Joel Siegel Movie Reviews

ByABC News
October 17, 2003, 3:25 PM

Oct. 10 -- Now in theaters: Kill Bill Vol. 1, Mystic River and Intolerable Cruelty.

Kill Bill Vol. 1Here's the deal: Kill Bill was supposed to be one movie. But when they started putting it together they knew it was way too long. So they cut the movie in half and, coincidentally, that's what happens to most of the actors.

Quentin Tarantino, whose Pulp Fiction is a great film, has made what is technically a terrific film. It looks great, fans will love it, the sound alone deserves an Oscar. I think Tarantino is a genius. But I'm not sure I want to be alone in a room with him.

Uma Thurman is a member the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. When she comes out of a four-year coma, she seeks revenge a dish Director Tarantino believes is best served with ketchup. Lots of ketchup. Kill Bill is the bloodiest, most violent film I have ever seen. The violence is so over-the-top, so super-operatic it becomes cartoonish and borders on funny. But is that what Tarantino wants?

I think it is, because there is no story, no characters, and we never know who Bill is, or why these people are trying to kill each other. There's no way to tell if this film is a satire on violence or a celebration of violence. But we won't know what Tarantino is ultimately aiming for until we see more.

I can't pass judgment on half a film any more than I could review a playif I'd only been allowed to see the first act, or review a book if I were only allowed to read every other page. Kill Bill Vol. 2 is scheduled to open February 20 check with me then. Grade: Incomplete.

Mystic River

Mystic River is the story of three Boston boys, one of whom is abducted by child abusers, a crime that he relives again and again, every day for the rest of his life.

Tim Robbins plays the boy all grown up his chest caved, his head down, his heart broken, his soul forever scarred. This is what happens to victims of real-life violence. This is why Mystic River, the first great film of 2003, makes it especially difficult to deal with the numbing movie violence in Kill Bill.