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I know kung fu, doop-dee-doo!

Blu-ray

My copy of the Blu-ray release of Kill Bill Volume 1 arrived yesterday while I was at work. We watched it in the evening to put my brother’s beefy new sound system through its paces: finally, uncompressed PCM 5.1 support aboard the HMS Whimsy! It was my first time watching the film in a while, and I have to admit that, although I still got a lot of enjoyment out of it, it went ever so slightly down in my estimation. While more or less everything in the House of Blue Leaves and beyond is top quality entertainment, I must confess to finding quite a lot of the stuff along the way plodding and overly focused on banal dialogue. In that regard, it has something in common with Quentin Tarantino’s most recent film, Death Proof, which had a great final half-hour but meandered along for its first 80 minutes obsessing over trite conversations that I’m sure sounded very cool and absolutely fascinating to Tarantino but left me clock-watching. Kill Bill is a significantly better film overall, but it definitely suffers from similar flaws.

Seeing the US cut of the film after being used to the Japanese cut for so long was a bit of a shock to the system. In particular, I felt that the switch to black and white during the showdown with the Crazy 88 didn’t really work, and ended up making it overly difficult to see what was going on (which, from a censorial standpoint, was presumably the aim all along). I also missed all the little moments of blood-letting that had been snipped away here and there: I’m not what you’d call a gore-hound, in the sense that generally speaking a movie has to be more than deliriously violent to keep me entertained, but remembering what was present in the Japanese really made me miss it. I hope Universal gets round to releasing this film in HD in Japan - or, better yet, the Weinstein Company finally puts out The Whole Bloody Affair, which they and Tarantino have been promising for god knows how long.

Image quality-wise, Volume 1, as I expected, looks more or less exactly like Volume 2 - which is to say very good, but sadly not perfect. Once again, temporal noise reduction is evident throughout, reducing the grain and giving the image a somewhat digital look. I also spotted a handful of instances of the NR causing artefacts, mostly in the anime sequence, where some of the black outlines of the animation ended up being ghosted from one frame to the next. Most of it is fairly minor, but it does baffle me that this was done in the first place. After all, the animation was created entirely in the digital domain, with the grain that is present in the final composite having been added artificially. Since the technical crew had complete control over the grain in this segment to begin with, why add it and then reduce it? Unless, that is, the NR was added specifically for the Blu-ray release (or the master from which it was derived) after all rather than at the DI stage. Ah well, at least detail is, for the most part spot on, and, NR aside, there is no other obvious digital interference, barring a smattering of what looks to me like edge enhancement in certain shots in the snow garden outside the House of Blue Leaves.

Oh, and can I just say that the PCM 5.1 track kicks major derriere? I haven’t compared the compressed Dolby Digital 5.1 track yet, so I’ve no idea how big a difference the uncompressed PCM format makes, but it certainly gave me a new appreciation of the importance of having a decent home audio system.

Kill Bill Volume 1
(Buena Vista, USA, AVC, 29.3 GB)

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Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 10:50 PM | Comments: 2
Categories: Animation | BD Impressions | Blu-ray | Cinema | Technology

 
Comments

1.

Still going to have to wait for that Japanese release ( sigh )

I noticed in the other Kill Bill Volume 2 thread Lgana smoaning about I Am Legend again....The DNR smearing he refers to is i believe an effect added to the CGI shots to make it look like fast action motion blur - I think it's to blend the CGI seamlessly in with the rest of the film.

There is no banding in this film and that's his display - Screenshots were taken of the points he said contained banding and it was shown by Xylon at AVS that the film has no banding and the shot he referred to was a normal lighting effect because of the torch being carried by Will Smith....Light DNR was probably applied but i imagine this film like many these days was shot on low grain film....Lgans just has to attack Warners whenever he can.

The american edition of kill Bill also cuts out the scene in the car boot where the legs are cut off and some of the animation has been heavily cut.....The fight scene in black and white would just not work for me after seeing it in full colour....I'd personally give this edition a miss....

From Rewind - DVD Compare site.


CUTS:

* R0 Croatia- UCD - No cuts. "R-rated theatrical version". Comparing to the "longer version", the differences are:
-A shorter animated sequence
-The House Of Leaves fight (2nd part of the fight - appr. 3:32 min) is in black and white (rather than colour).
* R1 America - (Buena Vista Home Entertainment) - "R-rated theatrical version". Comparing to the "longer version", the differences are:
-A shorter animated sequence
-The House Of Leaves fight (2nd part of the fight - appr. 3:32 min) is in black and white (rather than colour).
* R2 France- TF1 Video - No cuts. "R-rated Theatrical Version".
* R2 Germany - (Buena Vista Home Entertainment) - "R-rated theatrical version" - 106:09 (PAL). Comparing to the "longer version", the differences are:
-A shorter animated sequence
-The House Of Leaves fight (2nd part of the fight - appr. 3:32 min) is in black and white (rather than colour).
* R2 Holland- RCV - "R-rated theatrical version" - 106:09 (PAL). Comparing to the "longer version", the differences are:
-A shorter animated sequence
-The House Of Leaves fight (2nd part of the fight - appr. 3:32 min) is in black and white (rather than colour).
* R2 Japan - (Universal Pictures) - No Cuts - Includes the fight in the house of leaves scene in colour with added fight scenes and a longer animated sequence. (111:39 � NTSC).
Added/changed footage in the Japanese version:
(0:00.43)
- The Japanese cut replaces the Old Klingon Proverb "Revenge is a dish best served cold" at the beginning of the film with a dedication to filmmaker Kinji Fukasaku .
(0:10.00 )
- The opening scene between The Bride and Vernita Green has two alternate angles shown when The Bride asks for a towel instead as the R-rated having the overhead shot.
(0:37.24) 4.5 Sec Anime sequence
- In the anime sequence, one of Boss Matsumoto's men has his face smashed into a wall twice, rather then just once. A close up shot on the man faling down on the floor
(0:41.10) 8 Sec Anime sequence
- In the anime sequence, when O-Ren Ishii kills Matsumoto and tells him to look at her face, she asks him to look at more facial features (nose, chin. etc.) to be recognized.
(0:41.47) 1.5 Sec Anime sequence
- There is a close up shot of O-Ren moving the knife up his stomach and then finally pulling it out.
(0:41.55) 2 Sec Anime sequence
- A close up shot on the dying Matsumuto
(0:42.01) 6 Sec Anime sequence
- A distant shot of O-Ren sitting ontop Matsumoto. Blood squirts out of Matsumotos belly.
(0:60.54) 0.7 Sec
- In the bar scene ,Gogo Yubari is stabbing a man in the stomach and you see blood and guts squirt out of the belly.
(1:14.53) 1 Sec
- The scene when the bride choppes of the arm on Sophie last a bit longer while she lying on the floor screaming
(1:15.31) 0.5 Sec
- The close up scene of Sophie lies on the floor screaming is longer.
(1:17.21) 3 Sec
- A close up of the first female Crazy 88 (Julie Manase) gargling blood after being pinned to a wooden pillar by a sword.
(1:23.25) 2.5 Sec
- A shot of The Bride stabbing two Crazy 88s at once using her own sword as well as another Crazy 88's sword.
(1:23.33) 3 Sec
- A ten foot high super back flip that The Bride executes before landing back down to pop out one of the Crazy 88's eyes. (This is just before the eye-popping scene)
Between time index (1:23.37-1:27.37 ) 3mins 32 sec
- All scenes during this time are in full colour in this Japanese version while the R-rated version is Black and White.
(1:23.41) 2.5 Sec
- The Bride pops the eyeball into the mouth of a Crazy 88 (which she yanked in the previous shot) ,and the partially armless Sofie Fatale giving a disgusted reaction.
(1:24.01) 2 Sec
- A sword blow. The blood injects out of the neck area (Shot from behind)
(1:24.20) 10 sec
- The first appearance of the "Kid Crazy 88" (the one who gets spanked with the sword). In this shot, we now find out why he's missing a mask later on. As he's about to attack The Bride, she swipes his mask off. We see he's just a kid, and he gives the universal "don't hurt me" sign. The Bride has a look of shock on her face in realizing he's just a kid, so she grabs him, throws him across, knocking 3-4 Crazy 88 into a blood filled mini pool. This shot of the 3-4 falling, while cut from the US version of Vol 1, also showed up in the end credits of the US cut of Vol 2. Overall, this "mini scene" helps establish The Bride's look of surprise even more when she sees the young Crazy 88 the last time... and his follow up "don't hurt me" look even funnier.
(1:24.36 ) 1.5 Sec
- A shot of a Crazy 88 getting slashed across the chest and spraying blood all over a wall.
(1:24.54) 3.5 Sec
- When The Bride jumps onto the shoulders of one of the Crazy 88, after she slashes another one across the face, the Crazy 88 she's standing on tries to attack her from below. She parries the attack and cuts his hands off. The shot then cuts to the forward somersault.
(1:27.37 )
- Since the fight is already in colour, the close up "eye shot" of The Bride blinking is cut. Instead, the first part of the close up before she blinks is shown, however, at the point when she normally blinks, there is a replacement medium shot of her standing slightly fatigued and holding her sword out.
(1:41.17) 10 Sec
- Finally, after the "House of Blue Leaves" fight, is the most infamous of the missing scenes and that is Sofie Fatale's extended "trunk interrogation" scene. After The Bride warns Sofie about cutting off something, instead of cutting back to Sofie in the hospital, The Bride is shown grabbing Sofie's arm and screams "GIVE ME YOUR OTHER ARM!" Sofie starts to panic, but then The Bride chops off her other arm, causing blood to splash onto the screen and Sofie begins screaming again.
* R2 LE Japan - (Universal Pictures) - No Cuts - Includes the fight in the house of leaves scene in colour with added fight scenes and a longer animated sequence. (111:39 � NTSC). This is exactly the same version as the regular Japanese release. (See above for details)
* R2 Scandinavia - (Nordisk Film) - "R-rated theatrical version" - 106:09 (PAL). Comparing to the "longer version", the differences are:
-A shorter animated sequence
-The House Of Leaves fight (2nd part of the fight - appr. 3:32 min) is in black and white (rather than colour).
* R2 United Kingdom - (Buena Vista Home Entertainment) - "R-rated theatrical version" - 106:09 (PAL). Comparing to the "longer version", the differences are:
-A shorter animated sequence
-The House Of Leaves fight (2nd part of the fight - appr. 3:32 min) is in black and white (rather than colour).
* R3 Hong Kong - (Universe Video And Laser) - "R-rated theatrical version". Comparing to the "longer version", the differences are:
-A shorter animated sequence
-The House Of Leaves fight (2nd part of the fight - appr. 3:32 min) is in black and white (rather than colour).
* R3 Thailand - (Mongpong) - "R-rated theatrical version" - 106:09 (PAL). Comparing to the "longer version", the differences are:
-A shorter animated sequence
-The House Of Leaves fight (2nd part of the fight - appr. 3:32 min) is in black and white (rather than colour).
* R4 Australia - (Buena Vista Home Entertainment) - "R-rated theatrical version" - 106:09 (PAL). Comparing to the "longer version", the differences are:
-A shorter animated sequence
-The House Of Leaves fight (2nd part of the fight - appr. 3:32 min) is in black and white (rather than colour).

Posted by: FoxyMulder, September 19, 2008 9:17 AM

2.

Being mostly a fan of everything Quentin has directed, but detesting Death Proof, I agree with you on Kill Bill in general (I think I would have liked one movie incorporating parts of both better). What I mean is I think there are some amazing moments and overall I like both films, but I just don't think they're as great as everyone else seems to.

I love Pulp Fiction and I don't think that will ever change. I saw it when it came out in the theater (I was 14) and I had never seen anything like it. Movies became even more meaningful to me.

Then I discovered Reservoir Dogs and became a true Tarantino fan. I liked From Dusk Till Dawn but didn't really appreciate it until my 2nd or 3rd viewing.

True Romance and Natural Born Killers (though certainly flawed) remain favorites. I remember liking Four Rooms but haven't viewed it in many years.

Jackie Brown blew me away and that was even before I became a hardcore Elmore Leonard fan. I think it's definitely QT's most under appreciated film.

The Kill Bill films dazzled me in the theater, but underwhelmed on DVD. I didn't pick up the BDs because I don't want to until there is a better package available.

I can't stand Death Proof. Here's hoping Inglorious Bastards will kick some major cinematic hiney.

Posted by: Daniel Sardella, September 19, 2008 3:57 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

https://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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