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Kill Bill: Volume 1(2003)
Four years after taking a bullet in the head at her own wedding, The Bride emerges from a coma and decides it's time for payback... with a vengeance! Having been gunned down by her former boss Bill and his deadly squad of international assassins, it's a kill-or-be-killed fight she didn't start... but is determined to finish.
For more about Kill Bill: Volume 1 and the Kill Bill: Volume 1 Blu-ray release, see Kill Bill: Volume 1 Blu-ray Review published by Ben Williams on September 4, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.
Starring: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, Julie Dreyfus, David Carradine
Director: Quentin Tarantino
» See full cast & crew
Kill Bill: Volume 1 Blu-ray Review
Tarantino's bloody masterpiece finally arrives in spectacular form on Blu-ray
Reviewed by Ben Williams, September 4, 2008
Just utter the name "Quentin Tarantino" in a grouping of film fans, and you are bound to get a wide range of opinions. Some find the controversial director to be derivative while others think of him as exploiting violence in his films. Of course, there are those that fancy him as the greatest auteur of the era. Whatever your opinion of Tarantino might be, it's hard to argue with the pure entertainment value that he brings to cinemas. I've always been a fan of Tarantino's work and the two Kill Bill films are two of my favorites. One thing is for sure when dealing with a Tarantino flick: he's never afraid to put exactly what he wants on screen.
Kill Bill is one wild ride. The film begins with our pregnant heroine, The Bride (Uma Thurman), being gunned down on her wedding day by Bill (David Carradine), her boss and leader of the appropriately named "Deadly Viper Assassination Squad," or more simply, "DiVAS." The Bride miraculously survives her injuries that day, but upon awakening from a coma four years later, she discovers that she has lost her baby. This sets into motion the entire plot of Kill Bill as The Bride sets off on a killing spree that spans the entire globe as she hunts down and kills every member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. Heads will, literally, roll.
The strength of Kill Bill lies in the film's exceptional performances and elaborate set pieces. Take for example the extraordinary fight scene that takes place in a sequence of the film called "Showdown at House of Blue Leaves." This scene runs approximately 20 minutes as The Bride battles a seemingly endless supply of villains. With hundreds of extras, highly choreographed sword fighting and martial arts, pauses for dialog and dramatic punch as well as beautiful and artistic cinematography by Robert Richardson, this scene is a truly stunning artistic achievement. It's rare to see such care given to an action scene and it is clear that there was at least as much of an emphasis on creating beautifully framed shots as there was the fight choreography. Diversity is also on display in Kill Bill. Earlier in the film is a scene where The Bride strolls into a small sushi joint in Okinawa and has an intriguing and beautifully acted exchange with a man who tries to teach her how to speak Japanese. Most "action movies" fail miserably in smaller scenes such as these. In Kill Bill these smaller scenes make the film and add a depth of character and tone to the over all scope of the film. The ability to balance the smaller, quieter moments with the over the top action spectacle is what makes Quentin Tarantino a master filmmaker in my book.
No discussion on Kill Bill would be complete without mentioning the wonderful music Mr. Tarantino chose for the film. For whatever reason, he always seems to pick some extraordinary and seldom heard songs for his soundtracks and Kill Bill has some of the most interesting choices he's ever made. Any flick that can effectively use Zamfir, master of the pan flute, along side Isaac Hayes, Bernard Herrmann, Ennio Morricone and a whole slew of different Japanese pop tunes is getting into extremely unique territory, to say the least. Kill Bill has a certain sound to it that is often imitated but never matched.
What can I say? Kill Bill is a fantastic movie and is always a hell of a lot of fun to kick back and enjoy. Chances are, there's something in this film for everyone. Unless, of course, you can't handle the extreme gore - - and this is one bloody movie. If you've never seen Kill Bill, I can't imagine a better way to experience this film for the first time than on Blu-ray. Highly Recommended!
Kill Bill: Volume 1 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Disney and Miramax have really brought their "A" game to this phenomenal presentation of Kill Bill. Presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 using the AVC Mpeg-4 compression codec, I can't imagine Kill Bill looking any better. The previous DVD versions of Kill Bill have all been pretty horrible with an abundance of edge enhancement, strange colors and compression artifacts galore. That's not the case here as this Blu-ray edition packs an amazing punch and features one of the most realistic and film-like images I've yet experienced on Blu-ray.
Right off the bat, viewers will experience exceptional black levels and beautiful and rich shadow detail. Contrast is perfectly tuned throughout the presentation with startling black and white and as color photography. Detail is also striking with an abundance of fine fabric and skin details. I was also extremely impressed with this transfer's rich color palette and accurate fleshtones. Nothing about this transfer shows even the slightest hint of compression issues or noise of any kind. The film's fine grain structure has also been perfectly preserved and lends the presentation a pristine, film- like image. Kill Bill ranks as my favorite transfer on Blu-ray thus far this year. This is quite simply an amazing experience on Blu-ray!
Kill Bill: Volume 1 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
With a perfect visual presentation, it would have been quite a letdown had Kill Bill not been exceptional in the audio department. Fear not, as this is one seriously amazing soundtrack. Presented in uncompressed 5.1 PCM, Kill Bill sounds spectacular. I was completely blown away with the amazing width of the soundstage and the clarity exhibited in every nuance that this track delivered. Having heard, at this point, hundreds of Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio and PCM soundtracks, I truly believe that PCM still delivers the richest experience. There is an atmospheric clarity in PCM that just sounds more full and alive than the other two lossless formats. I hope that in the future, PCM isn't completely abandoned in favor of the Dolby and DTS flavors that are becoming the norm on BD.
If there is any one aspect to Kill Bill that truly impresses, it would be in the amazing sense of atmosphere that this PCM track delivers. Viewing this film is like living inside the movie for two full hours. Every subtlety in this track was delivered with a clarity that made the whole experience more real. Surround activity is very active with a very wide and enveloping soundstage. Bass is truly exceptional as every kick, punch and broken bone thumps with authority. Dialog is always crisp and clear while the film's eclectic musical score never misses a beat. Kill Bill sounds killer. Highly Recommended!
Kill Bill: Volume 1 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
While every other aspect of this Blu-ray release of Kill Bill is as good as it gets, there's really not much to this set's supplemental features. The 22 minute documentary is interesting and delivers some nice insight into the production, but the two musical sequences from Japanese band The 5,6,7,8's could have probably been left on the cutting room floor. I was happy to see trailers included for Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, 2 different Kill Bill versions as well as Kill Bill: Volume 2. That's really all there is here, so don't expect anything beyond what you've already seen on the previously released DVD.
Kill Bill: Volume 1 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Kill Bill is just plain fun. It's gory, over the top, brilliantly acted and surprisingly poignant. I've enjoyed the film for years and have eagerly been awaiting its release on Blu-ray. Disney hasn't disappointed - - they've delivered a stunning, reference grade transfer that is as close to film as anything I've yet seen on Blu-ray. The film's fantastic uncompressed PCM 5.1 soundtrack is completely enveloping and packs a punch that matches this set's stunning picture quality. Kill Bill is a must-own title on Blu-ray and comes with my absolute highest recommendation!
Kill Bill: Volume 1: Other Editions
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Kill Bill: Volume 1 Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - September 9th - September 9, 2008
As a filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino has a following similar to that of a presidential nominee. Half of those who see his films praise his ability to seamlessly integrate over-the-top action sequences with stylized dialog in order to tell a compelling story. The other ...
• Kill Bill Blu-ray Spec Revealed - August 12, 2008
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has revealed the technical specs and special features for the upcoming Blu-ray releases of 'Kill Bill: Volume 1' and 'Kill Bill: Volume 2', due to hit store shelves on September 9th. For both titles, video will be presented ...
• Kill Bill Coming This September - June 13, 2008
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has revealed via their retailer site that they will be bring 'Kill Bill Part 1' and 'Kill Bill Part 2' to Blu-ray on September 9th. Its way too early to talk about specs or special features - we'll have to wait for the press ...
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