The Couch Potato Report – April 13th, 2004
In the Couch Potato Report this week, it’s the return of Quentin Tarantino, weíll go back in time, and some guy named Paul McCartney releases a collection of music and animation.
Quentin Tarantino has only directed a handful of films, but what a handful.
He made his debut in 1992 with RESERVOIR DOGS.
That startling, always keeping the audience guessing, interestingly violent debut was followed by the Oscar winning, Cannes Film Festival taming, often imitated but never duplicated PULP FICTION in 1994.
On Christmas Day in 1997 Tarantinoís third full-length film JACKIE BROWN hit theatres. In an interview prior to its release the director, who also superbly writes his films, described it as: ìÖat a lower volume then ëPulp.í It’s not an epic, it’s not an opera. It’s a character study.î
Since character studies rarely do as well as bank heist films and one-of-a-kind movies, and probably due to the fact that he wanted to take a break, it was almost 6 years between the release of JACKIE BROWN and last yearís October 10th release of KILL BILL: VOLUME 1.
Six years may have been way too long to have to wait between pictures from
Tarantino but in retrospect I am happy to state that the wait was worth it.
Just ahead of the theatrical release of KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 on Friday, Quentin Tarantinoís KILL BILL: VOLUME I is now available on video and DVD.
Before I go on, let me stop right here and tell you that KILL BILL: VOLUME 1 is not for everyone. As with Tarantinoís other pictures KILL BILL: VOLUME 1 is excessively violent, full of revenge, and even a bit mean at times. And I canít say that the way people talk to each other is as wondrous as it is in other Tarantino movies because there isnít much dialogue in the movie.
Thereís just some things that have to get done and one woman whoís more than happy to do them.
Uma Thurman is a pregnant bride who is left for dead on her wedding day. After she wakes up from a less than peaceful coma sheís out for vengeance.
It all culminates in an ultraviolent, ultra-stylized tour-de-force showdown.
Nosiree, KILL BILL: VOLUME 1 is not for everyone.
But just like RESERVOIR DOGS, PULP FICTION and JACKIE BROWN it sure is for
the likes of me!
KILL BILL: VOLUME 1 is gory, violent, and bloody…and I loved every scene, every action, and every precious word of Tarantino dialogue.
Luckily, we wonít have to wait six long years to see how the story ends.
I only hope the title doesnít give the ending away.
So, now that you know I loved the movie, let me address the DVD release of
KILL BILL: VOLUME 1.
These days most DVDís have behind-the-scenes footage, director and cast
commentaries and a plethora of extras. All of Tarantinoís films on DVD are loaded with extras.
Well, all of them except for KILL BILL: VOLUME 1. Thus unless you need to own it right away, you might want to hold off buying this one and wait for the inevitable release of VOLUME 1 and 2 in one package.
I am also quite confident in my prediction that there will eventually be a KILL BILL: DIRECTORíS CUT that will piece it all together as one 3-hour movie. Those later editions will likely have all the extras that weíve come to expect and enjoy from the DVD format.
Personally, Iíve already bought the DVD, as I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino and his work.
What you do is up to you.
What the characters at the center of the movie TIMELINE do is also totally up to them.
This group of archaeologists and combat experts decide to travel back in time to France in 1357, in hopes of retrieving their professor and returning safely to the present.
I propose to suppose that you donít believe it will all be that easy, especially since the film is based on the book written by Michael Crichton, who also gave us JURASSIC PARK and TWISTER.
TIMELINE isnít a bad film, but it just doesnít cover any new territory.
Time travel is such a much written, filmed and discussed premise that if Iím expected to believe that that time travel is possible, it better make me believe that itís possible, or at least entertain me with what could happen on the other side.
IN the past The BACK TO THE FUTURE films did both of those things and BILL AND TEDíS EXCELLENT ADVENTURE entertained me a great deal along the way.
TIMELINE just unfolded in front of my friend and I. But, when she said afterward that she wished she could go back in time to get her two hours back we had a great discussion about how, even if she went back in time, she would still have seen the film.
Now that was a good dialogue! Much better than anything in TIMELINE.
Finally this week, Iíd like to recommend a 43-minute release called PAUL
MCCARTNEY – MUSIC & ANIMATION.
Iím not sure if youíve heard of him, but Paul McCartney used to be in a band from the 1970ís called Wings. Iíve heard rumours that he was in another band before that, but I canít find anything about them on the internet or in bookstores, so Iíll just call him a former member of Wings and move on to telling you that PAUL MCCARTNEY – MUSIC & ANIMATION is a trio of short films that celebrate nature, animal welfare, and the imaginative innocence of childhood.
McCartney composed the music and voices many of the characters in this collection that he has been quietly creating over the past 20 years.
Whether you check out PAUL MCCARTNEY – MUSIC & ANIMATION because youíre a fan of animation, or you pick it up because you are a fan of the band he was in before Wings, youíll be rewarded.
Itís fun, charming and completely enjoyable.
KILL BILL: VOLUME 1, TIMELINE and PAUL MCCARTNEY – MUSIC & ANIMATION are available right now on video and DVD at your favourite local video store.
KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 will be in theatres on Friday.
COMING NEXT WEEK IN THE COUCH POTATO REPORT
In THE OFFICE ñ THE COMPLETE SECOND SERIES the award-winning BBC
mockudrama far surpasses the sky-high standards set in THE FIRST SERIES of
the show. This is laugh out loud funny stuff.
Also next week, Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany and LORD OF THE RINGSí Billy Boyd star in the Oscar Nominated MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE
WORLD, based on Patrick O’Brian’s enormously popular novels about British
naval hero Capt. Jack Aubrey.
The once very funny Eddie Murphy stars in the very unfunny THE HAUNTED
MANSION. Like THE PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN it was based on an attraction
at Disneyland. Unlike THE PIRATES OF THE CARRIBBEAN this movie about a man
and his family who encounter a haunted mansion has no entertainment value
I’ll have more on those releases in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next week on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report – April 13th, 2004