Kill Bill

NOT RECOMMENDED. This vile piece of trash has pretty much convinced me to stop watching Tarantino films. Pulp Fiction is a masterpiece of cinema, which I’ll explain why in a second. But with his last two films, Jackie Brown and now Kill Bill, we now see that Tarantino, rather than being a profound revealer of postmodern reality, turns out to be merely the tragic incarnation of the worst that postmodernism has to offer us. Tarantino turns out to be merely an ex-video store clerk obsessed with bad 70s TV, bad Hong Kong karate films, bad exploitation films, and pastiche culture, who struck a single good chord with Pulp Fiction. He seems more an incarnation of bad art than an original artist who has “rediscovered” the past. To be truly postmodern is to be truly imitation style without substance or context, without purpose or meaning. That is why Pulp Fiction works and his last two movies do not. Because the pomo bricolage that is Pulp Fiction is subordinated and contextualized by the Christian redemption of the character Jules. The vanity and meaninglessness of the kitsche of the other stories takes on meaning and becomes profound when contrasted by the transcendance of God’s sovereignty. And that is really what saves Jules, isn’t it? His redemption lies in his recognition of the transcendent God of the Bible as bringing purpose and meaning to his existence. I believe that this Christian redemption is what gives the depth and profundity to Pulp Fiction that people respond to with their souls, and that what makes it a classic masterpiece. No doubt, Tarantino is not a Christian but was merely playing with what was to him, another bizarre quirky viewpoint, a leftover of the “Jesus Freak” movement from the same 70s era he so lovingly embraces, thus making Pulp Fiction an unintended masterpiece. This lack of spiritual transcendence in his other films reveal them to be what they really are, just empty imitation of style without substance, without meaning or purpose. Oh, vanity of vanities…

I must admit the camerawork in Bill is fantastic and magical. Everything else is terrible. It’s WAYYY TOOO LOOOONG, and it’s only the first half!! No story at all, just a string of revenge fight sequences, punctuated by a confusing cacophany of title cards “Two days later,” “six months earlier,” “13 hours later” and on and on. And terrible dialogue. I have never seen the “F” word used more poorly than in this movie. I think the “F” word is entirely appropriate if used right, but here, the characters sound like teenagers TRYING to swear than really swearing. It’s all too forced and overwrought. Even the fight sequences were grotesque with limbs cutting off and blood spewing out like a Monty Python gag. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know he’s trying to be comic book and give his “homage” to Oriental kung fu movies yada yada yada. But this is just a gore fest that is repugnant and in my big mouthed opinion, inappropriate. And you know, I’m not merely speaking from a “moralistic” perspective. I mean this from a storytelling one, too. These long bloodbath sequences get very boring very quickly because there is nothing left to imagination and it’s very repetitious. I mean, I wanted to leave after 10 minutes from total disinterest, but I came with a friend and didn’t want to place him in a dilemma. Plus, I wanted to be able to justify my comments to those who would throw the nasty accusation that “you can’t criticize the movie if you haven’t seen it.” Okay, I seen it. And it stunk. Satisfied? Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was great with its sword fight scenes all looking like operatic ballets, Gladiator was brilliant in capturing the vicious ancient Roman Empire and culture, Braveheart is one of the best movies of all time, so I am not against a good sword fight movie, just do it with class or something, will you? Good grief. I am sorry, but I don’t buy the “Grand Guignol” rationalization of exploitative violence as artistic catharthis. Poppycock. Bunk. Balderdash and bullpuckey. Let’s call it what it really is, shall we?: naked adolescent fixation on cruelty. Now, should I tell you what I REALLY think? ☺

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