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This week:
Kill Bill, Volume 2

Filthy says:
"More Fanboy masturbatory horseshit.

Some of you have been reading long enough to know I'm a real people person. I just love being around other people, being part of a community. Holy shit, I just can't get enough of listening to other assholes piss and moan and whine and bitch and complain about the stupidest and most trivial crap. Blah blah fucking blah. It sounds like it annoys me, but really, if there weren't others around, who would I be able to tell to shut the fuck up? That's what community means. I can sit there for hours, tuning out neighbors, strangers and ladies with too much makeup who sit in the Laundromat and blather on about how many cats you need to milk to get a full glass.

Being a people person means believing in other; that they are giving you the best they have. You have faith that people are motivated by goodness, and though they occasionally slip up, they will ultimately do what's best for society. The day after my heart is broken, my hope springs anew. Every encounter is a chance for someone to confirm my faith in the human spirit and remind me to be proud that I'm a human being, not a monkey or an otter. Good thing, too, because all these assholes keep screwing me up the ass. Yesterday and today, they bend me over the counter and ram it up me hard and splintery. But maybe not tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow they'll give me a lollipop.

It's because I'm such an optimist that I figure the fine folks who made Kill Bill had only the public's best interest us in mind when they split the movie in two. It's sort of like some of those Siamese twins they have to split or else "60 Minutes" won't know what the hell to talk about . By splitting Kill Bill into Volumes One and Two, it'll make our lives better, right? I mean, they wouldn't do it just to make a fast buck off us.

At first I thought those hardworking executives in Hollywood did it because they didn't want us to sit through a four-hour movie. You know, since people were passing out dead from starvation during those hell long dragon-and-castle flicks about the midgets with magic rings. Wouldn't want that happening again; those fanboys smell bad enough before they start decomposing. So, I went into Kill Bill, "Volume Two" thinking there must be a God damn good reason it was halved quicker than Abraham's son would have been.

I didn't see the first "Volume" of Kill Bill. It wasn't for a lack of trying; it was for a lack of interest, and a strong aversion to smug movies with words like "volume" in their titles. I guess it wasn't a prerequisite for seeing "Volume" Two because the AMC Westminster Pavilion went ahead and sold me a ticket. Hey, they'd never sell me a ticket to a movie I am not prepared for, would they? And a movie studio would never sell tickets to a movie twice, potentially confusing slow-witted drunkards like myself, just to make more money, would they? Yesterday, maybe, but today's a new day.

This "Volume" was pretty fucking feh. It's about as slow as the last place runners at the Special Olympics, and almost as noisy. It's artsy in a really self-satisfying, masturbatory way, the kind of way that people who claim to love movies cream their jeans over. It's pretty light on plot, but a plot would have jut gotten in the way of all the dull parts. If you think movies are supposed to reward people for recognizing older and better movies, well, shit, shoot and howdy, you'll love this crap. And while you're at it, why don't you get your jollies laughing at the jokes solely because you think other people aren't getting them?

Like I said, I didn't see the first "Volume" and I'm not going to. That's my way of telling Hollywood to go fuck itself in the mouth with a Ginsu II the next time it expects me to pay twice to see one movie. Far as I can gather, Uma Thurman is "The Bride," the first of many things about this movie that has to be wrapped in quotes to let you know it's "clever" and not stupid, or at least stupid on purpose. On the day of her wedding, "The Bride" was assassinated by members of the elite assassin squad she previously belonged to. They're led by "Bill" (David Carradine), a slow-tongued, lugubrious boor filled with enough eastern philosophy to be an asshole, but not enough to be interesting. (This is not by design.)

In the first "Volume", "The Bride" killed several of her would-be assassins. I would guess each death was as elaborate as the ones that Batman and Robin used to escape from. And each referenced some mediocre old Kung Fu that's biggest claim to fame is its obscurity. "Volume Two" picks up where the first leaves off. Thurman is looking to kill Bill. First she must kill lots of people before she can find him. And each death is preceded by an elaborate duel with swords or kung fu. I bet there's a lot of referential jokes in these battles, mostly because the lard-ass sitting next to me kept laughing. Of course, he might have kept laughing to trick others into thinking he got any jokes that appeared but he didn't get.

Thurman first kills a white trashy guy in a mobile home (Michael Madsen), then plucks the remaining eyeball out of Daryl Hannah. We are also subjected to an overlong flashback showing how Thurman learned her martial arts. This is all in "quotes", of course, to let us know that Tarantino thinks it's pretty fucking cool to reference old kung ku movies and uses every landscape old western director John Ford ever shot. Finally "The Bride" reunites Carradine and the movie has its first and only emotional jolt. Carradine has Thurman's daughter, whom she has never met before, and with whom she was pregnant when Carradine tried to kill her.

The scene where Thurman first meets her daughter is really pretty fucking awesome, and the movie could have used more real emotion. It finally gives the characters a reason to exist beyond the quotes around their names, and it creates genuine conflict. Finally, all these jerks just aren't fighting because it's cool. Too bad, Tarantino doesn't linger long on this before making us listen to his drawn-out and pretentious thoughts as spoken by the characters.

Which is the most annoying things about this movie: It's always about Quentin Tarantino, not the story. Everything in it is there to remind us that this is all manufactured and none of it is real. All the referencing and all the dialog is written to keep us aware that there is a single mind behind it all and he's really fucking pompous. Every character sounds the same, spouting the same overly precious, over-written dialog Tarantino has now beaten harder and longer than a teenager's dick. The result is a movie that is almost entirely academic and almost never involving. It's impossible to say whether the acting is good because even that has quotes around it. And the setting's are great, but they were already, when John Ford and other original directors used them the first time And without the irony.

It's all so fucking self-referential. It's Tarantino's wet dream and we're just soaking in it. Two Fingers for Kill Bill.

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Earl Dittman of Wireless Magazines

The Prince and Me is "A majestically entertaining date movie that will stir your every emotion and ignite your deepest passion."

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Filthy's Reading
Donald Barthelme - Great Days

Listening to
The Thermals - Fuckin A


Freaks and Geeks Box Set