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KILL BILL: VOL. I

A gorgeous hit woman, savagely assaulted by a band of creeps apparently hired by her former lover, falls into a four-year coma. Guess what she does when she snaps out of it.

CAST: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, Vivica A. Fox, Samuel L. Jackson, Lucy Liu, Bo Svenson

DIRECTOR: Quentin Tarantino

"The movie, a densely referential pastiche of B-movie attitudes and situations, is above all an exercise in style…Mr. Tarantino has immersed himself, his characters and his audience in a highly artificial world, a looking-glass universe that reflects nothing beyond his own cinematic obsessions…the sincerity of his enthusiasm gives this messy, uneven spectacle an odd, feverish integrity…The sordid creepiness that occasionally seeps into ‘Kill Bill’ makes you wonder what Mr. Tarantino is trying to do, and whether he is entirely in control of his own imagination." --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"It’s too incomplete to be measured as a whole, half a movie waiting for a proper ending due to arrive in the next volume in February…this movie has been sliced with a blade--cut in half, rendered a twitching corpse. Just when the movie gets going, when the rush of blood to the head kicks in and gallons of gore cover the screen, it ends with an inglorious thunk. We're left wanting more, mainly because what we've seen didn't satisfy…We want some kind of closure, not a 'coming soon' demanded by a studio that wants to make back its investment by twice reaching into our wallets." --Robert Wilonsky, Dallas Observer

"Heads are severed, arms lopped off, geysers of red spray the screen. And yet it’s all in (perverse) good fun. Tarantino has made a killing comedy, and because his film is entirely circumscribed by other movies and a mishmash of source music and pop tunes, it’s difficult to get worked into a high dudgeon by the carnage. It’s not as if there is anything in ‘Kill Bill’ that connects to the world of real emotions. It is a video game." -- Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

"‘Kill Bill’ is what’s formally known as decadence and commonly known as crap. It will doubtless cause enormous excitement among the kind of pop archivists for whom the merest reference to a Run Run Shaw kung-fu picture from 1977 is deliciously naughty—a frisson de schlock that, for them, replaces any other vital response to a movie. As for the rest of the audience, some people may like the brutal playfulness, but I don’t think anyone should feel aced out by what he doesn’t enjoy in ‘Kill Bill.’ Coming out of this dazzling, whirling movie, I felt nothing—not anger, not dismay, not amusement. Nothing." --David Denby, The New Yorker

"‘Kill Bill’ is an act of indecent exposure. Everything that makes Tarantino tumescent -- kung-fu fighting, samurai flicks, spaghetti westerns and babe-on-babe head bashing, preferably with swords -- is stuffed into the 110 minutes of ‘Vol. 1.’…his movie is killingly funny, wildly inventive, bloody as a gushing artery and heart-stoppingly beautiful... In ‘Kill Bill,’ Tarantino brings delicious sin back to movies -- the thrill you get from something down, dirty and dangerous." --Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"Tarantino hasn’t made just another movie. He’s tried to make the Ultimate Exploitation Picture, a grind-house Ulysses. ‘Kill Bill’ restlessly moves among many styles and genres in an attempt to embrace them all: spaghetti Westerns, kung-fu movies, samurai flicks, yakuza pictures, Japanese anime and (as often happens with Tarantino) the Jacobean revenge drama in all its corpuscular glory. This is the bloodiest — or at least the reddest — movie you’ll see all year… Although the towering Thurman is usually treated as something of an eroticized force of nature, her sly, angry, heartfelt performance here brings humanity to an otherwise shallow tale that risks being all blood and no passion." --John Powers, LA Weekly

"You want blood? You can shower in it in ‘Kill Bill: Volume 1,’ a giddy and only occasionally brilliant homage to all the kung fu fighting, B-movies and spaghetti Westerns Quentin Tarantino scarfed down during his movie-centric adolescence…this long-awaited movie has been unwisely chopped into two pieces -- the second is due in February -- when it really needed to be one long, delirious ride…There's a lot to admire in ‘Kill Bill,’ and a lot that should have been lopped off like the arms and legs and scalps that go flying. What this undoubtedly enthusiastic writer-director needed was someone who would just say no, be it an editor or Miramax mogul Harvey Weinstein." --Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News

"For all its severed limbs and alarmingly large sprays of blood, ‘Kill Bill’ is more of a vicious comedy than anything else. Its violence is so stylized and over-the-top, so outrageous and cartoonish, it doesn't upset you or gross you out…The movie is all rush, splatter and sensation, with little else underneath…There isn't a single dull moment in all of ‘Vol. 1,’ but by the end of the movie, we still don't know who the Bride was, or why her boss Bill (David Carradine) wanted her killed, or the nature of their relationship, or why Daryl Hannah is even in the movie. We know so little, in fact, that this lively, energetic movie becomes a thin, disposable experience. ‘Kill Bill’ dazzles us, but it never genuinely engages us." --Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

"There's no question that Quentin Tarantino's ‘Kill Bill, Vol. 1’ is a virtuoso piece of filmmaking. What's questionable is whether it's more than that…as you watch ‘Kill Bill, Vol. 1’, you realize that no one combines tension and release, violence and humor, dialogue and action and music and pictures the way he does…Yet being dazzled by ‘Kill Bill, Vol. 1’ isn't the same as being moved by it…Thurman holds everything together with a fierce performance delivered without a trace of irony. Her lanky body is built for high kicks, and she shows a feline grace in her swordplay. Her face reflects such grit, vengefulness and pain that Tarantino doesn't feel the need to fill in too many blanks." --Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

"‘Kill Bill’ is a smorgasbord of slam-bang mayhem, certain to tantalize young men, and with its ultratough heroine, perhaps young women, too…Though ‘Kill Bill’ is one of the most violent films this year, it's no more so than many of the Asian kung fu flicks it pays homage to. Don't be surprised if it slaughters its action-film competition in this overcrowded movie season." --David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor

"… a maddeningly uneven spaghetti Eastern that's well worth seeing for his [Tarantino’s] technical mastery, even as it challenges you with the geeky auteur's boundless self-indulgence…forget about the great dialogue, studded with pop culture references, of past Tarantino movies; here it's mostly functional. About half is in Japanese, and even much of the English dialogue is so clunky it sounds like it was translated from Japanese…‘Kill Bill Vol. 1’ is an overstuffed menu from a master chef who's trying way too hard to please himself." --Lou Lumenick, The New York Post

"The movie is not about anything at all except the skill and humor of its making. It's kind of brilliant…The movie is all storytelling and no story. The motivations have no psychological depth or resonance, but are simply plot markers." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"The film is neither a step forward for Tarantino, nor for American movies, nor much beside an action-filled pastiche of the director's favorite bits (and chunks and lumps) from a lot of his favorite movies…‘Kill Bill’ is exhilarating, ultraviolent mindwash that is in the unfortunate position of being Tarantino's first film in six years. That fact may be important, but as a film -- and unlike ‘Pulp Fiction’ or ‘Reservoir Dogs’ – ‘Kill Bill’ really isn't." --John Anderson, Newsday