed as a kung-fu flick fan as well. It just can’t hold up to Jackie Chan balletics and the Hong Kong wire work (even though there was some) you see in today’s films. Most of the fight scenes were a blitz edited blur. It was an homage to cheesy Hong Kong Cinema with a mood and pace reminiscent of “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” Big time reminiscent. I’ll throw in the caveat that I found that movie incredibly tedious.
In a word, I found the movie quite boring. Uma was fantastic, the anime sequence was wildly innovative and captivating, but the rest was just blah. The pacing was really uneven and some scenes were drawn out unnecessarily long.
As far as it being an effective feminist parable: While it may be that I really don’t thing it was conceived that way - I think QT just thought it would be cool to see chicks fight with swords.

I saw it twice today and loved it. This is a movie for people who love exploitation movies. Like Menocchio said, it doesn’t attempt to transcend its genre but revels in it instead. There are a lot of allusions and references to the great B movies of the 70s (The Shaw Bros. logo, the Bruce Lee suit, etc.) The music was especially great. The weird musical cue that comes on the soundtarck when Uma is face to face with one of her primary targets is just cool beyond words. this is the ultimate B movie that wants to be a B movie. I can’t wait for Volume 2.

I’m thinking she won’t like it; the karate stuff seems to be the bulk of the movie. I like the grrrlpower of women fighting bad guys in movies, but there don’t seem to be many guns in this one. Women with guns rock(the more the better. They ought to have given the women on the X-files, Profiler and Without a Trace more guns. The Anita Blake books, Blade 2, Resident Evil and the Replacement Killers are better :slight_smile: ) Women hitting and kicking people isn’t so fun, much like men beating up other men with fists and feet is boring, but if you give them swords… I may end up renting it since I like movies about hitmen/assasins, but I’m not tempted to see in in the theater.

I wanted to see it because I really like Quentin Tarantino’s work, rather than because I’ve seen a lot of Bruce Lee movies and anime. I liked it quite a bit anyway. I can’t wait to see the next volume.

Menocchio, I’d love it if you could join me in myfeminist analysis of Kill Bill

You got that right. Unless I’m high, this is the beginning of the theme to the TV Show “Ironside,” which is appropriate because it’s played during a scene in the credits when a sniper aims at Ironside and shoots him, paralyzing him.

Which is appropriate for this thread because it makes me think that someone who liked Pulp Fiction would like Kill Bill. Whether or not you recognize it as being from “Ironside,” that music is just cool, and just about all of the movie & TV & pop culture references in Kill Bill are like that. That’s what impressed me the most, even more than all the fighting – in fact, it really makes Pulp Fiction look clumsy by comparison. As the OP says, it’s more of a satire of genre movies than just a kung fu movie. (It’s at least as much spaghetti western as Hong Kong movie). Although there’s a lot of sword fighting in it, I saw it as more of a movie about movies than an action movie.

And I loved it, if that’s not already obvious. And for me, that’s saying a lot. I liked the ideas in Pulp Fiction but not the movie itself, and have hated Tarantino’s other stuff. And my complete indifference to Uma Thurman turned into active dislike after The Avengers, but this movie has made me reconsider. She’s great in the movie, she completely “gets” the tone of it and nails it, action, gore at all, never afraid to let herself look ugly. (Name another big-name Hollywood actress who would let the camera linger so long on her downright unattractive feet.)

I didn’t get all the references in the movie by a long shot, but I could recognize when they were making a reference to something even when I didn’t know exactly what it was. The look and feel of so many of the scenes were just dead-on perfect – especially the flight into Tokyo and the Tokyo cityscape, which was brilliant. The music was great, the sound effects were perfect, the fight choreography was excellent, all of the performances were perfect for the tone of the movie. And every single wound sprays a huge firehose of blood like the last battle in Sanjuro.

That’s the only downside I can think of right now – all the violence was done for style’s sake and rarely seemed sadistic, but at times it felt like watching the film loop from A Clockwork Orange. Especially her escape from the hospital. But everything else completely worked for me; nothing seemed extraneous. It seemed to me to be the concept of Pulp Fiction, clarified, refined, and mastered – while that movie felt disjointed or plodding or obvious in parts, Kill Bill holds together. After Pulp Fiction was released, I heard a lot of people say it was just derivative; this movie says, “Well, yeah, that’s the whole point.”

I’d better stop now before I start to sound like Harry Knowles.

You know someone, somewhere, has been lured into the dark with the promise: “Honey, you’ll love it. Zamfir is featured on the soundtrack, and I know how you love listening to him during your aromatherapy!”

Funny thing is that it works in context.

I just finished watching it, and I must admit I glazed over during the action scenes, although overall it was a lot of fun. I’ll see it again tomorrow when I’m feeling a bit more alert.

Quite a few little changes from the rough draft script that’s been floating around for the last year or so, and I was often disappointed when things that I’ve been anticipating for a long time failed to be realized. Kind of detracted from it in places for me, but whose fault is that, really?

Exactly. This is a movie to talk about with others.

I went to a matinee yesterday and thought I’d be surrounded by high school or college guys ditching class. As it turned out, I was not the only middle-aged woman in the place; the audience was mixed, and quite enthusiastic.

Uma kicked butt! Really enjoyed her.

And I enjoyed Michael Parks’ cameo, I remember him from his much younger, hunky “Then Came Bronson” days.

Wow. Just wow. As far as the OP goes I am definitely a proud member of Kill Bill’s target audience and loving every second of it. I mean that was a movie I’ve been waiting for. Finally something as excessively violent and over the top as Natural Born Killers. Needless to say Uma is absolutely, ridiculously gorgeous, the soundtrack rocks and the action…. Also the movie has this bitter yet humorous feel to it that makes it all the better. 10/10 in my books

Loved all the 70s TV references. (Though there were waaay waaay more in the early drafts of script.)

Everyone catch the Bionic Woman jumping sound effect used in the “Burlywoman” sequence? Too cool.