"Kill Bill" DVD makes two films one
Wed 11 August, 2004 22:04
By Bob Tourtellotte
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Director Quentin Tarantino has one lament about splitting his "Kill Bill" movies into Volumes I and II. It sacrificed actress Uma Thurman's shot at winning awards this past season in Hollywood.
But this week the DVD for "Kill Bill Vol. II" hit retail shelves, and for the first time -- excluding special screenings at the film's release last April -- the director's fans can see both movies the way they were meant to be seen: as one.
"The only thing that was lost from splitting the movie in half is, I think, we could have done better during the awards time," Tarantino told Reuters. "It would have been pretty hard for Uma not to have been nominated for best actress."
"Vol. I" lacked the emotional and dramatic scenes that normally win award votes in Hollywood, and because it was released in the fall of 2003, it was the only one of the two that qualified for last year's awards-season race.
The "Kill Bill" movies have been described in many ways -- kung fu movies, action flicks, revenge tales, spaghetti westerns. There is no doubt that, as one, they are epic.
Thurman portrays "The Bride," a one-time trained assassin who awakes from a coma after an attempt to murder her fails. Her former employer, Bill (David Carradine), put out the kill contract, and throughout "Vol. I," she fights her way through her former colleagues to get back at Bill.
"Vol. II" goes deeper into the reasons behind The Bride's motivation for vengeance.
As one movie, the two segments would have lasted longer than four hours, making it too long for commercial theatrical release. Tarantino understands the one film had to be cut in two, and he still thinks doing so was the best move to make.
"The average person, going to see a movie on Friday or Saturday, doesn't want to sit down for more than two and one-half hours," he said.
With the DVD, of course, fans can hit the pause button. With the two DVDs, they can take an intermission break and go outside to practice their own kung fu moves.
"Kill Bill Vol. 1" DVDs and videos sold 2 million units on their first day, according to the movie's backers at Miramax Films, a unit of The Walt Disney Co.
Tarantino said fans were watching the DVD during the day and going to see Vol. II in theatres the same evening.
The "Vol. II" DVD has few of the extra features that are typically loaded onto DVDs, Tarantino said, because so much of what was shot made it into the movie.
The one deleted scene that made the DVD is a fight sequence between Carradine and martial arts expert Michael Jai White ("Spawn"). Also on the DVD is a "making of the movie" featurette.
Now that it's over, the director said he doesn't yet know what he will do next. He said he will likely do more big, epic, films like "Kill Bill" but he won't try to replicate it.
"The only thing I know is: I just climbed Mount Everest. It was the hardest I ever worked on anything; I don't know if I want to climb Mount Everest" again, he said.