Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

My Photo
Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Killing Kill Bill

I had no intention of seeing either installment of Kill Bill, but they ended up on the Starz channel, and someone else here wanted to watch them, so...

Based on the clips I saw on TV, the reviews I read, I had low expectations. Well, I wasn't disappointed. After seeing both films, I went back and reread the reviews on Slate and Salon. In order to find David Edelstein's review on Slate, I had to do an external search for it on Google and discovered an interesting site,, which gives the lead paragraph and a link (if available) from many major reviews. I noticed as I scrolled down the list that nearly all the reviews were favorable or, when they weren't a complete rave, tended to include some obligatory praise for Tarantino's directorial wizardry before going on.

I only discovered three reviews that were overtly hostile: David Denby's in The New Yorker, Joe Moregenstern's in The Wall Street Journal , and Mick LaSalle's in The San Francisico Chronicle. The first two of these aren't available online, but LaSalle's review is. I read it, and I could have written it, as it expresses my feelings exactly.

LaSalle writes:

"There was a time when Tarantino seemed like the most promising filmmaker of his generation. And of course, he still has talent.

He has flair. He knows where to place a camera and how to maximize tension and take moments to the extreme. But with "Kill Bill," we realize that his flash and panache are in the service of absolute emptiness. This puerile, ugly fantasy is the sad but unmistakable product of a consciousness not worthy of serious attention."

I recently was stimulated to thinking about why we get the films that we do after I heard that the Writer's Guild gave their award for best original screenplay to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a film that Ebert and Ropert praised. It was a film that I found contained nothing of merit. That, plus the prepondrance of favorable reviews for Kill Bill continue to make me wonder why it is that both the money men who decide what gets made and the critics both seem to be aligned in endorsing types of entertainment that seem so bereft of anything good and so alien to my sensibility?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]