Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

Used Record Store

There are movies that are well done; there are movies that satisfy; there are those that work, those that stick, those that transcend time to become classics and those that change lives. None of these measures necessarily has anything to do with each other and any can produce a movie worth watching.

Quentin usually bores me because he is a mere shopkeeper rather than an artist. When it comes time to squeeze out some cinematic matter, it doesn’t seem to come from his soul but from his catalog of very fine components. There is an art to arranging them nicely, but unlike his friend Rodriguez he doesn’t make them his own.

What does a clever man do with this condition? He makes a movie about it. The story is about someone who has a killer talent and upon deciding to create something (a baby in the story) chooses to become a used “record” store clerk. All viewers will surely know that QT was himself such a clerk at a “used” video store, where he carefully built his vocabulary of things to use here (his western influences) and in Vol 1 (his Asian ones).

The movie is nominally an action picture but the story is all built around some dialogue focused on the end: is it possible to both learn from a master and be a shopkeeper? Is it tenable to make a movie that does nothing but masterfully cite masters, always an apprentice? At what point can the self-loathing of inadequacy be turned to make the subtext original, personal and self-reflexive? Can we ever keep the BB?

I liked this because it pretends to be the Bride, but really is Pris with one Bladerunner’s eye.

Posted in 2004

Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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