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KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 ($35) is the second half of writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s brilliant homage to chopsocky, samurai, revenge and exploitation cinema. Like the first film, KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 also continues referencing pop culture icons as it deliriously delivers it wonderful and violent tale of vengeance. KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 also picks up the action at the point where first film left off. For those who haven’t read my review of KILL BILL: VOLUME 1, let me bring you up to snuff… in the first volume, we met a very pregnant character, referred to as The Bride (Uma Thurman), on her wedding day, when she was gunned down. Four years pass, The Bride wakes up from her coma and out for revenge against those responsible for her condition and the loss of her unborn child- namely The Bride’s former compatriots in the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad.

By the time KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 rolls around, The Bride has already settled the score with O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) and Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox). Of course, The Bride’s hit list is still far from complete, as there are outstanding debts to be collected from the remaining members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad- namely Budd (Michael Madsen), Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) and Bill (David Carradine) himself, who was The Bride’s former boss, lover and father of her unborn child. KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 continues to play out in the non-linear fashion of the first film, so more of the back-story is revealed in between deadly encounters. In this second volume, we discover more about The Bride’s past, including her reasons for leaving the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, as well as her training from legendary martial arts master Pai Mei (Gordon Liu). The cast of KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 also features Michael Parks, Bo Svenson, Jeannie Epper, Stephanie L. Moore, Shana Stein, Caitlin Keats, Christopher Allen Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Reda Beebe, Sid Haig, Larry Bishop, Laura Cayouette, Clark Middleton, Claire Smithies, Perla Haney-Jardine and Helen Kim.

Miramax Home Entertainment has made KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation is another true killer, even besting the impressive first outing by a little bit. Tarantino continues his penchant for mix and match photographic styles; the Blu-ray takes whatever KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 dishes out without faltering. Again, the levels of image sharpness and detail are tremendous and hit the target every time. Dimensionality and clarity are excellent. Also, fine details are perfectly resolved. Colors are generally fully saturated and the flesh tones are wonderfully appealing. Blacks are velvety and the whites are usually crisp. The black and white footage also scores very highly. Contrast and shadow detail score highly, there are instances where the whites are intentionally blown out, but it just looks so right. Grain appears in varying degrees and KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 maintains a very film like presentation.

KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel uncompressed PCM soundtrack. Not surprisingly, this soundtrack is more of the same. KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 features a highly aggressive sound design the takes full advantage of all the outlying channels for sound effects placement and effortless panning. Fidelity is excellent; the sound effects are totally convincing, while the music sounds marvelous on this pop song heavy track. The bass channel kicks the listener in the head whenever required. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some extras. The Making Of Kill Bill Volume 2 is a twenty-six minute interview based look at the production. Damoe is a Deleted Scene featuring David Carradine, while Chingon is a musical performance with director/composer Robert Rodriguez.

KILL BILL: VOLUME 2 is one hell of a fun movie. The Blu-ray presentation is tremendous. Absolutely recommended.



Kill Bill - Volumes 1 & 2 [Blu-ray]


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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