Kill Bill - Volume One DVD: Review By Brian Gallagher

  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
I can't tell you how annoyed I was when Kill Bill Volume 1's DVD release date was moved up to correspond with Volume 2's theatrical release shift. I just didn't want to wait that long to see this amazing movie again. But, as they say, "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and I have definitely grown fonder of Kill Bill Volume 1 after seeing it again. This is one marvelous movie, folks, and I was incredibly dissapointed that it was overlooked at awards season, although I did see it pop up on many Top 10 lists. The writing and directing from Tarantino are phenomenal, and the acting is top-notch as well. I won't get into too many details here, but you can check out my original movie review here.

I will say, though, like all of Quentin Tarantino's other films, you pick up on other things the more times you see the movie. The most notable thing that I noticed is during a swordfight where The Bride (Thurman) fends off her foes in a dark room with only a blue backdrop. To me, this seemed like Tarantino saying that he doesn't need any special effects. I'll explain. CGI-ladened films, like the new Star Wars trilogy, are shot in front of a blue screen with live actors, and then backgrounds and computerized characters are added into the film in post-production. I could be wrong here, but with Tarantino's film-geek nature and love for old-school cinema, I just might be right here... At any rate, this is one hell of a movie that just simply shouldn't be missed.
There isn't a whole lot here, but there is some quality stuff here. The only special features are a Making of Kill Bill Volume 1 featurette, some extra musical performances from The 5, 6, 7, 8's, and the trailers to all of Quentin Tarantino's films, including the teaser trailer for Kill Bill Volume 2. The Making of featurette is pretty cool, with a lot of insight into the origins of the film and how certain aspects came to be. It's always interesting to see how Tarantino absorbs certain things around him and how he makes them a part of the film.

The extra performances of The 5, 6, 7, 8's isn't that great, really. I think the songs they used in the film were wonderful for the tone that it set. But the music on its own, just didn't work that much for me. But I did like watching the trailers to all of QT's films. I hadn't seen the Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown trailers in years, and I never saw the Reservoir Dogs trailer, which was a "red-band trailer" (trailers that are only shown at R-rated movies). I'm very big into trailers and it was cooling seeing all those trailers after the movies have come out, to see what they included.

While that is all for the special features, there is one thing that I'm glad they didn't include: commentaries. I really don't like this staple of DVD features. I think it's incredibly annoying, even if you have seen the movie many times before, and I think they should come up with a better way of providing us the information in the commentaries other than talking over the movie. It's like being in a theater next to a guy who keeps talking to his friend. It just bugs me. And I'd be willing to bet that Tarantino feels the same way about these commentaries, because there are no commentaries here, or in any of his other DVD's as well. I respect that he wants us to enjoy the movie, and not hearing him blab over the top of a movie we're trying to enjoy. That's a true movie fan, folks. Bravo QT!
The picture quality is very nice, in the widescreen format. And we see a little bit of everything here, from color to black and white to animation. It runs the gamut and it all looks great.
You can hear all the screams and swordfighting in either DTS 5.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1, and it all just sounds great.
OK, so there aren't as many special features here, and The 5, 6, 7, 8's part of it is probably something to skip over. But the movie itself is phenomenal, and, if I had the time, I'd probably watch it every day until Volume 2 comes out this Friday. There just never are enough hours in the day, I guess. But there should be 2 hours that you all should set aside to watch this knockout-punch of a movie.

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