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Two Kill Bill edits...

ron2112

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I originally posted these reviews on my blog at The Site of the Mosi.

Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair by QtheGaijin
Kill Bill X by Jorge

These are two very different takes on Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece(s), Kill Bill vol. 1 and vol. 2. KB:TWBA attempts to merge the two titles into one long film (something Tarantino has promised for years, under this title in fact, but has yet to deliver). I find this a very satisfying version for a few reasons. First, because it was transferred from the Japanese DVDs, it contains the Crazy 88 battle in color. Those of us in the US have only seen this in black and white, so that's a huge plus. There are a few other additional moments I'd never seen before, but I wouldn't want to spoil them for you (all I'll say is, Sophie got it worse than we knew). ***SPOILER ALERT*** In merging the two films, QtheGaijin has eliminated the opening of vol. 2, which essentially summarizes vol. 1. But he has also eliminated the reference to B.B. still being alive from the closing scene of vol. 1, where Bill is questioning the maimed Sophie about what the Bride said to her after the battle at the House of Blue Leaves. This makes B.B.'s reveal later in the film much more impactful. (Yes, impactful is a word, despite what my spellchecker says. Right-click, add to dictionary, thank you.) The only thing I might deduct a few points for is an added scene that does not appear in the US version, which takes place just prior to Bill's campfire speech about Pai Mei. Bill and the Bride are walking through the streets of some unnamed Asian village when they are accosted by a band of no-good-niks and Bill kicks their asses. It's a fun scene, I have no issue with its inclusion, but the video quality of this scene is considerably lower than the rest of the film, so it's more than a little distracting. I think I would have excluded it in the absence of better source material. Apart from that the video quality is excellent thanks to the editor's decision to master the title as a dual-layer disc. Some minor compression artifacting is evident, but infrequent. I highly recommend this edit to anyone who enjoyed the original films. I think I may actually prefer to view it this way.

KBX is a whole different beast. The editor has drastically cut the running time of the two films to 150 minutes (that's almost 100 minutes cut). He has also arranged the scenes in chronological order, to the degree possible (the Pai Mei chapter is still presented as a flashback after the Bride is buried). To one who loves the original films, this may seem like blasphemy, but let me come to the editor's defense. First off, Jorge never intended this edit to be shared among hundreds or thousands of people on the Internet. It was just something he did as an experiment, and Jorge has stated emphatically that this edit is not intended to improve upon the original in any way. The only intent was to offer a different view of the film, and that it does well. I don't know that I could have made some of the cutting decisions he did. For example, the battle with the Crazy 88 is eliminated -- the Bride enters the House of Blue Leaves, kills the first batch of henchmen, and then it's on to O-Ren. Another major cut, one that took some balls, frankly: B.B. is not alive in this version. I have to imagine that took some doing, as all her scenes at Bill's villa had to be removed, as did the ending of the film. The edit works as an intriguing experiment, which is all it sets out to do, but I could never recommend it over the original or KB:TWBA. Video quality is decent, entirely watchable.

In summary, if you love Kill Bill, I think you will really enjoy KB:TWBA. The film works very well as one piece, and stands up admirably to the original. As for KBX, it's worth seeing once as a novelty, but I doubt I'll be coming back to that one too often.

Ron Moses
 

ReverendBeastly

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I haven't seen KBX, but I have to almost completely agree with your comments on KB:TWBA. I've just finished watching it for the first time, and I love it. I actually really like the added scene before the Pai Mei flashback, the quality change doesn't bother me. I don't think I'll be watching the film any other way until QT eventually releases his ultimate cut.

And for the record, it was always QT's intention to remove the reference to BB at the break between Vol 1 and 2 in TWBA. Q followed that very nicely :)
 

boon23

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great reviews, Ron.
And I do absolutely agree on both of them.
 

ron2112

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Thanks for the kind words. I haven't done any more reviews lately because I've been busy building a section of the website to host my music. But I hope to review the ADM SW series soon, possibly with comparisons to the Slumberland and Phantom Editor edits. I'll definitely keep you posted!

Ron Moses
 
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