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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

89






Studio and Year: Miramax - 2004
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 137 Minutes
Genre: Action

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Uncompressed 5.1 PCM, English/French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English SDH & Spanish
Starring: Uma Thurman, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Gordon Liu, Michael Parks
Written & Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Music by: The RZA Robert Rodriguez
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 9, 2008







"Revenge is a dish best served cold"



Film Synopsis:


With this thrilling, must-see movie event, writer and director Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction) completes the action-packed quest for revenge begun by The Bride (Uma Thurman) in Kill Bill Vol. 1! Having already crossed two names from her Death List, The Bride is back with a vengeance and taking aim at Budd (Michael Madsen) and Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah), the only survivors from the squad of assassins who betrayed her four years earlier. It all leads up to the ultimate confrontation with Bill (David Carradine), The Bride's former master and the man who ordered her execution!




My Take:


I have only seen Kill Bill one time which was back when it was released on DVD. My brother in law loved both installments and loaned them to me. I wouldn’t say that I am a Tarantino fan per se but I loved Pulp Fiction and liked Jackie Brown (I own both on DVD). I watched them and found them appealingly different from anything that I had seen. Their impression on me wasn’t strong enough that I rushed out and picked them up though. The one thing that I did recall was that I liked Vol. 1 more than Vol. 2. I realize that the two are like conjoined twins but that was my feeling at the time. I am not going to go into a long explanation about the plot summary about either film because most who are reading this are probably familiar with it. Besides it is not a truly in depth story but a rather straight forward one. I think that these films are really about the characters and the action. In Volume 1 we are given glimpses of the events that transpired that lead up to the confrontations between The Bride (Thurman) and her ex-colleagues. What we learn is that four of them are sent by their leader, whose name is Bill, to kill her on her wedding day. In this follow up to the first installment we find out why. Details are revealed about The Bride’s past including how she wound up in the situation that opens the story. Elle and Budd are dealt with and she subsequently comes face to face with Bill. There is background on her training which is shown as a flashback sequence. Last but not least is the revelation that her daughter is in fact alive and has been living with Bill.

As over the top as the extended fight sequence at the House of Blue Leaves restaurant was (in terms of reality) in Vol. 1, the sequence here where she is buried alive and the events that follow (I don’t want to give it away) make that look trivial. This film spends quite a bit of time on flashbacks that offer details on either what has occurred or what is about to. There were times where it felt necessary and others where it didn’t. The training flashback segment with Pai Mei is well worth it though. Gordon Liu is great in the part. I thought Daryl Hannah was so good as Elle and the whole sequence beginning with her arrival at Budds Trailer through her confrontation with The Bride is great stuff. For me this didn’t have the same flow as Volume 1 and seemed a bit longer than it needed to be. After watching Volume One & Two again I found that I still am still partial to Volume One. Regardless, Volume Two was still lots of fun and it brought things together quite well in the end.




Parental Guide:


The rating is for strong bloody violence, and language. This is not for younger audiences, period.





AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


Audio: 88


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 90


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Kill Bill Vol. 2 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Miramax/Disney featuring AVC 1080p encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 mbps and lossless uncompressed PCM 5.1 channel audio that has a constant bitrate of 6.9 mbps.

The video presentation had attributes that were very similar to those of Volume 1. Here are some of my comments from that review:

” Colors are rock solid with vivid textures, vibrant primaries and deep saturation that doesn’t disappoint. Images have a sparkling clarity that makes them visually enticing. Detail is impeccable from nearly every perspective which allows clear perception of the various elements within each frame. Contrast was punchy but not excessive which made fine detail within whites and bright scenes easy to see. Blacks were not inky but they had good depth and dynamic range. Detail in dark and shadowy areas of the picture were visible but not quite as resolute as I have seen. Grain appeared to be intact and I saw no signs of artificial sharpening or excessive processing of the video.”

While Kill Bill is one long film that has been divided into two parts however its two parts do have some visual style differences. Heavier grain was used during the black and white sequence filmed at the chapel in the film’s opening which gave it a grittier texture. It was also used with the same effect during the Pai Mei flashback training sequence. Colors were intentionally muted during that segment which gave it a softer and less appealing aesthetic. A couple of the shots that were filmed at night were not as crisp and detailed which made them appear softer. An example of this was the flashback where Bill relates the tale of Pai Mei to The Bride as they sit around a camp fire. The dark sky in the background had a grainy texture that made it appear noisy. These are minor complaints that when measured against this presentation as a whole didn’t detract from its otherwise excellent video quality.

The lossless uncompressed audio presentation had attributes that were identical to those from Volume 1. Here are my comments from that review:

” The lossless uncompressed PCM sound was impressive. This is detail rich surround sound that offers spectacular clarity and solid dynamic presence. I was captivated by the precise imaging and tonal quality of the various sound effects used during the fight sequences. The clanking of swords, splintering of wood, or the splattering of blood were all reproduced with audible distinction that made them recognizable even during the fiercest moments in the battle. Dialogue intelligibility was excellent throughout. This is an active surround mix that can be aggressive at times. Whether it was to generate the feeling of being in the open air of the desert or confined to inside of a pine box casket the mix created a listening environment within the room that was as good as being there. Low frequency effects produced bass response that was clean, tight, and on a few occasions well extended. The music added another dimension to the films soundtrack. Lossless audio’s higher fidelity was readily apparent as the select mix of period music utilized the entire surround platform to deliver its enriching audio quality”.

I was blown away by the sounds that encircled the room and slowly closed in during the scene when The Bride is being buried alive. The pounding of the nails, the sounds of dirt landing on the exterior of the casket and spilling off of the sides and finally the trailing of voices from above were incredibly realistic. That scene alone makes this soundtrack worth having.




Bonus Features:




The bonus supplements are below average in content and consists of a 26 minute making of documentary, which is seems to be a continuation of the retrospective featurette from Volume 1, a deleted fight sequence scene, and a live musical performance that was shot during the Volume 2 premiere.


  • Making of Kill Bill Vol. 2

  • ”Damoe” deleted fight sequence where Bill takes on a gang in the street while “B” looks on

  • ”Chingon” – Live musical performance featuring Robert Rodriguez





Final Thoughts:




Kill Bill is not a film for everyone. For those like Quentin Tarantino’s style of movie making this is a film that epitomizes him at his best. Fans who have been waiting for this epic to find its way to high definition Blu-ray Disc are going to be rewarded with stunning reference quality video and superior high resolution audio that won’t disappoint. I can’t recommend this film to everyone but it is a must own for fans.Highly Recommended.













Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS1x 1080p High Definition Front Projector

Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen

Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player

Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Outlaw Audio Model 7700 seven channel amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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Thanks for doing another great review Ralph. I hope you would perform the menu language check as requested in Kill Bill 1 review thread.
 

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Ralph,


Nice review, but why does film grain have to be considered a negative such as you stated here?

The sky in the background during the scene was noticeably grainy as well. These are minor complaints that when measured against this presentation as a whole didn’t detract from its otherwise excellent video quality.


These are the type of statements that I fear studios read as, "See we need to use more DNR as reviewers are complaining!"
 

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Personally while I think highest of Ralph's reviews, I can never understand complaint about grain.


If it's not artifacting, then it's a part of the original elements and should always be there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidHir /forum/post/14572719


Ralph,


Nice review, but why does film grain have to be considered a negative such as you stated here?

The sky in the background during the scene was noticeably grainy as well. These are minor complaints that when measured against this presentation as a whole didn’t detract from its otherwise excellent video quality.


These are the type of statements that I fear studios read as, "See we need to use more DNR as reviewers are complaining!"

Greetings,


Honestly I have no issue with grain as long as it doesn't make the image appear noisy which can can be distracting. That is how it appears in this particular scene. Grain is visibly present throughout both films and I have no complaint with that. I edited that sentence and changed the wording a bit.


If you read my reviews there are few where I take issue with film grain unless otherwise stated.



Regards,
 

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Thanks very much for all your reviews. I like your down to earth perspectives, they are breaths of fresh air. My personal views on film grain are similar. I hate it if it distracts from the viewing experience. Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down are films where it works very well and where it really was the director's intention, IMO. When you see grain in the sky, its normally because blue, (or yellow, I think on the neg.), is the most susceptible channel to grain. It can normally be significantly cleaned up in the DI process, using selective keying for instance, without effecting the rest of the scene. It does NOT need a noise reduction filter whacked on the whole shot. Therefore I agree that it's an error and the PQ should be notched down accordingly. Of course a director does not ever intend to have a Black Hawk Down look in just the sky, and the rest of the film pristine. But with Mr T, who knows.... Cheers, Harold
 

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I believe I've found a connection between Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction. When Michael Madsen's character is talking to Daryl Hanna about how he hocked his Hatori Hanzo sword years back for a couple hundred bucks, connected with Pulp Fiction when Butch grabs the sword in the pawn shop, resulting in him going back down stairs to help Marcellus Wallace. I wonder if someone zoomed onto the emblem on the sword in Pulp Fiction if, it would be the same as on the sword's emblem in Kill Bill. Any thoughts? I don't think I've heard this connection before from anyone.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vick vega /forum/post/14595629


I believe I've found a connection between Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction. When Michael Madsen's character is talking to Daryl Hanna about how he hocked his Hatori Hanzo sword years back for a couple hundred bucks, connected with Pulp Fiction when Butch grabs the sword in the pawn shop, resulting in him going back down stairs to help Marcellus Wallace. I wonder if someone zoomed onto the emblem on the sword in Pulp Fiction if, it would be the same as on the sword's emblem in Kill Bill. Any thoughts? I don't think I've heard this connection before from anyone.

Bud (Michael Madsen) only said he hocked his sword. Later on in the movie, you see that in fact he still has his sword....
 

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I seem to have a problem with the film that hasn't been mentioned anywhere else, and I don't recall in the theater or SD DVD: When Kiddo is in the back of Budd's truck, and the camera cuts back and forth between Kiddo's view and Budd's view, the frame gets cropped to 4x3, this is the only place in the film where it happens, and it doesn't feel like a stylistic choice, but much more like a mistake. Anyone else see this/have an opinion on it?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durandal /forum/post/15164006


I seem to have a problem with the film that hasn't been mentioned anywhere else, and I don't recall in the theater or SD DVD: When Kiddo is in the back of Budd's truck, and the camera cuts back and forth between Kiddo's view and Budd's view, the frame gets cropped to 4x3, this is the only place in the film where it happens, and it doesn't feel like a stylistic choice, but much more like a mistake. Anyone else see this/have an opinion on it?

dont quite remember it, but could just be that the 2 sides happen to be very dark and resemble black bars on two sides.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkcheng122 /forum/post/15169909


dont quite remember it, but could just be that the 2 sides happen to be very dark and resemble black bars on two sides.

The same thing happens on mine. It certainly looked 4:3, but I haven't inspected it closely...


Anyone know for sure?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durandal /forum/post/15164006


I seem to have a problem with the film that hasn't been mentioned anywhere else, and I don't recall in the theater or SD DVD: When Kiddo is in the back of Budd's truck, and the camera cuts back and forth between Kiddo's view and Budd's view, the frame gets cropped to 4x3, this is the only place in the film where it happens, and it doesn't feel like a stylistic choice, but much more like a mistake. Anyone else see this/have an opinion on it?

It was done as a stylistic choice. Perhaps it was to resemble an enclosed coffin foreshadowing whats to come?


Kill Bill 1 & 2 for me is right below Pulp Fiction, and a genre lovers wet dream. Seriously, this is an amazingly entertaining journey. I loved every second of it.
 

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Quick thing...while watching some movies (last night Kill Bill 2) I notice a lot of (trying to describe this best I can) flashing specks appear during some scenes. Is this 'noise?' They are quick flashing of small bright lights (specks)...sitting close you can really notice a lot of them..it's like watching a movie at the theatre..didn't notice it on my other tv's but just got a new one..wondering if it's the movie or the tv



Quality of detail in movie is great..the blood and dirt scenes on her face are great detail.
 

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It's too bad that 1 & 2 could not be reviewed as one long film.

Because for me, they go together.

Very hard to comment on one without the other one.

Anyway Kill Bill is easily one of my favorite from Tarantino.

The quality of these blu-rays is excellent, with great colors jumping from the screen.

And the audio is also formidable, with great music and convincing effects, like the burrial.

Great review by Ralph, I coudn't agree more.
 
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