Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) (mini-review++)

(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 8

directing 9

effects 10

editing 9

writing 9


4.5 out of 5 🐙


The critics raved. And it’s not unusual for them to rave for a Quentin Tarantino movie. But what’s really interesting was that they were essentially raving for a genre film. And they raved for the most critically despised genre of them all: action. But QT does it with such amazing style that he brings the pure soul of the action genre to the forefront.

The action genre works and sells so well because it plays to prime human emotions. The good guy (or gal in this case) is horribly wronged and she gets revenge. It’s not complicated but it’s hot. And if the good gal is played by a brilliant actress like Uma Thurman and she’s given tight words and bold actions that are embedded in a fast plot, the result is cinematic fireworks.

Others have already told you that this movie makes most action movies look like generic crap pooped out by Hollywood studios. The original music by RZA is dynamite, as should be expected by one of the masterminds behind the seminal Wu-Tang Clan. But QT has always had amazing soundtracks. He’s known for them. The fight scenes are more violent and more spectacular than any American film has ever attempted. Some complained the scenes were too brief but I liked them short and sweet because by 2003, I was completely burned out on super long fight scenes.

I especially liked the little touches like the Indiana Jones style airplane tracing, loose-leaf notebooks and even big clunky cell phones that litter the movie. But they don’t trash it up, they add to the charm. Instead of giving the characters fancy techno gadgets and filling the screen with CGI, Tarantino embraces the quirks of the past, giving his generation a glorious inside joke.

Reservoir Dogs was a shining maiden voyage, revealing Tarantino’s ability for razor sharp dialogue and gut wrenching imagery. Pulp Fiction was his opus, combining beautiful imagery, wicked words and command performances. The masses didn’t flood to Jackie Brown, maybe because it was more cerebral and missed the visceral violence of QT’s first two films. They expected rock ‘n roll but he gave them Beethoven. With his latest effort, the world’s most famous forehead has swung the pendulum away from classical music to kick ass Kung Fu Fighting.







(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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