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Jul 232010

Welcome back. Kill Bill – Volume Two begins right where the first one left off. The Bride (Uma Thurman) is back and on her way to hunt down Bill’s (David Carradine) brother Budd (Michael Madsen), who is number 3 on her “Death List Five” as part of her quest for revenge. We didn’t get to see much of Budd earlier, but we do now.

Bill warns Budd about the Bride coming for him, but Budd isn’t worried at all. He even sold his samurai sword at a pawnshop. “You pawned a Hattori Hanzo sword?” Sounds a little silly, doesn’t it. If the Bride had overheard this conversation, she’d think that Budd would be an easy target to take out.

Budd works as a bouncer in a bar. Though he’s always late, he thinks it shouldn’t matter because no customers ever arrive that early in the day, which is understandable. Budd’s boss is hilarious when he gets mad at Budd for it. Was that Sid Haig as the bartender?

Later that evening, the Bride arrives at Budd’s trailer for a sneak attack. Unfortunately, Budd takes her down with one shot of rock salt to the gut. Not so easy after all, was he. I guess that proves that the gun is mightier than the sword, even a Hattori Hanzo samurai sword.

Then Budd buries the Bride alive. That wasn’t much of a battle. As the Bride works her way out of this peril, we go into another big flashback. Bill sends the Bride to train under Pai Mei (Gordon Liu), who is a very strict instructor. The training was brutal and hard to watch, but now we know where the Bride learned some of those extraordinary skills, which includes the instant eye gouging. Soon the Bride escapes by the skin of her teeth (or should I say hand), and heads for Budd’s place again.

Meanwhile, Elle (Darryl Hannah) is already there and she doublecrosses Budd by killing him with a black mamba snake and makes Budd suffer by reading info about that snake aloud to him. Some killers have no mercy.

After that, the Bride arrives and fights with Elle. How convenient, since she was number 4 on the “Death List Five”. This battle also gets interesting as new secrets are revealed. The Bride’s name is finally revealed to be Beatrix Kiddo and the story behind Elle’s eye patch is not a pretty one. The catfight ends with Elle losing her other eye. I can still remember how everyone in the theater reacted when Beatrix stepped on that eye and crushed it. Ewe! Elle is defeated, but is she really dead like the other three?

Beatrix may have lost her list earlier, but she doesn’t need it anymore because there’s only one target left, Bill. She soon finds Bill along with another little surprise, and a very likable one at that. This final confrontation drags a little bit, but I liked Bill’s philosophy on Superman compared to other superheroes.

Overall, this two-volume movie was very creative. Action, humor, strong gorgeous women, it’s got it all, which makes this film a masterpiece.

Jul 212010

Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed Kill Bill. This amazing two-volume adventure story was inspired by old martial arts movies. Uma Thurman stars as a former assassin simply named the Bride. Oddly, whenever anyone mentions her real name, it’s bleeped. That makes no sense.

As the story goes in Kill Bill – Volume One, the Bride was about to be married. Then suddenly four other assassins crash it and shoot everyone. The Bride wakes up from a coma four years later and hunts them all down one by one before heading for her former boss and lover, Bill (David Carradine).

This film is featured in chapters, but many of the basic points of the story line are out of order. For instance, at the beginning, the Bride seeks out Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox) and defeats her. After that, the Bride marks Vernita off of her “Death List Five” for she was number 2. Then the rest of the movie goes into a flashback.

Number 1 on the list was O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu), but the Bride has to wake up first. Little did she know that Elle Driver (Darryl Hannah), who is number 4 on the list, tried to kill the Bride by herself, but Bill stopped her just in time. It was hilarious how Elle reacted angrily. You’ve also got to admit that Elle looks hot in that nurse outfit. Oh, yeah.

It takes awhile, but after a very violent animated sequence (I think it’s Anime), the Bride was able to recover. Now it’s off to Japan to find O-Ren. However, she’s not so easy to get to because she is a top underworld boss in Tokyo, but was the easiest on the list to find because of her reputation as a top underworld boss in Tokyo.

Soon the Bride arrives at O-Ren’s place. It seems peaceful at first because the joint is jumping as an all-girl band called the 5,6,7,8s is performing. Those lovely ladies can rock and their skimpy outfits are hot too.

Then it becomes exciting as the Bride fights her way through O-Ren’s army called the Crazy 88. However, the battle is brutal because the Bride’s new samurai sword, made by Bill’s old sensei Hattori Hanzo (Sonny Chiba), easily chops off many body parts. In a way, I can see this like a video game. After a group of enemies there’s a mini boss, who is O-Ren’s personal bodyguard, Gogo Yaburi (Chiaki Kuriyama). She’s very pretty, but deadly with that spiked ball and chain.

After Gogo is defeated by a board with a nail in it, more enemies come along. As exciting as this was, this battle is turning into a major gorefest. Yuck! Then it all comes down to the final confrontation between the Bride and O-Ren. It was a good sword battle, but I was expecting more of a catfight.

The first volume stops here as the Bride goes to look for number 3 on the “Death List Five”, Bill’s brother Budd (Michael Madsen). And just when this film was getting good, but not to worry. Check my blog for part 2 when I’ll be talking about volume 2.

Apr 302010

Species was one of the first alien movies I’ve seen and enjoyed right off. Natasha Henstridge stars in her first movie role as Sil, a female alien who is on the loose and looking for a mate.

I’ll tell ya, Sil is more dangerous than she looks. At a club she rips out the spine of a young woman just out of sexual competition. Then she kills a guy named Robbie (Anthony Guidera) with the kiss of death, literally speaking. I can remember when that won an MTV movie award for Best Kiss back in 1996. Sil even meets some nice people and ends up killing them also because all she cares about is her goal to procreate. What a heartless succubus.

A team of scientists, along with Preston (Michael Madsen) the man hunter and Dan (Forest Whitaker) the empath, try to track Sil down so they can destroy her before she gets the chance to mate, but it’s difficult with her constant changing of clothes that she steals from each of her victims. I’ve got to admit, that Sil is one smart cookie.

I still find this movie a sci-fi classic. The sequels, not so much.

Mar 292010

In this kick butt movie, Kristanna Loken stars as BloodRayne, a vampire half-breed with amazing skills. Unfortunately, she has blood cravings that are difficult to control, but it is helpful that she can also feed on vampires as well as humans and animals. She teams up with vampire hunters Vladimir (Michael Madsen), Sabastian (Matt Davis), and Catherine (Michelle Rodrigez) to battle her vampire father Kagan (Ben Kingsley) and avenge her mother’s death.

I met Kristanna Loken at MegaCon 2010. She was so sweet. I told her that she was great in this film and she thanked me. Oddly, it wasn’t one of the films mentioned in the program and most of the photo choices were from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Painkiller Jane.

I’m not too familiar with the video game version of BloodRayne, but part of Rayne’s journey here is much like a video game adventure. She goes into a dungeon to battle a strong deformed guardian. Then she finds a secret room with quick traps and finds a vampire eye, one of three body parts that would make a vampire invincible. Where’s a strategy guide when you need it?

The second body part is the rib and the third is the heart. Kagan has the rib, but Rayne searches for the heart at an underground cave. Well, two out of three ain’t bad. After that, it all comes down to the final battle in Kagan’s throne room. How exciting.

I like this film overall. Rayne isn’t as smooth as Blade, but she’s still an incredible warrior of skill and beauty.