Mr. Tarantino, I happen to LIKE 3 hour movies. Anyone else?

Does anyone think Kill Bill was compromised by cutting it in half. It would be one thing if this were the original intent and the halving was constructed with artistic deliberation, but I heard this decision came pretty late in the game.

The only motivations I can think of are:
money- get folks to pay twice for one movie.
and
lack of faith in the attention span of the target audience

I love long movies. Gimme 2 1/2, 3, hell, I’ve even sat throught theatrical screenings of the Sorrow and the Pity on more than one occasion. I thought what I saw of Kill Bill was great, I loved it, but felt completely let down at the end. It didn’t feel like a natural ending point (not just because the story isn’t over- the Lord of the Rings movies each have natural ending points). I would have loved a 3 hr plus version of Kill Bill.

Does anyone want to suggest some actual artistic reasons for doing it as a two-parter? Anyone else prefer a 3 hr plus version?
What do you folks think?

IIRC, Quentin Tarantino did have an idea that Kill Bill was going to need to be a two-parter midway through shooting. However, he waited for Harvey Weinstein to bring it up, rather than bringing it up himself, and being told just to cut the movie down.

I loved Kill Bill. But I don’t know if I could have watched three hours of it all in a row. Let’s face it, it’s basically a kung fu movie. It’s all action. Most long movies, even LOTR, are more or less dramatic scenes with maybe a few battles. They aren’t non-stop, limbs being chopped off, sprays of blood covering everything in sight, wall-to-wall action movies. I think three hours of that would be exhausting. You’d get burnt out. As it is, you can watch Kill Bill, leave still wanting more, go back a few times maybe to catch all the references, then come back for Volume 2 rested, refreshed, and ready to watch Uma kill a lot more people.

Of course it should have been split into two showings. Three hours is too long for any movie. Think of how much the experience of seeing Shindler’s List or The Godfather would be improved by splitting them into two parts and waiting four months to see the second half. I think there’s little doubt that this was purely an artistic choice.

I don’t like to make personal comments about other posters, but if you couldn’t abide the running time for Godfather or Schindler’s List, I would suggest that you do have a bit of an attention span problem.

If you don’t like a movie, it seems longer.

I hate the Godfather. (it’s a well made movie and a classic and all that) but to me, it’s incredibly BORING. 175 minutes is interminable when you HATE what you’re watching.

But, I can watch Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition at 208 minutes twice in a row and not get bored.

Kill Bill Volume one was just about two hours long (maybe an hour 50 minutes plus trailers). Obviously they did not take a “three hour movie” and cut it in half; if so, then Kill Bill Volume 2 will only be an hour and ten minutes. I’ll be willing to bet it’s also about two hours.

No, I believe that three hours would have been the length of the edited down version of the film. As much as you may protest that you would be willing to watch a three hour movie, the number of folks who would sit through a four hour movie (and the number of theaters willing to loose half their show times) would be far smaller, still.

By splitting it in half, we are able to see much more of QT’s vision.

If you don’t like a movie, it seems longer.

I hate the Godfather. (it’s a well made movie and a classic and all that) but to me, it’s incredibly BORING. 175 minutes is interminable when you HATE what you’re watching.

But, I can watch Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition at 208 minutes twice in a row and not get bored.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Kill Bill Volume one was just about two hours long (maybe an hour 50 minutes plus trailers). Obviously they did not take a “three hour movie” and cut it in half; if so, then Kill Bill Volume 2 will only be an hour and ten minutes. I’ll be willing to bet it’s also about two hours.

No, I believe that three hours would have been the length of the edited down version of the film. As much as you may protest that you would be willing to watch a three hour movie, the number of folks who would sit through a four hour movie (and the number of theaters willing to loose half their show times) would be far smaller, still.

By splitting it in half, we are able to see much more of QT’s vision.

I think it would have been closer to four hours than three. Volume I is about 110 minutes by itself. don’t mind having it split, I just wish I didn’t have to wait four months to see Volume 2.

QT has said in an interview with Newsweek that the second part will have a different tone and style that the first one. he said that he wanted to set up the first part as more of a visceral, pure action oriented piece and then slow down in the second part and show more storytelling. He also said in the interview that the second part will contain much more of the trademark Tarantino dialogue. He said that he consciously kept that out of the first part because he wanted to challenge himself as a director by limiting himself to pure action and by deliberately denying himself his greatest strength as a writer (dialogue).

He promises that Volume 2 will be more dramatic and will contain the emotional resonance that some critics have complained is absent from the first one. this may actually be one of the drawbacks to splitting it up. QT wanted to spend the first half of the story setting up the Bride as a fearsome, implacable, killing machine and then humanize her in the second half. If this had been done in one movie the emotional payoff would have been more immediate and the audience would not walk out halfway through the story with an image of the Bride as simply a archetypal kung fu revenge hero but not really a three dimensional person.

I think the sylistic differences, the twist revelation at the end of Volume 1 and the sheer length of the entire project all justify doing it a two parts.

It also plays somewhat to the films that QT is paying tribute to. many of the Shaw Bros. movies were done in two parts.

If you don’t like a movie, it seems longer.

I hate the Godfather. (it’s a well made movie and a classic and all that) but to me, it’s incredibly BORING. 175 minutes is interminable when you HATE what you’re watching.

But, I can watch Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition at 208 minutes twice in a row and not get bored.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

So FilmGeek, what do you think of The Godfather?
…and I’m pretty sure the origional cut was about four hours, which was when Mr Weinstein suggested chopping it in half. (After seeing the sucess of other split films such as LOTR*?)

*I know it’s usually presented as a trilogy, but it’s clearly a single story.

I love four-hour movies myself. To me, that seems like just about the right amount of time to tell a complete story. But I can completely understand their not wanting to show it like this, because every time there is a four-hour film, people seem to think it’s too long.

For some reason, it reminds me of the Onion article from 1907 about the epic, six-minute film Man Washes Horse, which critics panned with such comments as “My word! What a long photo-play!”

The original script was 222 pages, which works out to 3 hrs 42 minutes using the usual rule of thumb.

The real question is why Miramax let Tarantino shoot such a long script to begin with. Perhaps they thought he’d trim it down to a more reasonably length (Vol. 1 could use some editing, in my opinion.)

I agree with the original poster: Kill Bill Vol. 1 feels like a wet noodle without a proper ending. It just … stops. Nothing that’s set up at the start pays off, so the whole exercise comes off as a bit mechanical.

All you people who hate the Godfather - why? I do tend to think its quite overrated, but it is far from boring. Every minute of the first two Godfathers was just riveting and the movie flowed by pretty fast.

I might be wrong, but I think Number Six was being ironic.

I thought Kill Bill ended in a perfectly acceptable place, myself. I found the ending emotionally satisfying and am curious to view the other part of the film, but I can survive for another 4 months–not bad at all, compared to the way they dragged LotR out.

Sorry about the double posts… SDMB was being a little bi… slow

I’m not a fan of gangster movies.

I liked Goodfellas, but that’s about it.

The problem with The Godfather is that there weren’t enough 1920’s style “Death Rays.” (Seriously, though, count me in the thought-it-was-dull camp.)

With Kill Bill, I don’t think it was a case of pandering to the audience or underestimating their attention spans, just knowing the movie and how to present it. To me it felt like sensory overload as it was; any more would’ve just been exhausting. There’s so much jumping around in time and place and tone and just shot length, it would’ve been too much to keep that up for four or even three hours.

Plus, it would’ve lessened the impact of a lot of the scenes; the whole Blue Leaves segment builds and builds, culminating in the climax with the battle against O-Ren Ishii. If the movie had kept going on after that, it would’ve either been too many Big Important Fights back-to-back, or it would’ve made all of that less of a pay-off. Compare it to the middle Matrix movie, which was IMO too long. The highway sequence was spectacular (and this coming from somebody who doesn’t like The Matrix), but then had all the power sucked out of it by the anti-climax – and of course, that movie’s not over yet, either.

It could be because I think Kill Bill is all style and the “plot” and “characters” are just tangential, but I thought the flow of Volume 1 was just right. Right into the action, flashbacks, essential sensei scene, big climax, set-up for next episode, and the last-minute surprise. Longer would’ve really started to show how threadbare the story is.

And for the record, am I the only one really disappointed by the QT interview that Diogenes quoted? I loved Volume 1, shallow plot and characters and all; I think trying to play up emotional resonance and all that is kind of missing the point. What’s wrong with just doing a clever action-based movie, if you can make it so well? He doesn’t need to show off intelligence or depth with dialogue or meaningful characters; being able to make something that draws on so many influences and does it with so much style should be worthwhile on its own.

That’s a good critique of Kill Bill, Sol, though I know you didn’t intend it as such. :slight_smile:

Possibly Tarantino decided to split the film into two parts to purposely make the ending of the first movie be the scene where Bill mentions that Uma’s child (and his? Did Uma say before she was shot that it was Bill’s baby?) is still alive.

I found this a great way to end the film, it leaves the audience in suspense waiting for the second installment.

I dont think the shock of finding out her child was alive would have been as effective if it was in the middle of a longer film as aposed to the climax of part 1