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‘Kill Bill Vol. 2’ Better Than ‘Vol. 1’

'Kill Bill Vol. 2' Better Than 'Vol. 1'

I know plenty of action fanboys who are going to disagree with me, but I must say that I found Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 2 more entertaining and engaging than Vol. 1. Sure, they really are two different pieces with two different tones about them. And yes, if your favorite part of Vol. 1 was all the blood and kung fu fighting, you will possibly be disappointed by the lack of all that in Vol. 2. Nevertheless, Vol. 2 is just a better film, all-around. There’s real characters this time, real dialogue, and not to mention perhaps some of the best directing Tarantino has ever done. The pace feels right, whether fast or slow, and his editing choices are inspired. Not to mention, DP Robert Richardson really shines this time, playing with Shaw-era kung-fu cameras as well as scrappy grindhouse film in certain scenes. Overall, the package reminded me more of that exuberance I felt watching Reservoir Dogs than any other Tarantino film since (while Pulp Fiction was kind of its own thing altogether). In other words, Vol. 1 was Tarantino trying to be John Woo. Vol. 2 is Tarantino being himself, something we haven’t seen since Pulp Fiction, as even Jackie Brown was adapting Elmore Leonard’s voice.
A few days before SXSW 2004, one of our volunteers was here in the office and said “I ran into Quentin Tarantino at a bar last night. He said he’s in Austin screening Kill Bill 2.” Instantly, I knew something was up. In our pre-festival haze, we lose touch with the outside world, even just the Austin film world. There was a screening happening somewhere. By the time Rick Linklater’s office confirmed it to me, it was all over. Apparently, Tarantino hosted a screening for his Austin-based pals: Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, Harry Knowles, etc. Supposedly, even the Weinsteins were there… I got over missing out on that golden moment as the days passed and our own festival unfolded. But now that I’ve seen the great film that Vol. 2 is, I think I’ll always look at that Austin sneak as one of my all-time biggest film regrets. Don’t make a similar mistake. See Kill Bill Vol. 2 for yourself. Finally, Tarantino’s given us a film that reminds us why this man changed the indie film landscape in the first place.

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