Kill Bill Volume 2 (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

For fans of Quentin Tarantino, the “Kill Bill” movies were just about all that were asked for and a bit more. While I still personally favor “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction”, there’s no doubt that I got some pleasure out of Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Let’s face it, the man has a way of visually telling a story that very few other directors have. He can write, he can act (sort of) but one thing he needs to do is keep making films. He also needs to get off the Japanese/70’s thing, too. While “Kill Bill Vol. 1” introduced us to “The Bride” played by Uma Thurman, “Kill Bill Vol. 2” expands upon her character and the rest of the infamous, ill-fated list that rules her life. These movies reunite Uma Thurman with her “Pulp Fiction” director and Thurman even had a hand in writing the story. It’s no doubt one of her better performances and hopefully come Oscar nomination time, the ‘Academy’ will see fit to at least give her a chance at a little gold statue.

What’s “Kill Bill Vol. 2″ about? It’s not the same as the first, but at the heart of it is just a tale of revenge – plain and simple. I’ll go on the assumption that everyone reading this has seen the first installment (the two were originally supposed to be one movie and Tarantino split the two up) and are hungry for more. If not, then you might want to stop reading here…Still with me? Good. The Bride (Uma Thurman” has taken care of two names on the list. She’s learned that she has a child, which is about the only thing in the world that might stop her on her conquest to kill Bill (see, it’s not just the title of the movie – it actually has meaning). Her former allies are now her nemesis and they include: Elle (Daryl Hannah), the one eyed vixen who might just be just as dangerous as the bride herself. Budd (Michael Madsen), the bouncer who has a new home in the most desolate place on Earth. And then there’s Bill (David Carradine), who certainly has a lot more screen time than in the first installment. Can she pick the remaining members off her list and accomplish her ultimate goal?

Many feel that this was superior to the first version and I’m one of those who disagree. Is it good? Yes. Is it enjoyable? Certainly. And it’s a great movie, I just preferred Vol. 1 to this. We see a lot more character development from The Bride (and yes, for those wondering – we do find out her real name in this installment), particularly during her training sequence with Pai Mei (Chia Hui Liu). We see how she got as tough as she is, see some of her early roots and see her actual motivations as to why she’ll chop down nearly everything in her path just to kill her ex-husband. I don’t think this version is quite as bloody as the first and though there are some tense spots, it’s all about the story. I hesitate to mention too much more as I don’t want to give anything away, but true fans have already seen this and are probably just looking to see how it looks and how it sounds. Am I right? It’s no doubt that there will be some sort of “Ultimate” version in the future, but for the time being we do have “Kill Bill” (both volumes) on DVD and that’s a good thing.

Video: How does it look?

“Kill Bill Vol. 2” delivers more of the same in terms of the inconsistent types of film stock used. The 2.40:1 HD AVC transfer does mark some improvements in the film. Whereas I found the original standard DVD a bit on the over-saturated side, with all of the main characters looking sunburned, this one seems a bit more natural-looking to me. We still have the animation sequence as well as some intentional grainy looking scenes but by and large, this Blu-ray does what its supposed to on the video front it improves the quality of the image from the previous DVD.

Audio: How does it sound?

The film has been given a PCM uncompressed track just like the first installment and it sounds a tad better, but for the most part its on par with the Dolby Digital and DTS mixes of the standard DVD. Dialogue prevails as the most dominant type of sound found in the movie, theres plenty of it and it all sounds very rich and robust. Naturally there are some fight scenes (though not nearly as many as the first) and the surrounds do become active as head are flying literally. All in all, it is an improvement as wed expect from pure uncompressed sound, but its not something thatll make you walk six steps and drop dead either (I had to find a way to incorporate that into the review somehow).

Supplements: What are the extras?

Disney certainly hasnt listened to customer demand in the past few years, the Kill Bill movies scream for a special edition and these Blu-rays have been issued with nearly the exact same features that were present on the original DVDs. That said, we get a 25 minute The Making of Kill Bill as well as one, count it, one deleted scene and a musical performance. Thats it, not even a trailer (though one can be found on the first Kill Bill movie).

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