Showing posts with label Uma Thurman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Uma Thurman. Show all posts

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Kill Bill Volume 2

Kill Bill Volume 2 is the second part of Quentin Tarantino’s female led revenge thriller and was released six months after its predecessor KillBill Volume 1. The film follows the continuing vengeful rampage of The Bride (Uma Thurman) who we discover in this film is actually named Beatrix Kiddo. Her name remained secret in the first movie. Having dispatched of two of her former assailants in the first film, Kiddo here hunts down the remaining three; trailer residing, titty bar bouncer Bud (Michael Madsen), one eyed jealous blonde Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) and the eponymous Bill (David Carradine).

The film opens with a Hitchcockian style pre title sequence in which The Bride is driving to her final destination while giving a brief outline of the plot so far. This sequence is shot in black and white and uses rear projection to give it the look of a Hitchcock thriller. Even the title font and score are Hitchcockian. The remainder of the film is much more conventional and more settled than the first Kill Bill movie as Tarantino keeps his genre mashing directorial tricks mostly in his pocket. There are occasional switches to black and white and one chapter resembles a Hong Kong Kung Fu movie but for the most part the film is more unadventurous than the first movie. There is much less violence too with only two onscreen deaths in the entire movie.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Kill Bill Volume 1

Kill Bill Volume 1 will always have a special place in my heart for two reasons. Firstly it was the first 18 Certificate film I ever saw at the cinema and as a result it was the first Tarantino film I saw at the cinema too. Thinking back, it might have been the first Tarantino film I saw at all although I can’t quite remember if I bought my VHS copy of Pulp Fiction a little earlier. As a seventeen year old who at the time had little interest in movies beyond the latest American Pie I was awe struck by Kill Bill and I’ve seen it several times since. The movie, as it makes clear during the opening credits was the forth film from Quentin Tarantino and followed a six year break since Directing his third film, Jackie Brown. Although originally intended as one feature the movie was split into two separate films due to a four hour run time and Kill Bill Volume 2 followed six months after Volume 1 in 2004.

This is perhaps Tarantino’s most highly stylised film to date and takes in an assortment of styles, genres and techniques. The Director and story weave from genre to genre, picking up pieces of revenge, Hong Kong martial arts, exploitation and Japanese samurai movies as it progresses in a non linear manner through its plot. The film is separated into chapters which themselves often feel like short films. Each chapter takes from a different style, genre or era and occasionally the style will change mid chapter. The plot focuses on the character of The Bride (Uma Thurman), a former member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad who is beaten and shot in the head by her former colleagues. She wakes up four years later to discover her fiancĂ© and unborn daughter are dead and sets about reaping her revenge on those who attacked her and killed her family. Each chapter tells a portion of her revenge tale.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Pulp Fiction

Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece of postmodern pulp cinema burst off the screen in 1994. His second Directorial film, it was made for just $8 million but went on to take over $200 million at the box office becoming one of the most financially successful independent films of all time and has since become one of the most critically successful films as well. Nominated for seven Oscars and winning one for Best Original Screenplay, Pulp Fiction has found its place in cinema history as one of the greatest cult films of all time and reinvigorated not only the fortunes of some of its cast but made Hollywood sit up and take notice of small time, independent cinema.

Tarantino often makes use of a non linear storyline but here it is not so much non linear as circular. Pulp Fiction features three interconnecting storylines which are sometimes told from different angles and always out of sequence. The effect is that it builds the story as the film progresses in quite a different way to a traditional narrative but one is never lost of confused. The script is amongst the best if not the best I’ve ever seen and is dense, meandering and full of great dialogue and pop culture references. It is a joy to listen to and the tremendous cast deliver each line with great aplomb.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

My Super-Ex Girlfriend

Starring Uma Thurman as an emotionally unstable Superheroine, 2006’s My Super-Ex Girlfriend was a pleasant surprise for me. Being let down so often by dull, unfunny romantic comedies, I found it to be a refreshing take on a tired formula.

The likable and affable Luke Wilson stars as the likable and affable Matt Saunders who meets a shy and seemingly uninterested Jenny Johnson, played by Uma Thurman on the Subway. When a man steals Johnson’s handbag, Matt pursues the thief and retrieves the bag. This act of heroism earns Matt a date. Several dates later, by which time Johnson has become increasingly neurotic and unbalanced, she lets Matt into her huge secret, that she is in fact G-Girl, a crime fighting Super Hero. When Johnson/G-Girl’s increasingly aggressive and jealous behaviour gets too much for Matt he decides to break off the relationship, a decision he could come to regret.

The film, while not incredibly funny is very enjoyable. I was watching with a smile on my face. Uma Thurman looks like she is really enjoying playing both characters and Luke Wilson is fine, though he is just playing Luke Wilson. A lot of the humour comes from Thurman’s wonderful portrayal of an emotionally unstable woman who becomes increasingly mentally unbalanced throughout the film. She is a joy to watch. Thurman and Wilson are joined by a strong cast which includes Anna Faris as Wilson’s co-worker and the fantastic Rainn Wilson (of The Office fame) as Matt’s best friend. Also joining the cast is English comedian Eddie Izzard who does a fairly convincing American accent but is not as convincing as a super villain.

Being both a Rom-Com and Superhero movie, there was only one place that the film could best set and that is in New York. The city looks fabulous but the CGI is sometimes shiny and unconvincing. A GCI shark looked about as real as a reality TV star’s face. I found it quite funny that G-Girl’s disguise is just a wig and glasses, but Superman gets by unnoticed with less.

While My Super Ex-Girlfriend is in no way a classic or even close to being great, it is a nice take on the romantic comedy genre with some funny moments and an excellent performance from Uma Thurman.