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Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Kill Bill Blu-ray delights with stunning quality and immersive sound, highly recommended.

    Kill Bill: Vol. 1 Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Kill Bill's Blu-ray release dazzles with its pristine, film-like image and rich details, vastly surpassing previous DVD editions' quality.

  • Audio
  • Kill Bill's PCM soundtrack impresses with its atmospheric clarity, wide soundstage, and exceptional bass, making it superior in audio quality with crisp dialogues and vivid sound effects.

  • Extra
  • The Kill Bill Blu-ray excels in quality but lacks in supplemental content, offering only a brief documentary, subpar musical sequences, and a set of Tarantino trailers, mirroring the sparse DVD extras.

  • Movie
  • Quentin Tarantino's 'Kill Bill,' praised for its unique blend of influences and styles, dazzles on Blu-ray, captivating fans with its intricate plot and stylistic violence.

    Video: 72

    Disney and Miramax's Blu-ray release of "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" presents a revelation in home cinema quality compared to its previous DVD incarnations, marred by extensive edge enhancement, odd color rendering, and prevalent compression artifacts. Engineered with the AVC Mpeg-4 compression codec and showcased in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1, the transfer is nothing short of stellar, demonstrating a significant leap in quality. The film’s dynamic range is immediately apparent, with deep, inky blacks and finely tuned contrast that maintains detail across both stark black and white sequences and vibrant color photography. The image’s sharpness uncovers intricate details such as textures in fabric and nuances in skin tones, while the rich color palette and accurate flesh tones are portrayed without any hint of compression issues or noise, preserving the film’s natural grain structure for an authentic, cinematic appearance.

    Buena Vista Home Entertainment has certainly redeemed themselves with this Blu-ray edition by addressing the flaws seen in the DVD releases, marked by overzealous noise reduction and edge enhancement. The 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer delivers a crystalline picture quality, allowing for an immersive viewing experience where even the subtlest details like the yellows of The Bride's track suit and every freckle on O-Ren's face are vivid and distinct. The transition between high-contrast scenes, whether in luminescent whites or deep blacks, showcases Robert Richardson’s cinematographic intent without compromising on detail—even though high contrast ratios may challenge some digital displays, leading to occasional loss in shadow detail and texture definition in darker garments.

    Despite minor setbacks including isolated instances of streakiness possibly due to DNR or compression flaws, and occasional crushed blacks that obscure detail in dark scenes or clothing, these do not detract significantly from what is an otherwise impressive visual presentation. Film grain is handled with finesse, avoiding unnatural enhancements and ensuring a presentation that feels true to the theatrical experience. There are no edge ringing artifacts present, marking a definitive improvement over previous DVD releases—making "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" on Blu-ray a high point for both fans of the film and aficionados of high-quality home cinema.

    Audio: 77

    The audio presentation of "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" on Blu-Ray is a tour de force in sound design and quality, offering an unparalleled auditory experience that complements its visual counterpart flawlessly. The uncompressed 5.1 PCM soundtrack stands out as a benchmark in sound quality, providing listeners with an aural landscape that is as vast as it is detailed. The PCM format's superiority shines through with an atmospheric clarity and a richness that envelopes the viewer, making other lossless formats seem lacking in comparison. From the eclectic musical score to the nuanced sounds of combat, every element is reproduced with an astonishing clarity and depth that elevates the viewing experience to new heights.

    Notably, the bass in "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" is particularly exceptional, capturing the essence of every physical encounter with remarkable precision—a testimony to the power and realism the audio track brings to the film as a whole. Dialogue remains crisp and distinct amidst the vigorous action scenes, ensuring that every word is clearly understood. The sound mix expertly utilizes the surround channels, creating a dynamic and immersive soundscape that pulls the audience right into the heart of the action. Special attention has been paid to the soundtrack's more intricate details, from the vivid reproduction of punches and sword clashes to the deliberately bleeped mention of The Bride's real name, maintaining both the film's humor and its intense atmosphere.

    Furthermore, subtle touches like the handling of bilingual dialogue and the thoughtful placement of subtitles demonstrate a meticulous approach to the audio presentation that respects and enhances the original film. While some source music may carry a certain thinness, it serves more as an intentional stylistic choice rather than a flaw, contributing to the film's unique charm. The PCM track's deployment of surround sound might not be constant, but when utilized, it's done with creativity and effectiveness that mark "Kill Bill: Vol. 1"'s sound as truly outstanding and highly recommended for aficionados seeking a superior home cinema experience.

    Extra: 44

    The Blu-ray edition of "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" includes a modest assortment of extras, carried over from the DVD version, with nothing new or exclusive to entice fans hoping for unseen content. The centerpiece is a 22-minute documentary that provides a promotional yet insightful peek into the movie's production, featuring interviews with Quentin Tarantino and the cast discussing the film's inception, influences, and the experience of shooting in China. The extras falter with the inclusion of two musical performances by The 5,6,7,8's, marred by poor sound quality, an odd choice given their tangential relevance to the film's main appeal. The highlight for Tarantino aficionados might be the collection of trailers for his filmography, despite the overall sparse offering not surpassing previously released editions in terms of supplementary material.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • The Making of Kill Bill: A behind-the-scenes look featuring interviews with Tarantino and the cast.
    • The 5, 6, 7, 8's Musical Performances: Footage of the Japanese band performing on set.
    • Tarantino Trailers: A compilation of trailers for Tarantino's films.

    Movie: 74

    Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" makes its grand entrance into the Blu-ray realm, bringing with it the director's contentious yet undeniably skillful filmmaking style that has sparked debates across film aficionado circles. Known either as a derivative violence exploiter or the era's greatest auteur, Tarantino unapologetically screens his vision with a fervor that only he can muster. "Kill Bill" stands out as a cornerstone, showcasing Tarantino’s audacious narrative and visual flair, encapsulated within the bloody revenge saga of The Bride (Uma Thurman) against her former assassination squad. This film, a testament to Tarantino’s love for pastiche, blends numerous film and TV influences—ranging from samurai and kung-fu flicks to Spaghetti Westerns and iconic works of Hitchcock and De Palma—into a coherent and unique cinematic experience.

    The movie thrives on exceptional performances, notably Thurman's portrayal, which commands attention as she navigates through her character's complex emotional spectrum, delivering both ferocity and vulnerability with finesse. The meticulously choreographed action sequences, especially the iconic Showdown at House of Blue Leaves, are a feast for the senses—combining elaborate martial arts, hundreds of extras, and stunning cinematography by Robert Richardson to create spellbinding visual poetry. These moments are balanced with quieter, introspective scenes that add depth to the narrative, demonstrating Tarantino’s deftness in marrying high-octane violence with character-driven storytelling. Moreover, the eclectic soundtrack further enriches the film’s identity, marrying diverse musical selections to perfectly complement the on-screen drama.

    Despite debates surrounding Tarantino's treatment of violence and his heavily referential approach, "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" emerges as a meticulously crafted homage to genre cinema, transcending mere pastiche to offer a richly woven tale of vengeance and redemption. The Blu-ray presentation not only promises the best visual experience to date but also reignites discussions on Tarantino’s narrative techniques and stylistic choices. With its unique blend of stylized violence, poignant moments, and a standout performance from Thurman, "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" secures its position as one of Tarantino's most enthralling offerings—making it an essential addition to the collections of cinephiles and new viewers alike who are prepared to embrace its unbridled cinematic journey.

    Total: 72

    Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" has always been celebrated for its thrilling blend of gory action, emotional depth, and stellar performances. With its transition to Blu-ray, the film has received a treatment that elevates it to a whole new level of cinematic experience. Disney's release is a standout, offering a reference grade transfer that closely mirrors the original film quality. The attention to visual detail is matched by an immersive uncompressed PCM 5.1 soundtrack that adds an incredible layer of engagement to the viewing experience. Both aspects collectively ensure that "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" on Blu-ray is a must-have for fans and cinephiles alike.

    Despite the high praise for the technical upgrades on this release, there is a note of disappointment regarding the extras package, which seems underwhelming when compared to the quality of the film and its presentation. This sentiment echoes concerns from previous DVD releases, suggesting an area where expectations aren't fully met. However, the sheer excellence of the Blu-ray's audiovisual fidelity far outweighs this minor shortfall, making it an essential addition to any collection. For those debating whether to wait for different versions such as the Japanese theatrical cut or "The Whole Bloody Affair," consider that what's offered here is already exceptionally compelling.

    In conclusion, "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" on Blu-ray not only meets but surpasses expectations with its near-flawless transfer and robust sound presentation, solidifying its status as a high recommendation. While the lack of comprehensive special features may leave some wanting, the overall quality of this release justifies its place as a prized possession for fans and an exemplary showcase of Blu-ray potential. It's an absolute must-own for enthusiasts of Tarantino's work and for those who appreciate film at its most visually and sonically engaging.